Lightweight tripod
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Sarah Uecker
(DeterminedHiker) - F
Lightweight tripod on 03/19/2011 21:39:42 MDT Print View

I'm looking for a good lightweight tripod that is inexpensive. I know that's pretty much unheard of, but I thought I would give it a shot. My budget for this unfortunately is practically nonexistent. I used to have a Manfrotto 055XPRO that weighed 4.6lbs, which I later sold. Fantastic tripod, but lugging it up hills was not exactly fun.

I love doing long exposures, so a monopod won't cut it. My camera body weighs 29.3 oz., probably closer to 5lbs with my biggest lens so with I'd prefer a tripod with a max bearing weight >7lbs.

Any ideas? I don't mind a shorter, more cheaply made tripod because eventually (when I have the $$$) I will be replacing it with something better. It don't mind bending down to look through the view finder, I just don't want to have to kneel down every time I use it. Am I just stuck buying a 4.5lb tripod until I can afford to pay for carbon fiber? Does anyone use tabletop tripods? I have a gorillapod, but I'm not happy with it for hiking.



ETA: I'm thinking of getting a SLIK PRO 330 DX. The head is removable, so I can replace it with the ballhead I have. That should bring the weight down to about 2 lbs. Then later I can get the shorter center column option (I never extend the center column by more than an inch or two) which will further cut down the weight. Does anyone have experience with the SLIK PRO 330 DX?

Edited by DeterminedHiker on 03/19/2011 22:05:39 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Lightweight tripod on 03/19/2011 22:09:07 MDT Print View

This is not a perfect solution, but it may be a starting point.

Years ago, before I got a big carbon fiber tripod and before I had really heavy lenses, I thought I knew what I wanted in an aluminum tripod. I wandered around some chain camera shop (Ritz?) and found several models by Sunpak. They start around 3 pounds and go up, varying by maximum height. I think I got the 3.3 pound model. Each has the same pan-tilt head on top with a QR mount and QR plate. Over time, and after destruction of some of them by stupidity, I think I purchased my third one. Some came with an extra QR plate, so I have a collection of QR plates to go on multiple cameras or lenses. The good news was that most of them cost me only $30-40 each.

The big carbon fiber tripods are nice and sturdy, but they tend to be long when collapsed. I like something that I can just strap into a side pocket on my backpack.

SLIK PRO 330 DX looks like the one that I backpacked with for about twenty years until the plastic parts underneath the head started breaking. Twenty years isn't bad.

--B.G.--

Edited by --B.G.-- on 03/19/2011 22:11:19 MDT.

Sarah Uecker
(DeterminedHiker) - F
Thanks! on 03/19/2011 22:56:41 MDT Print View

Thanks for the insight B.G. I'd be happy if it lasted for 20 years! I think I got spoiled by the Manfrotto, except for the weight it was my perfect tripod. But 80% of the photography I do requires walking/hiking and it just isn't suited for trips more than a few miles. I just have this aversion now to anything that isn't huge name brand Manfrotto/Bogen/Gitzo etc.

But for what I want, and the very few dollars I can put towards it, I think the SLIK will work well. It's better than what I have now, which is no tripod at all.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Thanks! on 03/19/2011 23:15:59 MDT Print View

Sarah, I mentioned this the other day in another thread. I also purchased a tripod that weighs only 17 oz, and elevates to a maximum of 50 inches, pan-tilt head with QR. I purchased it at Target (cheap, maybe $15?). I would not go so far as to call it a great tripod, because it is obviously flimsy. It has no load rating, so you are on your own with that spec.

However, I will put a $1500 camera on it with a $500 lens, and I will weight down the feet with rocks so that the wind can't tip it over. That works for me.

--B.G.--