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Old November 5th, 2015, 09:10 PM   #1
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Need a new Tripod for travel

I need a new tripod for travel and was thinking of a Manfrotto setup.
The Tripod needs to support my A7s.

I already own Miller Tripods but these are for large Broadcast cameras and not ideal for the A7s.

Can anyone recommend a cheap Manfrotto setup?

I have been looking at this model MVK500AQ
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Old November 6th, 2015, 01:19 AM   #2
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

It may depend on how you're traveling. Usually travel means you're paying attention to seize or weight.

Benro Aero 4. Folds to 22" and weighs about 5.8 lbs. Good for fitting in to small carry on luggage or traveling with a backpack.
Benro Aero 4 Video Travel Angel Tripod Kit A2883FS4 B&H Photo

Benro S4 Carbon Fiber weighs 4.8 lbs Bigger than the above but lighter.
Benro C2573FS4 S4 Video Head and CF Flip Lock Legs Kit C2573FS4

Benro S7 Carbon Fiber weighs 7.5 lbs and is a much better head which adds to the weight.
Benro S7 Video Tripod Kit with A373F Carbon Fiber Legs C373FBS7

Manfrotto MVH500AH Flat Base Fluid Head/MT190CXPRO3 Tripod. Weighs something like 5.5 lbs.
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Old November 6th, 2015, 02:53 AM   #3
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

Oooh, thanks Craig, never heard of Benro, (been ages since I purchased a Tripod) the Benro 4 looks perfect.

My needs are for seize and weight, I don't want to stand out like I'm shooting professionally.

Cheers
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Old November 6th, 2015, 09:00 AM   #4
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

You may run into the trouble i have had looking for a good tripod system for my GH4. The issue i kept running into was in finding a head that would have a zero counter balance setting for when i am using a light lens. For me, i needed a head that could support my longest lens, but also balance the camera on the lighter end. I still haven't found one i think i would be happy with. For now at least, i am sticking with my Sachtler DV10.
Good luck with the search, just remember to take into account the lighter end of your setup. That's what i find difficult with these lightweight cameras.
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Old November 6th, 2015, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

Simon, Benro seems to be the "king of travel tripods." Some of their heads seem to be similar to Manfrotto heads. I believe they were originally a photo tripod company that moved into video and their focus has been light travel related tripods.

Bryce, the single biggest compromise on travel tripods is the head. The best balance and drag controls add significant weight to the head. Benro recently came out with their BVH series heads which some might consider their first "non travel" heads. Of course they are heavier than their S series but with much more precise controls.

Personally I have a Sachtler FSB6 head with the carbon fiber mid spreader legs but that's about 12 lbs. That's fine when I'm traveling by car to a shoot but I need something much lighter when I have to travel or carry the gear around by hand.

An example of Benro S head weights.
S2 0.8 lbs Fixed Fluid Cartridge Balance
S4 1.5 lbs better built and higher capacity than above
S6 2.6 lbs Counterbalance 0 lbs, 4.4 lbs, 10 lbs. 13,2 lbs
S7 3.2 lbs Counterbalance 0 lbs, 5 lbs, 10 lbs, 15.4 lbs & Pan Fluid Drag Control
S8 5.4 lbs Counterbalance 0 lbs, 5.5 lbs, 11 lbs, 17.6 lbs & Pan Fluid Drag Control

The BV series have stepped Pan, Tilt, Counterbalance and are better heads.
BV4 4.2 lbs 4 step Pan, 4 step Tilt, 5 step Counterbalance
BV6 4.4 lbs adds 7 step Counterbalance
So these would take you close to 10 lbs with their carbon fiber legs.

So the question is what gets sacrificed for travel. Basically it's head weight and features that go with it.
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Old November 6th, 2015, 03:42 PM   #6
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

Thanks for the info guys.
Cheers
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Old November 6th, 2015, 04:00 PM   #7
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

I'm now thinking of the Manfrotto 190 legs and a Manfrotto head. The reason is I already have Manfrotto plates.
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Old November 7th, 2015, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

Hey Craig,
Thanks for the tip on the Benro heads. The BV6 looks interesting. Have you used any of these heads, & if so, how do they compare to your Sachtler?
Thanks in advance,
Bryce
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Old November 9th, 2015, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

I've played with most of the above at B&H which I'm local to. I'll give another look at the BV heads in person. CCW is this week. Last year the Benro Product Manager was there as part of another booth if I recall. If I see him I'll have a look at it and talk to him.
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Old November 9th, 2015, 10:55 PM   #10
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Re: Need a new Tripod for travel

Thanks Craig, much appreciated!
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