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Thread started 14 Jan 2010 (Thursday) 12:04
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Travel Tripods - Can you go TOO small?

 
BigBlueDodge
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Jan 14, 2010 12:04 |  #1

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.

Opinions?


Tripods in question

Benro C-069M8
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_Travel_Angel_C​arbon.html (external link)

Benro C-169M8
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_Travel_Angel_C​arbon.html (external link)

Feisol CT-3441S
http://www.feisol.net …r-column-tripod-p-38.html (external link)


David (aka BigBlueDodge)
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tvphotog
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Jan 14, 2010 12:50 |  #2

I have a Gitzo 1541t, and had looked at the 0 series which I felt was too much of a good thing...too light, in other words, not stable enough.

I would split the difference between the 0 and 2 series, and get the 1 series.

Too short folded is also impractical. The straps on my backpack, for example are set for a tripod that's about 19" or longer, and the Gitzo plus ballhead just makes it at about 19.5-20".

i must say that I haven't tried the 0 series in the field. Maybe it would work for your needs.


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mdr
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Jan 14, 2010 12:53 |  #3

A big vote for the Feisol from me, especially if you're tall.


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petriej
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Jan 14, 2010 14:16 |  #4

LOL maybe if you had a P&S (external link). Actually I may consider one of these for my SD1000. Just setting it up looks kind of fun. But, in all seriousness, I would get the travel angel for my DSLR.

I love my 055CXPRO4, now it just needs a markins head.


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2mnycars
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Jan 14, 2010 16:14 as a reply to  @ petriej's post |  #5

My travel tripod is a Leica table top with a Leica large ball head. I've had it since '72. It was costly then; terribly costly now.
But I"ve seen it on ebay!
It's simple, small and a delight to use.
Careful where you carry it when travelling.
On an x-ray when stowed with legs collapsed it might look like a pistol with a silencer mounted on it.
(seriously. no joke!)
DaveL

edit: height? about 12-15 inches. Like I said, a tabletop. Rock solid!


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Snow001
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Jan 14, 2010 21:23 |  #6

I have the Benro C-069M8 and the Gitzo 1541T. The Gitzo gives you more stability and is a little bit longer folded. The Benro is very compact and can handle your Camera and mentioned intended lenses. I bought the Benro because I wanted the lightest and most compact tripod out there yet could carry decent weight. It has a nice carrying case also. The carrying bag for the Gitzo will cost you extra and you have to buy the ballhead as well.
when I tried to take some moonshots using a 100-400 lens, you definitely get what you pay for in the Gitzo + Markins Q3T combo. The Benro + stock ballhead was a bit shaky most likely bec. of the Benro ballhead. When I travel I take the Benro with me and it has guaranteed my inclusion in the pictures :) For night shots, as long as it is not that windy, it will handle your camera and lens. If price is not an issue, then I would go with the Gitzo. For cost effectiveness + decent performance, I would suggest the Benro




  
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BigBlueDodge
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Jan 15, 2010 00:10 |  #7

Snow,

Do you happen to have a picture of the Benro compared to the Gitzo? I'd like to get a reference to see the size difference between the two folded up


David (aka BigBlueDodge)
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gotak
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Jan 15, 2010 14:44 |  #8

What are you carrying everything with?

I realized how a heavy bag can actually be a bigger problem than they first seem. I went from the Tenba medium shootout to a lowepro rover and it's night and day. The Tenba with my kit and 055CXPRO3 on it was too heavy. Put the same combo in/on the rover and hey it's no worse than my laptop bag with laptop and a couple text books, something that I can carry all day long.

Just thought you might consider if you are worried about how stable the tripod would be. Might work better to get a bag that's lighter to allow you to carry a heavier tripod.


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RayHff
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Jan 15, 2010 16:21 as a reply to  @ gotak's post |  #9

This is the only tripod I take traveling.

Can be used as a table top or clamped to a fence, post or tree or even clamped to the glass of a partially open car window.

Pricy but built to last.

http://www.promaster.c​om …products.asp?pr​oduct=7812 (external link)

http://www.hoopercamer​a.com/product.aspx?pf_​id=74158 (external link)




  
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Snow001
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Jan 15, 2010 20:31 |  #10

BigBlueDodge wrote in post #9396721 (external link)
Snow,

Do you happen to have a picture of the Benro compared to the Gitzo? I'd like to get a reference to see the size difference between the two folded up

I'll post some pictures tomorrow when I get home.




  
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ben_r_
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Jan 16, 2010 12:27 |  #11

Cool Id love to see some comparison shots!


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BigBlueDodge
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Jan 18, 2010 15:33 |  #12

gotak wrote in post #9400272 (external link)
What are you carrying everything with?

I realized how a heavy bag can actually be a bigger problem than they first seem. I went from the Tenba medium shootout to a lowepro rover and it's night and day. The Tenba with my kit and 055CXPRO3 on it was too heavy. Put the same combo in/on the rover and hey it's no worse than my laptop bag with laptop and a couple text books, something that I can carry all day long.

Just thought you might consider if you are worried about how stable the tripod would be. Might work better to get a bag that's lighter to allow you to carry a heavier tripod.

Interesting perspective. Had not thought of it that way. I'll be carrying this in a messenger style bag (think Crumpler 6 Million Dollar), which is currently the smallest size I have.


David (aka BigBlueDodge)
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BigBlueDodge
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Jan 20, 2010 22:36 |  #13

Hey SNOW001,

Were you able to get those pictures you mentioned?


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BigBlueDodge
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Jan 26, 2010 16:20 |  #14

Well, I decided to go with the Feisol 3441s / Photo Clam PC-33NS combo over the Benro C-269M8 & B1 head. I am waiting on the tripod/head from Really Big Cameras and will post a review of it when I get in.


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bohdank
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Jan 26, 2010 16:42 |  #15

Let us know what you think when you get it.


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Travel Tripods - Can you go TOO small?
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