TRAVEL TRIPOD < 1Kg (inc. Levelling / Pano head)b

Started Jan 23, 2021 | Discussions thread
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Richard B99 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,798
TRAVEL TRIPOD < 1Kg (inc. Levelling / Pano head)b

Still stuck in lockdown here in the UK so the obvious thing to do was sort out my ‘definitive’ travel tripod.  As we get so many questions on this here, I thought I’d share here.  😉

‘Definitive’ for me was:

- lightweight (reasonably) or at least lighter than what I used to travel with!
- decently stiff sticks (I have these already in the form of a Gitzo Traveller GT1542T.  It’s quite a few years old now and has done a good bit of the world with me (remember travelling?) and they last so well.  I’m not about to buy anything new but could I go lighter all up?).  
- not too long.  The Gitzo, fully folded is 415mm long (16 3/8” old money) so that’s minimum I could do but that’s fine for me anyway.  I can do shorter with a table top model but want taller in use.  
- a head that can be levelled and then pan on the level.  My go to head here has been the Arca P0 but can I do better on weight here?

- still fold up decently compact.

So my solution all came out of stuff I had.  Thus it was free - except of course for the expensive stuff I’ve already amortised over use in the last few 5 years or so 😀

Here’s what I did:

1) Take the centre column and the disc that sits on top of the column.  This tripod (and many similar) allow for this so the tripod can be used very low level. 
2) Replaced the Disc with a 3/8” thread female knurled alloy nut.  This is lighter than the Original disk but importantly has a narrower diameter and allows the legs to fully fold back.  With the original disc, they can’t.  A fixing is still needed to hold the 3/8” / 1/4” head screw for the head and to connect up to the legs properly. 
3) Head. Well, yes, I had this too.  A Mengs FBC-20.  This I really like as it’s tiny, light, clamps securely and without movement when tightening.  It’s also a proper levelling/pano head with a built in Arca clamp.  In other words, a micro P0!  With the Disc removed as noted above it can flip sideways and do the normal portrait mode holding of the body without hitting the disc or tripod.

Screwed together the tripod and head weigh 954g with a length folded of 415mm and max height in use of 1195mm (47”) to the clamp. That a very workable compromise for me when travelling and aiming for min weight and full utility.  I did have the bits but others can do similar to create a very useful travel tripod that is better than obvious out of the box options. Have fun.

Weight and full folding with head in place.

Mengs head mounted on the replacement ‘rhumb screw base’

Very usable portrait mode too.

PS. The Peak Design is, for comparison. 390mm folded and 1290 g with a working height (no column) of 1302mm

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