Wednesday, October 24, 2007

urgent tripod question

Hello to everyone who reads my blog. Bethany and I are leaving for our trip in 9 short days from now and things are really getting down the to wire. I need to place my last order to B&H photo very soon to get it in time.
I know that it's mostly photographers who follow my blog, so I was hoping you guys/gals could help me out.
I'm looking for a new tripod/head combination that will, um, basically rock my world. Right now I have a Manfrotto 3443 carbon fiber with a Bogen head, it's pretty good, but way too big and heavy for traveling/backpacking.
I need something very light, very compact and portable.

I'm willing to spend as much as it takes to get the best, because I know it will be worth it's weight in gold when were trekking through Asia with huge packs on our back!

So if you have experience with a tripod that you love, or know of one that would be best, please leave a comment, or send me an email with your suggestions! Thanks soo much!

Here is a link to the tripods on B&H. I've also heard great things about "Really Right Stuff". Anyone know anything about them?

12 Comments:

Blogger peteyd said...

Hey Blaine, here's some recommendations:

The #1 thing to NOT do when traveling is to strap your tripod to the outside of your pack whenever possible. This basically tells everyone that there's expensive stuff inside.

What's worked for me is a set of tripod legs that fit inside my pack vertically on one side. I take the head off and put it in one of the pack pouches. I'd recommend a really sturdy ball head because they tend to have less knobs/handles sticking out (totally annoying when working into a pack.) Maybe measure the inside vertical dimension of the main compartment of your pack and look for legs that will fit in there.

that's worked well for me.

10/24/2007 11:08 AM  
Blogger JP Jespersen said...

Hey Blaine,
Just saw this one. Looks promising. I'm a Gitzo person myself. http://titanium.gitzo.com/#

10/24/2007 1:56 PM  
Blogger JP Jespersen said...

strike that last comment. Just looked up the price. $2500.00 WHAT THE ..

10/24/2007 2:00 PM  
Blogger JP Jespersen said...

Another suggestion. I might pick up one of these. Let us know what you end up getting.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/475898-REG/Gitzo_GT1540T_GT_1540T_Traveler_6X_Carbon.html

10/24/2007 2:04 PM  
Blogger Rnormfoto said...

I have a Gitzo carbon fiber tripod and JUST got a Really Right Stuff ballhead with a L-bracket for my D2X---I LOVE the head and L-Plate...very easy to use, locks super tight and is not that heavy! You can switch from horizontal to vertical in a breeze too with the way they design it. (only if you get that L-plate though)

10/24/2007 2:12 PM  
Blogger blaine said...

Thanks for the help guys.

Still doing lots of research, but as of right now, It's looking like either the Gitzo 1540T or 1550T. The 1540T is a bit smaller and lighter than the 1550T, and does not come with a ballhead.

For the ballhead, I'm leaning towards the Really Right Stuff BH-25 LR.

Anymore suggestions are definitely welcomed!

10/24/2007 4:14 PM  
Blogger blaine said...

Robert-

Which Gitzo model and ballhead model do you have? I checked out those L-plates. Seems pretty cool, but I really don't understand how it works!?

I need to see all this stuff in person!

10/24/2007 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Cody said...

If you get a RRS L-Bracket, you can shoot in portrait without having to turn your tripod head on its side: thus you can get away with using a lighter head and avoid potential 'vertical creep' during long exposures. Though the weight difference of the L-bracket VS. normal mount might negate any weight savings on the head. L-bracket will come in handy if you want to shoot pano's as well.

10/24/2007 4:31 PM  
Blogger Rnormfoto said...

Blaine - i bought the BH-55 ballhead since it was their 'beefiest' head, yet it is not heavy. I think you'd want their most solid unit for what you're doing.(I always figure the more solid the head the more use i'll get out of it in the long run)

I have an older version of this Gitzo:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitzo/pid/4765/cache/bypass?gitzoView=flatView&curLevel=1CAT&curFamilyId=NONE&curMarketId=MARKET%3AMKT1&actualPathCategoryKey=1CAT%3AAAA1%3A2CAT%3ABB59%3A3CAT%3AC107%3A4CAT%3AD933&productContainer_windowsize=10&ctnscroll_productContainer=&kindOfProductCollectionRequest=productDetail&detailPid=5301

Great tripod!

10/25/2007 8:44 PM  
Blogger Rnormfoto said...

PS - the Really Right Stuff head confused me too - if you get an L-Plate and head you're all set. They easily lock in place, in either a horizontal or vertical position and are therefore much sturdier than rotating the head itself sideways to shoot vertically. i was sold on my Gitzo head until i tried this one! It's also simpler to attach than many screw in plates, and more solid on the camera base...doesn't shimmy around at all.

10/25/2007 8:47 PM  
Blogger nate said...

do you remember my head. thats why i bought it is small sturdy and light magnisum. some people hate it but i like it. i cant remember if you ever used it. manfroto 3437

10/30/2007 2:41 PM  
Blogger blaine said...

Thanks for the comments everyone, they helped a lot!

I ended up buying the Gitzo 1540T with a RRS BH-40 head.

So far so good... I'll try and give a report on it later.

11/02/2007 4:05 AM  

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