Stap or Sling as Alternative to Tripod Bag?
Before asking this question, I should explain my take on photography — minimize, go light, don't be a gadget freak.
My need to carry a tripod would be light. I don't hike in forests. so at most I would carry the tripod outdoors infrequently. Usually at the beach, at parks with dogs, or shooting planes at the airport. From car trunk to setup spot -- usually less than a city block.
In reality, I would like some protection from niks and bumps when storing in the house. But I am put off by clutter and would like to avoid getting a bag.
But when outdoors, I have the camera bag to carry. So, what is the leanest method to transport the tripod at the same time. (Hint-- Gitzo w/head weigh about 7.7 lbs)
How about a photo backpack to carry your gear and tripod or if you are married to your present bag, they do make tripod straps.
I travel light, with a shoulder bag. Was a news reporter and editor and carried a camera around the world for 35 years. So a Tenba Messenger bag, with all my gear, is light and quick to grab.
The tripod can sling around to my back because I don't need it in a hurry. I'm looking for styles, brand names and simplicity.
Will the legs of a tripod bang against my back while walking if not protected by a sack? Plain cloth, padded?
Although both of my current tripods came with bags, I never use them. Of course that could be mostly a result of my shooting interests, locations, etc. The littler one straps easily to my camera bag, the bigger one I sling carry or carry resting on a shoulder. I suppose if I had to consider longer distances I might need to find a better more comfortable method but haven't needed to so far. One thing with a bigger padded bag is it slows down deployment some and is another piece of stuff to have to deal with on site. I haven't found it needed for protection while storing the tripod or while vehicle carrying it either. Perhaps if the bag was sleeker and tapered to fit the collapsed tripod better but as it is, it's kind of ungainly.
Yeah, Craig, the part about a bulky bag out in a field or forest discourages me from getting it. What I need is protection around the house from getting dropped or banged while in storage. A flimsy canvas thing would serve the purpose at home. I'd never take it outdoors.
On the rare times I'd travel by plane, I retired from FedEx and get free shipping for life. So their freebie triangular tube would protect it on travel. When I go any distance, I always FedEx my luggage to the hotel ahead of my departure.
For local shooting out of doors, I'l investigate a sling. Do you know any particular brands, or should I just head to a surplus store and pick up some tent strapping?
It all depends on how you set up the strap. I kept my a little snug to prevent shifting and I didn't have any issues. Don't forget, my photojournalism days are behind me so I carry a tripod around for touring. I'm really paranoid about carrying around my tripod in the open because it's carbon fiber and if you cut the strands, it materially weakens the tripod. In a touring situation, I never had any issues about banging the tripod into anything. I later put on bicycle foam handlebar grips (I purchased them in 3' lengths and cut them down to size). Now I don't worry about messing up the carbon fiber legs.
The ThinkTank Urban Disguise allows for optional attachment straps to secure a travel tripod to the bottom of the bag. The attachment straps also provide for additional capacity by allowing you to attach a couple of modular, skin, or multi-media accessories to the side of the bag. I have an Urban Disguise 40 (v2.0) and it works great as a grab bag for those short trips. I can place my D800, 24-120 f/4, 50 f/1.4, SB-900, and even some clothes. I prefer the bags that allow waist straps with shoulder straps so as to distribute the weight more evenly. My Gitzo G1128 with it's Arca Swiss P0 head will strap to the bottom of the case.
You can add the optional Think Tank Shoulder Harness V2.0 and turn the Urban Disguise into a back pack
If you have a backpack that has some loops on the back or side, you can get some nylon straps and just strap it firmly on the bag. I have attached two short plastic loops to the top edge of my bag (loops are actually those serrated plastic bag sealers, 2 end to end covered by duct tape with one serration and one slot hanging out). I stick 2 of the legs through the loops, and have a longer nylon strap that I thread through some Molle slots on the base of the bag and loop around the lower legs of the tripod. This is a very firm non-shifting attachment suitable for long-day pack-hiking. 5.5# 22" tripod plus 4" head.
I like my tripod bags as protectors in the car trunk, and for short hauls. Legs don't get tangled in other stuff bouncing around in the trunk.
Fujii mentioned OpTech. Their camera straps are extremely comfortable, so I would consider the tripod strap shown in his post.
A sling came with my tripod. There's a snaphook on one end and a slip loop on the other to fit around a leg or legs. I have used Optech gear before and can't argue with the suggestion to consider theirs.
I made a tripod bag from the leg of an old pair of jeans. Sew one end closed. On the other, sew a "hem" wrapped around a length of rope. Sew a ring (like a big keyring) on either end and attach a camera strap for carrying. (I like the Optech ones). You could add a thin roll of foam inside if you need padding. Tie the rope to keep the tripod snug when carrying.
It's cheap, durable, folds up very small and best of all, costs next to nothing. Use the savings to buy quick-release plate or something else cool.:-D
My solution: A Tamrac tripod bag. On sale for $50. I went to the largest camera store in Hollywood and talked three guys. One who has sold me a few accessories and doesn't seem like an acquisitive gadget freak.
His parameters are as follows:
leg wraps -- they work, but get in the way while shooting. And bulky in confined spaces.
sling --- the tripod bangs against your back
padded bag --- pricey and a pain when you take it off outdoors. they get stolen, blow away in the wind.
The Tamrac bag was marked off $25. It is thin, simple and strong. I don't want to over think this thing, and I am not about to buy a new camera bag (backpack style or otherwise) just because it has a loop for a tripod. 8 lbs on each shoulder with the tripod and present camera bag is enough load for me.