The GetDPI Photography Forum

Great to see you here. Join our insightful photographic forum today and start tapping into a huge wealth of photographic knowledge. Completing our simple registration process will allow you to gain access to exclusive content, add your own topics and posts, share your work and connect with other members through your own private inbox! And don’t forget to say hi!

Medium Format Ultralight Hiking Kit

anyone

Well-known member
Now I have both the LS-224 and LS-223 tripod here. The LS-223 looks more sturdy, but the low working height is really limiting I fear. It’s in reality a lot more evident than in the specifications.
 

anyone

Well-known member
Thank you for your mirrorless suggestions! I am however for anything smaller than medium format a happy user of the Canon system.

Without having done any testing so far besides setting them up with the Hasselblad 500C/M on it, I'm kind of skeptical whether my tripod choices really solve the problem.

The LS-224 has one disadvantage in my point of view: the tripod legs are somehow too steep, therefore the tripod looks more unstable than my other tripods. The LS-25 ball head looks VERY small for the Hasselblad. I would need to do testing in windy condition to see whether it's really stable. If it is able to hold the Hasselblad and keep it stable, it would do so also for the Rolleiflex TLR that does not have any moving mirror.

Edit: First tests at home show minor sharpness decrease without mirror lock up, with mirror lock up there are mixed results. Since conditions are perfect (no wind, ...), this is already a little bit worrying. Will try it out tomorrow outside.

Screenshot from Capture One, 100%, both pictures taken with the 500C/M, LS-224 with mirror lock up. The left image looks sharper to me.

Bildschirmfoto 2022-05-13 um 20.05 copy.jpg

The LS-223 looks stable enough, but is very low. It would mean most of the time to tilt up the camera. Here you can see the Hasselblad 500C/M on the mini tripod on a table:

IMG_4552 web.jpg

One more alternative (a lot more expensive, but quality tripods last forever) is the Gitzo 0545.
 
Last edited:

Pieter 12

Member
The tripod legs are somehow too steep, therefore the tripod looks more unstable than my other tripods.
You should be able to hook a camera bag to the center of the tripod, helping with stability, or use a tripod hammock with some rocks in it. Depending on the terrain, you can always release and spread the legs out a bit more, using the accessory spikes to anchor the legs. The wider detent for the legs would probably make the tripod too low. I am basing this on my LS-324, I haven't used the LS-224.
 

Makten

Well-known member
Screenshot from Capture One, 100%, both pictures taken with the 500C/M, LS-224 with mirror lock up. The left image looks sharper to me.
Focus is not in the same spot in those images. The right one is focused further away from the camera.

In "ideal" conditions, any tripod should work, provided you use mirror lockup and a cable release or timer. I've been using a very flimly Benro travel tripod with no sharpness issues at all (with a standard lens and mild wind), and it's quite high and has an even smaller ball head. Total tripod weight ~1 kilo for ~1.5 kilo camera/lens (GFX 50S II with various lenses).
 

anyone

Well-known member
Focus is not in the same spot in those images. The right one is focused further away from the camera.
I was wondering whether the sharpness decrease was due to minor shake or focus adjustment, since I don't remember whether I refocused or not. I will give it some more real-world testing today on a short hike and see what comes out. My feeling until now is that it's too unstable to provide reliable results, which is not exactly surprising since I'm pushing the envelope quite a bit. I suppose for its original application with light weight mirrorless cameras it's quite a nice tripod.
 

anyone

Well-known member
The hike was good. Now I know a bit better what I want or need. It was also windy, therefore a good testing environment.

A few insights:
(1) The LS-223C is too low for my applications. I would always need a rock or so to get the perspective I want. Although I really want to like it, I think it will see not much use here. I'll send it back.
(2) About the minimum working height I'm okay with is the LS-224 with one section extended, equals 67cm.
(3) The LH-25 holds my Hasselblad 500C/M just fine.
(4) The maximum height of the LS-224 is absolutely fine (1,17m). In windy conditions like today it's not stable enough, I got some motion blur in landscape shots. Also using just two sections was not stable enough.
 

vonalpen

Member
Here's another compact and relatively lightweight hiking kit:
ALPA TC, IQ4150, SK APO-Digitar 5,6/35mm XL, SK APO-Digitar 4,5/90mm
LCC plate, black plate as sun shade (incl. flare buster / flexible arm), hoodman loupe, blower and extra battery.

Total weight is 2'600g (5.7lbs)

As for the mandatory tripod, here I use the Peak Design carbon fiber travel tripod, which weights 1'270g (2.8 lbs).
It's a good compromise.

Sorry, anyone, I can't match your limit....

ALPA_ulhk_2022.jpg
 

Pieter 12

Member
I would use mirror lock-up, a timer or delay and a cable release. Barry Thornton did a very interesting test years ago in his book "Edge of Darkness" where he found that a 35mm camera hand-held at higher shutter speeds was sharper than a flimsy tripod at lower speeds.
56.jpg
 

anyone

Well-known member
I would use mirror lock-up, a timer or delay and a cable release. Barry Thornton did a very interesting test years ago in his book "Edge of Darkness" where he found that a 35mm camera hand-held at higher shutter speeds was sharper than a flimsy tripod at lower speeds.
I always used mirror lock-up and cable release in the field, but I guess I'm just pushing the tripod beyond its limits with the 500C/M and Planar 80.

Very interesting chart indeed!
 

Pieter 12

Member
I always used mirror lock-up and cable release in the field, but I guess I'm just pushing the tripod beyond its limits with the 500C/M and Planar 80.

Very interesting chart indeed!
Using a timer or delay lets the camera settle before the shutter fires. I makes a difference with the big mirror of a medium-format camera, even a well-damped one.
 

Geoff

Well-known member
A few things to help with vibration and small tripods -

- delay and mirror lock up (always). 2 seconds minimum, sometimes up to 8 sec.
- weight on center column, to "load" the tripod, and reduce the resonant frequencies of vibration. In a pinch, I've even put my hand on the camera to steady it (counter-intuitive, but sometimes it works).
- if using a small tripod with spindly little legs, just don't extend them, and lower the overall height.
- fiddle with settings to reduce exposure time if possible. I did some test shots of the moon, and found that a higher ISO with shorter exposure gave clearer shots than a lower ISO and longer exposure.
- check the mounting. Undersized attachments can be a problem, especially if long exposures and long lenses.

And above all else, calm and zen go a long way. Cameras are sympathetic, and if the photographer is mellow, it will try to be too. :)
 

anyone

Well-known member
May not fold small enough for you (33"), but the FLM CP22 goes tall enough and weighs 2 lbs. https://www.flmcanada.com/product/flm-cp22-m2-ii-tripod/
This looks super from the specs, and one guy uses this tripod for his 8x10" camera. BUT, 84cm folded length won't go anywhere into the hand luggage. Cannot imagine flying with this and I guess it's inconvenient to store / carry in any case. It's quite a bit longer than my backpack.
 

Pieter 12

Member
This looks super from the specs, and one guy uses this tripod for his 8x10" camera. BUT, 84cm folded length won't go anywhere into the hand luggage. Cannot imagine flying with this and I guess it's inconvenient to store / carry in any case. It's quite a bit longer than my backpack.
Can you strap it to the side or back?
 

anyone

Well-known member
Using a timer or delay lets the camera settle before the shutter fires. I makes a difference with the big mirror of a medium-format camera, even a well-damped one.
Thank you! I could be more patient on the delay between mirror lock up and release.

A few things to help with vibration and small tripods -

- delay and mirror lock up (always). 2 seconds minimum, sometimes up to 8 sec.
- weight on center column, to "load" the tripod, and reduce the resonant frequencies of vibration. In a pinch, I've even put my hand on the camera to steady it (counter-intuitive, but sometimes it works).
- if using a small tripod with spindly little legs, just don't extend them, and lower the overall height.
- fiddle with settings to reduce exposure time if possible. I did some test shots of the moon, and found that a higher ISO with shorter exposure gave clearer shots than a lower ISO and longer exposure.
- check the mounting. Undersized attachments can be a problem, especially if long exposures and long lenses.

And above all else, calm and zen go a long way. Cameras are sympathetic, and if the photographer is mellow, it will try to be too. :)
Really good hints, thank you! I do most of these things already, but this sums it up very well and the hint with putting the hand on the camera is worth a trial!

The thing I cannot do with my digital back is to reduce exposure times - the CCD backs don't perform too well on higher ISO.
Concerning undersized attachments, do you think a quick release plate makes a difference? I prefer having an Arca Swiss plate under each camera to be faster to set up.

Can you strap it to the side or back?
I could strap it to the side, but I'm afraid the 83cm are quite bothering as they are a lot longer than the backpack itself. The same tripod, but with a working height of approx 1m, making it pack to let's say 60cm incl. head, would be probably the best compromise of weight and stability.

Here is the thread on the LF forum about the tripod with 8x10" camera I mentioned: https://www.largeformatphotography....ew-FLM-Ultralight-Tripod-for-8x10-and-smaller and the Flickr set showing the camera on the tripod: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zsari/sets/72157719067073302/ (the guy is working for FLM, some caution about the statements might be necessary).
 

Geoff

Well-known member
The thing I cannot do with my digital back is to reduce exposure times - the CCD backs don't perform too well on higher ISO.
Concerning undersized attachments, do you think a quick release plate makes a difference? I prefer having an Arca Swiss plate under each camera to be faster to set up.
I don't think a QR plate makes any difference, assuming its of high quality. RRS plates (Arca compatible) are on everything, cameras and tripods, for ease of changing heads. Rather the head itself that can be an issue. Favorite is Arca Swiss D4, but sometimes something more massive (Linhof 3D micro) is called for. Same with ballheads - which are no longer in the kit - BH40 is fine, imagine BH55 better.

Also note - leaf shutters preferable. Almost no moving mass.
 
Top