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Thread: Travel tripod for the NEX?

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Hi,

    I'm looking for a light weight compact tripod that I may travel with comfortably. My gear has always been compact in terms of lenses and camera (GF1, EP1, NEX5) so it doesn't have to support A LOT of weight but depending on the lens a regular point and shoot tripod won't do. I was thinking about one of those extendable/collapsible tripods that weight next to nothing and that get really small when you are not using them. This will be my first tripod other than the Gorilla Pod, so I have no idea what I should be looking for, but I thought maybe something in the lines of one of these
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...tra_Light.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ipod_with.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._B_Tripod.html

    Again, I'm looking for something light, compact, safe and that allow changing height

    Any suggestions are wellcome

    Rafa
    Last edited by Rawfa; 5th February 2011 at 02:21.

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    this one seems to get a lot of buzz on the net

    slik sprint pro
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B002821ESU

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    I have a Gitzo traveler. It is expensive but folds down very small and is light to travel with. Expensive but has kept me from buy and discarding some of the less expensive options out there. It also can hold more substantial systems if needed.

    That first link you gave seems like it will be very flimsy in use.

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    I would also suggest that a better first tripod is cheaper than buying one that doesn't work well and then finding yourself buying the expensive one anyway. At least it would have been cheaper for me.

    While a Gitzo traveler is a fantastic tripod there are less expensive carbon alternatives now made by Benro and others or you can do what I did for a travel option. I purchased a used (older) Gitzo in steel that was a predecessor to the Traveler line for around ($100) and then found a reasonable used ballhead for it (another $100). While it's not as nice as a new traveler it's far better than anything you could buy new for the price and will last a lifetime. I don't think it's in my trunk or I would get the model number for you.

    Jim

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Rafa,

    As others have pointed out, a flimsy tripod defeats the purpose of using one. I would go with your Gorillapod tripod rather than get anything flimsier. They can be very useful and unless you absolutely need to have one that can reach your height from the ground (rather than put the smaller tripod on something higher). Don't know which Gorillapod you have, but the larger ones can fitted with a ballhead & QR and will be more stable than the extendible, flexible tripods.

    The other thing to consider is a small beanbag (I have one I sewed from a piece of leather and filled with lentils). Throw it in your bag or pocket and you always have a mouldable camera platform.

    As do the other respondents, I use the Gitzo CF tripods. Money well-spent, and I'll never need to buy another.

    Cheers,

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Since my travel tripod was in the trunk I found the model number. It is a G01. It's about 2 lbs and built like a tank. Again if I used this a lot I might upgrade to carbon fiber model but its still much better than most travel tripods. I did a quick search and found a web site where a person was replacing his G01 and his rationale. It might be worth the time to read it.

    http://adventurenomad.blogspot.com/search?q=g01

    Jim

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    I have the Gitzo traveler and just took it on a trip. It is a dream. Folded up, it fits right on the top of my bag and doesn't add much weight. It is pricey, but worth it.
    I was just in a camera store that had the Benro tripods and they looked very nice. They would be worth a look if the Gitzo is too pricey.
    I was shooting on the street in the dark and I had my quick release plate on the bottom of my NEX. Many times I could just set that down on a rail or support and flip the screen up so that I could compose and focus.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Considering I only use tripods in very extreme circumstances (which is like only 1% of the time) you may relate to why I don't want to pay too much. I think that with all the options that are available today it's hard to believe there aren't good and acceptable options at a lower price. Anyone?

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Flimsy? People it's for a NEX!!!!
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    Flimsy? People it's for a NEX!!!!
    Yeah, so this is just a NEX as well.....


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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Buy a small video tripod,..make sure that the lower cross struts are NOT plastic as once these are broken the tripod is effectively ruined and useless.

    For a small modern system; forget any ball heads,......they are heavy, slow to use and poor in function for a versatile system. I used a selection of ball heads for 30 years but now consider them obsolete in the face of better modern alternatives and more versatile camera systems.

    If you use a small video tripod it will come with a pan/tilt head so it wil be fast and easy to use for both still and video clips and also allow smooth composition and use of spot metering without having to loosen a ball head while gripping the camera.

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugleone View Post
    Buy a small video tripod,..make sure that the lower cross struts are NOT plastic as once these are broken the tripod is effectively ruined and useless.

    For a small modern system; forget any ball heads,......they are heavy, slow to use and poor in function for a versatile system. I used a selection of ball heads for 30 years but now consider them obsolete in the face of better modern alternatives and more versatile camera systems.

    If you use a small video tripod it will come with a pan/tilt head so it wil be fast and easy to use for both still and video clips and also allow smooth composition and use of spot metering without having to loosen a ball head while gripping the camera.
    +1

    I find video tripods much more stable for a similar weight. I also like the pan/tilt heads with the longer more practical handles.
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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Thanks, fellas. I will look into the video tripods option.

    Terry, every person is free to use their equipment the way they choose but in my personal opinion I think using these massive zooms on a NEX is an atrocity and completely defeats the purpose of these cameras.

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Thanks, fellas. I will look into the video tripods option.

    Terry, every person is free to use their equipment the way they choose but in my personal opinion I think using these massive zooms on a NEX is an atrocity and completely defeats the purpose of these cameras.
    Rawfa - with all due respect, there was a very good reason for that lens to be on the NEX and mounted that way. First up, I can get the tripod higher for a shot than I can handholding it. Second, the big Zeiss lenses are very sharp and better than the kit lens (that is the 24-70 but I've also used the 16-35 which is wider than any lens made for the NEX). Third by mounting the tripod high like that I couldn't see through the viewfinder of my A900 and that camera does not have live view.

    So, that setup allowed me to take an architectural shot with a good lens, the camera level and at the right height and I had no perspective distortion. Here is an example may not be your favorite shot but it was something I was trying to do.

    So, IMHO the NEX can make a very good "digital back" to whatever glass you want to use. Would I walk around with it this way, no - and if you look back at the NEX threads, I've mentioned that before.




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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    This thread is really interesting to me.

    I shoot video and have been long on the lookout for a reasonable video head. I had a $20-in-1980s-money made-in-china-while-they-were-still-communist video tripod made out of aluminum that lasted me all that time, but was pretty beat by the time I got the NEX.

    To be able to find something that will allow for smooth pans would be really greatly appreciated.

    There are a huge range of tripod manufacturers out there, and I'd really appreciate some links to decent quality brands. So, any links to examples of what you're talking about would really help.

    I have been seriously considering getting a monopod. The monopod can serve the purpose of being a walking stick, and it allows for smooth panning shots simply by rotating the whole monopod. They are also a lot quicker to set up. Further, if you don't extend the monopod completely, and mount the camera on it and hold it in the right spot such that the monopod balances out the camera, it can work as sort of a steadicam rig.

    PS- Terry, you really nailed that shot of the keep. I can picture myself visiting that keep and getting a snapshot. I think I learned something from your photo, so thanks for sharing it!

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Yeah, so this is just a NEX as well.....
    Psst. You can do better than that...



    I have one word for everyone. Inertia. If the OP isn't going to be putting these big heavy lenses on, there is no need to spend hundreds of $$$ on a really expensive tripod for a nex. You won't need a big heavy tripod to dampen the movement of a big heavy system. Nobody listened to what the OP said they wanted to do with it. He wanted something super light to travel with. If I were the OP, I'd go with something similar to his choice #2 or what Bugleone suggested. All of the other suggestions are great, but overkill...
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Lonnie - the Gitzo traveler I recommended weighs almost 1/3 less than the sunpack 2.2 vs 3 lbs and folds down shorter.

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post

    ... Nobody listened to what the OP said they wanted to do with it. He wanted something super light to travel with. If I were the OP, I'd go with something similar to his choice #2 or what Bugleone suggested. All of the other suggestions are great, but overkill...
    The Gitzo traveler does exactly what the OP said he wanted. There is a reason that so many of us recommended it.

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    I'm not disputing that the gitzo isn't great, but it's also $500. It's overkill for what the OP wanted...

    While we are on the subject, I have to laff at so many people I see at the SW classics near me toting their mega expensive carbon fiber tripods no more that 100' from their cars. You people realize how much $$$ you could save going with Aluminum? I've carried my Manfrotto x055 al tripod up to 10 miles on my back, not to mention the rest of my gear, water, etc. I guess some folks fell like they have to be validated by the price of their gear....
    Last edited by Lonnie Utah; 6th February 2011 at 20:19.
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie Utah View Post
    I'm not disputing that the gitzo isn't great, but it's also $500. It's overkill for what the OP wanted...

    While we are on the subject, I have to laff at so many people I see at the SW classics near me toting their mega expensive carbon fiber tripods no more that 100' from their cars. You people realize how much $$$ you could save going with Aluminum? I've carried my Manfroto x055 al tripod up to 10 miles on my back, not to mention the rest of my gear, water, etc. I guess some folks fell like they have to be validated by the price of their gear....
    That is pretty judgmental. Even if I agree that many people in the SW are not far from their car (been there done that) there is one detail you miss. I and many others actually had to fly to get there and the car is a rental. With the newer more stringent weight limits and checked baggage fees, it is something that is top of mind. On my last two big photo trips to Iceland and Ireland my luggage was weighed and you would be surprised at how much chargers, cables, power strips etc actually weigh and add up to in a bag.

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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    That is pretty judgmental. Even if I agree that many people in the SW are not far from their car (been there done that) there is one detail you miss. I and many others actually had to fly to get there and the car is a rental. With the newer more stringent weight limits and checked baggage fees, it is something that is top of mind. On my last two big photo trips to Iceland and Ireland my luggage was weighed and you would be surprised at how much chargers, cables, power strips etc actually weigh and add up to in a bag.
    Having just gotten back from a trip to Australia, I don't think I'm being judgemental at all. We flew Qantas which is VERY restrictive with their weight limits (7 kilo carry on bag). I carry the same tripod with me where ever I travel. The difference in a CF tripod and a AL one is about 1-1.5 pounds, and usually about 2x the cost. On my trip down under I simply had to make some choices as to what part of my kit was going with me, and what was getting left at home.

    The bottom line is that the original advice for the OP to buy a tripod that is as expensive as his camera is ludacris.
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    This subject came up on another forum. One of the posters posted this...

    http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-AX620B1...1374271&sr=8-4

    I think it might be a good compromise. As the old saying in cycling goes, "Light, strong, cheap. Pick any two."
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    Re: Travel tripod for the NEX?

    For the OP: I've used this one, picked up in Tokyo for I think around Y 5000 many years ago:

    http://photo.net/equipment/tripods/cheap

    I doubt it is made anymore, but maybe there is something they make that is similar. It's about 14" folded, and about 4" in diameter. Fits easily in a backpack, but would be snug for a messenger bag.

    However, it's for very light duty only. I wouldn't want to use it with a heavy tele, in the wind, etc. I usually don't extend the bottom most legs for more stability, or the head column, limiting it to about 3 or 4 ft. in height at those settings.

    My next tripod is some steel thing, heavy enough for MF, long lenses with DSLRs, but not travel friendly, as it's heavy.

    I also have a Slik monopod, again, only good for very light stuff.
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