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Thread started 10 Oct 2008 (Friday) 21:31
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My lightweight tripod setup...

 
RPCrowe
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Oct 10, 2008 21:31 |  #1

I have and love a Giottos Carbon Fiber MH-8180 tripod which is a tall, well-built, sturdy tripod that can easily support an eight pound package which is the heaviest I use (40D, 400mm f/5.6L and Manfrotto 393 Gimbal Mount) and could support an even heavier load with ease. The Giottos is a great pod but, weighs about six pounds which is a bit heavy for me to carry when boonie tromping...

I wanted a reasonably solid tripod/head combination for my boonie tromping pusuits but I didn't want to spend a king's ransom on my lighweight rig.

I compromised on a modified SLIK 330 Pro which I have modified by substituting the optional shorter center column for the longer stock column. The SLIK with the shorter column weighs exactly 2-pounds.

I additionally substituted an Adorama Flashpoint F-1 Arca Compatible magnesium ball head for the standard SLIK pan-tilt head which I don't like at all. The F-1 wighs only 11-ounces which brings the weight of my tripod/head package to a very manageable 2-pounds 11-ounces.

I have used this tripod package on a photo trip to Utah and I was very pleased how well it functioned. I was very apprehensive when I unpacked the tiny (almost miniscule) F-1 head. However, it has surprised me how sturdy this tiny and lightweight head is.

Granted, I do not burden this combination with a package as heavy as my 400mm f/5.6L setup. I use my modified SLIK with 30D and 40D cameras wearing 17-55mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/4L IS lenses and it supports these packages very well indeed. I was exceptionally pleased when I was shooting in the Bryce Canyon area in some gusty winds. My boonie tromping rig was surprisingly stable.

I owe some credit to the stability of my rig to the Arca Compatible QR system which allows me to use a Really Right Stuff L-Bracket on my 30D and 17-55mm lens with the advantage of not needing to cantilever the camera over to the side when shooting in the vertical position. Keeping the camera directly over the apex of the tripod in both portrait and landsape positions adds to the stability.

My modified SLIK is not an all-around tripod. It doesn't articulate the way my Giottos does and it certainly could not be expected to support the load which I routinely place on the Giottos. It is also a relatively short tripod but, that is easily compensated for by either stooping or using my right angle finder. Actually, much of this rig's stability is due to the fact that it is fairly short and that I do not extend the center column to increase height.

I bought the tripod on sale at Calumet Photo for about $75 and the little head ran a bit above $50. The shorter center column cost an additional $10 but, I could have saved the ten bucks by sawing off a portion of the stock column.

I now have a tripod costing about $135 which I am willing to carry many places where I would never lug a heavier pod. I use it primarily for HDR and for panos and am very happy with the rig.


See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

  
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ben_r_
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Oct 10, 2008 23:25 |  #2

Post some pics of it!


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argyle
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Oct 11, 2008 08:33 as a reply to  @ ben_r_'s post |  #3

I take it that the Flashpoint head has an A-S compatible clamp? Or did you add an RRS clamp?


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René ­ Damkot
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Oct 11, 2008 11:01 |  #4

Yes, please add some images now you're in the Sticky ;)


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Maxdave
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Oct 12, 2008 08:06 as a reply to  @ René Damkot's post |  #5

Exactly how tall is it, RP, from the floor to the top of the Quick Release Assembly (with no centre column extension)? What is the height folded?

I wish to compare these statistics with my MT-7371/MH-3300 combination.

Maxdave


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My lightweight tripod setup...
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