Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
crowley213 Senior Member • Posts: 1,165
Re: Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

RedDragon_BZ wrote:

Okay then folks. Got some good information here, which I truly do appreciate. Thanks for giving me the insight.

Let's toss price out. Let's say I'd like to keep the price reasonable and don't need carbon fiber, what would you recommend?

I wouldn't be against purchasing a mono-pod for the wildlife and sports type use, with a second actual tripod for travel/landscape if that is the better option, as mentioned above. The last thing I want is vibrations to impact the shots or the gear to fall and become damaged due to tripod failure.

I'm at work now so will spend some time researching tonight, but would welcome any and all ideas/recommendations for the time being.

Thank you again for your help.


Okay, after you have now survived the first round of responses that may not have been what you originally expected ;-)… let’s go a step further.

No, your stated requirements are not unreasonable, but they simply cannot be achieved with the budget you had originally in your mind.

As another poster already mentioned, in case you are using a tripod as an essential part of your shootings you will most likely end up over time with more than just one tripod. Different tripods for different conditions and requirements, the one tripod that serves it all simply doesn’t exist. But there is no need to get you different setups already in the beginning, it is absolutely okay to start with one setup that provides the best possible compromise considering you actual needs.

Let’s get back to some facts, considering what you stated in regards to your requirements.

The max height of a tripod is not primarily related to you how tall you are, there are other more important aspects to consider in here.

Having a tripod that can reach a height that is even taller than you are helps in situations where you want to shoot even overhead, where you have an uneven ground and under normal conditions does potentially not require to extend it fully what adds to its stability. A lot of tripods reach such a height by using a center column, but with only a few exceptions (controlled environment like a studio, light gear, no challenging shooting conditions) you want to avoid (the use of) a center column. A center column always reduces stability!

Tripods that reach such a height without a center column are definitely more stable, but on the other side simply not as compact and mobile and finally cost more. So it’s again all about the best possible compromise in here.

Carbon fibre tripod legs do not only mean less weight but normally also better damping characteristics. Yes, they are still a little more expensive than aluminum legs, but the price difference is no longer that significant. There is a reason why most of the high level tripods legs today are using carbon fibre as the material of choice.

The best tripod legs will not give you the desired results if not paired with a matching, means capable, head. Let’s just talk at the moment about the most popular and widely known type of heads, the ball head. The most important requirements for a ball head: Keep you gear safe and stable not just when centered, no sagging over time, no or at least minimized movement when tightening, smooth movements when moving and adjusting, a reliable clamping solution for the camera and lens and a comfortable and reliable handling. All these requirements can be achieved with good ball heads, but all these ball heads again have their cost.

Okay, enough with general information at this point.

At the end of the day it’s your very personal decision what to go for. You may be satisfied with a budget solution, but I have my doubts. Therefore I dare to recommend to have a look into this tripod specific tripod review, it may initiate a different thinking process:

Just to give you some additional ideas in here: I owe the CP38-L4II tripod legs, means the even bigger version but with similar specs in regards to max height and folded length. I am 1.85m tall and I normally use the legs, on even ground, with the last leg section not extended at all, means the CP30 legs would also cover your height requirements. No, the folded length and weight is not in the class of a travel tripod, but overall size and weight is still perfectly manageable even when hiking. The CP30 legs could be a really good compromise in regards to stability and mobility, considering the sum of your requirements. The most likely main problem for you at this point: together with a good ball head, for example the recommended RRS BH-40 or FLM CB-38, you will end up anywhere in the $700 to $800 range.


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Fujifilm X100T Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR +1 more
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