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Archive 2012 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking
  
 
Ben C
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I combine hiking/backpacking with landscape photography. I have been humping up to 47 lbs. of camera gear with my backpacking gear up to 10 miles per day with 2-3,000' elevation gain. In the coming months, I am seeking an alternative tripod that is compact (less than 2' folded), lighting weight (around 2 lbish) and has a load capacity for around 12 lbs (DSLR + 70-200 f/28 IS lens). Any suggestions?


Nov 12, 2012 at 03:30 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I've a Feisol 3442 which folds down to around 19 inches and weighs next to nothing. Its more than solid enough for my 5D with 70-200.


Nov 12, 2012 at 04:11 PM
kpjsy
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


^^^ Add a Markins M10.


Nov 12, 2012 at 04:30 PM
gcharles
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I'm considering a Feisol 3442 as well. Have read positive reviews of it. 15bit, what ball head do you use with this? Do the legs completely reverse close with the ball head attached? Thanks!


Nov 12, 2012 at 05:55 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I have a Manfrotto 486 RC2. It does reverse over ok, but if you can afford i would recommend a better ballhead. I made the mistake of going Manfrotto QR early and don't want to pay the money to change.


Nov 12, 2012 at 06:37 PM
gse53
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


47" Rocketfish. You can get it at Best Buy for $70 or e-bay used $40-50.

Compact carbon fiber
weight less than 3lbs
holds over 15 lbs

I keep it in my car and take on hikes.

Works for me.



Nov 12, 2012 at 07:49 PM
nma
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


Ben C wrote:
I combine hiking/backpacking with landscape photography. I have been humping up to 47 lbs. of camera gear with my backpacking gear up to 10 miles per day with 2-3,000' elevation gain. In the coming months, I am seeking an alternative tripod that is compact (less than 2' folded), lighting weight (around 2 lbish) and has a load capacity for around 12 lbs (DSLR + 70-200 f/28 IS lens). Any suggestions?


Another strong vote for the Feisol 3442. It will not disappoint. I use a PhotoClam ball head when hiking. The PhotoClam is good enough to hold my Canon 100-400 steady on the 3442. I also use an older Acratech Ultimate ball head when I am near the car. It is less convenient because the 3442 will not fold completely when the Acratech is attached. Not a total deal breaker; you can carry the head separately if necessary.



Nov 13, 2012 at 02:25 AM
vchowdhary
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


Went from a 055xdb aluminium to Feisol 3442 and it made life so much easier.

The weight difference is huge and its more stable than the manfrotto.



Nov 13, 2012 at 05:25 AM
 

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TheWengler
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I have the CT-3442 for this purpose as well. According to Kerry at Really Big Cameras the legs will reverse completely with the Photo Clam up to the PC-40N. I have the PC-36N and it does indent the foam leg covers some when the legs are reversed.


Nov 13, 2012 at 05:54 AM
gcharles
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


Thanks, I've been pondering this decision for a while now. I do have a couple of other larger tripods. I'm spoiled with a BH-55 on one of them so I'd really like to put a BH-40 on the 3442 and maybe just not worry about the reverse closing. Can't decide though.


Nov 13, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Steve Walker
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I also have a Feisol CT 3442 and think very highly of it. I am using it with a RRS BH55 while deciding what ball head to get for it.

The BH55 works very well on it, though I can catch my thumb between the tripod's leg release levers and the ball head's main lock knob. It is certainly not enough of a problem to dissuade me from using the combination while I continue my search for a smaller and lighter ball head. In fact, I like the combination so much that I have deferred my search for a bit.

I cannot reverse the legs with the BH55, but I don't really have any need to do so.

I also have Gitzo 3 series and 5 series tripods for heavier duty use. The Feisol is a very nice complement to those.

Good luck with your search.




Nov 14, 2012 at 12:02 AM
binary visions
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


I have a Feisol CT-3401 which I took on my hike through the Andes in Peru last year. We did 8-10 miles per day, with a little more elevation gain then you're planning for but not by too much.

I was very pleased with it throughout the trip. Similar to the 3442 but cheaper and the legs don't fold back over the head.



Nov 14, 2012 at 01:17 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


Ben what is your budget for tripod + ballhead?




Nov 14, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Ben C
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


peter_n wrote:
Ben what is your budget for tripod + ballhead?




Thank everyone for their suggestions. As for my budget, it is somewhat flexible (cheaper is always good). I am more interested in the features rather than just price.



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:28 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Compact, Light Weight yet Sturdy Tripod for Backpacking


OK then given you original requirements: "compact (less than 2' folded), lighting weight (around 2 lbish) and has a load capacity for around 12 lbs" I suggest the Benro C1680T tripod: 1.4' folded, weighs 2.35lbs, max load 17.6lbs. I'm into my 3rd year of use with the next size up C2680T and recommend the Benro travel range for their quality materials and construction, reliability, and durability.

Unfortunately these models now only come in kit form so you get a Benro ballhead with the tripod, in the case of the C1680T the ballhead shipped is the B0 so the model number is C1680TB0. You can buy from HolgaCamera at $316.00 or dc-stuffs at $313.00. Both dealers are very reputable.

Since you have a flexible budget I strongly suggest you get a Markins Q3T ballhead and sell the Benro B0 that comes with the tripod. The Q3T has an outside diameter of 50mm (same as the B0) so the legs will fold back parallel to the center column. The Markins Q3T is not cheap but it's an outstanding product.

The C1680T tripod and Q3T head should give you years of reliable support.




Nov 16, 2012 at 03:59 PM





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