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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Wildlife 
Thread started 09 Dec 2012 (Sunday) 09:49
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Travel Tripod...Africa Trip

 
i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 09:49 |  #1

Planning my trip to South Africa and know I am going to want a tripod.

What I have now is just not travel compatible ...too large and heavy.

I'm concerned with all the low light situations there may be in the afternoon game drives and want to be somewhat prepared even if I can't use the tripod in certain situations. Also concerned with the weight limitations the travel company has mostly because of the small plane flights. They are limiting baggage and such to 44 lbs. Doesn't seem like much for an 18 day trip.

So I have been looking for a smaller lighter tripod and found this one:

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …o_Travel_Tripod​_With.html (external link)

Looked at it in a local camera store and it is nice and small -- 2.6 lbs and 12.6" (folded). Only problem is that it is only 4.26' tall. It's not totally stable but I have limitations so...have to deal with that I guess.

Anybody use this tripod or have other suggestions?

I'll be using a T4i with 70-300L most of the time. Also will bring my 15-85.




  
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rick_reno
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Dec 09, 2012 10:38 |  #2

have you considered a monopod?




  
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Dec 09, 2012 10:53 |  #3

rick_reno wrote in post #15344890 (external link)
have you considered a monopod?

I did but for sunsets and that sort of thing I don't think it would be suitable. I'm not sure.




  
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rick_reno
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Dec 09, 2012 12:02 |  #4

How much time do you have before you leave? See if you can borrow one to try out before you go. Worst case, buy one and test it, if it doesn't work return it.




  
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Rob ­ Gough
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Dec 09, 2012 12:26 |  #5

I would also suggest you consider a monopod. Also you could consider a beanbag. There is not much room on the safari vehicles and a bean bag is useful for support without getting in he way. You can also take the 'beans 'out before you travel and buy a bag at you destination which will overcome the weight problem.




  
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Dec 09, 2012 12:41 |  #6

rick_reno wrote in post #15345202 (external link)
How much time do you have before you leave? See if you can borrow one to try out before you go. Worst case, buy one and test it, if it doesn't work return it.

Plenty of time Rick. That's a good idea.

I would also suggest you consider a monopod. Also you could consider a beanbag. There is not much room on the safari vehicles and a bean bag is useful for support without getting in he way. You can also take the 'beans 'out before you travel and buy a bag at you destination which will overcome the weight problem.

I just don't think a monopod will help me. I know what you mean about the safari vehicles. Using a tripod without being outside the vehicle isn't realistic. I'm more concerned about using it for shots where there is very low light requiring long exposures like sunsets and the like.




  
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Scott_online
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Dec 09, 2012 14:42 |  #7

I've been on a few safaris, and a good beanbag is way more useful than a tripod. Mobility is key.

You don't say where in SA you're going but there generally isn't much opportunity to get out of the vehicle during a game drive, and the sun will have set by the time you get back to camp. (I would also question whether you need long exposures for sunset shots. I usually have the opposite problem - I can't get a shutter speed fast enough).


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Dec 09, 2012 15:05 |  #8

Scott_online wrote in post #15345680 (external link)
I've been on a few safaris, and a good beanbag is way more useful than a tripod. Mobility is key.

You don't say where in SA you're going but there generally isn't much opportunity to get out of the vehicle during a game drive, and the sun will have set by the time you get back to camp. (I would also question whether you need long exposures for sunset shots. I usually have the opposite problem - I can't get a shutter speed fast enough).

Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe...

Yeah you're probably right. Getting out of the vehicle and setting up a tripod probably doesn't happen. I've been to Kenya before some years ago and no we were never able to do that. Maybe a previous suggestion of a monopod or as you say a bean bag may make more sense. Appreciate all the opinions.




  
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Harpo63
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Dec 09, 2012 15:05 |  #9

Im with Scott on this... Did a Safari at Masa Mara and they basically do not allow you out of the vehicles. Unless you are staying at one of the camps you could use it, but usually not while driving around. Watching other photographers in other safari vehicles (especially the vans with pop up roofs) the only support I saw for the long lenses were beanbags.

The safari I was on, 90% of the time the driver drove to where the animals were, put it in park but left the engine running. I couldnt rest the camera on the vehicle frame without engine vibration affecting the camera, so it was all handheld. It was not a photo specific safari, so that might make a difference if you are on one?


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Dec 09, 2012 15:11 |  #10

Harpo63 wrote in post #15345746 (external link)
Im with Scott on this... Did a Safari at Masa Mara and they basically do not allow you out of the vehicles. Unless you are staying at one of the camps you could use it, but usually not while driving around. Watching other photographers in other safari vehicles (especially the vans with pop up roofs) the only support I saw for the long lenses were beanbags.

The safari I was on, 90% of the time the driver drove to where the animals were, put it in park but left the engine running. I couldnt rest the camera on the vehicle frame without engine vibration affecting the camera, so it was all handheld. It was not a photo specific safari, so that might make a difference if you are on one?

It will be pretty much like your trip. Not photo specific. So same issues will be present.

Maybe I'm just trying too hard. I remember the last trip I took to Africa I hand held everything and didn't have much problem. That was a long time ago though. :)




  
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Dec 09, 2012 15:12 |  #11

BTW, for those who used a bean bag, do you have specific suggestions? Again, I'm concerned about weight and dragging stuff around.




  
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Dec 09, 2012 15:30 |  #12

I prefer the 'molar' type. If you've got space you could pre-fill it with synthetic pellets - they weigh next to nothing. If not, pack it empty and fill it with beans when you get there. (This assumes that you'll have access to a supermarket at some point early in your trip. It's not the sort of thing you'll find in the safari camp shops).


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Garry ­ Gibson
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Dec 09, 2012 18:43 |  #13

The recommendation I hear from a lot of guys is to take a molar bag empty. Buy the beans when you are there, they are cheap, and then give them to some of the local folks before you leave. They are really grateful for the gift and you don' t have to worry about the weight or bulk carrying it.


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Dec 09, 2012 19:24 |  #14

Great ideas guys.




  
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Dec 10, 2012 00:47 |  #15

Bean Bag definately the way to go .... There will be zero time to set up a good wildlife shot, you will need speed and mobility ... remember to take "protection" for dust as loads of roads are gravel (untarred) roads.... enjoy


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