Travel Tripod advise: Gitzo or other?

Started 2 months ago | Questions thread
Michael Benveniste
Michael Benveniste Veteran Member • Posts: 5,206
Re: Travel Tripod advise: Gitzo or other?
1

Colin Creevey wrote:

Hello all,

Anyone have any other recommendations for tripods I should consider? My requirements (below) are pretty minimal but I wish to get one that folds down compact and is lightweight.

Requirements:
Has a removable head
Supports at least 6lb load
Would be good if centre column is reversible but not required.

Without knowing what sort of gear you want to hang off of it, it's hard to make a recommendation. Gitzo is a great choice if your budget permits, but the wrong Gitzo is still the wrong tripod.

"Supports at least a 6lb load" is a pretty meaningless claim. So too is a claim that a tripod can support 16 lbs or 66 lbs. I can prove this with gear I own.

  • Trekpod Go! -- Claims to support 9 lbs. In reality, this won't securely hold a prosumer dSLR with even a modest lens. It's okay for a Nikon 1 or modest m43 setup, though.
  • Benro C1182T -- Claims to support 17 lbs. This is a 4-section, "fold flat" 1-series model. Compared to the Gitzo, the fold flat feature takes away stability, but the 4-section design and lack (sort of) of a center column adds stability. With my D800, it's fine to use with shorter primes, a mid-range zoom, or a wide-angle zoom, but it's not optimal for longer lenses or a longer macro lens.  I paired mine with a Markins Q3 Emile.
  • 3 Legged Thing Leo --Claims to support 66 lbs. See the lowest-ranked travel tripod at thecentercolumn.com?  That one.  My dear wife bought this for me after I dragged my full-size tripod with us to photograph the eclipse with a 500mm lens.  Despite the weight claim, it's pretty, but meh.

If you are looking to use the tripod regularly with a macro lens or a 200+mm tele of any kind, I'd suggest weighing (literally) the tradeoffs in a 2-series.  I like the Benro Travel Flat, but I'm not sure it's still in production.

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