Travel tripod for High Res (and Live Composite) shots

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ristar Regular Member • Posts: 257
Travel tripod for High Res (and Live Composite) shots

I love using the high res and live composite modes on my E-M1 Mark II when possible. I think I've been getting pretty decent results with my MeFoto Backpacker Classic for several years now. If you are interested, you can take a look at my Flickr albums:

High Res mode

Live Composite mode

Note that the majority, but not all, of the photos were taken using the Backpacker Classic. There's a lot of chatter about how really strong tripods are required for high res mode, and it's got me thinking about whether I'd see even better results if I get a carbon fiber tripod.

Here are the things I am hoping for, in rough order of importance:

  1. Lighter or similar in weight (for when I travel).
  2. Perhaps increased stability from carbon fiber legs?
  3. Perhaps increased stability from a center column that can be lowered between the legs?
  4. Don't like the fully manual leg angle locking mechanism.
  5. Would be nice to have an additional leg angle.
  6. Would be nice to have a reversible 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch screw, as I am currently using a Really Right Stuff BPC-16 that has a 1/4 inch socket. Most if not all the Sirui tripods below have this feature.

I know the heavier the tripod the steadier and better for high res mode, but I am unwilling to carry a really big and heavy tripod when I travel. I also don't want to spend much more than $300 CAD, which greatly limits my choices. Having done some research, I've narrowed down my candidates to the following:

  • Sirui T-025SK
  • Sirui A1025
  • Sirui T-1204SK
  • MeFoto RoadTrip S Carbon Fiber
  • MeFoto Globetrotter S Carbon Fiber

The T-025SK seems to be highly regarded and uses carbon fiber, but I'm wondering if it'll actually be any more stable than my Backpacker? From the specs I am doubtful. Unfortunately, none of my local stores carry the T-025SK anymore. Does anyone have experience with these tripods and can comment?

There isn't much info about the Sirui A1025 and T-1204SK, but appear pretty similar in size and weight to the T-025SK while having higher listed load capacities; they also cost about $100 CAD more. I'm wondering if they may provide the additional stability I'm looking for?

The other alternative is to stay with the MeFoto brand, as their tripods are on sale right now and cheaper than the Sirui, but they retain the old fully manual leg locking mechanisms and only have 2 leg angles compared to the 3 for the Sirui.

I'm wondering if any of these are significantly better options than my Backpacker Classic, or if I should just stick with it as it seems to be doing fine.

 ristar's gear list:ristar's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +12 more
Olympus E-M1
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