DP series tripod recommendations?

Started Aug 15, 2012 | Discussions
balchinian
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DP series tripod recommendations?
Aug 15, 2012

There's lots of discussions about lightweight, portable tripods, but almost all of them are about DSLR's. I think it should be possible to go a lot smaller and lighter with a tripod for the DP1 Merrill or a DP2 Merrill. Since the DP1M and DP2M do not have any kind of image stabilization, a tripod is probably required in most cases for the best image quality. The Joby Gorillapods seem handy, and I use them often, but what about a real tripod? Can you offer some good recommendations for lightweight tripods that match the small size and weight, but pro-quality of the Sigma DP series of cameras? I travel on foot constantly, whether it's in the mountains, or at some urban tourist attraction, so light and compact tripods are the only kind I'm interested.

A few brands I've seen mentioned often, but know little about how well they match a DP camera:

  • Slik

  • Velbon

  • Zipshot

  • Gitzo

  • Feisol

  • Dolica

  • Manfrotto

  • Trekpod

  • Sirui

...and many more. What do YOU recommend? I'm already aware of some novel tricks that forgo the need for a tripod, but if you have some more you would like to share, that will make for some interesting discussion. A few I already know about:

  • String bipod

  • String tripod

  • Bean bags

  • Dirt in a sock bag thing

  • Gorillapod on tree

  • monopod

  • String guys + monopod

Sigma DP1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Sigma DP2 Merrill
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Joerg V
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 15, 2012

The DP series is so light that even a very cheap 20€ tripod will do. For a DP1M with its 28mm lens a tripod with an integrated water-level might be nice... but don't worry about a super sturdy (and thus either heavy or expensive expensive) tripod.

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PrebenR
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Aug 15, 2012

I cannot recommend something, but I just bought a small tripod: "Hama Mini Tripod Traveller Compact".

Only reason for buying it is that I wanted something that was small like the camera and I could bring with me easily (not like the 2kg Velborn I have). Besides it was dirt cheap... Don't know how many times I have regretted not bringing a tripod with me. Of course every time the reason for not bringing it was that I didn't think I needed it or that I would do something else afterwards and could not bring a big tripod.

I have not been able to test it yet, however. I can update this thread when I have.

I also have a Velborn CX-Mini which works nicely, but is heavier and still needs a higer surface to be placed on.

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Robert F. Tobler
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Benro Travel Angel (Transformer)
In reply to balchinian, Aug 15, 2012

A while ago (3 years), I extensively researched light
-weight tripods to use with the Sigma DP series. I
finally purchased a Benro Travel Angel C-068 without
head, and added a Novoflex Ball 30 head and an
FLM PRP-45 quick release system (the system with
the smallest camera plate).

It seems that the currently available successor of the
moddel I bought is called Travel Angel Transformer
C0681TB00 has a monopod integrated and is not
available without ball-head anymore:

http://english.benro.cn/TravelAngel1.aspx

Here are some additional links:

Benro Travel Angel (old version) reviews:
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=619519
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/797199

After three years of light use, I am still very happy
with the Benro tripod, and can recommend it
without reservation.

Greetings,
Robert

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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I still use a full size tripod...
In reply to balchinian, Aug 18, 2012

Although I agree generally you could probably get away with a smaller tripod, and for travel that would probably be great...

I still use a full-size Manfrotto tripod, which has three benefits over the lighter tripods:

1) A heavier tripod means it's more resistant to vibrations in wind or from nearby footsteps (it's amazing how even on rocky ground you can feel footsteps from even ten feet away).

2) My tripod has a center column that can swing over to the side to take close-up overhead shots. With a DSLR you always had to angle the legs to counter-balance the heavy camera, but with a DP body you can more easily make use of this arm.

3) Height - the small tripods never go up very far, sometimes you want a shot at face height or not have to bend over all the time.

One other trick to keep in mind if you have to shoot without any tripod, is that in theory using the multiple-shot drive (either light bracketing or holding down the button with drive mode enabled) means that exposures after your first one (where there is still movement from you pressing the button) can be sharper. So that's something to consider.

For hiking I'll continue to use the full size tripod, for travel I think I might switch to one of the smaller ones I have laying about.

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Robert F. Tobler
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Re: I still use a full size tripod...
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Aug 18, 2012

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

One other trick to keep in mind if you have to shoot without any tripod, is that in theory using the multiple-shot drive (either light bracketing or holding down the button with drive mode enabled) means that exposures after your first one (where there is still movement from you pressing the button) can be sharper. So that's something to consider.

In order to overcome that problem, the 2 second timer helps a lot.
On the tripod the 2 second timer is standard, but I also often use it
handheld.

Greetings,
Robert

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PrebenR
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Re: I still use a full size tripod...
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Aug 18, 2012

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

1) A heavier tripod means it's more resistant to vibrations in wind or from nearby footsteps (it's amazing how even on rocky ground you can feel footsteps from even ten feet away).

A heavy tripod is not the solution. A tripod with a center hook underneath is. Hang your rucksack or similar to give weight and stability...
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balchinian
Regular MemberPosts: 293
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Re: Benro Travel Angel (Transformer)
In reply to Robert F. Tobler, Sep 9, 2012

Robert F. Tobler wrote:

A while ago (3 years), I extensively researched light
-weight tripods to use with the Sigma DP series. I
finally purchased a Benro Travel Angel C-068 without
head, and added a Novoflex Ball 30 head and an
FLM PRP-45 quick release system (the system with
the smallest camera plate).

It seems that the currently available successor of the
moddel I bought is called Travel Angel Transformer
C0681TB00 has a monopod integrated and is not
available without ball-head anymore:

http://english.benro.cn/TravelAngel1.aspx

Here are some additional links:

Benro Travel Angel (old version) reviews:
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=619519
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/797199

After three years of light use, I am still very happy
with the Benro tripod, and can recommend it
without reservation.

Greetings,
Robert

-- hide signature --

This is my favorite suggestion so far, but I'd like to hear more ideas now that the DP1 Merrill and DP1 Merrill are out in world. I'm hoping to purchase one or both, and so far I'm only planning on getting a zipshot for my Nikon J1. If I can be persuaded to get a better tripod instead, I can use it for the Sigma DP cameras when/if I get them. Oh, and eventually I'll probably want to upgrade my Nikon 1 to micro four thirds, so I'll use the tripod(s) for that too.

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cas3
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Sep 9, 2012

I've been using a Manfrotto MKC3-H01. Its very light and compact but extends to full head height. It also is quick to set up.

Chris

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ropausa
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Re: Benro Travel Angel (Transformer)
In reply to balchinian, Sep 9, 2012

The Giottos VGR has a full size monopod rather then the short monopod conversion of the Benro and has a 2 piece center column for extreme low shots. I believe they have both aluminum and carbon versions. I have one of the earlier ones without the 2 piece column and it has worked flawlessly for the past 2 years. It does come with a very smooth, and strong, ball head with an Arca type release but the head is easily taken off if you want to use a different head.

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ropausa
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Re: Benro Travel Angel (Transformer)
In reply to ropausa, Sep 9, 2012

"The Giottos VGR has a full size monopod rather then the short monopod conversion of the Benro and has a 2 piece center column for extreme low shots. I believe they have both aluminum and carbon versions. I have one of the earlier ones without the 2 piece column and it has worked flawlessly for the past 2 years. It does come with a very smooth, and strong, ball head with an Arca type release but the head is easily taken off if you want to use a different head." Like the Novoflex head.

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KM Legacy
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Sep 9, 2012

I use a discontinued antique lightweight tripod, so I can't recommend that, but I do strongly recommend using a small, lightweight, well-made ball head with an Arca-Swiss clamp. While hiking, you do not want multiple handles sticking out and catching on things, which is what can happen with pan-tilt heads. Also, a small ball head is lighter than a pan-tilt. Get a tripod without a head and choose your own head. You did not mention price limits; Really Right Stuff's smallest ball head looks good, but v. expensive. Giottos makes good ones.

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balchinian
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Re: Benro Travel Angel (Transformer)
In reply to ropausa, Sep 11, 2012

I checked out the Giottos, the Benro, and a whole bunch more. This one seems to be a winner, if it came in a lighter version:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019R560C/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0019R560C&linkCode=as2&tag=livbuscha-20

Unfortunately, it's very expensive too. So, the search continues...

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pca7070
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Sep 11, 2012

This is the Giottos VGRN8225 I use . Very compact folded up, with ball head weighs about 1kg.

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balchinian
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to pca7070, Sep 11, 2012

pca7070 wrote:

This is the Giottos VGRN8225 I use . Very compact folded up, with ball head weighs about 1kg.

A picture is worth a thousand words, thank you! I will have to review the Giotto's offerings again. I'm sure there's an angle attachment of some sort that will cover the ground the Gitzo Expedition does for macro photos.

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balchinian
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Sep 20, 2012

balchinian wrote:

pca7070 wrote:

This is the Giottos VGRN8225 I use . Very compact folded up, with ball head weighs about 1kg.

A picture is worth a thousand words, thank you! I will have to review the Giotto's offerings again. I'm sure there's an angle attachment of some sort that will cover the ground the Gitzo Expedition does for macro photos.

I ended up buying the Giottos Vitruvian VGR8255-S2C. The price dropped on Amazon, so I decided to go for it:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004EPAS0O/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004EPAS0O&linkCode=as2&tag=livbuscha-20

It's way overkill for my Nikon J1, but I view a tripod as a long term investment. I will use it for all of the cameras I may get in the future, and it's a tripod worthy of the best, for when I decide to get the Sigma DP1M and/or DP2M.

Thanks again to everyone. Without all the excellent advice posted here, I would not have felt comfortable buying any tripod. I still ended up buying the zipshot too. Amazon has a great package deal with all the accessories included for only $62:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007XXBZXS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007XXBZXS&linkCode=as2&tag=livbuscha-20

It will be a handy ultra light tripod to have for when I don't want to carry my Giottos.

I bought one of these for use on my Giottos when I want a horizontal arm:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EY21BI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000EY21BI&linkCode=as2&tag=livbuscha-20

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Johannes Vetter
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Re: DP series tripod recommendations?
In reply to balchinian, Sep 20, 2012

My versatile light-weight tripod recommendation is the Novoflex Micropod with Neiger 19. Gorrillapod and all this looks like Playmobile compared to this.

it has flat bottom surface and its pretty easy to press it against various objects in order to get shake-free 15s exposures. Moreover it is really small. Costs around 30€ in Germany. I build myself a cheapo l-braked (additional screw-in mount for 2nd axis) for the dp1.. really great combination!

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Craig Philips
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If others are still shopping...
In reply to Johannes Vetter, Sep 20, 2012

and a bit less well-heeled, here's my suggested: the Promaster C423W. It's carbon, four section, short enough to fit in a carry-on bag if you unscrew your ball head. Vibrations dampen quickly with carbon, and though it's light, the center post has a hook if you want to add weight. The legs have releases which let them swing out all the way to horizontal. No gold trim though--but it does have a built-in level and compass, neither of which you'll ever use. It cost me just about $110 US without the head. Time will tell regarding durability (Chinese made), but I've been very happy with it (and my heavy standard Benbo is getting much less use).

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