Need small portable travel tripod recommendations

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    I'm looking for a replacement to using garbage bins, mail boxes, and other mundane items to take long exposure shots when traveling :eek:

    - My carry-on baggage dictates the collapsed length must be under 18-inches.
    - Budget is around $100-$150 bucks
    - Expanded height and stability are not super important... anything's better than a garbage bin.
    - A head with a quick-release is critical

    The only thing I've found that meets my requirements is the Slik Sprint Mini II

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/614703-REG/Slik_611806_Sprint_Mini_II_GM.html
    - 14-inches collapsed, 42-inches extended, under 2 pounds, $79 :)

    Any other options I'm overlooking?
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #2
    That one looks ok, but extended to 42 in from 14 might make it a bit flimsy.
    Did you consider the Joby Gorillapod? The video at B&H shows more about it. The video podcast link works best.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Tabletop-Mini-Tripods/pn/3/ci/391/N/4291756642

    When I was looking for support equipment I saw a monopod with small legs at the head end. You could prop it on the ground like a rifle stand.

    Dale
     
  3. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    Anything like a table-top or Gorrillapod still require something else... limiting composure options.

    I suppose that's an option. I'll look into that... thanks.
     
  4. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Folding space
    #4
  5. maddagascar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    #5
  6. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
  7. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
  8. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
  9. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    Giotto's MT-9241B

    So I ended up buying a Giotto's tripod (with Joby ball head). Giotto's is a brand I hadn't heard of, but it's design, features, and price are outstanding. Giottos is a Taiwanese company, but my first impression was that they were a German or Italian company.

    First the tripod...

    [​IMG]

    It's got some great features...
    - 18" folded height
    - Light weight
    - Attractive gun-metal finish (darker than the pic above... more black than silver)
    - Easy twist-lock leg extensions that can all be loosened with one motion
    - Hook on the bottom of the center column - you can easily hang your camera bag there to add a lot of extra stability
    - Tool kit to adjust joint tension should things loosen over time

    It's remarkably sturdy - even fully extended, and with some weight hanging off the center column (my flippack is perfect) really adds to the stability of this tripod. I have no concerns about the tripod falling over, even in windy conditions or with the camera oriented in portrait off the side of the ball head.

    I also like the 1/8th turn twist locks on the leg extensions much better than the clamp types. Simply one twist of the hand for each leg will loosen all of them allowing the leg to extend and then a simple finger/thumb twist of each to lock them makes setup a snap.

    For $109 sans head, it's a great value.

    The ball head...

    [​IMG]

    Joby is the maker of the Gorillapods. Their ball-head has a number of great features:
    - 6lb capacity - can easily hold my T1i and 17-55 f2.8 lens although reviews I read indicted it can solidly hold a 5D2 and 70-200 lens.
    - Quick release with small clip that won't block your battery compartment and it has an integrated bubble level
    - Easy to tighten... you don't need a lot of finger strength to lock the ball

    I'm really impressed with the solid holding power of this small light-weight ball head and the fact I don't need to work hard to lock the ball in place. You don't need a lot of torque to clamp the ball which makes the rubberized knob perfect.

    The fact that the quick release clips in without activating a lever on the plate, is a nice touch as well. Disengaging the camera from the quick-release simply requires you to press on the release button and pull the camera back from the head.

    My camera retailer bundled this head with the tripod above for $139 CAD.

    I highly recommend this combo for anyone looking for a decent travel tripod.

    :)
     
  10. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    Your Giotto looks very nice, especially considering the price. I got this for walking around: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...82B_Self_Standing_Monopod.html#specifications

    At 2.5 lbs I find it to be a bit too heavy to use as a walking stick. I also have a Gorillapod, which can be great, but can only be used under some circumstances. I have probably resigned myself to eventually getting a light carbon-fiber tripod.

    As a side-note, I also have a Manfrotto 3205 which I probably purchased close to 20 years ago. That thing is heavy, but built like a tank. Amazing how durable those things are.
     

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