Fix standard or travel tripod advice (between 2 models)

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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aadam65
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Fix standard or travel tripod advice (between 2 models)
Aug 18, 2012

Hi guys,

Yet another newbie request about eternal question: tripod, tripod, tripod !

But take 2mn to read me please, I will not ask you about what was discussed here and everywhere else many times before.

Indeed, I have read almost all what was available over the net and I already made my choice. I have now 2 models in mind. But I’m not an expert and I need just a clarification on few points.

I actually own a Sony A77 plus few lens, cobra flash, so nothing particularly heavy for now, but I keep in mind evolution of my kit in time.

I don’t wanna discuss here about brand, prices, if it's for portrait, landscape, macro, etc. as there are tons of topics about that. More specifically, I need appreciations on these two choices.

I will take a carbon fiber tripod. As much as possible, I wish it as my main tripod. I mean here that I perfectly understood the advantages of specific different tripods for different uses, but I’m not pro, not rich and need the most polyvalent thing for my “standard” uses.

I’m decided about 2 models, first one is a 28mm max section, with the ability to use one leg as monopod and for a max height of 1645mm (I’m 1880mm tall) with extended column and “only” 1380mm without the column. So at best 1480mm with matched ballhead and retracted column. Maybe not ideal, but I know I could live with that.

Second offer is for a 32mm max section, without ability to transform it to monopod but with a much more comfortable height of around 1800mm (column extended) / 1450mm (column retracted). With 100mm ballhead it’s obvious a perfect height for me.

Both have 4 sections, first one has also Steel Spike Feet Toes and load capacity of 12kg, second one has better load capacity of 20kg. I have opportunity to have both at almost same price, so it’s not the criteria here. First is 42cm folded, second one around 67cm. There is not much difference in weight: sure it’s possible to mount a best and heavier head on the 32mm section tripod, but in hypothesis of the same head on both, the first one is around 230g less than the second.

Well, finally what am I requesting here? As stated, I’m not an expert at all, and to me this tripod is money and I don’t plan to have 3 or 4 according the situations. I personally don’t see the monopod transformation as the graal as I’m not very confident in regular mounting/unmouting of the leg, but of course I also consider it as a savior option for particular or some kind of exceptional conditions. A little "plus" against the fixed one. And obviously, the travel-compliant folded measurement of this tripod is maybe the real plus against his big brother. Tons of users review give this travel pod as very sturdy and stable (but most of the time, after the purchase people have this strange habit to overvalued their choice and find everything perfect). I would NOT have to buy a new stronger tripod in one or two years if I decided to move on a heavier camera, full frame and bigger lenses for example, but maybe this 12kg load ability is more than enough even for a full frame (I read so many different point of view on it, with lot of esoterical equations (load capacity divided by 2 or total gear weight x1.5 or x2… even by 3 on a photograph blog!!!)

For sure, on that point the second bigger tripod seems quite more reliable (seems, because indeed it’s maybe overrated for all those who never plan to use a camera plus a 15kg lens after all). The folded size is quite longer also, around 1/3 more but still acceptable since the weight stay close to the tripod n°1. Not as comfortable, for sure, but I could live with it I guess. The loss of the monopod function is a pity, but as stated before, I seriously doubt in fact it can replace an autonomous one (all these screwing/unscrewing operation must have a serious negative impact on the hardware longevity itself if not on the stability). So, too bad to lose it as a security wheel, but can we expect everything for the money after all?

To all of you people, who have the chance to own 2, 3 or 4 tripods, a big tall strong main one, a travel one, an hybrid one or whatever, if you had to keep only one, with all its qualities and flaws, do you think a travel angel (and clones) is polyvalent tall and stable enough to be considered as a long term “main” tripod, or do you think that it’s not “secure” or “stable” enough for who already think about future (and eventually heavier stuff) then swear only about a stronger “standard” big one like this 32mm tube section one?

In the best of world, I would buy both : )

Please, don’t answer me to go in a shop and try by myself. Actually, I can’t do that and will order online.

Thanks to all and sorry for have been so long

Leica X1 Leica X2 Sony SLT-A77
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