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Help with minimum size tripod need please

Greg Haag

Well-known member
I have a few longer hikes (for me) this year, and I am looking at my options to lighten my load for those. One possible area is tripods and tripod heads. I currently have a regular and lightweight setup (pictured below), my regular setup weighs 6.65lbs and my lightweight setup weighs 3.17lbs. I have never used my lightweight setup with my technical camera in anything other than ideal conditions, and was hoping to get some feedback on whether or not it is too lightweight to rely on in the field. Also, if it is too lightweight, is there a good alternative.
Thanks in advance,
Greg

Gear in use
Phase One IQ4 150 back
Cambo WRS 1600
Rodenstock 32HR, 90HR & 180HR

Combined weight of the back, Cambo and lens approximately 7lbs

Heres a link to the small tripod, it a Gitzo Travler Series 1
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1328232-REG/gitzo_gt1555tus_traveler_tripod_ser_1_5s.html

tripods-1.jpg
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
Greg,

After playing with one at PhotoPlus, I picked up a RRS TQC-14, which has a center column. I ordered the TFC spider to convert it into a TFC-14 without the center column. With a BH-30 ball head, the total is about 3 lbs. I have lighter tripods, but this setup is quite rigid, and is my "take anywhere except I don't thanks to IBIS" tripod :ROTFL:

I haven't tried a light Gitzo in a long time, so can't offer a comparison.

Matt
 

Mexecutioner

Well-known member
I have a few longer hikes (for me) this year, and I am looking at my options to lighten my load for those. One possible area is tripods and tripod heads. I currently have a regular and lightweight setup (pictured below), my regular setup weighs 6.65lbs and my lightweight setup weighs 3.17lbs. I have never used my lightweight setup with my technical camera in anything other than ideal conditions, and was hoping to get some feedback on whether or not it is too lightweight to rely on in the field. Also, if it is too lightweight, is there a good alternative.
Thanks in advance,
Greg

Gear in use
Phase One IQ4 150 back
Cambo WRS 1600
Rodenstock 32HR, 90HR & 180HR

Combined weight of the back, Cambo and lens approximately 7lbs

Heres a link to the small tripod, it a Gitzo Travler Series 1
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1328232-REG/gitzo_gt1555tus_traveler_tripod_ser_1_5s.html

View attachment 146577
Hi Greg,

I used to have two of those traveler tripods, they were great, but, IMHO, not sturdy enough for the IQ4150 and XF so I ditched them. I don't want to carry my Gitzo giant everywhere so I decided to build a new travel tripod and after some research opted for a Gitzo 4553. Light enough and way sturdier than the travelers.

What I like the best is that is that it is 18.9" collapsed so it fits in my carry-on bag with the head detached (added an Arca Swiss quick-Link on top)

I replaced the Gitzo spider with a Markins TH-230 hub and that saved even more weight; half a pound if not a bit more and it also takes much less space when folded since the diameter is smaller on top.

I also replaced the feet with some titanium spike ones, but that I think is inconsequential when it comes to size and weight. I can put it on the scale and give you a weight total, without a head mounted.

Overall I am happy with this solution for traveling / hiking. I hope this gives you some good ideas.
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
That sound interesting, I will take a look!

Hi Greg,

I used to have two of those traveler tripods, they were great, but, IMHO, not sturdy enough for the IQ4150 and XF so I ditched them. I don't want to carry my Gitzo giant everywhere so I decided to build a new travel tripod and after some research opted for a Gitzo 4553. Light enough and way sturdier than the travelers.

What I like the best is that is that it is 18.9" collapsed so it fits in my carry-on bag with the head detached (added an Arca Swiss quick-Link on top)

I replaced the Gitzo spider with a Markins TH-230 hub and that saved even more weight; half a pound if not a bit more and it also takes much less space when folded since the diameter is smaller on top.

I also replaced the feet with some titanium spike ones, but that I think is inconsequential when it comes to size and weight. I can put it on the scale and give you a weight total, without a head mounted.

Overall I am happy with this solution for traveling / hiking. I hope this gives you some good ideas.
 

vjbelle

Well-known member
Greg..... I have the traveler and as much as I like the weight its not rigid enough for your equipment. I also have the RRS 14 series tripod (4 section) and it is noticeably more rigid and tests that way at The Center Column (https://thecentercolumn.com/).

You may even want to consider the 23/24 series which weighs just a little more but for me the 14 works out really well with my Actus/Sony/Phase stuff which has similar weights to what you are dealing with.

I go back and forth with a P0 or 60 leveler for the tripod head. Both work out well....

Victor
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Greg..... I have the traveler and as much as I like the weight its not rigid enough for your equipment. I also have the RRS 14 series tripod (4 section) and it is noticeably more rigid and tests that way at The Center Column (https://thecentercolumn.com/).

You may even want to consider the 23/24 series which weighs just a little more but for me the 14 works out really well with my Actus/Sony/Phase stuff which has similar weights to what you are dealing with.

I go back and forth with a P0 or 60 leveler for the tripod head. Both work out well....

Victor
Thank you Victor, I hope you have a great trip out west!
 

darr

Well-known member
Hi Greg,

I use the RRS TVC-23 + RRS-BH40 head and also the RRS TVC 14 + RRS BH30 head, both have a quick column that I seldom use. I have comfortably used the TVC 23 with my ALPA Max and heavier Linhof Master Technika 3000 with a hefy 6x17 magazine attached. The TVC-23 is an excellent tripod for these cameras and I have used it for over five years. What you lose in folded size with the TVC 23, I feel I easily make up for in strength and weight.

The TVC 14 I use with my ALPA SWA, Mamiya 6, Hasselblad 501CM and Fuji mirrorless APC cameras. While I enjoy the small size and convenience of the TVC 14, I do not enjoy the BH30 head and will replace it at some point in the future. I would never use the TVC 14 with my Linhof because it would be pushing its limitations IMO, but I have used it with the Max in the past. Hope this helps somewhat. Do look at the TVC 23 as I think it does not get enough attention and it is a lightweight and strong tripod worthy of consideration.

Kind regards,
Darr
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Hi Greg,

I use the RRS TVC-23 + RRS-BH40 head and also the RRS TVC 14 + RRS BH30 head, both have a quick column that I seldom use. I have comfortably used the TVC 23 with my ALPA Max and heavier Linhof Master Technika 3000 with a hefy 6x17 magazine attached. The TVC-23 is an excellent tripod for these cameras and I have used it for over five years. What you lose in folded size with the TVC 23, I feel I easily make up for in strength and weight.

The TVC 14 I use with my ALPA SWA, Mamiya 6, Hasselblad 501CM and Fuji mirrorless APC cameras. While I enjoy the small size and convenience of the TVC 14, I do not enjoy the BH30 head and will replace it at some point in the future. I would never use the TVC 14 with my Linhof because it would be pushing its limitations IMO, but I have used it with the Max in the past. Hope this helps somewhat. Do look at the TVC 23 as I think it does not get enough attention and it is a lightweight and strong tripod worthy of consideration.

Kind regards,
Darr
Thank you Darr, I will take a look at the 23!
 

Zubba

New member
Greg,

Here are some images of it, including one inside an international sized carry-on bag for reference.

Weight, as shown, is 2002 grams / 4.41lbs.

View attachment 146590View attachment 146591View attachment 146592
This is the exact set up I've been thinking of building. Thanks for posting these pics, Mexecutioner.

If you've got time, can you answer a few questions about it? Where did you manage to find your TH-230? I can't seem to find them in stock anywhere.

Stock, the GT4553s has slightly narrower leg angles than I like at 23 degrees, does the Markin seem to open that up a little to a wider stance? How does it effect height?

How is the set up for wandering around town on a "normal" sized backpack?

Thanks man!
 
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Mexecutioner

Well-known member
This is the exact set up I've been thinking of building. Thanks for posting these pics, Mexecutioner.

If you've got time, can you answer a few questions about it? Where did you manage to find your TH-230? I can't seem to find them in stock anywhere.

Stock, the GT4553s has slightly narrower leg angles than I like at 23 degrees, does the Markin seem to open that up a little to a wider stance? How does it effect height?

How is the set up for wandering around town on a "normal" sized backpack?

Thanks man!

Hi:

I don't know if the legs open more with the Markins or not. I didn't compare or measure the angle or the height with the stock tripod either. For me the combination just works and a couple millimeters here or there are inconsequential.

I had the TH-230 (ordered directly from Markins in Korea) before the tripod got here so I put it in as soon as the tripod came out of the box. I have 3 Gitzos with different Markins hubs, been using one of them for 8 years and have never questioned their stability or performance.

If this is what you want, go ahead and build it, I don't think you'd be disappointed. It is light enough to carry around. I never attach it to a backpack, but I am sure it will be fine if that is the way you want to transport it.

Hope this helps.
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Well, I am reviving this thread with a follow up question. I delayed this purchase since due to Covid my trip was canceled. I think I am leaning toward Really Right Stuff TFC-14 Series 1 Mk2 and the Arca-Swiss Core 60 Leveler for my light setup. This combination appears to be approx. 3.3lbs lighter than my Gitzo GT3533LS Systematic Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod and Arca-Swiss D4 combination. Below is a reminder of the gear being used on it. If anyone has reservations about this or a better recommendation, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, I do want this new combination to be below 4lbs.

Gear in use
Phase One IQ4 150 back
Cambo WRS 1600
Rodenstock 32HR, 90HR & 180HR

Combined weight of the back, Cambo and lens approximately 7lbs
 

Mexecutioner

Well-known member
Seems like a good combo if traveling light is important. Max height seems to be reasonable in a compact tripod. Perhaps the additional 5 degrees of tilt of the Core 75 are worth considering, but of course you could always adjust the legs to get pretty close ro level and then just fine tune with the Core 60 and maximize weight and size savings.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Greg, have you tested your camera and lenses on the Gitzo Traveler you own? That would be a good baseline for you to judge if you need something that exceeds or matches that. I would try it out in some windy conditions. Ultimately, the tripod thing is really personal. Compared to other folks here, I am happier with smaller/lighter tripods. Other won't risk anything other than a concrete post.

I would also take all this on a few day hikes to see what it is like. I walk a lot with my gear and so I really try to save on the oz. There is really more to what you carry beyond the gear--bags and accessories really add up. And does all this help or hinder you from using it. Since you have a light weight tripod, you can run a few hikes to see how this works.

BTW, I just put my Pentax 645D on my Series 1 Traveler that has a no-brand compact tripod head (read: no one here uses such a crumby head, but it is small and light) and extended the column to its maximum height. I mounted the camera sideways so the mirror/shutter movement is side to side, rather than up and down and made close up exposures between 1/15 sec. and 1/4 sec with my hand on the camera to release the shutter (no self timer). This is probably the most unstable way of using this (you will have nowhere near the camera shake I do). The images are sharp. Now, this is not in a wind, but I imagine that I can get this to work as well.
 
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PSS

Member
I got the peak design carbon tripod...it is by far the best, smallest and lightest tripod I have ever owned and seen and it is crazy fast to set up and break down....
I am not sold on the "head"...it works, it holds the camera up and in place but it takes some getting used to...but its also one of the main reasons why this is so small and light....
it is very, very sturdy....not sure about center column extended in wind (I am kidding) but it is tiny and light...and it works well.....
I don't like to use tripod much, I have the giant gitzo which gets by far the most use....but the peak is so small and light it fits in my backpack and I have it when I need it...
IMO none of the small gitzos are as stable and they are all bigger and heavier and take longer to set up and break down....
I am not a big fan of small tripods, I have lots of small-ish and not so small tripods that never get used because if I can manage, I take the biggest one possible and now with the peak design, I pretty much have one with me at all times and am not worried about compromise......
my kit is a little lighter, X1DII and 907 combo....
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Will, where I ran into problems with the Gitzo Traveler was in the wind. I have wondered if I did not extend the very bottom leg extension (which is very thin) if that would be sufficient? That would probably put the max height somewhere around 45 inches and might be sufficient. I am similar to you in that I hike a lot with my pack, I have managed to get my bag with gear and my Gitzo GT3533LS Systematic Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod and Arca-Swiss D4 combination down to a little over 27lbs. Now other than tripod/head or going to lighter lenses, I have shaved about all I think I can.
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
I got the peak design carbon tripod...it is by far the best, smallest and lightest tripod I have ever owned and seen and it is crazy fast to set up and break down....
I am not sold on the "head"...it works, it holds the camera up and in place but it takes some getting used to...but its also one of the main reasons why this is so small and light....
it is very, very sturdy....not sure about center column extended in wind (I am kidding) but it is tiny and light...and it works well.....
I don't like to use tripod much, I have the giant gitzo which gets by far the most use....but the peak is so small and light it fits in my backpack and I have it when I need it...
IMO none of the small gitzos are as stable and they are all bigger and heavier and take longer to set up and break down....
I am not a big fan of small tripods, I have lots of small-ish and not so small tripods that never get used because if I can manage, I take the biggest one possible and now with the peak design, I pretty much have one with me at all times and am not worried about compromise......
my kit is a little lighter, X1DII and 907 combo....
Thank you, I will take a look at that!
 

jng

Well-known member
I trekked in Patagonia with a 1-series RRS, shooting with a V-system Hasselblad + IQ160. It can certainly get the job done in calm conditions but IMHO you're pushing the limits which may become apparent if there's any wind. A 2-series RRS tripod would be steadier but whether this would work for you depends on how much extra weight you're willing to lug around.

John
 
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