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Thread: tripod set up for a M9

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    tripod set up for a M9

    My tripod was stolen and I need a new rig. I haven't been in this market for a while, what do you suggest? For the M9, landscape, need to pack on my motorcycle so small size.
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    With my M8, I was pleased with the Gitzo 2 series.
    The 3 series was just a bit unnecessarily big.
    -bob

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Mike,

    What size tripod can you comfortably carry on your motorcycle? I would assume that you'd need to consider a 'traveler' category of tripod, i.e. something shorter than 19in when folded?

    If you are looking at these sizes then I'd recommend taking a look at the Feisol CT-3441T or CT-3442T, Benro Travel Angel series like the C-2691, 3 Legged Thing Brian, or perhaps a Gitzo 1542T (a bit short for my liking). Another alternative would be the RRS TVC-24 if you have the space.

    The Gitzo 2 series and so on are great for the M9 but I find them too large for comfortable air travel which I would assume is a similar constraint to putting on a bike. I just recently revamped my travel 'pod choice because my long term ideal tripod (Gitzo 1541T) ended up being too short without the center post extended on just too many occasions.

    Any of the travel tripods will be more than rigid enough for an M9 outfit.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 26th December 2011 at 17:46.
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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Thanks guys, I think I can get 24" + or - in the panniers or I can mount it behind me somehow, I don't like the short tripods I like to stand on most my shots but it needs to be light. Thinking about a RRS 30 ball or something like that....
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    All excellent suggestions above. I'll throw one more out there which I found was the best compromise when I do fairly serious (cycling) or cycle touring. I found it was the best combination for a variety of things such as amazingly compact (around 17" folded with head, very light weight (3.1 lbs with head), good support for M9 and most any lens and not quite as expensie as the superb Gitzo's. It's the Benro C1691 Travel Angel CF (comes with head). One leg detaches and can be used as a monopod, but this has somewhat limited use since the last section of leg is quite thin and can be flexy. Drawback is it's a 4 section tripod and the last section is a bit on thin side, but overall stable in most situations encountered with the M9. Feet are rubber with retractable spike feet. Max height is 4.5 feet without extending center column or 5.28 feet with center column extended.

    Since RRS heads are far superior, you can use something like a RRS 30 and it should still work well. If you need more height, then one of the other recommendations is preferable.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 26th December 2011 at 19:54.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    24" makes your choice much easier - and basically means a folded size of maybe 20 - 21" max with the head added on top. That means something like a Gitzo 2 series is definitely doable.

    Btw, a useful trick I've used is to fit a RRS lever clamp on the top of each tripod and a RRS round dovetail plate (TH-DVTL or TH-DVTL-40) on each of my tripod heads so that I can instantly remove it for travel. The net result is that you can pack a tripod with a longer leg length and very easily put the head on & off without the hassle of screwing it on/off (or in my case the incentive was not being able to remove a head and it getting damaged in transit!).
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Heres the bike (Its not quite so clean now). Southern Ill (Shawnee National Forest) is full of miles and miles of gravel roads and thats what I've been riding on since I was a kid. Lots of landscape opportunities. You can see the size of the panniers...Graham thats a good point about the head removal.....

    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    I would recommend the Feisol Traveller series. 17 inches folded and 70 inches extended. Not much bending down needed.

    Steve

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Isn't a Gitzo 2 series overkill? I use that for a full sized SLR and it's more than enough. I'd think that a 1 series would be more than enough for an M9 with whatever lens you choose to use.
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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Ben,

    Personally I would agree that the Gitzo 2 series is on the large side for just an M9, although I've not once found that I didn't want to use the same tripod with something else at some point. My personal recommendation would be be for a traveler kind of sized tripod such as the Feisol just for an M9 (I use them for my m4/3rds cameras & travel too). That said, better to go for the most stable platform that you're prepared to carry.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 26th December 2011 at 23:38.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    I think I'm going this route, FEISOL Traveler Tripod CT-3441T Rapid and a rrs30 with the quick release trick Graham suggested. Thanks!
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    The Feisol tripods are really good. I got to use the very similar CT-3441S a while back, which is the slightly more compact version (folded) and of course shorter version of the CT-3441T where you don't need the extra height of the CT-3441T. The Feisol CT-3441S I used was on par with very similar speced Benro C1691 Travel Angel that I recommended (above), each having slightly different designs and therefore advantages/disadvantages. Weight & size is almost identical between the shorter Feisol and Benro, once a head is added to the CT-3441S (the Benro is spec'd with it's included head, which can easily be changed to something like a RR 30. The only thing to watch out for is whenver adding a head and/or QR platform to any of these folded tripods, is that the inverted legs fully close without hitting any of the heads knobs. This I found was important.

    The Feisol I used didn't have the anti-lock rotation (ALR) cut into the legs, so quick set-up was slower than the Benro and although for some a minor inconvienience, I found this was one of the deciding factors why I went with the Benro. I think though the current production Feisol's (for a while now) do now incorporate ALR.

    Great looking cycle by the way!

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 27th December 2011 at 05:37.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    For a ball head, I would recommend the Arca Swiss P0. Brilliant design, very light, very compact, and an amazing load limit--it holds my MFD rig and I am sure it will not have any problems with an M9.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    My tripod was stolen and I need a new rig. I haven't been in this market for a while, what do you suggest? For the M9, landscape, need to pack on my motorcycle so small size.
    I use a Feisol CT3442 Tournament with center column and Acratech Ultimate Ball Head. Carries a payload of 12+ lbs easily, has a fully extended height of 72", packs down to 19x5" in it's case. All up weight with case is 4 lbs, 13 oz. Very sturdy and well made.

    Even without extending the column it achieves putting the camera at eye level for me and I'm 6' tall.


    Camera on the tripod is a Ricoh GXR-M fitted with Hektor 135mm.
    Last edited by Godfrey; 27th December 2011 at 07:32. Reason: Corrected weight, added photo

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    I'll second the Feisol tripods; picked one up for those longish hikes when I had the M9. It also worked well with the Cambo and works well with a DF.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    I use a Velbon Carmagne 520 for travel and hiking, and it fits without a head in the Givi top case on my R1150GS. For a head I use the Acratech ultimate, although I just got an Acratech GV2 I like. I also got an Acratech leveling base which I really like as well, so I think those will come with me more often than not.

    I don't usually carry a tripod in the top case though; instead I have replaced the passenger seat with a cargo plate from Wunderlich. The plate is level with luggage, so forms a wide flat surface for a large touring bag when on the road (in my case from Mag's Bags). I throw a full size tripod in there in its case, and usually a photo bag as well. The weight ends up right behind me, where a passenger would sit, which is much better than a very rearward top case. (With a touring bag on I don't use the top box; that's there just for errands and general everyday use.)

    The camera (M9 typically) itself and a couple of lenses of course go in the tank bag that I line with bubble wrap. In pouches or wrapped with something to keep them from dinging against other contents.

    This is just an idea. A lot of the stuff - tripod, bike, cargo plate, Mag's Bags, aren't sold anymore. I use the stock luggage, but for more serious touring (like if I shipped the bike to Asia to ride it to Europe) I'd get Al Jesses.
    Last edited by Jan Brittenson; 27th December 2011 at 09:11.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    I think I'm going this route, FEISOL Traveler Tripod CT-3441T Rapid and a rrs30 with the quick release trick Graham suggested. Thanks!
    Btw, I only use the lever clamps on the bigger tripods. I wouldn't bother with a traveler unless you find that it won't fit. The reverse folding legs protect the head and you don't have the same issues with the head sticking up and adding a lot of extra length.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    To save weight, my friend opted take a carbon fiber monopod when he rode from Alaska to Laguna Seca for the 2009 MotoGP race on his the BMW 1200GSA.

    Gary

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Heres the bike ....
    Nice GS! The F800 model? I don't see these fitted out with full on knobbies very often.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9 and BMW F650GS

    F650GS; the continental knobbies do surprising well on the highway and really good on gravel / dirt roads.
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Why not a small tripod which you can place on your motorcycle or on other things like a small gorilla pad or Leica travel tripod?
    Depends from where your you usually shoot.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post

    The camera (M9 typically) itself and a couple of lenses of course go in the tank bag that I line with bubble wrap. In pouches or wrapped with something to keep them from dinging against other contents.

    This is just an idea. A lot of the stuff - tripod, bike, cargo plate, Mag's Bags, aren't sold anymore. I use the stock luggage, but for more serious touring (like if I shipped the bike to Asia to ride it to Europe) I'd get Al Jesses.
    That was what I was going to ask...M9 in tank bag or pad the hell out of the top box.
    I agree long trips no knobbies and better panniers. But I can ride for days here and never touch pavement, western kentucky and southern Illinois.
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Why not a small tripod which you can place on your motorcycle or on other things like a small gorilla pad or Leica travel tripod?
    Depends from where your you usually shoot.
    Most of the time the bike gets me to a area where I have to hike to the point of interest. I'm getting to old to do to much technical trail riding and I dont want to fall down
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    I've been on Tourances for most of this bike's life... (2001 model, bought in 2000.) They're durable, stick well for what they are, and do okay on anything reasonable packed or planed - like fire roads and Sierra mining roads in the dry of summer. Sand, not so great. Which reminds me I should get new crash bars... Seriously, even if I ride 5 miles on dirt roads and fire/mining/logging roads I will ride 200 miles on paved to get there...

    Do make sure your tripod or any other gear is in something padded. I had an Arca-Swiss ballhead completely disassemble itself from vibrations. Not so fun when you stop to shoot and find your ballhead is in a pile bits and pieces in the bottom of a bag. Even worse if it's NOT in a bag - then'll it'll be left along miles and miles of road!

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Its not going to be a great idea if you fall off onto your spine, but have you considered a waist pack to carry your M9? Your body would act as another shock absorber. The Think Tank 'Change Up' bag can be used as either a waist bag or a shoulder bag, so giving some flexibility when you are on or off the bike. It would also mean your camera is with you all the time and ready for use.

    Steve

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Its not going to be a great idea if you fall off onto your spine, but have you considered a waist pack to carry your M9? Your body would act as another shock absorber. The Think Tank 'Change Up' bag can be used as either a waist bag or a shoulder bag, so giving some flexibility when you are on or off the bike. It would also mean your camera is with you all the time and ready for use.

    Steve
    I have thought about a back pack... I am worried about vibration.
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    I have thought about a back pack... I am worried about vibration.
    I have always hated wearing a backpack or belt pack while I'm riding a motorcycle. Not only from the standpoint of what could happen in a crash, but because having a bunch of weight on my shoulders and back when i'm trying to operate a motorcycle is restrictive and gets in the way of my enjoying the bike.

    My camera gear has always gone into a soft pack on the passenger section of the seat, in whatever bag I use for shooting. I've never had any problems with vibration damaging anything. A tripod ... I always just strapped that on the top of one of my soft panniers. (Never had hard luggage.) Trying to fit a proper tripod inside never made sense to me. Tripods are tough.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Just get the smallest carbon fiber tripod you can get. My M9 has always been tack sharp even in the wind and sand on a Gitzo 1541T.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Maybe theres a thread on here that discusses packing camera gear for the motorcycle.....
    Mike

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Seems like we're headed in that direction!

    Notice that in the pic of my friend's 1200GSA, he simply had the monopod (sans head) strapped on the outside of his monster camera backpack. He had alot of expensive Canon L glass and a 1D2 in there, including a 300/2.8 L lens etc. I think he had shipped his 600mm lens to Laguna Seca, simply because it wouldn't fit. The bag was packed with extra bubble wrap around certain items, but even so, I wondered about vibration damage on the long ride from Alaska to California. Sections of the Alaska Highway are about as rough as any road most of us will ever encounter, especially those areas (and there are many) under construction each summer.

    Bottom line.....he did not have detect any damage to the camera gear at the end of that trip, which I think was about 6k miles total. Perhaps that outstanding BMW suspension contributed to a smoother ride for the camera gear as well.

    Gary

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    My camera gear survived a 13,000 mile long "circumnavigation of the United States" on the back of a '75 Ducati 750GT in 1979, and another 17,000 mile long similar trip on the '73 BMW R75/5 in 1984. I think that how you pack the gear is much more important than what the bike's suspension does. ;-)

    Note: the BMW on its journey broke two exhaust mounts (one twice), a luggage rack mount, and two throttle cables. The Ducati never broke anything.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Note: the BMW on its journey broke two exhaust mounts (one twice), a luggage rack mount, and two throttle cables. The Ducati never broke anything.
    That should be written up in an advertisement copy for Ducati!

    Gary

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Those new BMW panniers are much nicer than mine...

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    My personal favorites are any sort of top loading panniers. I have standard Givi side loading panniers on my V-Strom 650s....but my wife has Al Jesse bags on her F650GS (now called the G650GS) and I'm always envious when we are out on a trip together.

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    Re: tripod set up for a M9

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    My personal favorites are any sort of top loading panniers. I have standard Givi side loading panniers on my V-Strom 650s....but my wife has Al Jesse bags on her F650GS (now called the G650GS) and I'm always envious when we are out on a trip together.
    Jessie's are nice! I had a 2001 F650GS previous to my new one. Never had one issue with it great bike.

    I'm going to wrap the hell out of the camera bits in bubble wrap and foam the top box, we'll see how it goes.
    Mike

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