Whats the smallest, lightest and airport hand luggage friendly tripod for FX1/Z1? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 7th, 2007, 06:01 AM   #1
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Whats the smallest, lightest and airport hand luggage friendly tripod for FX1/Z1?

UK/Europe airports mostly.

Looking for a tripod that offers full fluid etc and I can take as hand luggage or non-oversize in the hold.

Needs to be very portable and light, expense not really an issue.

Any suggestions?

Cheers

Steve
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Old December 7th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #2
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Small Tripods for Aircraft Handbaggage

I have a Libec 150 Quid TH-650 which is excellent - but it's 76cm long inside the supplied bag so too long for you I suspect (I've just tried a crude 'triangle test' with the measurements below and a tape measure.)

According to British Airways website 56x45x25cm (22x18x10in) is the max dimensions any hand luggage can be. I travel a heck of a lot globally with only hand baggage (except going out grrrrr!....soon it will get sensible again) but not with a tripod! Various countries/airlines around the world have slightly different restictions but this is typical of what you'll need.

I also have a very cheap (from Argos) "Star 42" tripod which is exactly 56.5cm closed up (I think they would let it on anyway as it will fit diagonally in the "hand luggage testing box" no problem.) It of course does not have a fluid head....or much else to commend it other than it's very cheap and very light!

I have a feeling that Manfrotto may do a telescopic tripod (maybe 4 stages rather than the typical 3?) that might be OK for handbaggage. If I can find it quickly I'll post a link in here.

Yes! - I think this will help. Look at some of the minimum heights of some of these, which seem to be 3 stage anyway (you could always ring Hague to ask them to double check dimensions before purchasing as they are very helpful people from my recent experiences.)

Hope this helps Steve.

http://www.b-hague.co.uk/Tripods%20L...frotto.htm#Man
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; December 7th, 2007 at 11:12 AM. Reason: added link
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Old December 7th, 2007, 12:06 PM   #3
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I took my Manfrotto 3221WN Tripod and 501 head to South America in my luggage (I removed the head to make it shorter) and used it with my Z1. See: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...od_System.html
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Old December 9th, 2007, 07:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Young View Post
UK/Europe airports mostly.

Looking for a tripod that offers full fluid etc and I can take as hand luggage or non-oversize in the hold.

Needs to be very portable and light, expense not really an issue.

Any suggestions?

Cheers

Steve
Look at these. The first set has legs that are just under 22" long:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/7...d_Systems.html

Gitzo has the 2180 fluid head that weighs just over a pound. It is for up to 7 lbs. I use that head and the Gitzo traveler legs for an ultra compact lightweight setup. Here are the traveler legs:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...6X_Carbon.html
They are 14" long folded and and weigh 2.2 lbs.

Here is the 2180 Fluid Head:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...s_1_Fluid.html

The tilt head comes off the traveler legs and is replaced by the fluid head.

In general, after searching and searching, the best choice in compact legs is from Gitzo. They have one model that will support 35 lbs., stand 6'6" tall, yet fold and fit length wise in a regular legal suitcase you can check, and they weigh only 4.3 lbs.:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...6X_Carbon.html
These legs can take a ball or flat fluid head, depending on the mount you use.

Gitzo has an amazing range of lightweight, compact legs, from flight weight to very heavy weight use. If you can go to a store and see some examples it would help. After you see some examples, the best way to understand the product line is to get a catalog.

It shouldn't be too hard to see the Gitzos since they are now owned and sold by Bogen.

The Gitzo 2180 head is not ideal, but there is nothing in its size and weight that even comes close. There is a small inexpensive Bogen head (I don't recall the number), but it's not much cheaper and its bigger. However, any store that carries Bogen should have this head. But as far as legs, I didn't find anything that can compete in size and weight with the Gitzos.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for your feedback everyone, im thinking of taking the plunge with the

Gitzo GT-1550T Traveler and a fluid head to suit

but now being told by some peeps in the industry that if it doesnt have a levelling bowl dont even bother!!! and that this tripod setup is NOT suitable for video mainly photo only.

Whats your thoughts on that??
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Old December 10th, 2007, 06:26 PM   #6
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If you're set on a Traveler, I'd go with a 1540T instead. The 1550T has way too many leg sections and would be annoying after awhile. More sections probably isn't as stable too.

Those peeps are right. You have to have a way to level the head, preferable a fast way. But no one makes a light tripod with a 75mm or 100mm bowl (unless it's a baby sticks). What you can do is get one of the various leveling bases out there that photographers add to their tripod to level their camera for stitched paroramics. Do a google search for panoramic leveling base. You can use these bases on the Traveler or any photo tripod. Here's one option from Acratech:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ling_Base.html

That one is pricey but it's nice because it's light and you release it with that one knob. Some of the other leveling bases out there have three thumbscrews that you dial in to set level. This is slower but more precise.

Yet one more option is one of Gitzo's leveling tripods but the smallest they come in is a "2" series, which is like 24" long when folded. Probably doesn't work for you.
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Old December 10th, 2007, 07:50 PM   #7
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First, the Traveler tripod is chosen for size, compactness and weight. It is not a video tripod.

Here is the Gizto catalog for the Traveler:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...CleanList=true

The 1550 has five leg sections instead of four, thus it goes higher. If you don't extend the smallest leg section you basically have a 1540.

This is a great tripod for lugging around with a still camera. It is possible to use with the Gitzo 2180 fluid head and a video camera. I used it with the XH-A1.
Here is the Gitzo catalog on the fluid heads:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...CleanList=true

The 2180 is made for birdwatching with field glasses. It works with a video camera.

The traveler is a Series 1 tripod. The Gitzo recommendation for the 2180 (a Series 1 head) is a Series 2 tripod, particularly the leveler, which has a built in leveling tube.

However, if you want the lightest, smallest setup, what I found was the 2180 head and the Gitzo legs.

Other options for fairly lightweight heads may be a Libec. I don't have one and don't use one, but I think their smaller DV head is fairly small and light.

The Cartoni Action Pro is another option. That head weighs about 3 pounds. The Gitzo 2380, a real video head, weights a little more than that. However, both these heads (I have both) require a 75mm bowl.

A Gitzo Series 2 set of legs would be nice for the XH-A1 and be very lightweight and compact. I don't have yet, but I'm getting a Series 3 tripod for my Gitzo 2380 head. Series 3 legs carry up to about 35 pounds.

Before you buy anything Gitzo, I strongly suggest looking at the line somewhere if possible before buying. In any case, Gitzo makes some nice, compact and lightweight legs.

To put a tripod in an a European carry-on bag, there isn't a lot of choice.

If you can go the full 22" and the head weight is not important, look at Series 2 Gitzo legs and a Sachtler, Miller or Libec head perhaps... one of the small ones.

If you are going to videoing Acrobat Penguins with a telephoto, get the best head and a sturdy, sure set of legs, and deal with it.

If you are carrying everything on your back and doing scenic pans or general tripod moves, get the Gitzo Traveler legs and the birdwatching fluid head.

If you can check you tripod in a suitcase, you are pretty much open to any of the nice heads and a fine set of Gitzo Series 2 or Series 3 legs.

All dimensions and info are on the Gitzo site:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitzo/pid/3402#

You can also get specs on the B&H site if you have a model number. However, sometimes the B&H specs have small errors, so it's always best to check on the Gitzo site.

By the way, if you want a bubble level for a series one or two Gitzo (the traveler is 1) here they are:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw...+level&x=0&y=0

And yes, as pointed out above, these tripods don't level as easily as when using a bowl mount.

Last edited by Jack Walker; December 10th, 2007 at 09:33 PM.
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