Help! Need tripod for specific trip: UK + France

Started May 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Help! Need tripod for specific trip: UK + France
May 30, 2011

I'm planning on going to northeastern England (using Liverpool as a base, possibly with a car, possibly going to the Lake District, maybe even Scotland) and then from Paris to Provence by car in August (probably Val de la Loire, possibly Bordeaux, certainly Toulouse, then on to Nice). I've already asked and got very good ideas for Provence, but I cannot decide on a tripod, even though I've read dozens of threads and tripod reviews.

I am thinking of taking a tripod for landscapes and long exposures, particularly at dawn/dusk/night, with my 10-22; I will also be taking a 70-200 f4 (with collar), 35 f2, 50 f1.4 for other photo duties, along with my 30D. I already have a cable remote. All of this is already quite heavy but manageable on a backpack. I have tried with a monopod but it's not enough - I have a pretty bad hand pulse, so that doesn't help. I also tried using whatever is available nearby but missed a good opportunity because I couldn't find something stable enough.

I currently have a Slik u212 tripod with a pan head, which works fine but just seems too heavy and unwieldy to be lugging around, even by car - particularly since the other people traveling with me are not into photography and I wouldn't want to inconvenience them.

The Manfrotto 055cx3 with a 496 head seems to fit the bill (the 498 seems even better but I'm thinking of the 496's lower weight), it would be tall enough for me (I'm 1.81 m or about 5'11") and the combined wright would be about 2.1 kilos (4.62 pounds).

  • First question: Is 2.1 kilos light enough? Not that bad if I only take the camera and 10-22? The Slik is about 2.4-2.7 kilos (5.29-5.97 Lbs); is it worth paying about $380 USD to get such small weight difference? How about using the Slik's legs and just getting a lighter and more practical head? I realize there are better and lighter models (Gitzo) but that would be the maximum for my budget)

  • Second question, which is the one driving me crazy: If what I want is a travel or even hiking tripod, shouldn't I be going for something much smaller and lighter, like the 190cx3? I realize the legs by themselves wouldn't be up to my height, and bending isn't very comfortable, but since it's for landscapes... With a 494 head it would be about 1.6 kilos, or 3.6 Lbs)...

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, along with any tips for the trip itself in the UK and France.

 photosen's gear list:photosen's gear list
Canon EOS 30D Canon EOS 70D Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM +2 more
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