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Help with minimum size tripod need please

Godfrey

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....
I also have the PD Travel Tripod in carbon. Their standard head is only just okay, although very compact, but I bought the bits to be able to fit an Arca-Swiss Monoball P0 on it instead. I switch to that when I want better precision. Otherwise, I really like the tripod ... It's done me well both on two trips I went on prior to the pandemic, and through the pandemic on walks when I wanted a tripod with me. I've used it with Leica APS-C, Panasonic/Olympus mFT, and Hasselblad 500CM/907x MFD gear very successfully. It works well and folds up very compactly.

G
 

spb

Well-known member
Thank you, I will take a look at that!
I have the same Carbon Peak Design travel tripod and on top of it I have in the studio the original head and when I am out and about with a tripod..... a Novoflex Ball 40 with a Novoflex Mini Connect I can't decide which I prefer. I do also have the Novoflex Quadropod, but I never take that out, that remains in the studio.
 

vieri

Well-known member
Hello Greg,

your conundrum is one we all face: portability or stability? Normally, unfortunately, they don't go together, no matter what (pretty much all) manufacturers want us to believe :) While it depends on your priorities, personally I'd always go for stability: for me, there is no point in having the best image creating system available in the IQ4 + Rodenstock lenses, hike to the most amazing locations, only to come back home with images ruined by micro-movement and vibrations. I'd rather hike with an extra pound of weight and go back with great images, than hike a pound lighter and come back home slightly more rested but with images I can't use.

So, in light of all that, I might go against the flow here, and recommend you'll not go with too small / light a tripod. For the camera setup you are using, which is very similar to mine (I have the XT & IQ4, 23, 32, 50 and 90mm Rodenstock, plus a Hasselblad 180mm f/4), I find that a rock solid support is really paramount to make the most of the image quality the system is capable of. Plus, we need to always consider the weather: as we know, everything will work pretty well in your backyard on a good day, even a Gitzo series 1 or Traveler tripod, but as soon as you'll be in the field with wind, or on boggy ground, sandy ground, and so on, things will quickly change - but it will be too late to replace your tripod with a sturdier one :)

My solution to this conundrum is:

- Really Right Stuff TFC-34 Mark II, 1746 gr or 3.85 lbs
- Arca-Swiss P0, 400 gr or 0.9 lbs

Total weight, 2150 gr give or take, or 4.75 lbs, which is still pretty easy to carry. Folds to 53 cm, or 20.9", with a diameter of just 10 cm or 4.1", which is great for packing. Extremely stable in all weather & on all ground, and extremely easy to use (I reviewed the head here, if interested: https://www.vieribottazzini.com/2016/08/arca-swiss-p0-monoball-review.html). With this setup I never lost an image to micro-movement, and I do work in pretty extreme conditions.

Just my .02 of course, hoping it helps :) Best regards,

Vieri
 

Geoff

Active member
Just saw the new Gitzo travelers, I think 2545, with a small integral ball head, folds to 18.5", comes in three sizes - the biggest one has the hefty legs. Not too sure about the ball head, but looks well designed. Maybe an option.
 

vjbelle

Well-known member
I'm surprised at the prices of the Gitzo Traveler tripods. Much lower than what I paid numerous years ago. The price is attractive but they don't test as well as the RRS at 'The Center Column'. I recommend you visit that site for a wealth of information. Size and weight is one thing but rigidity and vibration dampening is another.

Regards.....

Victor B.
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
I'm surprised at the prices of the Gitzo Traveler tripods. Much lower than what I paid numerous years ago. The price is attractive but they don't test as well as the RRS at 'The Center Column'. I recommend you visit that site for a wealth of information. Size and weight is one thing but rigidity and vibration dampening is another.

Regards.....

Victor B.
Thank you Victor, it is an excellent resource! When review their rankings and reviews, it seems that the Really Right Stuff TFC-33S may be the best overall fit for my needs.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Vieri, I like your review of the A-S P0 Monoball. It matches my own impressions. :D
I have a few other heads for sale now... ;)

I have two of the P0s... One the standard model with simple 1/4-20 mounting screw, to which I've added a RRS lever-action A-S clamp. This gives me the option of using it with or without a camera plate handy ... there are some oddball bits of equipment I have that defy fitting a plate without great awkwardness. The other is the P0 Hybrid model, with A-S classic clamp and the two goniometers at right angles for precise positioning control. The goniometers make it taller and heavier, but are ideal for precision positioning when I do tabletop and close up work. I tend to use this head the most.

I have these two heads, and two of my sets of legs, fitted with the A-S head quick release system so I can swap them as needed quickly and easily, and also remove the head when traveling and put it into its own padded bag for protection. It does add a bit of weight in addition to the versatility. Compromises... :)

I had the occasion to test three of my sets of legs out with my most extreme gear recently—Panasonic GX9 fitted with 600mm super-telephoto and Hasselblad 500CM+CFVII 50c+Makro-Planar 120+160mm of extension tubes. The PD Travel Tripod legs worked well, particularly considering their very light weight and compactness, but the PD head is at its limits for these extremes... swapping to the P0 Monoball (and Hybrid) head solved the head problems. The Manfrotto 190CXPro3 legs proved a little sturdier (almost "of course"). Sturdiest of all (that I have) are the Feisol 3442 Tournament legs (my tallest and sturdiest legs at present, as well as the slowest operating). I don't have a tech or view camera with a large sail area to test these in a windy situation at present, but all three sets of legs seem satisfactorily sturdy for my present needs.

The PD Travel Tripod are the most compact legs for walking, travel, and hiking; it's standard head is fine for my most common needs (mostly from ultra wide to short tele lenses). The Feisol 3442 legs second to that in compactness and well past in sturdiness; the Manfrotto 190 "just a bit longer but a bit lesser" after that. The Manfrotto 190 plus P0 Hybrid are the most handy around my office and house, however, and get used a lot.

I know there are sturdier available: it's always a battle with which compromises work to the greatest benefits and at what costs. I'm not sure what direction I'm going yet for this year ... whether I'll do more landscape or other things that require shift/tilt/technical type body, or continue with my current milieu of photographic subjects ... and these three sets of legs plus the P0s suffice for the present. I'll put money into sturdier legs if/when the need arises; I don't need anything lighter than what I have now.

G
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
My requirements for hiking and skiing with a Hasselblad H4D, Mamiya RZ, Hasselblad 500CM, Fotoman 612 and associated lenses were all used (albeit, not at the same time) with a Gitzo GH1780QR and a matching Gitzo series 1 carbon fiber tripod. This was a perfect kit that was all packed nicely in a Think Tank backpack that had an exterior pocket for the tripod. The only thing I've swapped out was the 1780QR for a RRS BH30 ball head for pano work with a nodal slide. The RRS BH30 holds 15lbs and is considerably more compact than my Gitzo. I kept the older Gitzo tripod because it's a perfect mate for the BH30. I think Gitzo is all arca-swiss now, so lot's of great choices. Also, remember that to add stability in these lighter tripods, you can hook a weight to to the center column, such as a water bottle or bag filled with dirt, snow, rocks etc. without having to bring the weight along with you.
 
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vieri

Well-known member
Vieri, I like your review of the A-S P0 Monoball. It matches my own impressions. :D

..

G
Hello Godfrey,

glad you enjoyed the read, and the P0 - such a great little head. Agree that the Hybrid is best for tabletop (and perhaps architecture), for my landscape work I find the regular P0 to be just perfect - fast & simple in use, rock solid when locked, small & light: I couldn't ask for more. Best regards,

Vieri
 

docholliday

Active member
I'm with Vieri on this one. I'd rather have stable and solid, coming back with a full set of useable images, than light and small to save a pound or so. I've hiked and traveled all over with my 503, 203, 205, H5, H6, and back in the day, RB67. Never owned or took a "travel tripod". Currently, I take a GT3541L with AS Z1+ SP as my travel solution. I keep a 5 series for studio usage, but take the lighter Series 3 for trips.

After hiking back in the day with white gas stoves and the weight of fiberglass pole tents, heavy stainless cookware, and cotton gear, I can afford the few extra pounds of camera support considering the savings in modern backpacking equipment. The new ultralight stoves, titanium poles and cookware, and ultra-light polymer fabrics easily take 10+ lbs off a pack. When I was starting caving and went every weekend, we had our headlights powered by 6v lantern batteries in a belt pouch. Now we get 10x the brightness with much better battery longevity all on a lightweight headband light like my Petzl Duo S.

Around towns and while "car tripping", I've never paid attention to the weight of gear either. I just tell myself to suffer the weight for a bit longer to get great shots. 12 hours of carrying stuff is nothing when you know you've got a car or hotel to get back to instead of carrying it all for another week like when out in the wilderness!
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop 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
Thank you for the pointer. I built the exact same thing, and it is my favorite tripod ever. RRS 14 for lighter stuff, Gitzo 4/Markins for the heavier stuff.

I may be the only person on the planet who isn't in love with the P0. It's easy to use, but a BH 40 or AS D4 feels better (although heavier) on top of the Gitzo 4. If I want weight savings for the heavy, I much prefer an L60. For lighter equipment, the BH-30.
 
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dj may

Well-known member
I guess I am the only one using a wooden tripod; Berlebach 8043. It weighs 2.69kg, and at its widest point is 12cm. It has a built-in levelling ball and I use it with a 10cm center column. I also have a 50cm center column but rarely use it.

I have considered a travel tripod many times, but I am dissuaded by the fact that I have never ever lost a shot due to high winds, vibration, surf, etc. I have worked in very nasty weather, on bridges, platforms, etc.

I am a skinny, wiry guy and am usually carrying 20-25% of my body weight; so far it is worth the effort. When it is not, I may have to make trade-offs.
 

onasj

Active member
While Gitzo and Manfrotto are venerable brands, from a weight (and price) and performance standpoint I also recommend the peak design CF tripod, or, if you want a more traditional compact tripod, check out the Sirui lineup, which offers outstanding performance at competitive prices in my experience. I routinely mount gear weighing more than Sirui’s rating onto their CF tripods with no apparent downsides. I’ve taken them everywhere, including into glaciers in ice storms and and into warm oceans, and they‘ve come out just fine after some rinsing and wiping.
 

Mexecutioner

Well-known member
Thank you for the pointer. I built the exact same thing, and it is my favorite tripod ever. RRS 14 for lighter stuff, Gitzo 4/Markins for the heavier stuff.

I may be the only person on the planet who isn't in love with the P0. It's easy to use, but a BH 40 or AS D4 feels better (although heavier) on top of the Gitzo 4. If I want weight savings for the heavy, I much prefer an L60. For lighter equipment, the BH-30.
Yes, it’s a lovely setup. I’m glad you are enjoying it. I may get a AS Core 75 for it for when I don’t want to use it with the Cube, I use it with a Markins ball head but miss the precise control.
 

Shashin

Well-known member
Is anyone interested in the new RRS Ascend-14? Apparently it is RRS answer to the Peak Design, including a specially designed integral head.

 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Looks like an interesting option, and of course RRS nearly always makes super-high-quality bits, but dang! People complain at the price of the Peak Design and these are twice that price...!

G
 
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