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Old September 15th, 2012, 09:42 PM   #1
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Recommendations for a light tripod I can travel with?

I'm about to do a bunch of months shooting where I'll be doing a lot of travel in rural Mexico. I want to take a tripod that's light. I'll be using a Panasonic HMC-150 and a Canon XA10. Anyone have any thoughts about what might be a good tripod for a trip with a lot of travel?
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Old September 20th, 2012, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Recommendations for a light tripod I can travel with?

Hi Noam,

Lately, I've been using a monopod for travel. I went to the local pro photo store and compared a number of models. The surprising thing to me was that almost all of the carbon fiber models were bad - they had wobbly joints. I chose an aluminum Slik Pro Pod 600 floor model for $50. There was only one fiber model that matched the Slik's stability, and it was about $300. The weight difference between the two was negligible.

I had hoped to get Manfrotto's video monopod, but it was much too long to fit in a small, rollaway suitcase.

Monopods are great when following action. As long as the subject is moving, we don't notice imperfect movement of the camera. I can use it as a counterbalance as I walk, tuck it in my belt for support for handheld use, and rest it on the ground when standing still.

Then again, if you are filming fountains and fields, you need a tripod.

I see that Slik has a DV Travel Tripod that has a 50mm bowl and collapses down to 26.6".

For something stronger, they have the 505QF, which doesn't look like it has a bowl head. It's about 3" longer, collapsed and weighs 8 lbs, rather than 4.5 for the travel model.

There's also the 504QF-II which is cheaper and between the other two in size and weight.

I haven't used a Slik video tripod, so I don't know how sturdy it is or how smooth the head might be. But I really like the monopod, which was cheap, sturdy, light, and perfect for my needs.
Jon Fairhurst
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 02:28 AM   #3
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Re: Recommendations for a light tripod I can travel with?

Noam, presumably you've searched here as this is a frequent question.

Use "international travel" in your search and you'll find some as well as "travel tripod". Basically the smallest and lightest of the bunch that will hold an HMC150 class camera are photo tripods with the center post. The shortest prover video legs I found are a specific Sactler set. They fit perfectly in the Eagle Creek DS3 hardside case which unlike most hardside luggage these days actually has an aluminum hinge/clasp system instead of flexible zipper.

I researched the tripod thing extensively and you'll find my results (including smaller lighter ones) in the search results.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 06:52 AM   #4
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Re: Recommendations for a light tripod I can travel with?

I am looking for a light but still high quality video tripod as well. As of now I think I am going to get the Sachtler Ace.
It is not super-light like some photography-travel-tripods, but for a video tripod it is light - and Sachtler usually makes super high quality fluid heads. I'm hoping the Ace can deliver the usual Sachtler quality.

I mean, when you have no fluid head, or a bad fluid head, then you might as well use a monopod, which is cheaper and lighter - a video tripod needs a certain level of quality, and I think that doesn't come any lighter than the Ace.
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