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mercer

Compact Tripod?

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40 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

It’s not out yet, but the Peak design travel Tripod looks very nice if you are going to be lugging it around.

Very slim profile and some nifty features. 

Looks great for photographers. I like the leveling ball-head, but I wonder how stable it would be with a fluid head and camera setup. I had a similar combination with the gitzo cf traveler and arca Swiss P0 ball head, but I didn't feel confident putting a fluid head on top of all that. But weights on hook and legs should help. 

1 hour ago, mercer said:

Do you have any experience with the Miller Solo monopod? And does carbon fiber really absorb vibrations a lot more than aluminum?

With my Benro monopod, I was using it handheld by putting the base into a tape measure pouch I have clipped onto my belt... it actually works great and maybe I shouldn’t second guess myself. 

But I may upgrade my monopod and attach a “decent” head to it. Right now, I have a Manfrotto RC tilt head attached. It actually works fairly well, but if I want to use the monopod more traditionally, it may help to have a panning head attached.

Right now, I’m curious about the aforementioned Miller Solo and the cheap alternative is the Benro 38C.

No experience w/ the Millers, but I used Sachtler aluminum tripods before. They were OK, but a little fiddly with a bit of play due to the mediocre locking mechanisms for the legs. Ronford Baker makes rock solid alum tripods, but they are heavy. CF itself is much more rigid for the size/weight. Gitzo has very reliable locks, but they're not fast (like sachtler flow tech) and they're expensive. I just carry my Gitzo as a monopod though, it's that light.

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It seems to me as of late, by late I mean like 5 years or so, is that there is so much competition now in the Tripod, Fluid Head market that nearly Everything that is below 600, 700 Dollars just seems to be subpar anymore. Way better to buy a older, used tripod from a top name company and get a bargain. And then if you Don't like it or need a heavier one down the road you can probably get your money back, or even make a bit.

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3 hours ago, mercer said:

Hah, thanks. The Sirui is definitely on my short list... I just wish it didn’t have twist leg adjustments. That’s the one negative I have with the infamous Sirui monopod. Part of me still would rather use a monopod, but after a couple cups of coffee and a half a pack of cigarettes, I think I need a little more stabilization. So I need the convenience of a monopod with a relatively fluid head and the stability of a tripod... that isn’t asking for too much, right?

Yup, a solid monopod would probably be my best option. I have the Sirui and a Benro. Both are pretty good but I still get some movement. I doubt this is true but I have gravitated towards monopods with the feet thinking I’d get better stabilization but I am realizing that the joint at the feet tends to have a little bit too much wobble?

I have the manfrotto with the foot and a cheap video head, it’s great for everything but panning as it’s pretty much impossible to keep a level horizon. But since buying it a few years back my big video tripod has gone almost completely unused. For any panning I use a gimbal these days as I can easily get a couple different looks with a straight pan, or a dolly or slider shot. I’m actually considering getting rid of my video tripod because I just never use it anymore. But I’ve always had one and in the back of my mind I keep thinking I may need to get something with a long zoom that would be impossible on a monopod or gimbal. Outside of shooting a few talking head pieces with an iPad teleprompter, I never take it into the field. 

Chris

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8 hours ago, mercer said:

Thanks! A gorillapod may be my best bet for a tabletop tripod. I tend to shoot in some uneven terrains and prefer some obtuse angles for certain shots, so I really need some flexibility for height and leg adjustment.

Gorillapods get a lot of press from vloggers, but keep in mind that they are basically a consumable item because the friction on the joints wears out and there's no way to re-tension them.  If you're interested in a tripod then get a tripod, but if you're frequently mounting your camera in a tree, on slippery rocks, on handrails, straddling fences, and other places that a traditional tripod won't cut it then by all means go for it.  I have a love/hate relationship with the 5K gorillapod I own because it's pretty bad at most things, it's just that for mounting a camera on top of a fence everything else is literally useless.

If you're concerned about sand then you could always take a few cheap plastic cups and put the legs in them when on the sand?  I guess it depends on wet vs dry vs if it's windy, etc..

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22 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

I have the manfrotto with the foot and a cheap video head, it’s great for everything but panning as it’s pretty much impossible to keep a level horizon. But since buying it a few years back my big video tripod has gone almost completely unused. For any panning I use a gimbal these days as I can easily get a couple different looks with a straight pan, or a dolly or slider shot. I’m actually considering getting rid of my video tripod because I just never use it anymore. But I’ve always had one and in the back of my mind I keep thinking I may need to get something with a long zoom that would be impossible on a monopod or gimbal. Outside of shooting a few talking head pieces with an iPad teleprompter, I never take it into the field. 

Chris

I won an auction for an “open box” Manfrotto tripod. It was a stupid price... $32. I thought it was just the legs but when it arrived it was brand new, never opened and it came with a head. Honestly, I forget the model because, like you, I rarely use a tripod but I recently tested the head (it’s one of their less expensive RC heads) and I was floored by the fluid pan. I may buy another head for a monopod to keep everything the same.

I don’t want to spend too much on this because I may get a slider and a small gimbal for my BMMCC. 

16 hours ago, kye said:

Gorillapods get a lot of press from vloggers, but keep in mind that they are basically a consumable item because the friction on the joints wears out and there's no way to re-tension them.  If you're interested in a tripod then get a tripod, but if you're frequently mounting your camera in a tree, on slippery rocks, on handrails, straddling fences, and other places that a traditional tripod won't cut it then by all means go for it.  I have a love/hate relationship with the 5K gorillapod I own because it's pretty bad at most things, it's just that for mounting a camera on top of a fence everything else is literally useless.

If you're concerned about sand then you could always take a few cheap plastic cups and put the legs in them when on the sand?  I guess it depends on wet vs dry vs if it's windy, etc..

I’ve never used one but they do look finicky... but like you said, if you need an impossible angle from an impossible mounting position... what other choice do you have?

Great idea with the plastic cup... I think I’ll buy one of those collapsible camping cups. 

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16 hours ago, DanielVranic said:

Thanks this looks pretty nice. With the RC head, it puts me where I want to spend but the closed length and weight are pretty similar to the tripod I already have...

I think a monopod upgrade is in my future... I think it makes more sense for my shooting style. 

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8 hours ago, mercer said:

I’ve never used one but they do look finicky... but like you said, if you need an impossible angle from an impossible mounting position... what other choice do you have?

Great idea with the plastic cup... I think I’ll buy one of those collapsible camping cups. 

I'd suggest that a gorillapod is probably only required if, for example, you weren't going to be operating the camera, or that you wanted a steady shot that you couldn't do yourself if either it was from a funny angle you could only just reach or perhaps you wanted a time-lapse.  Beyond that I'd suggest that a monopod is probably a much better choice :) 

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I've loved my Benro A2573FS6 S6. $300 and for small cameras it has served me well. I love it especially because it has a ball head that allows you to quickly level the camera even if the tripod legs are not perfect.

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