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Help with minimum size tripod need please

ThdeDude

New member
HEIGHT: preferable in the 50-60", I would say most often my tripod height when shooting is 48" or lower.
My height need is 70" so the results of my tripod search will be of little relevance to you.

My suggestion would be to consider also FLM CP30-S4, https://bit.ly/39eStrS. Weight: 2.4 lb, Height 53" (tripod only, no tripod head). No center column.

FLM is not much advertised and not well-known but, IMO, on the same playing field like Gitzo and RRS.

(No association. Had the FLM CP30-L4 but returned it because was too similar to my customized, custom-assembled Gitzo Series 2.)

MN
 
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Greg Haag

Well-known member
Greg,

I once conducted a test. Since it's a common perception/knowledge that a center column is bad for stability, I took two tripods: One really heavy and tall and the other medium weight tripod. I extended both of them and I extended the center column and then I tugged on the top of the center column to see where it would flex. To my surprise, the tripod didn't flex at the base of the center column, as I expected. It flexed at the section joints. It flexes at the thinnest joints first (naturally). I repeated the test with a big and heavy tripod and I saw the same scenario, albeit to a lesser degree because the leg sections were thicker. If I extended the center column only half way, the flexing was CONSIDERABLY less.

My take away from all this was the following: For best stability, use a tripod with the fewest sections, thickest possible legs and don't extend the center column more than half way up. That should give you a good idea of what type of tripod to look for.
Thank you for your insight! Honestly for me the issue on a center column was more about just not using one in my workflow and then when I shoot really low, it seems to be in my way. I wound up getting the Really Right Stuff TFC-34 Mark II tripod, which has 4 section legs. When I went to the site that Victor recommended "The Center Column", their review of Really Right Stuff TVC-34L (the closest I could find to what I was buying) helped me get comfortable with the 4 leg version I bought. I am hopeful my tripod quest is over for years!
 

Abstraction

Active member
I think that's a solid choice and you can control stability by the number of legs you extend. I think you should only worry about that when it's really windy. Otherwise, you're good to go.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
On height requirements: The cameras I use most with a tripod (the Hasselblad 500CM and now 907x) are both equipped with and work extremely well with a waist level finder. My Panasonic GX9 and Olympus E-M1 also allow me to work at waist level easily due to their articulated LCD displays. The Leica CL and some of the other cameras I've had allow tethering to my iPad Pro or iPhone, so they in essence also have a waist level LCD. This allows me to use a shorter tripod height, which in turn allows less expensive tripod options with satisfactory stability.

G
 

PSS

Member
Thank you for your insight! Honestly for me the issue on a center column was more about just not using one in my workflow and then when I shoot really low, it seems to be in my way. I wound up getting the Really Right Stuff TFC-34 Mark II tripod, which has 4 section legs. When I went to the site that Victor recommended "The Center Column", their review of Really Right Stuff TVC-34L (the closest I could find to what I was buying) helped me get comfortable with the 4 leg version I bought. I am hopeful my tripod quest is over for years!
great choice, I would consider that the smallest size tripod without any worries, which is in the end what a tripod should be like....and still ok to drag around....
 

vieri

Well-known member
This morning I ordered the Really Right Stuff TFC-34 Mark II tripod that Vieri recommended, this decision was different than what I had expected when I started this post. Based on much of the feedback, I was afraid that a travel tripod was not going to meet my needs, so then my search changed to what was the best all around solution for my needs. The RRS TFC-34 was my conclusion/compromise, it is almost 0.65lbs lighter than my Gitzo GT3533LS and has a folded length that is about 5.5 inches shorter. In addition to that, when needed, I can shave another 1.15lbs off of that by switching from my D4 head to my P0. Now to your questions.

HEIGHT: preferable in the 50-60", I would say most often my tripod height when shooting is 48" or lower.
Center column needed, OK, or not OK? I never use a center column.
WEIGHT: I had hoped to stay under 3lbs, in the end I did not, I came in at 3.85lbs
COMPACTNESS: My current tripod with the D4 head on it is nearly 31", at times this left me feeling a bit top heavy. The RRS TFC-34 will be approximately 25" with the D4, I hope this helps with that issue.
USE: I shoot automobiles, architecture and here my current setup was great. I also hike with my pack, typically never more than 10miles round trip, here is where I have been trying to shave weight. I find significant elevation changes or sand to be where I really suffer. I have gone from a backpack weight of just over 31 lbs to my current weight of 25.5 lbs. I am hoping that makes a big difference.

Good luck in your tripod journey!
Enjoy the TFC-34 M. II, Greg! It's a great tripod, striking the best balance between size / weight vs height / stability - for me at least :) Best regards,

Vieri
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
In case it might benefit someone who is going down a similar road on tripods, my Really Right Stuff TFC-34 Mark II tripod arrived today and the picture below is my old tripod with D4 head beside my new tripod with P0 head. I envision the new tripod being used in all future shooting, not just when looking for a lightweight solution, I will however switch heads depending upon my needs. I opted for the 4 section legs for a more compact setup.

Old tripod with D4 head weighs 6lbs 8oz
New tripod with P0 head weighs 4lbs 12oz (the D4 head adds approx another 1.15lbs)

tripods.jpg
 

budfox

Member
Greg - good decision. I have a 24L with D4 and never looked back. RRS are pricey - but super well built in my experience.
You can also convert an apex head to a versa (platform) head in the future with the RRS kit if the need ever arises.
 

vieri

Well-known member
In case it might benefit someone who is going down a similar road on tripods, my Really Right Stuff TFC-34 Mark II tripod arrived today and the picture below is my old tripod with D4 head beside my new tripod with P0 head. I envision the new tripod being used in all future shooting, not just when looking for a lightweight solution, I will however switch heads depending upon my needs. I opted for the 4 section legs for a more compact setup.

Old tripod with D4 head weighs 6lbs 8oz
New tripod with P0 head weighs 4lbs 12oz (the D4 head adds approx another 1.15lbs)

View attachment 181268
The shorter & smaller guy on the right looks extremely familiar! :D That's exactly my setup Greg, and I agree with you re: "I envision the new tripod being used in all future shooting, not just when looking for a lightweight solution", that combination is very solid and will work for heavier cameras as well. Plus, having the option to use the D4 is great. Now that I moved to the XT, I am seriously considering - if not the D4, for size & weight - at least the P0 Hybrid. Will decide after trying the XT + P0 in the field a little more extensively than what I have been able to do for now, given the lockdown and travel restrictions in place here in Italy.

Enjoy your new tripod! :) Best regards,

Vieri
 
Greg, Make sure you don't forget the very small guys too. This was at Deadhorse Point in Moab but at the Racetrack in Death Valley, I wish I had a flat plate to hold a tripod head. I could get low, but just saying flat would have been the trick.Moab 2021 with Ed & Chris-14.jpg
 

diggles

Well-known member
New tripod with P0 head weighs 4lbs 12oz (the D4 head adds approx another 1.15lbs)
This looks like a very nice setup! I've got a Manfrotto with a geared center column which I really like for architectural type stuff, but I've been wanting to get something that's more portable for hikes as well. It's difficult to tell from the picture what PO you got, did you go with the Classic Quick Release or the Fliplock?
 
This looks like a very nice setup! I've got a Manfrotto with a geared center column which I really like for architectural type stuff, but I've been wanting to get something that's more portable for hikes as well. It's difficult to tell from the picture what PO you got, did you go with the Classic Quick Release or the Fliplock?

That a quick lock to match the other heads. I really like this one too, many Architectural shooters like this one because they can mount Arch Swiss L60 and get gear movements very compact. Its beefy too. https://indurogear.com/gihh75cp-baby-grand-cf-tripod-2-sections-75mm/
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
This looks like a very nice setup! I've got a Manfrotto with a geared center column which I really like for architectural type stuff, but I've been wanting to get something that's more portable for hikes as well. It's difficult to tell from the picture what PO you got, did you go with the Classic Quick Release or the Fliplock?
Warren, for consistency, I went with the classic on my P0 and my D4.
 

Greg Haag

Well-known member
Greg, Make sure you don't forget the very small guys too. This was at Deadhorse Point in Moab but at the Racetrack in Death Valley, I wish I had a flat plate to hold a tripod head. I could get low, but just saying flat would have been the trick.View attachment 181292
That looks relatively light, would be great to stick in the side of my backpack! I can see where the flat plate would have come in handy for the Racetrack shot at Death Valley, but your other setup made for a really cool behind the scenes shot!
 
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