So I've booked a trip to Costa Rica for the end of February, and I'm looking at adding a small/light tripod to my bag. My current tripod is large/heavy Manfrotto (which I love), but is not suitable for travel.
So I'm doing my research, digging through the threads on here and pretty much have narrowed my selection down to Benro's Travel Angel series or Feisol's Travel tripod. My intended use for the tripod is to hold a 5D/50D with no grip, and a 17-40, 24-70 zoom or wide prime (think 24L). I don't plan on using the tripod for any type of telephoto zoom. I want something that I can plunk down, set the timer and run and get in a picture with my family. I'm tired of being out of all the pictures. Additionally, I would like to take some night photo's and need the stability of a tripod.
I am favoring the Benro option, as their tripods fold up smaller (14" vs 17" for Feisol). Benro has several different series in the Travel Angel model, from the 0 series, 1 series and 2 series.
I'm trying to decide if I should go ultra small, or just small. The Benro C-069M8 is particularly sexy, in that it is a mere 1.7lbs, and folds up to a scant 13.4" inches (without ball head). That's damn small in my book. I know that a tripod of this size will sacrifice some stability, but I don't know how much load a 5D/17-40 would put on a tripod this small and if stability would be a problem.
If I don't go with the ultra small Benro, then I'm then deciding between the Benro C-169M8 vs the Feisol CT-3441S. The Feisol is slightly cheaper than the Benro, has a bigger weight rating, but is slightly larger and bulkier than the Benro.
So, as posted here many times, people seek to find the smallest and lightest tripod for travel use. The Benro C-069 certainly fits the bill, spec wise, but it has me wondering if there is a point where you can "too small" on a travel tripod. Is load capacity a good indicator for understanding the stability characteristcs of a small tripod? What are things I should look for that might indicate a tripod is "too small" for my needs.
Tripods in question