Best Backpack Tripod and Dolly

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by JTE83, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    I would be nice to bring my Sony HX300 bridge camera, tripod, and dolly along for my bike rides in case I need to take a photo...

    I just bought this tripod as my best choice for a folding 3 way pan head tripod that will fit into my large Targus 17" laptop backpack. The requirement was the folded length had to be around 19 inches or less. And the height extended over 40 inches. After two days of web searching, I settled on this: http://www.amazon.com/Vanguard-Alta-4-Section-Aluminum-Magnesium/dp/B001D7Y9YM
    The good thing about this tripod is that you can invert the center column for macro photography, and sometimes I do this for photographing books to make a pdf or scanned image OCR of them.

    This was a better choice but it was too big folded: http://www.cameta.com/Vanguard-CT-24SS-53-Carbon-Fiber-Tripod-with-PH-50-Panhead-67819.cfm

    This is the BEST Tripod I have found but it was too expensive for me! I bookmarked it for a future buy if I ever want it. The great thing is the 3 way panhead has degree markers so you can accurately adjust your camera pan angles for making mulitple shots for later stitching together in Photoshop for a big panoramic image.
    http://www.amazon.com/Induro-CT-014-Carbon-Section-55-Inch/dp/B002SXMRPI/ref=pd_sim_sbs_p_19
    http://www.amazon.com/Induro-483-100-PHT0-3-Way-PanHead/dp/B004EPYL0M/ref=pd_sim_p_4
    But I need to get extra shoes for this panhead but I don't know where to get them.

    Here is a good cheap candidate: http://www.amazon.com/SUNPAK-SPK620020-Sunpak-620-020-Tripod/dp/B00009UT28/ref=pd_sim_p_80

    I lost my link to a good $55 one. Also, my tripod choices need to be able to get extra shoes.

    Now, I was thinking about getting a portable dolly that would fit in my backpack too. Because I shot video in the SM Malls of Manila and all of my videos have noticeable camera shake, like this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyp0UAKwMgA
    But notice in the video the mall floor is tiled, so a rolling dolly on it would give noise. I also need a dolly that rolls as silently as possible. So this is the best dolly I've found so far: http://www.ebay.com/itm/YUNTENG-901-Foldable-Tripod-Stand-Dolly-Wheels-25-kg-With-Handle-Carrying-Bag-/150763193919?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231a2fc63f

    Here's a cheaper smaller version, with wheels that are probably nosier: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Wheels-Pulley-Universal-Folding-Camera-Tripod-Dolly-Base-Stand-YT-900-Bag-/310499274791?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item484b32f027

    Here's something similar on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pearstone-DWL-2-Universal-Tripod-Dolly/dp/B006TZ8R3W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    So how about you? Do you have a "backpack capable" tripod and dolly? Tell us about it! Or what do you use now? Or do you know of any better choices?
     
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  2. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Tripods are usually overkill. I only use one for observing with binoculars for a long time without having to hold the binoculars or for making some trick photography with a detached flash unit like this:


    [​IMG]

    If you got lets say a 500mm lens. the rule of thumb is that you need to shoot with at least 1/500 shutter speed. If there isnt enough light or if your lens doesnt have a F value low enough to get that speed with a deep enough apperture value then you could use a tripod to have the camera steady in that speed. It works but usually the results come out dark anyway.

    The tripod, regardless of size, to be effective needs to be 3 times the weight of your camera. So if your camera is 500grams then you need an at least 1.5kg tripod. Which is not that backpack friendly unless you go for a dedicated photoshoot.

    Not to mention that you will also need to activate the shutter by remote means such as a cable or remote control, or count down timer or the picture is gonna be shaky anyway.

    I dont know the camera you are using, but if you can obtain the minimum speed and you want to reduce vibrations further you can also use the "mirror lock up" function, Most SLR cameras have that. Some of the newer ones also have a built - in Anti-Shake function but I havent tried those. You can use the mirror lock up in the camera whilst on the tripod too after you have focused on the object etc.

    So basically, in real conditions, which usually mean a F3.5 35mm to 150mm lens, even in the 150mm setting you need at least 1/150 speed, which unless you are shooting with an ISO80 sensor sensitivity in early night and you got your apperture maxed at F 17 or something to get lots of focused depth, you can get easily.
     
  3. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    I need a tripod for smooth panning when making panoramic shots, and for macro shots. Also for night photography when there is a long shutter speed. Otherwise, at 50x optical zoom, my camera has awesome image stabilization to take a sharp pic in good sunlight.
     
  4. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Well -if you need- one... [​IMG] How heavy is your camera? Any model that is 3x the weight of the camera will do if you use it with a remote controller or self timer or cable...

    Manfrotto is a well known brand for tripods.

    For night photography you will either:

    -get grain from a high iso sensitivity.
    -make a blurry dark image regardless of iso speed if using a lower speed then the meter recommends. (Stuff will move around and will get caught in the move in lower shutter speeds).

    What kind of metering are you using? Spot or compensation?

    Really night photography best works with close subjects, a bit higher ISO and a flash. Unless you dont mind your images looking a bit "artistic". [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Nothing beats natural light for detailed and clear images [​IMG]:

    [​IMG]

    Btw if you want a panoramic picture and dont mind a bit of distortion you could also try lower length lenses. Like lower then 35mm and natural light. No tripod needed. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Do you print the pictures???

    You dont really need a tripod for macro... As long as you keep your speed higher then the lense's length.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    With a 2x add on teleconvertor lens my Sony camera weighs 1.9 lbs, enough for my tripod. But if one day I upgrade to a DSLR + Lens kit, I might need that Induro tripod. It's just that a DSLR isn't as convenient and portable as a bridge camera because you gotta lug lenses around.

    I don't know too much about DSLRs, but a quick look and these two seem interesting:
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-Digital-Camera-18-135mm-F3-5-5-6/dp/B00DMS0LCO/ref=psdc4_t1_B0049WJWJ0_B00DMS0LCO
    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-CMOS-Digital-Camera-3-0-Inch/dp/B0040JHVCC/ref=psdc4_t2_B001EQ4BVI_B0040JHVCC

    I haven't adjusted my metering, I'm still learning to use my Sony camera. Plus with this camera I will see if I ever get into photography, as most of the time I don't shoot many photos except during vacations.

    I shot a 50x zoom night photo with a tripod into a dark scene and it came out crap. I guess zoomed night photos are the most difficult photos to take.
     
  6. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Yep... Canon kinda "rules" the game at the moment. They changed to higher diameter lens format (The EOS) a few years back and with this they managed to get higher autofocus speeds and lighter lenses... But older (and well expensive) lenses became useless with the new mount system.

    The best glass you can get for the price is still the older Nikon etc lenses but those are manual focus and mad heavy... Pretty good though and you can use them with a modern digital platform.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JTE83 . I shot a 50x zoom night photo with a tripod into a dark scene and it came out crap. I guess zoomed night photos are the most difficult photos to take.
    Did you use a timer or remote or did you... "push the button"? [​IMG]

    Btw... If you want a specific result you might want to check manual controls...
     
  7. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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  8. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    10sec is kinda in the "B" (manual exposure control) range... Its well slow... It would come out bad except a well immobile object...

    Unless you ment 10 sec self timer on a tripod...

    Btw here is an "essential" photography video manual: [​IMG]

    "Lolita" 1997
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119558/
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    I meant a 10 sec self timer delay to shoot.

    Here is how good the zoom is on my Sony DSC HX300 camera; First shot wide angle with a special camera filter effect, next photo a 50x optical zoom with the camera hand held.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/849/2b8t.jpg/

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/826/5i66.jpg/

    I was experimenting today and I found out night photos are best taken with the "Night Scene" Scene setting of my camera. More detail and a sharper image in the night shot.
     
  10. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    They look good [​IMG]

    Btw are you holding your camera correctly? They say you have to have your left hand under the lens, your right hand on the camera body and always have the strap around your neck.

    If you want more detail on day photos try the lowest ISO speed possible. 80 is super but 100 or 120 will also do.

    After 200 unless its a bit shaky you might notice some grain...

    Most of the modern camera on board functions can be compensated from post exposure digital mending... For anti-shake you can blur the image a notch, for auto color balance you can also digitally alter later etc...

    Btw its probably better to take a picture with 10x zoom and ISO 80 and then just crop the middle square and resize it to an image then shooting with 50x zoom and ISO 800.

    These very large zoom numbers in the non 35mm cameras (which they say is 35mm equivalent) is the ratio between lens and sensor. Basically the camera lens is zooming but its also using a much smaller sensor... So the equivalent is like 50x zoom but not really. More like whatever zoom that is with a 35mm sensor and the croped middle square of the frame.
     
  11. JTE83

    JTE83 Member

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    I didn't know how to hold a camera.

    I just discovered what my Sony sensor is - 1/2.3 type... So it's tiny compared to an APS-C dslr.
    http://www.sony.co.uk/product/dsc-h-series/dsc-hx300/technical-specifications
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_sensor_format


    I guess next 2 years what I can afford is a good aps-c dslr, maybe a canon 70d:

    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-20-2-Digital-Camera-Pixel/dp/B00DQXJM6Q%3FSubscriptionId%3DAKIAI62SSPLIHX7AR6PA%26tag%3Dsnapsort-911-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00DQXJM6Q

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-70d

    It was just released Aug 2013 on amazon, must be the latest Canon.
     
  12. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Canon kinda rules the game at the moment... Especially with their new lenses (they dumped the old format) they managed to acquire much faster auto focus speeds etc...

    Lots of quality glass still available on Nikon on older lenses - modern platform combinations... [​IMG]

    Whats the fastest lens Canon makes anyway? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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