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Ultralight Tripod
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Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Ultralight Tripod on 01/08/2010 19:58:39 MST Print View

I'm going to need an ultralight tripod at some point in the near future.

The tripod will be used for a DSLR, so the usual lightweight solutions aren't going to cut it.

I either need an easy way to secure a ballhead to the top of some trekking poles or a lightweight tripod I can put a ballhead on. Also, what's the lightest ballhead that will support, say, a canon 40d with 10-22 lens?

Cost is not a restrictive variable.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Monopod on 01/08/2010 20:04:07 MST Print View

There are walking sticks that have accommodations for a camera. If you go to REI, look under walking sticks, not trekking poles.

If you prefer to use your regular trekking poles, you could get a mount that attaches to the side of the trekking pole.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Ultralight Tripod on 01/08/2010 20:05:13 MST Print View

Have a look at the following thread (skip 2nd page, but do look at third page of thread after the first)

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Links on 01/08/2010 20:08:00 MST Print View

I think most of these support a camera on top.

These are more oriented to photography.

Some of these may work for side mounting.

I know there are good light tripods, but I don't remember what they are. They were a little out of my price range.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Ultralight Tripod on 01/08/2010 20:51:55 MST Print View

Or you can use the Ultrapod II by wrapping the velcro strap around the pole handle (except for the very thick types)
Of course you can just use it as a table top tripod too.
See :
(your combo is under 3 lbs, the Ultrapod has a "safe" rating of 4 lbs)

Edited by Franco on 01/08/2010 21:00:23 MST.

Peter McDonough
(crazypete) - F

Locale: Above the Divided Line
Tripod on 01/10/2010 17:28:02 MST Print View

I own the Ultrapod 2, but I've found that it's major weakness is shots needing a portrait orientation.

Are there any Gitzo tripods that come in under a pound?

Joseph Reeves

Locale: Southeast Alaska
tripod on 01/10/2010 17:49:43 MST Print View

I just purchased, but have not received, the Tamrac TR406 ZipShot Compact tripod. Used one a couple of weeks ago with my Panasonic GF1 and 50mm OM lens. Very light(11 oz) and gets the job done.tripod

Michael Bohlander
(piser) - F
Some options on 01/15/2010 13:55:34 MST Print View

I've had pretty good luck with a feisol tournament carbon fiber tripod and a markins head. My tripod + head weighs together ~3.4 lbs. This is a high quality set up and I don't know of anything comparable that's as sturdy for making long exposures.

That said, I wouldn't call it ultralight. In my case I'm a photographer first and backpacker second -- trying to incorporate some ultralight concepts so hauling around the heavy photo gear isn't so bad.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
ul tripods on 01/15/2010 18:15:45 MST Print View

if you've got poles you should utilize them for yet another use...


tripod closeup

those poles weigh 11oz, the tripod 2 3/4 oz... and I always have my poles, so to me it really added no weight

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
tripod on 01/16/2010 10:23:12 MST Print View

I have a similar solution, but even simpler. I hike with my girlfriend so we usually have more than 2 trekking poles. I just set up 3 of them in a tripod configuration, stick my Ultrapod in the middle and wrap it all up tight with the velcro strap. For long exposures, hang your backpack off one of the handle straps with a carabiner. You don't need a heavy tripod for stability - but you do need to lower the centre of gravity and tighten everything up, which is what heavier tripods do naturally. We can do that without adding any weight by hanging a pack in the middle.

Edited by dasbin on 01/16/2010 10:24:05 MST.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
trekking pole tripod on 01/16/2010 15:06:35 MST Print View

@Jesse - this might be a stupid question but I wanted to ask before I attempted this - did you just poke/cut out a small hole in the tops of your handles to stick the top tripod into?

Conrad Stoll
(cnstoll) - F
Gorilla Pod on 01/30/2010 20:56:16 MST Print View

I'm definitely a big fan of my Gorilla Pod SLR+ZOOM.

Used it to do lots of star tracks:Star Trails

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
trripod on 01/31/2010 01:19:37 MST Print View


yupp, I drilled it out VERY carefully, to a smaller diameter than the legs on the table top tripod... works great, I can lift the entire assembled unit up by the camera and move it without the thing falling apart...

Christoph Blank
(chbla) - F

Locale: Austria
different solution on 02/06/2010 06:29:19 MST Print View

Hey there,

As I'm looking for an UL tripod too, I always thought that it must be somehow possible to use the trekking poles to support it.
Since the combined versions (eg. leki photo trekking pole) are not suitable due to the weight, I thought about something different. In theory it is the same as above - however, it doesn't look that stable to me.

What I have in mind is:

- Carbon Monopod + lightweight ball head
- 2 Trekking poles to support the monopod
- 2 "angle clamps" to combine it

For drum kits, they use different kinds of clamps like this one:

So the idea would be to add two of those clamps below each other to the monopod, and just add the trekking poles, forming a basic tripod, angles can be adjusted as wanted, etc while still having a fully functional monopod and ballhead that can be used on another, real tripod aswell.

The problem is that those clamps used in percussion kits are usually too heavy - and I couldn't find any lighter ones made of plastic..

What do you think?

Edited by chbla on 02/06/2010 06:41:23 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: different solution on 02/06/2010 09:04:16 MST Print View

"....however, it doesn't look that stable to me."

For a lightweight camera (and mine is a not-so-light G10), the trekking pole tripod shown above, and one I made, a Zipshot knock-off with carbon fiber tent pole legs, are amazingly stable. The magic is in the flexi-leg tripod shown in Jesse's photo's.

It is metal, stiff, and stout. When well-attached (friction only) to my legs it holds everything in place, allows me to easily adjust the camera for plumb, level, and square, and is tight enough to "carry" the legs along when I pick up and move. My CF legs though a little whimpy, are stable enough for most situations, and I am sure the tripod above is rock solid.

Dondo is to be credited with getting this started, for he built the first SUL mini-tripod almost a year ago. And I encourage you to keep going. But, what has been done to date is light (mine is a little over 4 ounces), strong, And stable.

Edited by greg23 on 02/06/2010 09:06:12 MST.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: tripod on 02/06/2010 09:33:24 MST Print View

I know this is probably not what you are looking for but has the string and washer method been discussed here?

Edited by justaddfuel on 02/06/2010 09:37:08 MST.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
tripod on 02/06/2010 10:54:50 MST Print View

Thanks Jesse!

Christoph Blank
(chbla) - F

Locale: Austria
dslr on 02/06/2010 11:16:33 MST Print View


Greg, I'm sorry I should have formulated it in a better way. What I meant is, since I'm looking for a solution to use with my full sized dslr, this method does not seem stable enough.

I know these lightweight tripods in the above threads, and I know that they are pretty good, I've used a similar thing with my compact camera.

What I'm trying to find though is a tripod or any solution to use with my canon 7d.
The downside I can imagine using poles is that they are not available if your tarp needs them :)

I'm somehow still not sure if I should buy a lightweight Gitzo/Benro tripod or used a table tripod like Berlebach mini or Gorillapod...

Furthermore there is the problem of the weight they can carry, especially the tiny ballheads... I wish it would be easier to find a suitable solution

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: dslr on 02/06/2010 11:24:17 MST Print View

Yes, it is a tough nut to crack, especially when you're talking a couple of thousand US$$ in the balance. Yikes!!!

Christoph Blank
(chbla) - F

Locale: Austria
dslr on 02/06/2010 11:48:00 MST Print View

I can imagine, yeah :)

Anyway, if anyone knows where to get such clamps, I'd be very thankful - just to give it a try as a backup tripod..

Edited by chbla on 02/06/2010 11:50:55 MST.