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Old August 14th, 2013, 02:13 AM   #1
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Best compact video tripod

Hi all,

I'm getting a bit sick of travelling with my rather large Manfrotto tripod.

I was hoping I could get some suggestions on decent video tripods that are easy to travel with and take on a plane? I don't want to spend too much, just something to use when I'm shooting vacation videos.

Thanks in advance!
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Hi, Jody! First of all, while my 'profile' states "Major Player", this is a misnomer. It is merely a function of the amount of 'Threads' I've started or contributed to. Not, that I am very knowledgeable about video.

What kind of budget are you working with?
Do you want a 'Bowl style' tripod or a Stills Photo 'Flattop' of rig?
Aluminum or Carbon-Fiber?
Do you plan to perform 'pans and tilts' with your camera or just locked-down?

Please understand, when you make the decision to go with a lightweight set of sticks, you lose some amount of rigidity and stability. There is a trade-off.

BTW, there was a Vinten 75mm Bowl for sale, listed in the Private Sales section. The price is excellent. FS-US+AKHI Vinten 75mm Bowl Tripod

Once you answer a few of the questions above, I'm sure smarter folks than I will chime-in.

Regards,

J.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:13 AM   #3
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Re: Best compact video tripod

If you search on travel tripod you will find this is a common question. You will also find my response that the Sachtler DA-75/2D ENG legs are the smallest and lightest bowl legs I've found. They are a 2:1:1 design and as such, fit in some checked bags WITHOUT going diagonal. I use a Manfrotto 701HDV with a 75mm bowl attachment when traveling as it's light and compact. YMMV
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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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Re: Best compact video tripod

The Manfrotto 536 is a nice lightweight video tripod that you can carry on a plane. It can take 75mm or 100mm bowl heads. Much less expensive than other high end brands but I wouldn't call it cheap. It is definitely the next tripod I will buy.

Currently, I use a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 with a Manfrotto 555B leveling column as my lightweight sticks. I am primarily a still photographer and already had the legs so adding a column was a good solution for me however, the cost of the tripod plus the column and then adding a fluid head puts the cost at or above the 536. If you already have a bowl type head, the 536 is a better bet than what I'm running.

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Old August 14th, 2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: Best compact video tripod

I agree with Mr. Wilson. I have the Sachtler Speedlock 75 CF sticks and AFAIK, they are the lightest, reasonably stable (subjective) set of video sticks available. There may be other brands out there I'm not familiar with.

Regards,

J.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 05:01 PM   #6
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Thanks guys.

My budget is pretty low, I only want to spend $200. This tripod would just be for the odd occasion when I go on vacation and get the urge to take my camera. So I don't need something of extremely high-quality, just something I can perform basic pans/tilts with. '

The smaller, the better! My current Manfrotto tripod is almost 100cm long which makes it a nightmare to travel with.


Thanks for the tips. I'll do a forum search and see if I can find anything further :)
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Old August 14th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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Re: Best compact video tripod

For that kind of thing, there's the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4. You can choose your poison on the head. Need to pay attention to weight. I needed it to hold an EX1R. Those legs are rated more than similar cheap photo tripods designed only for DSLRs.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #8
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Hi Jody,

You mention a budget of $200, but what do you consider to be a reasonable weight?

I am a bit of a fan of the Weifeng 717 (available in various heights) also sold under the name of Mantona, Fancier and others. Some models are around $200 (mine was less but our dollar has fallen since). At that price there is no adjustment for counterbalance so if your camera is too light it will tend to return to horizontal when you release the pan handle or conversely will tilt forward or backwards if too heavy. If the camera weight/center of gravity combination is just right the camera will stay where you leave it and the performance is surprisingly good.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 06:55 PM   #9
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Traill View Post
Hi Jody,

You mention a budget of $200, but what do you consider to be a reasonable weight?

I am a bit of a fan of the Weifeng 717 (available in various heights) also sold under the name of Mantona, Fancier and others. Some models are around $200 (mine was less but our dollar has fallen since). At that price there is no adjustment for counterbalance so if your camera is too light it will tend to return to horizontal when you release the pan handle or conversely will tilt forward or backwards if too heavy. If the camera weight/center of gravity combination is just right the camera will stay where you leave it and the performance is surprisingly good.
I'm not so worried about weight as I am size. I'm wanting something I can easily fit in my carry-on or checked luggage if I'm flying.

If I'm travelling, I usually take my Canon XA10 which I think is around 1 to 1.5kg.

I'll have a look at the Weifeng 717, thanks for that :)
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Old August 14th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #10
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Hi all,

I'm getting a bit sick of travelling with my rather large Manfrotto tripod.

I was hoping I could get some suggestions on decent video tripods that are easy to travel with and take on a plane? I don't want to spend too much, just something to use when I'm shooting vacation videos.

Thanks in advance!
Here is the one I am looking at...

Benro A2573FS6 S6 Video Head and AL Flip Lock Legs KitA2573FS6
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:29 PM   #11
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Adam Wilt did a good job on a Benro review at Review: Benro Video Tripod Kits by Adam Wilt

I am definitely interested in the FS6. I called Benro USA and you can get a short column replacement for low to the ground shots which I am interested in.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 10:49 PM   #12
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Re: Best compact video tripod

Jody,

For a very lightweight, sturdy and small tripod/head that I can get decent moves from (and actually use for paying work on occasion when all of those attributes are paramount), I use this (with an EX1, no less):

Velbon Videomate 607 Aluminum TripodVMATE-607/F B&H Photo Video

There. I said it. An $80 tripod.

You must realize that it is not all that durable (lots of plastic parts) and has some obvious limitations, but for the money (80 bucks!), I consider it a disposable should I destroy it (although that hasn't happened, yet).

So I don't come across as a complete rube, I mostly shoot with a Sachtler :-)
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Old August 20th, 2013, 12:44 AM   #13
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Re: Best compact video tripod

I'm looking at something similar at the moment. My Vinten Vision Blue is a great setup, but I've just received my Blackmagic Pocket Cam, and it isn't great to lug around with my small camera bag.

I've got a set of great Manfrotto stills legs, 190XPROB, with an 804RC2 head. Great combo for stills, but I find it a bit unstable especially when trying to pan.

Anyone tried weighting these kinds of legs for more stability, and trying a fluid head like the Manfrotto 501HDV?

Backup options would be something like a Manfrotto 560B monopod with fluid head, or one of those Benro kits, which seem to be extremely light and compact for the money.

Pocket cam with lens only weighs about 800g, so plenty of versatile options!
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