PH: Lighweight tripods for walking

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Paul Saunders, Jan 7, 2005.

  1. As you've probably noticed, I advocate the use of a lightweight tripod
    for walking and backpacking. I recently mentioned my use of a cheapie
    Jessops tripod.

    However, I can't honestly claim that these are good tripods, and I would
    prefer something of better quality, but still light, so I've been having
    a look around.

    I came across this page which is quite useful, although a little out of
    date;
    http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2gkrc/Tripod-Test.html

    The best (according to the author's criteria) was this, at 3.2 pounds;
    http://www.adorama.com/VNEFL4K.html

    The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html
    http://bermangraphics.com/coolpix/velbon.htm

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
    Tags:


  2. SteveO

    SteveO Guest

    On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 01:38:55 -0000, "Paul Saunders"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >However, I can't honestly claim that these are good tripods, and I would
    >prefer something of better quality, but still light, so I've been having
    >a look around.


    Thanks for the heads-up Paul.





    SteveO
    --
     
  3. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 01:38:55 -0000, Paul Saunders wrote:

    >As you've probably noticed, I advocate the use of a lightweight tripod
    >for walking and backpacking. I recently mentioned my use of a cheapie
    >Jessops tripod.
    >
    >However, I can't honestly claim that these are good tripods, and I would
    >prefer something of better quality, but still light, so I've been having
    >a look around.
    >
    >I came across this page which is quite useful, although a little out of
    >date;
    >http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2gkrc/Tripod-Test.html
    >
    >The best (according to the author's criteria) was this, at 3.2 pounds;
    >http://www.adorama.com/VNEFL4K.html
    >
    >The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    >http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html


    I've got one of those. Very light and compact when folded but not
    really useable at full leg extension as it will then wobble if a gnat
    sneezes somewhere in the vicinity. I need to rig up a bit of bungee
    cord - or rather a hook for it - so I can stabilise it at higher
    extensions by putting my foot through the loop to hold the tripod to
    the ground by the tension in the cord. The included ballhead isn't too
    bad and a light tripod that gets taken on a walk is better than the
    heavy tripod that sits in the boot of the car.

    Whilst we're on the subject of tripod based photography, why have
    camera manufactures taken the moneygrabbing route with remote
    releases? £35 for a bit of wire with a two stage switch on it is
    tantamount to daylight (or moonlight) robbery. Stuff 'em I'm off to
    build my own. At least my KM A2 has a self timer that doesn't need
    umpteen button presses to select and change from 2 second to ten
    second delay unlike my old Canon compact.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  4. Phil Cook wrote:

    >> The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    >> http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html

    >
    > I've got one of those. Very light and compact when folded but not
    > really useable at full leg extension as it will then wobble if a gnat
    > sneezes somewhere in the vicinity.


    Hmm... My 1 pound tripod is ideal for backpacking but very flimsy. Not
    very tall either, that's why I thought the above tripod may be better,
    for the extra height.

    > I need to rig up a bit of bungee
    > cord - or rather a hook for it - so I can stabilise it at higher
    > extensions by putting my foot through the loop to hold the tripod to
    > the ground by the tension in the cord. The included ballhead isn't too
    > bad and a light tripod that gets taken on a walk is better than the
    > heavy tripod that sits in the boot of the car.


    Indeed.

    > Whilst we're on the subject of tripod based photography, why have
    > camera manufactures taken the moneygrabbing route with remote
    > releases? £35 for a bit of wire with a two stage switch on it is
    > tantamount to daylight (or moonlight) robbery.


    Ridiculous, isn't it? Mine cost £25 I think and the one for the 20D
    costs nearer £40 I think. Interestingly, the connector is slightly
    different, so if I upgrade to the 20D I'll have to buy a new one. Is
    that a con or what?

    > Stuff 'em I'm off to
    > build my own. At least my KM A2 has a self timer that doesn't need
    > umpteen button presses to select and change from 2 second to ten
    > second delay unlike my old Canon compact.


    Fortunately I now have the mirror lock which also acts as a delay, so I
    can do most of my tripod photography without having to mess about with
    the self timer or the remote. The remote is only necessary for
    exposures longer than 30s. There's no way of "locking" the shutter open
    on B mode without the remote (one of my complaints with the camera when
    I bought it - why not allow you to specify an exposure time? then you
    could set it and forget it).

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
  5. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 12:25:40 -0000, Paul Saunders wrote:

    >Phil Cook wrote:
    >
    >>> The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    >>> http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html

    >>
    >> I've got one of those. Very light and compact when folded but not
    >> really useable at full leg extension as it will then wobble if a gnat
    >> sneezes somewhere in the vicinity.

    >
    >Hmm... My 1 pound tripod is ideal for backpacking but very flimsy. Not
    >very tall either, that's why I thought the above tripod may be better,
    >for the extra height.


    Well if I don't use the third section of legs it is usable. That third
    section is no thicker than my little finger so no wonder it wobbles.
    Two sections plus a little centre column is about mid-chest on me so
    not too much stooping required to look through the viewfinder, but
    then I have the advantage of being able to use my v/f or the LCD
    screen as a waistlevel finder.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  6. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Sat, 08 Jan 2005 12:37:46 +0000, Phil Cook wrote:

    >On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 12:25:40 -0000, Paul Saunders wrote:
    >
    >>Phil Cook wrote:
    >>
    >>>> The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    >>>> http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html
    >>>
    >>> I've got one of those. Very light and compact when folded but not
    >>> really useable at full leg extension as it will then wobble if a gnat
    >>> sneezes somewhere in the vicinity.

    >>
    >>Hmm... My 1 pound tripod is ideal for backpacking but very flimsy. Not
    >>very tall either, that's why I thought the above tripod may be better,
    >>for the extra height.

    >
    >Well if I don't use the third section of legs it is usable. That third
    >section is no thicker than my little finger so no wonder it wobbles.
    >Two sections plus a little centre column is about mid-chest on me.


    Oops. It's got four section legs. So I don't use the fourth and "three
    sections plus a little centre column..."

    It's in the car at the moment, otherwise I'd set it up and give you a
    figure for how high I use it.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  7. Richard G.

    Richard G. Guest

    In Article <[email protected]>,"Paul Saunders"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    >http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html
    >http://bermangraphics.com/coolpix/velbon.htm


    I've owned this tripod for the last three years or so and it's still my
    first choice when I'm trying to keep weight down. However, couple of
    warnings. Firstly, whilst the potential height on this tripod is good, it
    becomes pretty unstable when extended, there's no hook on the centre column
    to hang weight for extra stability (and don't even think about using this
    centre column!). It is possible to improvise with a stone bag, but again
    this can cause the legs to flex quite a lot when extended to any great
    height.

    Secondly I now have problems with a number of the leg-locks. If, after
    locking the legs, I put any significant downwards force on the tripod there
    is a tendancy for them to slip.

    Having said all of that, if you don't extend the legs too far, it is quite
    usuable and tips the scales at a touch over 1kg with QR plate.

    I think if I was looking for new lightweight legs I'd also take a look at
    the new Velbon Ultra Maxi/Luxi range.
    http://www.velbon-tripod.com/ultra_maxi.htm

    Regards,
    Richard G.
     
  8. W. D. Grey

    W. D. Grey Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Paul Saunders
    <[email protected]> writes
    > There's no way of "locking" the shutter open
    >on B mode without the remote (one of my complaints with the camera when
    >I bought it - why not allow you to specify an exposure time? then you
    >could set it and forget it).


    No reason to complain - If you need exposures that long you'd use a
    remote anyway. Even the "old" cable release allowed you to lock the
    shutter open for "Time" shots.

    That was always the option "Bulb" or "Time"

    Even if you could set a time on the camera, releasing the shutter using
    the button would cause some shake.
    --
    Bill Grey
    http://www.billboy.co.uk
     
  9. ste®

    ste® Guest

    "Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    | Phil Cook wrote:

    <snipped!>

    | > Whilst we're on the subject of tripod based photography, why have
    | > camera manufactures taken the moneygrabbing route with remote
    | > releases? £35 for a bit of wire with a two stage switch on it is
    | > tantamount to daylight (or moonlight) robbery.
    |
    | Ridiculous, isn't it? Mine cost £25 I think and the one for the 20D
    | costs nearer £40 I think. Interestingly, the connector is slightly
    | different, so if I upgrade to the 20D I'll have to buy a new one. Is
    | that a con or what?

    Yes, my one for the 20D cost £40, RS-80N3. I originally bought the one that
    you had Paul, thinking it would be the same, but it had a different
    connector! What a con, I was not pleased as it's the same 'thing' but with
    a different plug. But not having the nouse to make my own like Phil is
    going to do (and a friend told me I could do for a few quid), I just paid my
    money.


    | > Stuff 'em I'm off to
    | > build my own. At least my KM A2 has a self timer that doesn't need
    | > umpteen button presses to select and change from 2 second to ten
    | > second delay unlike my old Canon compact.
    |
    | Fortunately I now have the mirror lock which also acts as a delay, so I
    | can do most of my tripod photography without having to mess about with
    | the self timer or the remote. The remote is only necessary for
    | exposures longer than 30s. There's no way of "locking" the shutter open
    | on B mode without the remote (one of my complaints with the camera when
    | I bought it - why not allow you to specify an exposure time? then you
    | could set it and forget it).

    If you've got £100 to spare, you can buy thes remote switch TC-80N3 which
    has a digital timer from 1 second to 99 hours. It'd be nice, but I thought
    I was pushing the boat out by forking out £20, never mind £40; so I
    certainly wasn't going to spend £100!


    | Paul

    Ste
     
  10. Craig Cooke

    Craig Cooke Guest

    "Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Phil Cook wrote:
    >
    > >> The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    > >> http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html

    > >
    > > I've got one of those. Very light and compact when folded but not
    > > really useable at full leg extension as it will then wobble if a gnat
    > > sneezes somewhere in the vicinity.

    >
    > Hmm... My 1 pound tripod is ideal for backpacking but very flimsy. Not
    > very tall either, that's why I thought the above tripod may be better,
    > for the extra height.
    >
    > > I need to rig up a bit of bungee
    > > cord - or rather a hook for it - so I can stabilise it at higher
    > > extensions by putting my foot through the loop to hold the tripod to
    > > the ground by the tension in the cord. The included ballhead isn't too
    > > bad and a light tripod that gets taken on a walk is better than the
    > > heavy tripod that sits in the boot of the car.

    >
    > Indeed.
    >
    > > Whilst we're on the subject of tripod based photography, why have
    > > camera manufactures taken the moneygrabbing route with remote
    > > releases? £35 for a bit of wire with a two stage switch on it is
    > > tantamount to daylight (or moonlight) robbery.

    >
    > Ridiculous, isn't it? Mine cost £25 I think and the one for the 20D
    > costs nearer £40 I think. Interestingly, the connector is slightly
    > different, so if I upgrade to the 20D I'll have to buy a new one. Is
    > that a con or what?
    >
    > > Stuff 'em I'm off to
    > > build my own. At least my KM A2 has a self timer that doesn't need
    > > umpteen button presses to select and change from 2 second to ten
    > > second delay unlike my old Canon compact.

    >
    > Fortunately I now have the mirror lock which also acts as a delay, so I
    > can do most of my tripod photography without having to mess about with
    > the self timer or the remote. The remote is only necessary for
    > exposures longer than 30s. There's no way of "locking" the shutter open
    > on B mode without the remote (one of my complaints with the camera when
    > I bought it - why not allow you to specify an exposure time? then you
    > could set it and forget it).
    >
    > Paul
    > --
    > http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
    >
    >




    I use 1 of 3 methods depending on the distance I intend to walk -

    1) Use a high ISO setting (I have a 10D and 20D), thereby negating the use
    of a tripod altogether
    2) Velbon Mini CX - it's ok, although not as versatile (or heavy as)
    3) Benbo Trekker
    ....




    --
    Regards

    Craig Cooke


    www.storm-imaging.co.uk
    Exciting, Fun, Creative and Informal Digital Wedding & Portrait Photography
     
  11. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Sat, 8 Jan 2005 17:55:35 +0000, W. D. Grey wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, Paul Saunders
    ><[email protected]> writes
    >> There's no way of "locking" the shutter open
    >>on B mode without the remote (one of my complaints with the camera when
    >>I bought it - why not allow you to specify an exposure time? then you
    >>could set it and forget it).

    >
    >No reason to complain - If you need exposures that long you'd use a
    >remote anyway. Even the "old" cable release allowed you to lock the
    >shutter open for "Time" shots.
    >
    >That was always the option "Bulb" or "Time"
    >
    >Even if you could set a time on the camera, releasing the shutter using
    >the button would cause some shake.


    Given the amount of "elastic trickery" and computing power built into
    a modern camera there is no reason why they couldn't build in a
    variable long exposure setting. Set the exposure and after pressing
    the shutter button it would click open after the self timer delay for
    the set length of time.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  12. W. D. Grey

    W. D. Grey Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Phil Cook
    <[email protected]> writes
    >>Even if you could set a time on the camera, releasing the shutter using
    >>the button would cause some shake.

    >
    >Given the amount of "elastic trickery" and computing power built into
    >a modern camera there is no reason why they couldn't build in a
    >variable long exposure setting. Set the exposure and after pressing
    >the shutter button it would click open after the self timer delay for
    >the set length of time.


    I hope Camera manufacturers are reading this
    --
    Bill Grey
    http://www.billboy.co.uk
     
  13. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Sat, 08 Jan 2005 12:44:39 +0000, Phil Cook wrote:

    >>>>> The best for lightest weight was this, at only 2 pounds;
    >>>>> http://www.minitripods.com/Velbon_MAXi_343E.html


    >It's in the car at the moment, otherwise I'd set it up and give you a
    >figure for how high I use it.


    I've fished it out now. Without the last leg sections and no centre
    column extension it is 95cm. Using half the centre column it is 110cm.
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  14. Phil Cook wrote:

    > Given the amount of "elastic trickery" and computing power built into
    > a modern camera there is no reason why they couldn't build in a
    > variable long exposure setting. Set the exposure and after pressing
    > the shutter button it would click open after the self timer delay for
    > the set length of time.


    My thoughts exactly. But then they couldn't sell optional bits of wire
    for £25 and £40.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
  15. W. D. Grey wrote:

    > No reason to complain


    I think the price they charge is a good reason. And my G3 came with an
    infrared remote, not even optional. Why couldn't they include one of
    those?

    > - If you need exposures that long you'd use a
    > remote anyway.


    With a film camera yes, but there's no need for it with a digital
    camera. DSLR designers are still copying film cameras in many respects,
    and aren't thinking in digital/computing terms yet.

    For example, with exposures why can't they provide a meter option to
    detect the brightest part of a scene and set the exposure not to
    overexpose? The auto-levels function in computer software has no
    problem with this sort of thing, what would be so hard about building it
    into a digital camera?

    > Even the "old" cable release allowed you to lock the
    > shutter open for "Time" shot


    Exactly, that was the "old" way of doing it. Now the "new" way is to
    copy the old way and charge £40 for the lead!

    > Even if you could set a time on the camera, releasing the shutter
    > using the button would cause some shake.


    Nope. Either use the self timer or the mirror-lock up, which has a
    built in delay. I take all my mirror lock shots by pressing the button,
    except when I have to use B.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
  16. Craig Cooke wrote:

    > I use 1 of 3 methods depending on the distance I intend to walk -
    >
    > 1) Use a high ISO setting (I have a 10D and 20D), thereby negating
    > the use of a tripod altogether


    Okay if the extra noise is not an issue. But even then, you can't hand
    hold twilight and night shots, no matter how high the ISO.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
  17. Darren G

    Darren G Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, pvs1
    @wildwales.fsnet.co.uk says...
    > W. D. Grey wrote:
    >
    > > No reason to complain

    >
    > I think the price they charge is a good reason. And my G3 came with an
    > infrared remote, not even optional. Why couldn't they include one of
    > those?


    I assume you are aware, but the 300D also can use an IR remote. I do it
    all the time as I resent/can't be bothered to pay for the electric
    remote. when I bought the 300D I got them to throw in a spare IR
    remote they had lying around. I think it was for an Ixus originally,
    but it works fine. And it's far lighter/smaller/easier to carry when
    out.

    > > - If you need exposures that long you'd use a
    > > remote anyway.


    The IT works great for long exposures, especially with the mirror lock
    up (BTW, any new firmware releases recently - not checked for while)

    > > Even if you could set a time on the camera, releasing the shutter
    > > using the button would cause some shake.

    >
    > Nope. Either use the self timer or the mirror-lock up, which has a
    > built in delay. I take all my mirror lock shots by pressing the button,
    > except when I have to use B.


    IR works great for that two :)


    --
    Darren
    mail to darren not ng
     
  18. Craig Cooke

    Craig Cooke Guest

    "Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Craig Cooke wrote:
    >
    > > I use 1 of 3 methods depending on the distance I intend to walk -
    > >
    > > 1) Use a high ISO setting (I have a 10D and 20D), thereby negating
    > > the use of a tripod altogether

    >
    > Okay if the extra noise is not an issue. But even then, you can't hand
    > hold twilight and night shots, no matter how high the ISO.
    >
    > Paul
    > --
    > http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
    >
    >



    On the 20D noise is *very* low, regarding night and twilight shots, I can
    stand extremely still :)

    As ever, you must use the correct tools for the job to be undertaken.
    (I don't go out walking much at night, I'm scared of the dark :) )

    --
    Regards

    Craig Cooke


    www.storm-imaging.co.uk
    Exciting, Fun, Creative and Informal Digital Wedding & Portrait Photography
     
  19. Phil Cook wrote:

    > I've fished it out now. Without the last leg sections and no centre
    > column extension it is 95cm. Using half the centre column it is 110cm.


    Hmm... Thanks. I've just checked my 1 pound tripod and it's 85cm high
    with no column extension, so yours isn't much higher without using all
    the leg sections. Mine's a tad low for some things, but then again it's
    also very flimsy, although still useable with care, so maybe yours is
    also useable at full height, with care? (i.e. no wind, mirror lock
    etc.)

    Paul
    --
    http://www.wilderness-wales.co.uk
     
  20. Andrew Moray

    Andrew Moray Guest

    "Paul Saunders" <[email protected]> wrote in news:crv68b$cea$1
    @news6.svr.pol.co.uk:

    > Hmm... Thanks. I've just checked my 1 pound tripod and it's 85cm high
    > with no column extension, so yours isn't much higher without using all
    > the leg sections. Mine's a tad low for some things, but then again it's
    > also very flimsy, although still useable with care, so maybe yours is
    > also useable at full height, with care? (i.e. no wind, mirror lock
    > etc.)


    When I used to drag 120mm kit across hill and glen, I adapted a light
    tripod using a hook from a DIY shop, and a jubilee clip, (the metal ratchet
    type), fixing it to the centre column.

    When I was setting up a shot, I'd hang my pack from the hook to aid
    stability.

    Some lightweights aren't/weren't suitable though, the centre column would
    slide due to the poor locking. If it was a return visit, specifically for a
    repeat shot, I'd suffer the Benbo or the Manfrotto.

    HTH

    --
    "Whit's fur yi, will no' go by yi"
     
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