Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Started Jul 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,973
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Tepacca wrote:

I have manfrotto tripod which is about 1.5kg with ballhead. Will appreciate for suggestion. I am looming for the lightest possible tripod (carbon fiber?) with ballhead which would hold Nikon D600 + wide angle lens. Lightest + smallest when disasembled with total weignt with ballhead preferably around of below 1kg with acceptable price tag.

About a year ago I searched for a smaller 'traveling' tripod for when I didn't want to carry my large carbon fiber tripod. I bought a Photo Clam PT024 from Adorama, knowing that it was about to be replaced. This brand is hard to find but worth considering if you can find it. I don't think that whatever model replaced it is carried by Adorama or B&H. If I recall correctly, the price was somewhere under $300 for just the legs and somewhere over $300 with the ball head added. Here's a very simplistic review of it (below) but it does show what the thing looks like. It's shown with the 30NSP head but I bought the 33NS instead for several reasons. The 30NSP doesn't have degree engravings on the base (useful for panoramas) and the 33NS is very slightly larger which I considered a plus since I'd be using it withe either a D300 or D800. I didn't get a larger head because when the legs are folded backwards (enclosing the head), any head larger than the 33NS blocks the legs, preventing them from folding compactly.

The combo is a bit more than your 1kg goal at 1.135kg, (2.5lbs.) but this is the weight of both the tripod and the ball head. It comes with a nice nylon zippered case and it's much smaller and lighter than my larger Manfrotto legs with a large Induro ball head. I wouldn't be overly confident using it with a 400mm f/2.8 (not that I'd be in a position to do so) but it should be perform well with a wide angle lens. All this said however, are you sure that you want to pay several hundred dollars just to save about one pound of weight in a smaller, more portable package?


Carbon-Fiber Tripods
All the carbon-fiber tripods performed admirably, even at 30 seconds, producing crisp images. However, what was surprising was the fine performance of the Photo Clam PT024, since this 2-pounder sports narrow legs (22mm maximum, in contrast to 28mm on the Giottos VGR8265-M2C, Sirui T-2205X, Feisol CT-3441SB, Gitzo GK2580TQR, and 24mm on the Redged TSC-424 tripods tested). I’d have to test other narrow-diameter carbon-fiber tripods to say for sure, but this might speak volumes for tripods with thin legs that we might mistake as spindly, provided they’re carbon fiber.

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