Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Started Jul 12, 2013 | Discussions
Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Lightest tripod possible for a budget

I have manfrotto tripod which is about 1.5kg with ballhead. Will appreciate for suggestion. I am looming for the lightest possible tripod (carbon fiber?) with ballhead which would hold Nikon D600 + wide angle lens. Lightest + smallest when disasembled with total weignt with ballhead preferably around of below 1kg with acceptable price tag.

Thanks in advance.

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
Nikon D600
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fft81 Contributing Member • Posts: 945
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Tepacca wrote:

I have manfrotto tripod which is about 1.5kg with ballhead. Will appreciate for suggestion. I am looming for the lightest possible tripod (carbon fiber?) with ballhead which would hold Nikon D600 + wide angle lens. Lightest + smallest when disasembled with total weignt with ballhead preferably around of below 1kg with acceptable price tag.

Thanks in advance.

No tripod, is the lightest tripod you will ever find. The search for lightest tripod is a paradox; because the reason to even have a tripod is to gain stability. The lightest tripods are also the most flimsy ones; so they are useless. To find the tripod that suits your needs you must not search for "the lightest" tripod, but rather "the least heavy tripod that meets your stability requirements".

Carbon fiber is ligher than aluminum

3 section legs are more stable than 4 section legs, but height is less or folded length is more.

The less you pay for tripod the worse would be the tolerances on parts, so more wobbly tripod would be.

Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget
1

Read this before you buy a tripod.

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Robin Casady
http://www.robincasady.com/Photo/index.html
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
— Bertrand Russell

larrywilson
larrywilson Veteran Member • Posts: 5,894
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

I've tried really light tripods for travel mainly.  I had a travel tripod when I was time exposing a volcano and the damn thing just was not stable.  I wound up with no images in sharp focus because of movement.  Get a fairly light tripod, but the reason for a tripod is to steady the camera so pay the price for a good tripod from say a maker like Gitzo.  I have a three section tripod for most of my work, prefer it over the four section models because of stability.  I don't figure that a carbonite tripod which weighs 5 lbs a heavy tripod, probably minumum weight.

Larry

 larrywilson's gear list:larrywilson's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G +6 more
photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,729
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Tepacca wrote:

I have manfrotto tripod which is about 1.5kg with ballhead. Will appreciate for suggestion. I am looming for the lightest possible tripod (carbon fiber?) with ballhead which would hold Nikon D600 + wide angle lens. Lightest + smallest when disasembled with total weignt with ballhead preferably around of below 1kg with acceptable price tag.

About a year ago I searched for a smaller 'traveling' tripod for when I didn't want to carry my large carbon fiber tripod. I bought a Photo Clam PT024 from Adorama, knowing that it was about to be replaced. This brand is hard to find but worth considering if you can find it. I don't think that whatever model replaced it is carried by Adorama or B&H. If I recall correctly, the price was somewhere under $300 for just the legs and somewhere over $300 with the ball head added. Here's a very simplistic review of it (below) but it does show what the thing looks like. It's shown with the 30NSP head but I bought the 33NS instead for several reasons. The 30NSP doesn't have degree engravings on the base (useful for panoramas) and the 33NS is very slightly larger which I considered a plus since I'd be using it withe either a D300 or D800. I didn't get a larger head because when the legs are folded backwards (enclosing the head), any head larger than the 33NS blocks the legs, preventing them from folding compactly.

The combo is a bit more than your 1kg goal at 1.135kg, (2.5lbs.) but this is the weight of both the tripod and the ball head. It comes with a nice nylon zippered case and it's much smaller and lighter than my larger Manfrotto legs with a large Induro ball head. I wouldn't be overly confident using it with a 400mm f/2.8 (not that I'd be in a position to do so) but it should be perform well with a wide angle lens. All this said however, are you sure that you want to pay several hundred dollars just to save about one pound of weight in a smaller, more portable package?

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/reviews/1077449-photo-clam-pt-024-tripod-pro-30nsp-head-review-gt1541t-kps-nt30a-reference.html

.

Carbon-Fiber Tripods
All the carbon-fiber tripods performed admirably, even at 30 seconds, producing crisp images. However, what was surprising was the fine performance of the Photo Clam PT024, since this 2-pounder sports narrow legs (22mm maximum, in contrast to 28mm on the Giottos VGR8265-M2C, Sirui T-2205X, Feisol CT-3441SB, Gitzo GK2580TQR, and 24mm on the Redged TSC-424 tripods tested). I’d have to test other narrow-diameter carbon-fiber tripods to say for sure, but this might speak volumes for tripods with thin legs that we might mistake as spindly, provided they’re carbon fiber.

http://www.shutterbug.com/content/compact-folders-tripods-made-traveling

OP Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

I'm more and more considering Benro C-2970T Carbon Fiber Flex Tripod. It is sold with B-00 ballhead. I checked several reviews on the net which seem to rate this one pretty high though everyone recommended to change the ballhead to Photo Clam PC-33NS or Markins Q-Ball Q3

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
OP Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Mixed up the models, it's Benro C-068M8 Travel Angel
About 800gr in weight.

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
photoreddi Veteran Member • Posts: 7,729
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Tepacca wrote:

Mixed up the models, it's Benro C-068M8 Travel Angel
About 800gr in weight.

I'm not familiar with Benro's tripods but they have a decent reputation and this one looks ok. I wouldn't want to get the B-00 ball head though. It looks too small, basic and appears to have a proprietary Benro QR instead of the standard Arca Swiss QR. The B0 Double Action ballhead weighs a little more (290g vs 200g) but it has a much greater load capacity of (8kg vs the B-00's 2.5kg) and although it's not identified, the QR looks like it's Arca Swiss compatible. The B-00 appears to have a much smaller ball and that means aggravation when you clamp it down and then the camera/lens sags.

I seems that you may not have read Thom's "Serious Support" article (see Robin's reply). In case you missed it it's not for nothing that he wrote :

So we start the procession of the heads (US$50, US$75, US$125, US$200, plus eventually some proprietary quick plates at US$25 or US$50 each; US$700 spent so far). The first attempt at a new head will usually be a "better" variant of what they had, or perhaps a very small, cheap ball head. Neither will fix the problems our user has, and the primary problem will still be getting the camera level quickly, so the next head is usually the "pistol grip" type, because it seems to be "faster." Problem still not corrected (and verticals are now a bit of a problem), so we start the ball head parade. The first "decent" ball head will be one of the Manfrotto (Giotto) heads, perhaps with a built-in plate system of some sort. That starts to work better, but the photographer still finds that the camera moves a bit when they turn the knob to lock the ball. And some of the plate systems have just enough slop in them that the compromise the stability of the entire system (another problem is that few of them "grip" the camera bottom in ways so that they can't be turned; they eventually work loose and end up marring the camera bottom's finish). So we try another, larger ball. Still, our prototypical photographer doesn't "go all the way" just yet because it seems ludicrous to spend US$350 on a head that mounts onto a set of US$125 legs, right?

Benro B0 Double Action Ballhead ($141)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/743911-REG/Benro_B0_B0_Double_Action_Ballhead.html

.

Benro BH00 Ballhead with Quick Release ($38)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/743838-REG/Benro_BH00_BH00_Ballhead_with_Quick.html

OP Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

I beleive you jave missed my post:

"I'm more and more considering Benro C-2970T Carbon Fiber Flex Tripod. It is sold with B-00 ballhead. I checked several reviews on the net which seem to rate this one pretty high though everyone recommended to change the ballhead to Photo Clam PC-33NS or Markins Q-Ball Q3"

Alao it seems you have mixed up the head.
The ballhead you refer is Benro BH00 while I refered to Benro B00 ballhead that comes with tripod:

http://www.holgacamera.com/benro-b00-quick-release-ballhead/

It does have Arca Swissount and has a carrying capacity of 6kgs. And still I me tip ed in my previouse post that I may conaider either Photo Clam PC-33NS or Markins Q-Ball Q3 ballheads.

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
OP Tepacca Contributing Member • Posts: 722
Re: Lightest tripod possible for a budget

Sorry for typing mistakes. Damn iPhone keyboard

 Tepacca's gear list:Tepacca's gear list
Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS +4 more
RonFrank
RonFrank Senior Member • Posts: 2,130
Weight vs. Stability

I have a CF tripod with a Kirk B3 head, maybe 5-6 lbs.  It is not ultra light but can hold maybe 15lbs in addition to the camera.  So I can stabilize the kit.  That is the key,  the ability to handle weight so the thing does not blow over or fall.  I hang weight from the center column sometimes.

Mine works well up to a 300mm f2.8.  Bigger requires a heavier head like the B1.  So you need to asses needs for the camera on the head, and overall weight capacity for the tripod.

 RonFrank's gear list:RonFrank's gear list
Nikon D1X Nikon D200 Nikon D300S Sony a6000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +7 more
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