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Archive 2013 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?
  
 
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


While I've seen some discussion and plenty of ads for some of the small MeFoto and Sirui travel tripods (thanks to Google, etc., placing ads for anything searched for?), I haven't seen a lot of discussion as to how well they and similar small travel tripods actually do and what focal lengths seem to be just too much. Like is an NEX 6 and 18-200 too much weight?

As I'm kind of tall, I'd think I be most comfortable using them at full extension, so the alternative at some added expense seems to be to stick to the travel tripods aimed at dslr use and those seem to be overkill when it comes to capacity and size for the most part. It just seems that these new small tripods may be too good to be true?



Aug 04, 2013 at 07:20 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


Most of those tripods you mention have a very tall center-column. And using that fully extended is not what I like for a 200mm lens on a crop camera. Without the center-column they are very short. There is the Feisol travel tripods. Which are taller without the center-column. Or you only have to extend a smaller part of the column. Feisol are in middle when t comes to price. Not cheap, but not expensive like RRS or Gitzo.


Aug 04, 2013 at 12:52 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


What Lars says. Feisol have models that have good height without the center column extended. Their CT-3441T model for example has a max height w/out center column extended of 56.7" which should be good for a taller person. I'm 5' 8" and my Benro C2680T has a max height w/out center column extended of 51.6". I use a short center column on it with a Sony NEX-7 and it's perfect for me. I think overkill is way better than adequate when it comes to tripods, so looking at the Feisols is worth it if you're a taller person.




Aug 04, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


I don't expect that they'd do well at 200mm either but I haven't used one, so it is just that, an expectation, based on performance stories from others using other tripods and camera types. I think it's a reasonable expectation. For that matter, I don't know that I'd use one with that long a lens for a while, if ever. Likewise,I'm familiar with the Feisols, etc., but that's jumping to a $300-$400 legset and anywhere from $100 and more likely $200 or so and up for a head, and they are essentially engineered to dealing with a dslr weight camera and lens combo. I'd expect them to do extremely well.

As it is, my current Manfrotto 724b comes in at right close to 3 lbs, IIRC, but also has both a fixed column and restricted leg angles. It won't go as low as the newer ones and is even longer when collapsed. I know what it's limits are when used with a D200 weight camera and lenses as well. I doubt I'll take it on any more air trips.

So there is a $200 or so "possibility" or a $500+ "not going to happen" option that I'm trying to get some ideas from users on. Most of the reviews I've seen on the little ones are happy buyers but not sure how many are actually from users with more extended periods of use. One negative review came from someone using a D600 and a heavy-ish 28-70/2.8 range lens. I'd expect that to be too much, even if he had tightened all the legs correctly.



Aug 04, 2013 at 11:04 PM
mco_970
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


Does your mirrorless have an articulating screen (can't remember specs on NEX 6)? If so, tripod height becomes a lot less important. I get by with a Gorillapod most of the time with NEX 5N, or I have a Benro for a light mid-size tripod for my NEX. The Benro is OK for DSLR with smaller lenses, especially if it's minimally extended.


Aug 05, 2013 at 02:50 AM
 

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Craig Gillette
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


I haven't gotten one yet, still toting the heavy gear. My daughter has an RX100 and I have tried it at comparable heights on the 724b. It seems to me that it's easier to do a lot of the set up in hand and then clamp it into the head for the last set up, focus, etc. But that may be because it's small and I'm not used to all of the controls yet. That and I'm used to the top lcd on the D200 as well.


Aug 05, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


If I'm carrying mirrorless, it's all about max portability, so I'd never carry a full sized tripod. Might as well bring my 5D MKII if I'm willing to drag around a full sized tripod. For light days I use a Manfrotto 209 table top, Gitzo G1077M and 25mm Kirk clamp. My GX1 has an L plate and is very stable in both vertical and horizontal positions. Great for shooting off my chest in museums and churches and perches well on rocks and assorted objects.


Aug 05, 2013 at 05:45 AM
philber
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


I carry a NEX 7 around the world. For me, portability is the key word. I have a Gitzo 0541. It comes to less than 2lbs, which is just about as heavy as I am willing to carry litterally anywhere. Yes, the bottom section of the legs is very thin, and I don't deploy them if I can avoid it. No, I don't deploy the centre column when I don't have to. And yes a tilt screen means I very often get by with a less-than-fully deployed tripod.
Result is: I can get shots with up to 30s exposure from anywhere on my travels.
But of course, there are others choices/priorities/preferences.



Aug 05, 2013 at 06:21 AM
secondclaw
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


I carry a NEX-7 and Canon 5D2. I prefer something portable I can use for both when I travel (though I have a bigger/heavier tripod for home use).
So I have a MePhoto travel tripod (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=892883&is=REG&A=details&Q=)
Its very light and portable, very stable with the NEX, and stable with 5D2 unless the last leg segment is open, and it converts to a monopod if needed. Ballhead isn't great but for NEX its fine.
Also, I have a Manfrotto pocket tripod for NEX when I don't need the big tripod:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=754216&is=REG&A=details&Q=
It folds flat while mounted on the camera, and is quiet fantastic. Only downside is its not very tall and getting each of the three feet leveled is a bit annoying. But it does its job well. It sits in my NEX bag and easily handles any adapted Voigtlander lenses (including a fairly heavy CV 75mm). I even managed to get it to support the NEX with speed booster and Canon 24mm T/S lens (though anything heavier won't work).



Aug 07, 2013 at 12:41 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Travel tripods for the mirrorless traveler?


philber wrote:
I carry a NEX 7 around the world. For me, portability is the key word. I have a Gitzo 0541. It comes to less than 2lbs, which is just about as heavy as I am willing to carry litterally anywhere. Yes, the bottom section of the legs is very thin, and I don't deploy them if I can avoid it. No, I don't deploy the centre column when I don't have to. And yes a tilt screen means I very often get by with a less-than-fully deployed tripod.
Result is: I can get shots with up to 30s exposure from anywhere
...Show more

I use a slightly older GT-0540 with my X-Pro 1 and X100. I also have a 3441s for heavier gear, but I prefer the Gitzo for the X cameras, because it's smaller and lighter.

OTOH, sometimes I take only a Manfrotto 345 tabletop kit; 209 legs, 259B extension, 492 microball head, & RRS B2-FAB mini clamp.



Aug 07, 2013 at 12:54 AM





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