Good quality travel tripod and head

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
3dwag Veteran Member • Posts: 4,504
Re: Good quality travel tripod and head

It would be a help to understand a few more details in order to better advise you, as follows…

Pendraggon87 wrote:

I am looking to get a lighter tripod for when I travel. I currently have a Sirui tripod which is very sturdy, but also very heavy.

What do you consider to be acceptably “lighter” - do you have a weight range in mind?

Which Sirui tripod and head do you currently own? Sirui have a huge range of tripod and head sizes, weights, and types, so knowing what your reference is would be helpful.

From what I've seen, carbon fiber is the ideal, but ideally I don't want to spend more than 500-600 total.

500-600 what? Euros, British pounds, Australian dollars, US dollars, or ??? Is that for both tripod and head?

Also where you live or what markets you have access to will determine what Tripod and Head makes and models are available to you.

I have some arca swiss ball head from the sirui, but am open to alternatives.

Again, which model of head would be of help, and what do you like or not like about it — it might still fit well on a lighter set of tripod legs, or maybe not?

I primarily shoot landscape photos

What kind of landscapes…timed exposures, panoramas, stacked, or fairly high shutter speeds because just for careful framing, so rock-solid stability is not a high priority, or both?

Also, which camera system, bodies, and lenses do you use?

- I do actually prefer the tripod heads that have a handle, but it's not a huge deal for me.

Do you mean a 3-way pan/ tilt head, or perhaps a fluid video head as some landscape still photographers prefer to use?

The biggest area for me is comfort/convenience, but also having the tripod able to get a good height and be sturdy. Any thoughts on what may work in that budget?

How tall are you? Do you mind stooping over a little in exchange for better portability?

Packing/ carrying size must also be a factor when traveling…do you have some target folded length and diameter in mind? Some people are OK with a bit more length when folded, depending on if and how they travel by air, and in checked vs carryon bags. — assuming you will be traveling by air?

Keep in mind that, all other things being equal, the thinner the legs, the more leg sections you extend, and the more you raise the camera/lens above the tripod (for example if using a column), the less stable your setup will become.

Someone else has already suggested The Center Column, that is an excellent resource for comparing the stiffness and if you read past the table summaries in many cases the damping characteristics which I also find to be important to understand.

Also, have you read the articles in the links which Mark Banas has provided in one of the tripod threads just below here in this same forum?

As the old saying around here goes, “stable, portable, and low cost — choose only two” (my own paraphrase).

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-Dennis W.
Austin, Texas

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