Small tripod recommendations?

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by neonwilderness, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    I currently have a Manfrotto 055 tripod which is fine but a bit too heavy for carrying on long walks, particularly if I'm carrying camping gear too. So I'm on the lookout some something smaller and lighter but sturdy enough to hold a DSLR (Canon 5D + wide lens, probably about 2kg max).

    I tried the Manfrotto Pixi on a recent trip to Scotland:


    It's certainly light enough, but the height of it is a bit limiting :D So something in-between would be good.

    Does anyone have any recommendations?
  2. Crispy

    Crispy The following psytrance is baṉned: All

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  3. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Starry Wisdom

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  4. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    Those are both options, but ideally I’m looking for something slightly taller. That Pixi was a bit of a pain to get stable on uneven ground, so would probably be worse with an appointment extender.
  5. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    The latest version of the Pixi has an extension that makes it a bit more stable (it's the Pixi Evo). Pixi_evo_extended.jpg
    You can also get the VR kit, which has a lightweight stand pole (designed for very small cameras) extending from it. I honestly wouldn't recommend that type of setup (the VR kit) for outdoor photography. The centre of gravity is very low, and frankly its gonna topple over at the slightest provocation.

    I've just ordered a PEDCO Ultrapod 2, so I'll let you know how I get on with it.

    You can attach it to stuff apparently:

  6. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    For a proper portable tripod I use a Sirui ET-1204, which I think is excellent, but is probably around the same weight as the one you've already got.
    I have my doubts whether there is a viable middle ground between a proper tripod like this, and a truly portable device like the ones above, which rely on a local wall, rock, or branch for height. Anything in-between is likely to be too compromised I would have thought.
    Though I am from a video background, where the tripod requirements are a bit different.
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  7. alsoknownas

    alsoknownas some bloke

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  8. 19sixtysix

    19sixtysix Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret

  9. mhendo

    mhendo Aussie in San Diego

    A few months ago, before visiting friends and family in Australia, I bought myself a Benro FPA19AB0 ProAngel Aluminum-Alloy #1-Series Tripod with B0 Ball Head.


    It's certainly light (3lb, or just under 1.4kg, including the head), and the legs also fold upwards, allowing for very compact storage, especially if you remove the head first and store it separately. And at $US149, it's pretty cheap for a tripod.

    As far as its general functionality, it's definitely a compromise. Lighter tripods are generally, by definition, less stable that heavier ones, and this one works best if you don't extend the legs all the way. Fully extended, it's susceptible to wobbles, so I always gave it plenty of time to stabilize, and I generally shot with a mirror-up/remote setup to minimize camera vibration. It does have a hook at the bottom of the center post, which allows you to hang a bag or other weight in order to stabilize the tripod.

    I was quite impressed with the ball head. It's relatively easy to adjust, and it tightens quite nicely, without too much in the way of sag or slip. I mainly used it with wide-angle lenses for landscapes, and with a Nikkor 105/2.8 Micro for plants and bugs and stuff. I imagine that the ball head might have more trouble coping with, say, a 70-200/2.8.

    My one concern with it right now is the leg locking mechanisms. It's a twist system, and takes a bit of getting used to. Also, on one of the legs at least, it doesn't take much to loosen the mechanism, especially when the tripod is fully collapsed. It's not so bad when the legs are extended, but if you close the tripod and don't fully tighten the legs, and then give them a bump, one of the legs extends itself while you're carrying it, which can be rather annoying.
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  10. neonwilderness

    neonwilderness What would Badgers do?

    That was the one I tried. Not bad for the price and it was fine on flat ground, but quickly became unsteady once you tried to use it on anything uneven.

    I think what I'm ideally looking for is a "proper" style tripod, but without extending legs and with a basic head. That should be a decent compromise between weight and stability. I'm not sure if such a thing exists though :hmm:
    Pickman's model likes this.

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