New tripod for nature/wildlife photos and videos

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
DNature
OP DNature Regular Member • Posts: 309
Re: New tripod for nature/wildlife photos and videos

Mark Banas wrote:

DNature wrote:

Hi,

I would like some help as I am looking for a new tripod to replace the ones I currently use. I like to take a lot of wildlife and nature videos, often of things low down such as plants and insects. However, my current two tripods don’t work when trying to shoot low down as the tripod won’t go low enough.

I also need a tripod that is study so it won’t move around but is compact enough and not too heavy so I can carry it around as I often walk long distances to get the shots I need with camera bags as well.

I currently use a Panasonic GH5 (hoping to get a GH6 when it comes out) and Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 PRO and 60mm f/2.8 macro lenses.
The tripods I have now are a Calumet 7300 3 section which weighs just over 6lbs and it is light enough use but not sturdy enough, especially with the legs extended and is prone to wind shake.
My other tripod is a Calument 7800 3 section tripod that weights around 8lbs and has fatter and longer legs. It is sturdy due to its weight, and I have no issues with camera shake, but for me it is a bit too hard to carry around due to its size and weight, especially when I have to also carry my camera bags as well.

I use a Manfrotto 502 Fluid video Head with them. Can anyone suggest a good tripod? I would like to keep the Manfrotto head I use so would only need the legs without a head. My budget is under £300

I use an Olympus E-M52 with those same lenses for macro work (yay, auto-focus stacking!) and while most of my tripods are way over the £300 mark, I can definitely say that a carbon-fiber tripod with 28mm leg tubes or larger, and *no center column* will do what you need for much less weight and bulk than those Calumets.

Here is an option available in the UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carbon-Tripod-INNOREL-CT85C-Professional-N44Ball/dp/B09BCSD9V8/

1.6 kg and you can leave the (somewhat useless) extension column at home to make it a much smaller package in the field. Also, the threaded holes on the apex allow connecting flashes or small LED light sources for those dark forest floors.

Innorel is made by Laitu, which is the same company that makes Leofoto tripods, a larger version of which I reviewed here (you can see a photo of how low it goes to ground level without a center column). That link above is not exactly the same tripod, so this is not an endorsement, but an option to try out.

Please excuse the quite late reply, but have not had a lot of time to be online. I ordered that Innorel tripod and found it didn't work for me. Yes it got low to the ground, but the lightweight carbon the legs and centre column seemed to flex easily when I moved the tripod head so it wasn't the right tripod for me.

I think I need tripod legs that are a bit wider and heavy enough not to move when using my Manfrotto MVH502AH Pro video head since it is a slightly larger head and the tripod can't be so light or flexable that it will move when I move the tripod head arm.

With my current Calumet7300 tripod, it has a good height but can't go down low enough due to the center column and I want to take photos and videos of low growing plants that are only about the height of dandelions or shorter. I have also accidentally lifted the tipod with the tripod head arm when shooting videos which doesn't help, and its not as surdy when I have the legs extended so I may need a slightly heavier tripod.

My other Calumet tripod which weighs about 8lbs has fat legs and is sturdy but is too large to carry around and too large to get low to the ground, but great if I am in a windy location, don't need to go low to the ground and or don't have to carry it far. I used to carry it around when I was taking videos and over a year or so of doing that, I managed to injure my back.

I will take a photo showing my current tripods and setup tomorrow and post it so you can see what I am using currently and that might help.

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If find that the best way to live life, is not in the pursuit of material possessions, but its to live in the pursuit of making positive differences to both other people and to the planet as a whole and if you can get others to do similar or the same, so much the better.

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