Such thing as a good, portable tripod? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 9th, 2003, 01:40 PM   #1
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Such thing as a good, portable tripod?

I should be out of the country in January or February and the Manfrotto 3046 tripod legs that I currently use are a little on the long side. I would like something that collapses to only about 24" high. If that means removing the head that is okay. Right now the 3046/503 combo is about 36" high with the head and about 32" without.

I like Bogen/Manfrotto as I can use my current head but I am open to any suggestions.

Greg
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Old November 10th, 2003, 08:17 PM   #2
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i don't have one but i have been looking at the bogen monopod that has the spring loaded thingie so it is easier/quicker to open/close.

it collapses to 24 inches.

i love my bogen tripod but its a pain to haul around and you don't have it when you need it.

i saw someone using a monopod and it was great, they also had some weird shoulder strap with a cup that fit the base of the monopod so they could use it as a pseudo steadicam to at least take the weight off of their arms when standing around shooting.

matthew
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Old November 10th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #3
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Greg,
I took my 3046/501 combo to Hawaii for a 10 day gig earlier this summer and I packed it at an angle in my 36" suitcase. I packed my clothes on top of it and although the case was heavy the wheels,skycaps and bellmen made it manageable. For the seminar work I was doing it worked great. Take a big suitcase and pack light ;-)
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Old November 11th, 2003, 12:43 AM   #4
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I'm not a pro, so take what I write accordingly:

I just went through a search for a good travel tripod for my VX2000 (I shoot travelogues).

I wound up with a Bogen/Manfrotto 3444D sticks with a Manfrotto 700RC2 Junior Video fluid head. The combination weights a little over 4 pounds, and was the lightest tripod/head combination I could find that would provide sturdy support for my VX2000.

The 3444D is a carbon-fiber tripod with a center column and 4-section legs with quick-release leg locks. Collapsed, it's 19", and extends to just under 62" with the center column extended. It has adjustable, lockable leg angles. It's also pure black and looks very cool. ;) Bogen/Manfrotto also makes the 3444, which is the same tripod with 3-section legs; it doesn't collapse as small.

The 700RC2 is a full, pan-and-tilt fluid head with a reversible pan bar (for righties or lefties), a quick-release plate, and all the expected drag locks.

With the head in place, the combination is small enough to just fit in my standard TUMI rollaboard carryon if I put it in diagonally. I haven't taken it on the road yet (I got it for a couple of Europe trips coming up this year), but I'm confident it's the best solution given current technology.

I've used monopods, both with and without video heads, and I'm taking my Adorama on these trips as well. However, I find monopods, while better than hand-holding, don't compare to a got stable tripod setup.
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Old November 17th, 2003, 09:14 PM   #5
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Gitzo = Manfrotto = Bogen... not exactly... but all under the Manfrotto monacre... If you like, take a look at Gitzo... When I bought a new tripod my needs were similar to yours. They make several compact models that collapse very short and their designs do not require a spreader and they also utilize a bowl leveler easily. You even have a choice of carbon fiber or aluminum... depending on needs and budget.

It's been a while now since I bought this new pod and I can tell ya' that I like it more and more every time I use it.

Lightweight for an aluminum pod, super-high capacity for it's class, shortest collapsed length in it's class, no spreader, leveler on legs and head, bowl design, beautiful finish, solid feel, easy and FAST setup... should I go on?

Sure there are better pods out there, but I don't feel there is a better pod out there AT THE SAME PRICE.

I'm elated with mine.
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Old November 17th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #6
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I don't know about the Bogen monopod, but I got one of the "Slik" spring loaded ones a number of years ago for a little digital still camera. IMO it's really worthless. OK, it does give a slight bit of support as compared to handholding, but with a video camera it won't give you anything resembling a smooth pan or tilt with a fluid head on a real tripod. I tried it once with my VX-2000 and concluded I'd rather carry around a real tripod. With a still camera not much good for exposures under 1/30 sec.

In the case of the Slik model, it's pretty wobbly when fully extended. And I really don't get the spring loaded thing. In fact, the spring is very powerful and if you set it off accidently (with a push button) you can poke yourself or somebody else pretty sharply.

I suppose they have their place though, and maybe the Bogen is heavier and less wobbly?
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Old November 18th, 2003, 01:43 AM   #7
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Sliks monopods are about worthless. However, Paul's recommendation of the Adorama monopod is a good suggestion. You wouldn't think that it is a quality piece of gear, but it is. Very well made and unique for it's feature set among monopods. Definetly worth the price. Bogen monopods are very well made.

I second Matt's suggestion of the Gitzo sticks. The more I use the Gitzo products the more they endear themselves to me. Fit, finish and workmanship are all first class.
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Old November 18th, 2003, 08:55 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone

I will take a look at all the suggestions later today.

Paul,

What type of travelogues do you do? I am in the same line of work and head out of the country in about two months.

Matt,

Can you throw a price at me? Naturally, I'll look myself, but it takes time to find a dealer with the various models in stock.

Greg Matty
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Old November 18th, 2003, 04:43 PM   #9
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Is this a good model?

http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=details&sid=1069189745911657&sku=BG3242

Or can anyone kindly suggest another pod under $100 with tripod legs?

Thank you, all!!!

Dorothy
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Old November 18th, 2003, 10:00 PM   #10
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I'll throw in my experience. I use a GL-2 and purchased a 3046/501 combo. I carry everything in my Lowepro Minitreker, which can carry the tripod on back pretty well. I made a little hook out of a wire hanger that allows me to hang the backpack on the tripod weight loop. This gives me a decently stable, portable tripod, with all my spare batteries, tapes, etc. in the backpack.
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Old November 18th, 2003, 10:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Paul, What type of travelogues do you do? I am in the same line of work and head out of the country in about two months.
They're strictly amateur. My wife and I travel internationally a lot, and they've grown out of the "home movie" kind of thing I used to do, taking along a camcorder and just shooting. Now, I'm trying for a, "you are there," kind of thing for anyone considering any of the destinations I'm shooting -- they give a feel of the sights and sounds a visitor experiences, as opposed to "the Taj Mahal was built in the 15th century, etc., etc.,"

The first one I'm going to try to market is on Rajasthan, India. There's a short section of it at:

www.ruyitang.com

BTW, follow up on the Bogen/Manfrotto 3444d tripod. I've got it here in Venice, Italy, and was shooting with it last night. At one point, I wanted to lock the legs, and snapped off one of the locking tabs, leaving me with a $400 collection of carbon rods that won't work as a tripod! Aaaaargh! I'm going to try to find some epoxy today and see if I can't repair it.
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Old November 18th, 2003, 10:15 PM   #12
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Bogen formerly used a type of pot or cast metal for the leg locks and I never heard a complaint. But since going to the composite material I hear your complaint fairly regularly. That's on reason I like the twist locks on the Gitzo sticks.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 01:49 AM   #13
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I like the idea of composite or plastic for leg locks on this model because its a carbon-fiber tripod -- anything that makes it lighter is better. However, it's pretty galling that the leg locks won't stand up to normal use. This was my first time taking the tripod out into the field!
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Old November 19th, 2003, 07:33 AM   #14
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Probably a defective molding, Paul. It's no consolation, considering your circumstances. But at least you're in Italy, home of Manfrotto. You ought to be able to find a dealer with a part somewhere. Good luck.
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Old November 19th, 2003, 08:51 AM   #15
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Joe, Paul,

I also have the 3046 legs and 501 head. I upgraded the head to the 503 and I like it better. If you ever have trouble getting smooth pans, give the 503 a try. The 3046 is anything but portable but it does allow for stable shots. I am looking at a Lowe Computreker to hold my laptop and 10D camera and will have to swing the DVX around on a small shoulder bag. The tripod will be swung over the other shoulder. This is a lot of equipment for one person but I made it through Costa Rica and Belize so I think I can handle my next tropical destination.

Paul,

You and I have a lot in common. A collaboration would probably be fun to try and maybe we can at least toss the idea around off-line. I imagine we both want to play the director part and thay would of course make things more difficult. Still it is an idea.

Greg Matty
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