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Suggestions on lightweight travel tripod?


Sekhar
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Guys, I'm looking for a lightweight tripod, ideally carbon fiber, around 2 lb, 1 foot or so folded, and under $300, with enough load capacity to hold a light camera (mostly NX1 + vertical grip + 16-50). Any suggestions or experiences to share? The Sirui T-025X is looking really good at this point, but I'm little concerned about the max height.

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Take a look at Velbon Ultra REXI L, - a review here: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/velbon-ultra-rexi-l-tripod-review-16157

It is not carbon but magnesium. I have had it for 2 years and it has proved to be very durable, can go high and very low and is very stable. I have used it with a G6 camera, a Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 ( pretty heavy lens) and some small rails and a 0,9 kg videohead - in total around 2 kg - with no problems.

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I have got the T-005X, the aluminum version, it's great for photography if you're willing to sacrifice some stability for weight reduction. For video it's not stable enough. If you pan a video head the legs will slightly twist. If there is wind you will get micro shakes. It helps if you stabilize the tripod with a center weight, or open the legs only half way... Better is to buy a tripod that is meant for video.

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Take a look at Velbon Ultra REXI L, - a review here: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/velbon-ultra-rexi-l-tripod-review-16157

It is not carbon but magnesium. I have had it for 2 years and it has proved to be very durable, can go high and very low and is very stable. I have used it with a G6 camera, a Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 ( pretty heavy lens) and some small rails and a 0,9 kg videohead - in total around 2 kg - with no problems.

​Yeah! I've got the same. It's my secondary tripod, to my Sirui N-2004. Not really digging the clasp lock tripods. I like the twist lock kind that are collapsable to quite the compact size.

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Make a cool combo...

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bluefonia and Cinegain: thanks for the REXi suggestion. Though it's a tad longer and heavier than I hoped, looks like it'll work. One potential showstopper though is that you seem to need to unscrew at the bottom of the legs, which is a problem when using in muddy areas (saw it on this YouTube review). My immediate need is for a trip to Costa Rica, where I plan to go through the rain forests. Did you have trouble with muddy areas?

bunk: that's really good to know, I wonder if the carbon fiber version is better, at least in twisting. I will definitely explore that aspect. The weight/folded length of T-025X is really tempting.

ZachGoodwin: the thing is that I really need an ultra-lightweight tripod since I will be hiking quite a bit. I already have two good video legs/heads (Ace-M and a Manfrotto set), but they're way too heavy. The head you mentioned (Weifeing 717AH) is over 2 lb by itself apparently, and the Manfrotto 190X3 is nearly 6 lb, so won't help in this particular case.

FYI, I ran into Giottos VGR8255-S2N today - it seems a bit sturdier than the Sirui T-025X and to bunk's point should help a bit with stability. And very importantly for me, it also extends higher. Plus, you can convert one of the legs into a monopod apparently.

I will keep researching and post back my findings as appropriate for the benefit of other shoppers who run into a similar need. Thanks all.

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Are you looking for video use? Because all of them will flex once you start panning.

​If you put too much weight on it yes, you are right. That´s the nature of light tripods I guess. As Sekhar is asking for a light tripod for traveling, his is probably not bringing heavy camera gear with him on the trip. I  have used the Velbon with a G6 and a 0,9 kg head with no problems at all. Last week I made some footage at a lake with some swans. I used a 135mm lens and I got very steady and smooth pans. I shall ad that I do not use fast/wip pans, which might cause flexing. 

@Sehkar, - yes, in muddy areas the twist-lock might be a disadvantage, - but you can always bring a cloth or there might be some vegetation or water around :-).

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Just wanted to report back that I ended up getting the Sirui T-025X. It's the lightest and shortest, which were key for me. Overall, the build quality is excellent. The legs are tiny, but if you don't extend the center column, the tripod is surprisingly stable (tried with NX1 + vertical grip + 16-50 as well as 70-200). It's especially strong in controlling twist. I took a (30s) exposure, which seems OK, but will continue to experiment. You can technically do a pan for video, but the movement is a bit sticky and you will see the wobble with long focal lengths, though I got some decent shots with wide angle.

FYI, below are the others I researched, in case you're also shopping.

 TypeLoad (lb)Folded (in)Weight (lb)Min HeightMax HeightMax Height (E)SpecialB&H
Giottos VGR8255-S2NCarbon8.815.62.810.656.364.9Monopod, bubble277.00
Sirui T-025XCarbon13.211.81.710.248.654.5 234.95
Mefoto A1350Q1KAluminum17.615.43.615.453.161.6Monopod, bubble199.00
Oben CT-3521Carbon6.614.82.48.849.556.4Monopod, bubble259.95
Oben CT-3531Carbon8.815.52.59.353.560.8Monopod, bubble279.95
Oben CT-3551Carbon13.2162.6954.862.4Monopod, bubble299.95
3 Legged Thing EVO3Carbon4413.42.97.4 58.9Monopod, bubble249.95
3 Legged Thing Punks-RickCarbon2212.62.78.244.356.7Monopod, bubble220.15
Velbon Ultra REXi LAluminum8.814.22.93.7 60 N/A

And below are a couple of pictures comparing the Sirui T-025X with my Sachtler Ace-M to give you an idea of its size (extended and folded).

tripod-01.jpg

tripod-02.jpg

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