Convince me a MeFoto air isn't the tripod I want

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by carlin_plumb, Apr 14, 2018.

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  1. I'm looking for a great travel tripod. Everything I read seems to point towards a mefoto air as the best current travel setup. I'm not sure this isnt just amazing marketing on their part, which I fall prey to every time. Is it great? The price certainly is. Is there anything better?

    I'm going to be using a variety of cameras on this btw. But nothing over 3kg at the very most
     
  2. I have not used the mefoto air, and currently don't own anything that light, but I see a problem right away: it gets a very large portion of its height from a very tall center column. This is the least stable way to hold a camera. Take a look at the tripods with heads under 3 lbs. (about 1.35 kg.) available at B&H, only because they have such a large selection: (link).
     
    carlin_plumb likes this.
  3. Great advice, thank you Hector.

    Do you think the problem could be solved with a small weight attached to the bottom?
     
  4. It's leverage. A weight at one end of a long lever arm is very difficult to control. Once anything sets it into vibration, you can't control it without a lot of material. Many of us on photo.net keep the center column all the way down or use tripods that don't even have one. BTW, I don't know that you would be happy with any of the tripods on the list I linked to. But I hope that it does what you asked--convinces you that the Mefoto is not the tripod you want.
     
  5. Hector has it.

    You want a tripod that is tall enough for your height without long center column extension.

    You also want one that is light in weight

    and steady.

    The trouble is that the cost > infinity as you resolve the each of the innate contradictions of these conditions
     
  6. A tripod is only as good as its ability to hold the camera steady, outdoors, in the presence of a breeze (or more).

    Carbon fiber tripods are very stiff and resistant to vibration, and are at least 1/3rd lighter than their aluminum counterparts. Legs with collar locks, like Gitzo and knockoffs, have very stiff leg joints, so a 4-section tripod is essentially as stiff as one with 3 sections. A tripod which extends to 49" or so without a column are just tall enough to use with minimal stooping. Consider that the head and camera will add at least 6" to the height.

    Plan to spend as much as for a good lens.

    If you travel with a large, 24" suitcase, any tripod which can collapse to less than 24" (e.g., with the head removed), will fit. I'm not sure any tripod which will fit into a carry-on bag is worth carrying. Besides, my carry-on is full of cameras and lenses. A 49" tripod which collapsed to under 20" is as light as I would recommend. Columns are always de-stabilizing. I avoid them when possible.

    That said, I carried a large RRS tripod,69" max, in a checked bag, then used it only once. Image stabilization is good enough to render tripods almost moot, other than consistency for portraits, large groups and multi-shot images (HDR and panoramas).

    Hanging weights will not improve stability, except to keep it from blowing over in the wind. In order to dampen vibrations, the weight must be rigidly attached.
     

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