Good quality, and small tripod recommendations...

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by billballardphotography, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Hello all -

    Looking for recommendations for a small, good quality, and sturdy tripod, one capable of various head adaptions - ball, L-bracket, etc. Cameras are Fujifilm X series mirrorless, one original X100 and a X100F. I also have occasional access to a Fujifilm XT1 body. No big lenses for the XT1, all small zooms and primes to 56MM.

    In the studio days, and living-in-a-house days, I had multiple heavy tripods for my big film 35's and lenses, and my MF bodies. Used the same for my DSLR's. Now, I'm compact and mirrorless and live aboard a small 34' (10M) cruising sailboat. Our total 'living' space is about 275sq/ft; the actual space where we can walk and stand in the cabin is < 50sq/ft. Clearly, the key here is small size and ability to be stored in a tight space. Good portability, durability, (i.e., good quality), etc., are a must for when in use.

    I am open to your suggestions - thanks in advance.
  2. Hi Bill,

    I purchased a Mefoto Roadtrip for air travel a few years ago. It reverse folds and fits easily in a carry-on bag. It comes with an arca swiss compatible ball head that handles my D7000 with 16-85 lens well. The 70-300 pushes the limits. I think it would be more than sturdy enough for your Fuji X100 or an XT1 with primes. There are a number of similar tripods sold under different names. Look up and down the product lines to find the best balance of size, weight capacity, and cost. One advantage is that they are relatively inexpensive in the event of salt water corrosion.

  3. Not cheap, but I don't think you can beat Gitzo tripods for their weight/size versus stability.

    Incidentally, I'm not sure why anyone would want to bulk up a small and lightweight camera with an L bracket. Seems counter-productive to me. It takes only seconds to bolt a camera or lens to a screw-fit head, old school style.
  4. An L-bracket gives you the security and speed of Area-type QR, and keeps the lens centered on the tripod in either orientation. A simple screen mount tends to slip or sag when used in any position other than horizontal. L-brackets made to fit a particular camera add little bulk.

    The smallest Gitzo I would recommend is a size 2 CF with 4 leg sections. It only rises to 48" but stores at only 14" overall length, sans head. A RRS BH-40 head is small but substantial, and will support a camera up to Hasselblad size and weight, perhaps more. It has panning and tension control not found on smaller heads.
  5. Joe!

    Hope all is well with you guys. We need to get together sometimes!

    In looking around, I'm surprised at how inexpensive carbon-fiber tripods are. (That's 'inexpensive' in relative terms - compared to carbon-fiber boat gear!) And I hadn't even considered the reverse folding capabilities. I'm not shooting big glass so much these days, so the Mefoto Roadtrip or similar sounds ideal. Thanks!
  6. True - I used Gitzo legs for years. And exactly what Ed said for the L-bracket. Haven't ruled out ballheads though. Thanks!
  7. The current Gitzo models would be my top choice if cost were of no concern. Or, I'd take a look at the following brands: Slik, Induro, Benro and Feisol which all seem to have similar specs and pricing for lightweight CF twist-leg tripods.

    Another option might be to look at older non-current Gitzo models. They're not as smooth as the current model Gitzo models and you'd be buying used, but their prices are more reasonable.

    I use a Gitzo 3542 for long lens support and a Feisol 3402 for lightweight gear. The Feisol meets my needs but if I were in the market today, I'd also consider the other tripods that I listed above.
  8. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Moderator Staff Member

    Go on line - I got great Manfrotto / Bogen Tripod & Monopod very affordably, along with various ball mounts and gimbals. Worth the effort.

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