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Thread started 09 Dec 2012 (Sunday) 10:35
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Travel Tripod -- Africa Trip

 
i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 10:35 |  #1

Had this in the Wildlife forum but probably more appreciate here...

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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Sirrith
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Dec 09, 2012 10:46 |  #2

I wouldn't advise getting that particular tripod. You haven't specified a budget, but you can find far more stable and taller options with very similar weight, albeit for a higher price (around $400).

If you want to stick with Benro/Mefoto (same brand really), the C26xx series are great. If they are too expensive or too heavy (it weighs 1lb more than the one you listed which doesn't have a model number for some reason, but is far more stable and more useful. I've tested them in the store and personally I think that the $140 on that tripod is $140 down the drain). Buy on eBay, or look for the equivalent Mefoto model which will be cheaper. If the 2 series are too much (weight and expense), then the 1 series is borderline, but still OK. Look for the C1692tb1.

If you are open to other brands and your budget allows, I prefer Feisol over Benro, and their 3441S or 3442 would be great (although they are ~$400 without a head, but I'm assuming you have a head with your current tripod which you could use). The Feisol are extremely good quality; they used machined parts instead of cast parts, and they are lighter/stronger as a result.


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i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 10:55 |  #3

Yeah that $400 price tag is put of budget for sure.

I'll look around at all you suggested anyway. Thanks for the advice.




  
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Tommydigi
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Dec 09, 2012 11:10 |  #4

I actually have one of those mefoto tripods and its not bad except the center column does not go down but its seems pretty stable for such a small tripod ( beats having nothing ). Mine was a gift so I kept it as an extra or travel tripod if I don't want to take my more expensive and much larger Gitzo 2541

If you can expand your budget something like this is very popular. They give you the head for free right now.
http://www.adorama.com​/GZGT1542TK.html (external link)


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Sirrith
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Dec 09, 2012 11:10 |  #5

In that case I would suggest something along the lines of this one:
http://www.ebay.com …ipods&hash=item​3f1bcfbe3c (external link)

Although I would advise looking around for a seller in the same country as you.


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slimninj4
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Dec 09, 2012 16:33 |  #6

I travel very light. I only got a cheap 15$ one. worst case I could just dump it on the way home if I ended up with no room. No way would I bring my manfrotto to travel.


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Dec 09, 2012 16:51 |  #7

I'm using a Oben CT-2400, amazing quality. I will rate it as same level as benro travel angel as I used this sveral times too
If money is not a issue, definitely go gitzo 154xt


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Dec 09, 2012 16:55 |  #8

Just checked back , BH has oben ct-3400 on sale, which is an amazing price..
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …Carbon_Fiber_Fo​lding.html (external link)


Fly me away.

  
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i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 17:47 |  #9

Judsonzhao wrote in post #15346151 (external link)
Just checked back , BH has oben ct-3400 on sale, which is an amazing price..
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …Carbon_Fiber_Fo​lding.html (external link)

+1

That's a nice tripod and maybe a middle ground for me. Now I just have to decide if I even want to bring one since actually using it on Safari might not even be feasible. I'm gonna thing more about this bean bags or monopod idea.

Thanks for your help.




  
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Daphatty
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Dec 09, 2012 17:54 |  #10

Here are some tips I can share regarding weight restrictions in SA.

My wife and I visited SA in May and we managed to carry quite a bit of luggage and carry on bags with us. I was quite concerned about the weight limits and went to great lengths to ensure compliance wherever possible. The first step was to find a light weight bag to use for my check in luggage. Check out these bags made by Eagle Creek (external link). We purchased ours from a different store but these photos will give you a good idea of their flexibility. They only weigh 2lbs/1kg which gives you the bulk of the weight allotment to use for your checked luggage (i.e. your tripod).

The second step was to make accommodations for my photography gear. Now, no matter how hard I tried I simply couldn't find a way to significantly reduce the number of carry on bags I brought with me (two), let alone the associated weight. So instead I opted to give myself options in the event of an incident with the airlines. Enter the safari vest (external link), a life saver when it comes to lessening the weight of a carry on bag. It is also quite useful while you are in the field. While I never actually had to prove that my carry on bags met the airline requirements, I was fully prepared to dump several camera bodies and even a 100-400L in the pockets of this vest if the need arose. You might want to find a private place to perform the gear relocation though. You never know who may be watching. I've also read stories of airline employees taking offense to such efforts.

Good luck with your search for a tripod and enjoy the trip. SA is a beautiful country!


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i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 18:02 |  #11

Great information. Thank you. I love the idea of the vest. Good Christmas idea! As for the luggage itself our travel company provides these and according to them you must use them. Duffle style with two wheels on one end. Although travelers who have gone on this trip indicated they bought their own similar to the one you linked. That's another good idea.

The only place I have concerns with the weight restrictions is when we're actually in the bush flying on small 3/4 passenger aircraft. That is why the weight restrictions are in place in the first place. I think I'm getting a little paranoid about it but the vest idea is really a great one. Thank you.

Daphatty wrote in post #15346345 (external link)
Here are some tips I can share regarding weight restrictions in SA.

My wife and I visited SA in May and we managed to carry quite a bit of luggage and carry on bags with us. I was quite concerned about the weight limits and went to great lengths to ensure compliance wherever possible. The first step was to find a light weight bag to use for my check in luggage. Check out these bags made by Eagle Creek (external link). We purchased ours from a different store but these photos will give you a good idea of their flexibility. They only weigh 2lbs/1kg which gives you the bulk of the weight allotment to use for your checked luggage (i.e. your tripod).

The second step was to make accommodations for my photography gear. Now, no matter how hard I tried I simply couldn't find a way to significantly reduce the number of carry on bags I brought with me (two), let alone the associated weight. So instead I opted to give myself options in the event of an incident with the airlines. Enter the safari vest (external link), a life saver when it comes to lessening the weight of a carry on bag. It is also quite useful while you are in the field. While I never actually had to prove that my carry on bags met the airline requirements, I was fully prepared to dump several camera bodies and even a 100-400L in the pockets of this vest if the need arose. You might want to find a private place to perform the gear relocation though. You never know who may be watching. I've also read stories of airline employees taking offense to such efforts.

Good luck with your search for a tripod and enjoy the trip. SA is a beautiful country!




  
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gakoenig
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Dec 09, 2012 18:25 |  #12

Thought about going monopod instead of a tripod?

- Intrinsically lighter.
- Price differences between models are less about stability, more about size/weight/features
- Far more compact and easy to carry.
- Less expensive for a better piece of gear (overall) than the inexpensive tripods.


http://lu.ma (external link), greg@luma-labs.com (external link)

  
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judyg
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Dec 09, 2012 19:24 |  #13

I was also going to say a monopod. For game drives, you will be shooting from the vehicle and a monopod will be more useful. You should also think about a beanbag because often you will be shooting from the pop-up tops of the vehicles and you can rest the camera/lens on the beanbag on the roof. You're not going to be outside of the car walking around when shooting any large game.




  
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i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 19:25 |  #14

You're not going to be outside of the car shooting at lions or any large game.

lolno

Thanks for the ideas.




  
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i-G12
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Dec 09, 2012 19:26 |  #15

Who has recommendations for a reasonable monopod?




  
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Travel Tripod -- Africa Trip
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