Travel Tripod - Landscape / Wildlife

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

RedDragon_BZ wrote:

CameraCarl wrote:

You've gotten a lot of good advice and I would like to add one more thought that I don't think has been fully covered: height. You most likely won't always be taking photos on level ground. (If you are, then you can stop reading here, but ask yourself: am I always going to be taking photos on level ground?) So if we assume you aren't, then you need a tripod which is taller than you are unless you want to hunch over when taking photos. While I agree that not all your photos will be with the tripod fully extended; and indeed many great compositions will be with the tripod at varying heights; if you are at the edge of a road, or a river or lake, or in mountainous/rocky terrain, odds are you will need one leg to be extended significantly further than the other legs to make the tripod level. In addition to wildlife you may also want to do bird photography. More than half the time when I am doing bird in flight photography, I am standing at the edge of a road. There is often a low shoulder or a drainage ditch along the road, so my tripod's forward leg is usually extended about a foot more than the other legs. I want to stand fully upright when photographing BIF, I found I not only needed an eye level tripod but one that was a bit higher since many birds are flying overhead, so I want to look up into the viewfinder. And for night skies I want a tall enough tripod that I can look up into the viewfinder -- and I plan to do this even with my R5 since I find it easier to compose with the viewfinder than the LCD. Having said all this, and after buying two or three unsatisfactory tripods, I finally determined that I needed a tripod which is about a foot taller than I am, so my tripod is about 6-1/2 feet tall. Think about it....

You’ve hit the nail on the head here. What did you end up going with as we both share relatively similar needs? I’m going to try and maybe stop by the store tomorrow and also have a call with FLM tomorrow too.

Look, I don’t want “to spoil the party” or lower your enthusiasm in regards to “you’ve hit the nail on the head” and “as we both share relatively similar needs”… but is it possible that you miss something in here?

In general there is nothing wrong with what @CameraCarl stated in regards to height, having a tripod that is taller than you is great and can definitely be useful. This fact was also already stated in earlier responses, maybe not so explicit and clear.

But now let’s again face some more facts:

Yes, all these stated conditions, where you will need a taller tripod, may occur in certain circumstances and shooting scenarios. But I dare to state that such conditions and circumstances are not the majority of the shooting scenarios you normally face, at least based on my experience. Something also to keep in mind is the fact that you always want to setup your tripod in the most safe and stable condition possible, not just in the most convenient condition for the shooter.

Something I did not see in the statement regarding height is the fact that considering such a tall tripod you are definitely not talking anymore about a small and light travel tripod, as you have been asking for in the beginning, here you are talking about a systematic tripod. The main differences: folded size, weight and cost! Consider for such a tripod at least anywhere from $600 to $800 (or above!) just for the legs.

Shooting BIF, no problem at all, but you will barely do that with a ball head. You either use in here a gimbal head or at least a sidekick mounted to stable ball head and both possible solutions mounted on a really stable tripod, barely on a lightweight travel tripod. This means again more weight and higher cost.

Long exposure night sky photography, sure it may be quite comfortable to have the viewfinder on or above eye level, but that is just a nice to have. I have no problem to use an articulating screen in here, even go down on my knees when I therefore can place the tripod setup as low and stable (!) as possible.

Maybe you still need to refine your requirements a little more and consider a few things before you can make a reasonable decision that will fulfill your real needs in the end, otherwise you may spend in the end even more money than necessary.


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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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