Apple fanboy

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Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
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I'm looking to upgrade my tripod and it's between these two options.
My current 190 Aluminium mostly doesn't get taken out because of the weight and the bulk.

https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/190-go-carbon-4-section-camera-tripod-with-twist-locks


IMG_3205.JPG

Advantages are it's lighter than what I have but is just as stable.
Disadvantages are although lighter it is still bulky and heavier than my number two option.


https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/befree-carbon-fibre-travel-tripod-with-ball-head-black
IMG_3204.JPG

Advantages are it's light weight and compact.
Disadvantages are it's a little flimsy especially for my heavier glass.

Can I have opinions as I need to order this week (as I have a discount).
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
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Disadvantages are it's a little flimsy especially for my heavier glass.
Per my opinion, this is a bigger downside than the added weight of the other option. I'd say it comes down to this - By which method do you move it around, how far do you move it around, and what's more important - travel ease or convenient use once you're at your destination.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
32,853
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Behind the Lens, UK
Per my opinion, this is a bigger downside than the added weight of the other option. I'd say it comes down to this - By which method do you move it around, how far do you move it around, and what's more important - travel ease or convenient use once you're at your destination.
I agree in that if my camera falls over on the smaller one I'll wish I'd brought the other! However my concern is I buy the bigger one and leave it in the boot of my car as it's more weight on my bag.
That's what I do with the aluminium one all the time.
 

mollyc

macrumors 68020
Aug 18, 2016
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I have the BeFree. It's pretty nifty. I also have a full on ball/head Manfrotto system, but I almost prefer the BeFree. It's super handy on vacations. My BeFree is a less expensive aluminum variety that I found at Costco one day randomly, but I think the mechanics are pretty much the same.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 68040
Jan 26, 2014
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Horsens, Denmark
Yes. But it's full of heavy glass!
Ah, I see, hehe. Well, bottom line the way I see it - If you expect to carry it far from your car , the most lightweight one. If only shorter distances, the heavier one. How heavy is your current one - do you know? Having a number to compare with might make it easier to estimate how big of a difference you'll feel with each
 

kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,401
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Glasgow, UK
Hi

I am a fan of the MeFoto tripod range. I find them similar to 3 Legged Things. (This may be blasphemy sorry)

I currently have the day trip and the road trip models. Both are light and carry able coming in their own bags.

I have also got a couple of manfrottos of the heavier aluminium variety.

The first thing that jumps out to me on the two options here is the leg mechanisms. I much prefer the turn style leg fastenings as it greatly improves setup and put down times.

I shoot mirrorless so I didn't pay much attention to weight capabilities but my A7Rii and 70-200 sit nice and steady enough (for my needs. YMMV).

Worth looking at. I took the roadtrip model to the US with me and hiked with it hanging off my backpack for three days and didn't feel overly aware of it being there.

Hope that helps.
 

mollyc

macrumors 68020
Aug 18, 2016
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Just popping back on to say that I just put my D800 and 70-200 2.8 on the BeFree (aluminum) and it's plenty sturdy. No issues whatsoever.
 

mollyc

macrumors 68020
Aug 18, 2016
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I did mount it on the lens, not on the body. Heavier lenses will give you that option to distribute the weight better.
 
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simonsi

macrumors 601
Jan 3, 2014
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I have the Alu BeFree and haven't found it lacking, biggest glass is the 70-200/2.8 though, mounted on the lens.
 

TheDrift-

macrumors 6502a
Mar 8, 2010
872
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I have two tripods a gitzo and a Really right stuff

I have a lightweight gitzo 1 series traveller, despite being lighter than both your manfortto options, it actually has a better load carry weight than either at 8kg and it breaks down very small, price wise i got mine on sale for a similar price to the first manfortto.

My RRS is a little heavier but has a has a huge load capacity and is extremely sturdy..

It sounds like the gitzo's might be worth considering.?..i think my model was a GT1544T i am not sure they still make it and there might be a newer model out now?
 

jabbott

macrumors 6502
Nov 23, 2009
326
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Earlier this week I purchased a Sirui T-1005X tripod, as my Gitzo 2-series tripod is not very portable. The Sirui weighs 1 kg / 2.2 lb but it can hold 10 kg / 22 lb. It also folds down to 34 cm / 13.4". It's less spendy than the Manfrotto BeFree, and the reviews on B&H Photo are very favorable. I'll be giving it considerable use next week and can provide more real-world feedback after that. Please PM me if you'd like an update.
 

mihike

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2016
33
21
Have you considered ditching the center column on the first option? Gets rid of a little weight, though doesn't help much with bulk. (I assume you can with the Manfrotto, that's how I use my Gitzo.) Much more solid that way, especially with that glass you've got. Of course, 1.1kg on that BeFree does sound pretty awesome, but I'm guessing the 1.35 on the big one drops close to that without the center column.
Twist-lock legs are awesome, that'd sway my decision. I was a skeptic at first, but now I'd hate to go back to a lever-lock.
 

mihike

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2016
33
21
I've only ever tried lever locks - why do you think the twists are better? Significantly faster?
A few reasons - fast, easy to adjust while looking through the viewfinder, and they lock solidly. That last one is probably not an issue with the Manfrotto, I had a cheaper brand (Slik) before that could sag if you didn't get them fully seated.
Deploying the tripod is especially easy - a single turn on a leg to release all three locks, pull the leg out, then three quick turns as you slide your hand down the leg locking each one. Probably 10 seconds to get the whole thing extended and locked.
Admittedly not a massive thing that'll make a major change in your shooting. But very much a nice-to-have, and sometimes a few seconds is the difference between great lighting and the sun being behind that big cloud!
Oh, and they don't snag the cords on your backpack, too.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Between the coasts
The models you're showing mix apples and oranges - one has a ball head, one does not. It makes weight comparisons difficult. Were you planning to move the head from your 190 aluminum to the 190 carbon?

What are you planning to do with the 190 aluminum? If you're going to keep it, I'd get the BeFree as a lightweight, "carry it always" alternative to the heavier, "I know I'll only carry this when I really need it." Like having a choice of lenses, it's good to have a choice of tripods.

I have to admit, I don't carry heavy glass - one of my compromises is shooting MFT - the whole kit is so much lighter and more packable (means the tripods are lighter, too). However, if I did have one of those whopping big 600-800mm sports/wildlife lenses, I'd suck it up and carry the heavier tripod it demands. In for a penny, in for a kilogram or two. Why carry heavy glass if the tripod is too flimsy to get the shot?
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
32,853
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Behind the Lens, UK
I assume you can mount it on the lens foot though so it should balance nicely. Plus you can hang your bag on it too for extra stability.
Yes I'd use the lens foot.
[doublepost=1490258874][/doublepost]
I wonder how many lenses you need to carry. I mostly use a tripod (Manfrotto, ball head), but with camera and one lens. Occasionally two. But never more.

That is, I feel more 'equipped' with a tripod, camera and lens than with a bag full of lenses but no tripod...
I hear what you are saying, but I rarely shoot only landscape. As I get out so rarely I like to make sure I have a good range of focal lengths covered.
[doublepost=1490258924][/doublepost]
I have two tripods a gitzo and a Really right stuff

I have a lightweight gitzo 1 series traveller, despite being lighter than both your manfortto options, it actually has a better load carry weight than either at 8kg and it breaks down very small, price wise i got mine on sale for a similar price to the first manfortto.

My RRS is a little heavier but has a has a huge load capacity and is extremely sturdy..

It sounds like the gitzo's might be worth considering.?..i think my model was a GT1544T i am not sure they still make it and there might be a newer model out now?
I'll look into Gitzo. My code will cover those as well as they are manufactured by Manfrotto.
[doublepost=1490259002][/doublepost]
A few reasons - fast, easy to adjust while looking through the viewfinder, and they lock solidly. That last one is probably not an issue with the Manfrotto, I had a cheaper brand (Slik) before that could sag if you didn't get them fully seated.
Deploying the tripod is especially easy - a single turn on a leg to release all three locks, pull the leg out, then three quick turns as you slide your hand down the leg locking each one. Probably 10 seconds to get the whole thing extended and locked.
Admittedly not a massive thing that'll make a major change in your shooting. But very much a nice-to-have, and sometimes a few seconds is the difference between great lighting and the sun being behind that big cloud!
Oh, and they don't snag the cords on your backpack, too.
Somethings I hadn't considered.
 
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kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
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Yes I'd use the lens foot.
[doublepost=1490258874][/doublepost]
I hear what you are saying, but I rarely shoot only landscape. As I get out so rarely I like to make sure I have a good range of focal lengths covered.
[doublepost=1490258924][/doublepost]
I'll look into Gitzo. My code will cover those as well as they are manufactured by Manfrotto.
[doublepost=1490259002][/doublepost]
Somethings I hadn't considered.

I didnt know manfrotto made Gitzo too! nice... I love it when we learn things like this. - genuine...

How was the show? did you get on OK? how are your feet and legs? I wish they would let us wear running shoes at those things!

As you know, the put up and put down bit gets on your proverbials after a while and the screw locks are better for me, I am more inclined to use the tripod because I can "pop it up" rather than having to resort to using it. I find the MeFoto great for that. I had the lever locks before and well, in cold weather they made my soft hands a bit tender after a while of opening and closing them. #wuss
[doublepost=1490265533][/doublepost]
I've only ever tried lever locks - why do you think the twists are better? Significantly faster?
Hi,

So I am no expert but...

Compared to my other tripods and especially the older twist lock ones, I find them easier to fine tune the positioning, they are much faster to put up and down and the fastenings dont make my fingers so sore in cold weather.

Net net I tend to use them more so for me they are a winner.

The twisty bolt types are my least favourite as they are such a faff to tighten and loosen. So I only use that tripod when I have to - and I havent had to use it since getting the MeFotos.

I shoot mirrorless Sony A7 series mainly on tripod so I dont need a hulking great stable base so it opens up the lower end of the market to me and the MeFotos are a very good price for what they are. I have the day trip which is a little tripod that only extends to about 60 cm in height. This is fine for a lot of what I shoot.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Tripods-Monopods/MeFOTO-DayTrip-Compact-Section-Aluminium/B00DRA4CW2/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1490265063&sr=8-12&keywords=mefoto+daytrip

I used to put a Canon 70d and the 100-400L lens on this and it was fine though they were slightly over the weight rating for it. Tilting screens are a godsend with this one as unless you stand it on something it is low to the ground and hard to look through a viewfinder - thinking about when I shoot with a Leica here. It folds up to a tiny little size and so is perfect for travelling light.

For heavier duty and pretty much my main use tripod now, I use this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MeFOTO-RoadTrip-Convertible-Section-Aluminium-x/dp/B009A17FOO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1490265236&sr=8-4&keywords=mefoto+roadtrip

I find this one to be fantastic. It is not amazingly light but compared to the main tripod it was replacing in my arsenal it feels positively featherweight to me. You can get the carbon version but like the other poster said, in for a penny, in for an extra half a kilo. Also, buy the time I load up my bag with bodies and lenses, then the weight of this is irrelevant to me. It is rated to 8 KG so can hold a full frame DSLR and a 70-200 f2.8 perfectly fine. Having said that the heaviest I put on it now is a A7Rii and a 70-200 f4.

Both are ball headed, both are twist fitting legs, have hanging hooks and work a treat for me.

Food for thought... your mileage may vary....

Oh yes, the picture in the POTD thread for march of the rocks that I posted. That was taken on the roadtrip in horrendous crosswinds. The water in the shot looks weird because it is a long exposure and the rain and snow were hammering down on us - While the picture isnt going to win any awards, you can see it is sharp and so the tripod has managed to hold steady quite well.

Had another thought - Remember for the occasional use of the 200-500, you can use the tripod collapsed down, the load bearing weight is only when fully extended so drop the centre column and maybe only open out the first section, then yes, it will be shorter but assuming this would be only occasionally, it could save a few bob on the cost of one that can hold the full weight capacity. I know they are really solid and can hold WAY more than advertised when collapsed down - my daughters tend to use my tripod collection as structural support when building play dens in the house... :mad:


I really like the 3 legged things Leo but it is a bit costly for my needs.


Ken.
 
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Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Original poster
Feb 21, 2012
32,853
22,673
Behind the Lens, UK
I didnt know manfrotto made Gitzo too! nice... I love it when we learn things like this. - genuine...

How was the show? did you get on OK? how are your feet and legs? I wish they would let us wear running shoes at those things!

As you know, the put up and put down bit gets on your proverbials after a while and the screw locks are better for me, I am more inclined to use the tripod because I can "pop it up" rather than having to resort to using it. I find the MeFoto great for that. I had the lever locks before and well, in cold weather they made my soft hands a bit tender after a while of opening and closing them. #wuss
[doublepost=1490265533][/doublepost]

Hi,

So I am no expert but...

Compared to my other tripods and especially the older twist lock ones, I find them easier to fine tune the positioning, they are much faster to put up and down and the fastenings dont make my fingers so sore in cold weather.

Net net I tend to use them more so for me they are a winner.

The twisty bolt types are my least favourite as they are such a faff to tighten and loosen. So I only use that tripod when I have to - and I havent had to use it since getting the MeFotos.

I shoot mirrorless Sony A7 series mainly on tripod so I dont need a hulking great stable base so it opens up the lower end of the market to me and the MeFotos are a very good price for what they are. I have the day trip which is a little tripod that only extends to about 60 cm in height. This is fine for a lot of what I shoot.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/Tripods-Monopods/MeFOTO-DayTrip-Compact-Section-Aluminium/B00DRA4CW2/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1490265063&sr=8-12&keywords=mefoto+daytrip

I used to put a Canon 70d and the 100-400L lens on this and it was fine though they were slightly over the weight rating for it. Tilting screens are a godsend with this one as unless you stand it on something it is low to the ground and hard to look through a viewfinder - thinking about when I shoot with a Leica here. It folds up to a tiny little size and so is perfect for travelling light.

For heavier duty and pretty much my main use tripod now, I use this one:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/MeFOTO-RoadTrip-Convertible-Section-Aluminium-x/dp/B009A17FOO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1490265236&sr=8-4&keywords=mefoto+roadtrip

I find this one to be fantastic. It is not amazingly light but compared to the main tripod it was replacing in my arsenal it feels positively featherweight to me. You can get the carbon version but like the other poster said, in for a penny, in for an extra half a kilo. Also, buy the time I load up my bag with bodies and lenses, then the weight of this is irrelevant to me. It is rated to 8 KG so can hold a full frame DSLR and a 70-200 f2.8 perfectly fine. Having said that the heaviest I put on it now is a A7Rii and a 70-200 f4.

Both are ball headed, both are twist fitting legs, have hanging hooks and work a treat for me.

Food for thought... your mileage may vary....

Oh yes, the picture in the POTD thread for march of the rocks that I posted. That was taken on the roadtrip in horrendous crosswinds. The water in the shot looks weird because it is a long exposure and the rain and snow were hammering down on us - While the picture isnt going to win any awards, you can see it is sharp and so the tripod has managed to hold steady quite well.

Had another thought - Remember for the occasional use of the 200-500, you can use the tripod collapsed down, the load bearing weight is only when fully extended so drop the centre column and maybe only open out the first section, then yes, it will be shorter but assuming this would be only occasionally, it could save a few bob on the cost of one that can hold the full weight capacity. I know they are really solid and can hold WAY more than advertised when collapsed down - my daughters tend to use my tripod collection as structural support when building play dens in the house... :mad:


I really like the 3 legged things Leo but it is a bit costly for my needs.


Ken.
Feet not too bad. However I've picked up a cold which I'm less than happy with. Especially as I'll end up with loads of ulcers as a result.

Really wish I could have taken my camera and lens with me so I could try them out. Mostly I use a monopod for the 200-500mm so that is a bit of an unusual option.
Looking at the Gitzo traveller series now. More bloody choices!
 
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kenoh

macrumors demi-god
Jul 18, 2008
5,401
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Glasgow, UK
Feet not too bad. However I've picked up a cold which I'm less than happy with. Especially as I'll end up with loads of ulcers as a result.

Really wish I could have taken my camera and lens with me so I could try them out. Mostly I use a monopod for the 200-500mm so that is a bit of an unusual option.
Looking at the Gitzo traveller series now. More bloody choices!
Wow, the series 2 traveller Gitzo is nice looking and has a 12KG load bearing capability but man! £700 is a lot of money