April 18, 2014, 11:21:45 PM

Author Topic: Advice requested re travel tripods  (Read 813 times)

Vivid Color

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Advice requested re travel tripods
« on: November 16, 2013, 01:43:35 PM »
I have an almost 40-year old, very heavy but in excellent condition Velbon tripod. I plan to keep it, but I would like to get a light-weight travel tripod to take to Hawaii with me this coming summer and to have for other non-car trips as well.

I was at one of Calumet's stores yesterday and the clerk recommended the MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod.

http://www.mefoto.com/products/roadtrip.aspx

I know that MeFOTO's parent company is Benro and that Benro also makes travel tripods. I've read numerous reviews of tripods on this site, but I could not find any that focused on the MeFOTO line.

In terms of how I would use it, in addition to landscape, travel photography, I would perhaps use it for outdoor macro photography and photo workshops too. The RoadTrip model is rated to hold over 17 pounds and the heaviest body + lens I would be putting on it would be my 6D + 70-300L. (Maybe a 70-200L or 100-400L in the future, but I really don't see myself buying or even renting super-teles.)   

I would greatly appreciate your thoughts and comments as to the suitability of the MeFOTO tripod for my proposed uses, including whether to go with aluminum or carbon fiber, as it might apply to my proposed uses. (CF is lighter weight, but are there any advantages, other than price, for going with aluminum?) Comments from users and non-users of MeFOTO tripods are welcome. I'm also open to suggestions about other travel tripod/head combinations that are light-weight, especially ones under $500. (If that figure is unrealistic, let me know that too.)

Vivid :)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 11:25:41 AM by Vivid Color »

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Advice requested re travel tripods
« on: November 16, 2013, 01:43:35 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Advice requested re travel tripods
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2013, 01:04:56 PM »
RE aluminum vs CF, although more expensive, CF isn't just lighter.  It's also easier to handle in cold weather, and damps vibration better than aluminum.
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Don Haines

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Re: Advice requested re travel tripods
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 01:21:44 PM »
As posted before, one of the few drawbacks of carbon fibre tripods is that they can blow over in the wind.... You can tie down the tripod from the centre column to your camera bag, a brick, or whatever, to make it more stable. Also, if it is tied to the camera bag, thieves can not walk off with it while you are distracted.
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Vivid Color

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Re: Advice requested re travel tripods
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2013, 03:42:35 PM »
Neuro and Don, thank you for your comments. CF it is. Don, thank you too for sending the picture of how you tie your bag to your tripod. In addition to the security aspect, I really like the idea of keeping the bag on the ground as I think this would add to the stability. Most photos I see of weights tied to the center column of the tripod show the weight off the ground.


neuroanatomist

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Re: Advice requested re travel tripods
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2013, 04:52:40 PM »
Definitely lower the weight so it is on the ground.  A suspended camera bag will get moved by the wind, adding vibration instead of dampening it.

Since most tripods small enough to be classified as "travel tripods" have a center column, at least make sure the center column has a hook on the bottom. Oh, and it should go without saying – don't lift the center column unless you absolutely can't avoid it.
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Vivid Color

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Re: Advice requested re travel tripods
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 03:47:59 PM »
Definitely lower the weight so it is on the ground.  A suspended camera bag will get moved by the wind, adding vibration instead of dampening it.

Since most tripods small enough to be classified as "travel tripods" have a center column, at least make sure the center column has a hook on the bottom. Oh, and it should go without saying – don't lift the center column unless you absolutely can't avoid it.

Thank you again, Neuro. It does have a hook in the center column and you can invert the center column for closer to the ground shots. I took my 6D + 70-300L with collar attached into the local Calumet store the other day and put it on the MeFOTO RoadTrip tripod. It actually seemed more solid than I expected, especially when I put the camera in portrait position. Since looking solid and being solid can be different, I took a bunch of photos in the store, without a camera cable release or a weight attached to the center column hook, and with the center column extended all the way up and down. I haven't had a chance yet to review the photos, but I will do so before buying anything.

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Re: Advice requested re travel tripods
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 03:47:59 PM »