Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
crowley213 Senior Member • Posts: 1,166
Re: Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

RedDragon_BZ wrote:

Hello All -

Just upgraded from a 77D to a Canon R5 and am looking to get a tripod. I would prefer not to break the bank ($100 - 300ish) and keep the price reasonable as this is my first tripod and I am still learning a lot. Was wanting to stay around $100 but my quick trip to the camera store showed that may not be viable. I want to have a tripod that is at least 6'3" in height fully expanded (I am tall) and is light weight so I can take it backpacking on my packs to capture landscape scenery. I'd also like to use it to shoot wildlife. I imagine my general uses will be as follows:

  • Canon R5 with RF 15-35mm
  • Canon R5 with EF 100-400mm with 1.5x extender and conversion ring

Stopped by my local store today but they were closing and didn't have great time to look. Ultimately for wildlife want it to support the 100-400mm so I don't have to hand hold the entire time. Also want stability as I love shooting nighttime skies when I am out in the back country.

Thank you in advance for your time!

Hmm, no offense intended at all, but are you really serious???

Do I really get it right that you are looking for a tripod

- where you can mount and use camera-lens combos that cost north of $6,000?

- that enables you to shoot wildlife with focal lengths up to 600mm

- that enables you to shoot nighttime skies, means long exposure

- that can reach an extended height around 1.90m as you are that tall

- that is lightweight so you can take it backpacking

and you want to spend just $100 to $300, stating that this will be your first tripod and you are still learning a lot?

Again, are you really serious?

Okay, let's try to get some facts straight...!

The most important task and aspect of a tripod is to keep your gear safe and stable, period! Everything else is secondary and it doesn't matter at all if it is your first tripod and you are still learning. If the tripod is not up to this main task it is just obsolete and a waste of money. Even worse, the perceived saving buying a "cheap" tripod can turn quickly into a very painful and expensive experience when the tripod cannot fulfill this main task...!

A tripod is always a compromise in between the competing requirements regarding stability and mobility and the most deciding factor to which degree a tripod can satisfy both of these requirements is cost. In easy terms: Considering the requirements regarding stability, mobility and economic cost, pick two of them and accept the sacrifice you have to make regarding the third aspect.

Shooting with long focal lengths, long exposure shooting, tall tripods, all these aspects shift the priority regarding requirements to stability and will have a negative impact on mobility which can (only) partially be compensated by higher cost. You will barely find at all a travel tripod that can fulfill these your stability and dimensional requirements and if so then way above your stated budget.

Honestly, I simply don't get it when people spend serious money on cameras and lenses, to get the best possible image quality, and then completely cheap out on accessories that are also absolutely substantial for specific shooting conditions. The best camera and lens don't get you the desired long exposure shot when your gear is sagging on the tripod (head) or the slightest breeze is moving your complete setup. No, not everybody wants to spend $1,000 and more for a really good tripod setup, but there are a lot of options and possibilities between a setup for above $1,000 and below $300.

No specific recommendation from my side at this moment, just this: Maybe have a look into this webpage (, there you can find a lot of good information regarding tripods and heads. You will also find reviews, tests and prices to get a better picture of this topic. Then maybe start thinking about your budget...!


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