Portable tripod?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by creator2456, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. creator2456 macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    I am looking for a good, sturdy tripod that is also very portable. Just want to see what people can suggest.
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    How portable is portable? And how much are you looking to spend?

    There are some Gitzo legs that are very light (being made of Carbon fiber), but they cost on the order of $600 just for the legs.

    Anything made by Bogen Manfrotto is very nice, and there are some very nice support systems that can be had for about $300, granted that they aren't going to be as light as the Gitzo.

    Most everything else that you look at will be crap- some will vouch for the longevity of their Silk and Velbon tripods, but from what I've experienced, they tend to break 6 months after you get them.

    You can also spring for a tabletop tripod, which will certainly be more portable, but perhaps not quite as useful.
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Tripods that are very "portable" (ie light...) tend not to be very "sturdy". That's just the way it is. The tripod's own weight adds rigidity; fewer leg extensions = more steady.

    I've got an ancient Manfrotto tripod for when I'm close to home (or close to the car). I bought a terrific 'one-touch' head for it: pull a kind of long trigger to compose the shot, and let the trigger go to lock everything up tight. Result: no camera shake at all...

    For trekking over the hills I have a smaller, lighter tripod that attaches to my shoulder-bag with straps. It's a compromise: in breezy weather not every shot will be pin-sharp (so I shoot a few frames to cover myself).

    Instead of seeing a tripod as an inconvenience, I try to see it as 'freeing up' my photography. I love to keep photographing after the sun's gone down, and I don't want to change the ISO from 100... so my tripod actually offers me more options than any new lens I might buy.

    No need to buy new; tripods are fine to buy second-hand. Take your camera along and see how the camera/tripod combination feels to you...
  4. peeaanuut macrumors 65816

    Sep 10, 2007
    Southern California
    also, what are you shooting? I am not sure this is your case, but alot of people shoot pass the monopod idea without a 2nd thought and skip right to tri-pod. Take a look at what your shooting and see if maybe you can get by with a mono. Could save you some weight.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Light weight, Sturdy or Inexpensive? Pick two.

    The above really works. You can have any combination of two you want. But a good tripod will literally last you the rest of your life and then someone else will get to use it. So you can justify spending some money on it. You will buy five more cameras before the tripod needs replacing so even an expensive one is not when you look at the years of use you get out of it.

    A steel Gitzo is likely good enough. But I'm not a fan of Gitzo's heads. Get a Bogen pan tilt head and Gitzo legs.

    One trick. You can make a light tripod more sturdy of you suspend a weight between the legs. A water jug works good or a rock in a plastic bag. It tends to mash the legs down and makes it shake a little less
  6. creator2456 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2007
    I found my dad's old tripod while moving him this last week. Looks like it will do the job just fine, all I need to do now is find a good strap to put on it.

    Thanks for the suggestions and advice.
  7. RealGem macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2007
    Handy Tripod Tip

    If you're going to make a carry strap for it, then you may be handy enough to make a strap that hangs a little bit down from the top when it is in use.

    What for?

    To add your camera bag with accessories, as an extra weight to give you that extra rigidity.

    I do this all the time for night shots, and I'm a weak and feeble little old lady, so I can't have a heavy tripod.

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