Tripod for X-T3 and XF100-400

Started Oct 19, 2019 | Discussions thread
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,638
Re: Tripod for X-T3 and XF100-400

crowley213 wrote:

koweb wrote:

crowley213 wrote:

First of all in general I can only support what Dennis already stated! While I do not have a RRS setup to compare the tripods I am on the other side using

- a X-T3 w/ MHG and the 50-140mm f/2.8 plus 2x TC

- on the FLM CP26-L4S tripod legs (no longer available) w/ the CB-38FT ball head

and all I can say is that the FLM tripod setup is just great for such a combo. The legs plus ball head give under most circumstances more than sufficient stability for my camera setup. The only shooting condition I can imagine where I would prefer a stronger tripod setup is in really strong wind conditions, but that's just my personal opinion. On the other side my existing tripod setup also still enables a lot of mobility, considering its weight and folded size.

Considering that you use the 100-400 lens, what means a little more weight and more focal length I would also propose the new CP34-L4 II tripod legs with the CB-48FTR ball head (I also have this ball head). This combo should give you plenty of stability under most to all shooting circumstances. In case you are more into birding, means moving the camera setup on the tripod, potentially a gimbal could really make more sense. For most other shooting scenarios the proposed ball head should be absolutely sufficient.

From my point of view FLM tripod legs and ball heads are really great products. Manufacturing quality is great, they have the for me necessary features which really work, stability is top and finally here in the NAFTA region they offer great support by Ari from FLM Canada. Last but not least their pricing is still reasonable, means less than for example considering RRS or Gitzo.

As you are living in Canada just contact Ari and look what he can propose and how he will support you. As I know Ari you will get all necessary information and if you finally decide for FLM also a great setup.

Any questions left just let me know.


Thanks Herbert!

(and Dennis)

I appreciate your comments on the CP26 travel model. I'm actually surprised it works well for your 50-140 as that is a sizeable lens and my experience with travel size tripods and those with a centre column have not been very good.

Yes, I did contact Ari and he has been very responsive and helpful. He was suggesting the new CP30 with CB-43 as a minimum, but he agreed with your recommendation that the CP34/CB-48 combo would be a very nice upgrade.

I do have a question -I'm a bit concerned that by the time I upgrade to the CP34/CB-48 combo I will have a very large setup for hiking with. I'm not an aggressive all day hiker, but I also don't want something that will be awkward and heavy feeling to carry. Perhaps you know what I mean -some things can be just heavy and you will feel it after awhile. Others are heavy and awkward and you struggle with it right away.

So, I don't want to go so heavy and bulky that even a 15 minute hike on a trail seems like a chore because my tripod rig has become so large and unwieldy.

Do you think this combo is still easy to attach to a backpack? Or is it now too large or awkward for that?

Thanks again, really appreciate the help!

Hi Brad

First of all I want to clarify a potential misunderstanding! While I also owe the FLM CP26 Travel tripod legs, paired with the CB-32F ball head, I was referring in my first post to the discontinued (!!!) CP26- L4S tripod legs paired with the CB-38FT ball head.

While the difference in the ball heads in these both setups is mainly the size the differences in the tripods legs are much more substantial. The CP26 Travel legs have 5 leg sections while the discontinued CP26-L4S legs have 4 sections. Considering that both tripods have the same max leg diameter of 26 mm you can imagine that the CP26-L4S legs are more stable with just 4 sections as the smallest leg diameter is bigger than in the CP26 Travel legs. Also, the discontinued CP26-L4S legs have a higher max height while folding not as small as the CP26 Travel legs.

Now coming to your question reg. mobility of the suggested combo CP34 w/ CB-48 I am not sure if such a combo would fulfill your requirements reg. mobility. First of all, as well the legs as the ball head are heavier than smaller setups. Even more important, the legs do not have the reversed leg folding capabilities like former setups, e.g. the ones I use, what means you have a folded length that’s the sum of the legs plus ball head. While everybody’s idea reg. mobility will vary I personally do not think that such a setup is really mobile enough for longer hiking trips, but maybe that’s just me.

The main problem in here: The trade off between mobility and stability is always there, there is no way around. Take also cost into account then you may find the trade off not that extrem in more costly setups but you never ever can avoid it fully.

Just my personal opinion, in easy terms: You need max stability then you will need to live with a more clumsy setup. You want more mobility then you need to determine how much stability you finally need. A compromise in here may work for landscape photography in reasonable circumstances but nor for birding or extremely windy conditions.

Finally, while the CP26 Travel may not look much more stable than some lower cost setups I dare to state that there is still a significant difference, as well reg. stability as also reliability. So maybe you will end up like most people who really use tripod setups... you will end up not just with one setup but at least two or three setups for the specific circumstances they are designed for. Bad news for your wallet, I know...!


Howdy again Brad,

I agree with all Herbert wrote.

In my own experience, it takes (now) 2 tripods to best meet both my “portable” and “most stable” needs.

I’ve got a couple of promised photos below, but anyway back to the basics and reading your needs and wants, may I offer that you have two choices: 1) a two-tripod solution, or 2) compromise on a single tripod.

For 1) you could go all-FLM with 2 kits instead of spending what you were originally looking at with only the RRS TVC-24L + BH-40 about the same cost (?):

Set 1) = a) FLM CP34-L4 II + CB-48FT w/ SRB-60 clamp, and b) FLM CP26-Travel + CB-32F w/ SRB-40 clamp. Optional: compromise with one head for both tripods - CB-38FTR w/ SRB-40 clamp.


Set 2) = middling FLM CP30-L4 II + CB-38FTR w/ SRB-40 clamp.

I think you should talk to Ari at FLM to see what he advises and the pros/ cons. He also sometimes has demo units or B stock to help save some money.

Here are some photos showing both FLM heads on the FLM and RRS tripods:

Left = FLM CP34-L4 II + CB-48FTR w/ STB-60 clamp, Right = RRS TVC-24L tripod + FLM CB-38FTR (Leica version) w/ Hejnar 40mm clamp, both tripods have bottom leg sections retracted.

As above, EXCEPT swapped ball heads on the two tripods AND all leg sections deployed.

Closeup showing Olympus EM1ii with Leica 100-400mm on the FLM tripod (with smaller CB-38 ball head).

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-Dennis W.
Austin, Texas

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