Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

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Ellory Yu

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Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:25 am

Hi folks... need some help here.
I'm going on a hiking trip and I need a light and flexible travel tripod with preferably a pan/tilt ball-head.
The rigged camera will be a P6K with a full cage and a Core SX Edge battery attached to its bottom. I plan to use a couple of lenses (A Sigma 16-35mm ART and the a 70-300mm Canon zoom for long). As many of you know, those lenses weigh a lot and so basically I'm probably looking at about 14-18 lbs of rigged camera.
Looking at the various travel tripods, they don't look sturdy to me although many that I'm looking at has payloads of 30 lbs and more. If any of you have done this before and used a travel tripod with a BH, can you recommend a sturdy and decently price kit? I have been looking at the 3 legged things but some of the review says it was not sturdy enough with heavy long lens like a 70-200mm Nikon glass on a Z6. That setup is lighter than what I will have. Thanks!
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:47 am

Ellory Yu wrote:Hi folks... need some help here.
I'm going on a hiking trip and I need a light and flexible travel tripod with preferably a pan/tilt ball-head.
The rigged camera will be a P6K with a full cage and a Core SX Edge battery attached to its bottom. I plan to use a couple of lenses (A Sigma 16-35mm ART and the a 70-300mm Canon zoom for long). As many of you know, those lenses weigh a lot and so basically I'm probably looking at about 14-18 lbs of rigged camera.
Looking at the various travel tripods, they don't look sturdy to me although many that I'm looking at has payloads of 30 lbs and more. If any of you have done this before and used a travel tripod with a BH, can you recommend a sturdy and decently price kit? I have been looking at the 3 legged things but some of the review says it was not sturdy enough with heavy long lens like a 70-200mm Nikon glass on a Z6. That setup is lighter than what I will have. Thanks!

That’s a lot of gear for hiking with and if you want to get stability you will need to forget ‘travel tripods’ unless you are prepared to just use them close to the ground but then you also have the issue of matching the travel tripod size with a sturdy head for your rig.
Which is what I said, and even though this is what I was talking about, there is not too much comparison between your actions at the moment compared to some not around here.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 1:17 pm

I have a couple of travel tripods, but they have significant downsides for use with cameras and I mostly use them to mount microphones outdoors.

With 14-18lbs of camera, the difference in weight between a standard tripod and a travel tripod isn’t meaningful. There’s a saving in bulk, but at the cost of maximum tripod height and stability.

For the camera weight that you’re talking about, I would expect to pay several hundred dollars for a ball head that I would trust and that wouldn’t be more trouble than it’s worth. Even then, for that weight and bulk a ball head would not be my first choice.

This DP Review/Chris Niccolls video paints a pretty good picture of what travel tripods can and can’t do and what to look for in one. It may help you decide whether this is a solution that you want to pursue, and it contains good info about four well-known brands at a range of prices:

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 1:42 pm

Agreeing with everyone else here; I have not had good luck with travel tripods, especially if you need to do smooth tilts and pans. For stationary shots they can be fine even in high winds if you hang a weight from them. I would either try using a smaller camera, smaller lens(es), or reduce the rigging. Or else just bring a regular full-size video tripod and fluid head. When I worked as a crew leader for the Youth Conservation Corps, we backpacked for 10-15 miles to do trail maintenance in designated wilderness areas (where power tools are forbidden by law) hauling crosscut saws, shovels, and axes. A full-size tripod isn't much heavier or bulkier, but carrying all that weight on your back isn't going to be fun.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 2:15 pm

Thanks guys for the feedback. My plan was to just bring on a backpack like I did seven months ago (pre-Covid). I had my trusty Benro monopod with a Benro S8 Pro fluid head. It was pretty solid and held up a 17lb rig. The problem is that I had to hold it every time to use it and I can't really get the 90 degree I needed that a ball head can provide. Also, the fluid head is large and bulky so this trip I wanted to cut the size and still throw in both head and monopod on the side of the backpack. So for this upcoming trip, I was thinking of using a ball head on the monopod. I was looking at the Benro VX20 or the RRS ball head. Then it dawn on me that I could get a travel tripod with a ball head and that would meet my requirements. However, coming to learn from your comments and other research I did, the travel tripods are not sturdy (unless you hang on some weight) and might have some limitations as to payload even it is being advertised to take on large payloads. I could strip down the P6K and use LP-E6 batts - that's just a pain to carry so many extra batts and charging them, possibly running out of time on shoots before next charge. That will minimize the weight to just camera + lens. Or I can just stay with my previous monopod set-up and not have a tripod at all. I am resisting bringing a tripod and its additional weight as it will be terrible for my back (I'm old with a bit of lower back issues - LOL). And if I stay with the monopod set-up, should I even bother getting a ball-head or just stay with the fluid head?

EDIT: As an additional note, I stripped the camera down and look at only using a lighter prosumer lens. That cut off a lot of the weight and got it down to 6.3lbs. Thoughts? Monopod + Fluid head (as I have it today)? Monopod + Ball-head? Travel tripod + Ball-head?
Last edited by Ellory Yu on Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 2:33 pm

Are you sure your rig gets up to 7 kg?
The camera is around 1.2 kg and the lenses the same. Should be below 4 kg, right?

You could mount the Core SX Edge battery to the tripod instead of the rig and a preview monitor too.

As a tripod have a look at the Sachtler flowtech 75 sticks (2.9 kg) and combine that with a lightweight fluid head. Sachtler FSB 8 weights 2.15 kg and has a payload of 10 kg.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 2:39 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:Are you sure your rig gets up to 7 kg?
The camera is around 1.2 kg and the lenses the same. Should be below 4 kg, right?

You could mount the Core SX Edge battery to the tripod instead of the rig and a preview monitor too.

As a tripod have a look at the Sachtler flowtech 75 sticks (2.9 kg) and combine that with a lightweight fluid head. Sachtler FSB 8 weights 2.15 kg and has a payload of 10 kg.


Robert, I edited my post and stripped it down to 3kg. I don't want to carry a full-on tripod as it won't go in my backpack. I am avoiding carrying another bag or gear. So now back to looking at one of these set-up... (1) Monopod + Fluid head (as I have it today)? (2) Monopod + Ball-head? or (3) Travel tripod + Ball-head?

I need a 90 degree tilt capability too which the ball-head provides. Why go with Fluid-head over ball-heads on monopod? As I look around on ball-heads, many seem to be able to carry larger payload compared to Fluid-head.
Last edited by Ellory Yu on Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:01 pm

A monopod with a ball head won't work, as there is no way to mount it like that with a tripod through a center hole.

For leveling purposes of my flat base video head I got a leveling base from Novoflex which was the only one strong enough to handle some weight. I tried several others but they got loose all the time.
The Novoflex MBAL-PRO75 is expensive but worth the money.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:03 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:A monopod with a ball head won't work, as there is no way to mount it like that with a tripod through a center hole.

For leveling purposes of my flat base video head I got a leveling base from Novoflex which was the only one strong enough to handle some weight. I tried several others but they got loose all the time.
The Novoflex MBAL-PRO75 is expensive but worth the money.


On the ball head, I'm looking at a flat base which there are quite a few - RRS makes a few of them. No sure if this is what you meant.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:23 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:
Robert, I edited my post and stripped it down to 3kg. I don't want to carry a full-on tripod as it won't go in my backpack. I am avoiding carrying another bag or gear. So now back to looking at one of these set-up... (1) Monopod + Fluid head (as I have it today)? (2) Monopod + Ball-head? or (3) Travel tripod + Ball-head?


I think that you will have a problem with the ball heads that come with inexpensive travel tripods. These ball heads are lightly built, plus you want to use zoom lenses, which cause an issue with weight distribution. Of the tripods discussed in the video above, the Gitzo ball head is almost certainly built better, and perhaps the Peak Design ball head is too, but these are a lot more money.

If your shots are all locked off, a ball head can work. If you want to do pans or tilts, I think that you should be looking at a pan and tilt head. This Gitzo, at 1.3lbs, is an option, although the true maximum weight that it can support as a practical matter will be affected by your use of zoom lenses. Note that this head replaces an earlier Gitzo head and that B&H has the prior version used for $250.



If your shots are locked off, a geared pan and tilt head is also an option. This Manfrotto Junior Geared Head, which I have, is well made and will have no problem supporting your camera: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _Head.html

If your Benro monopod has a 3/8" stud on the bottom, you can also screw it down to a short tripod. Benro itself makes one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _bowl.html

The short tripod in the photo below is made by RRS. The Benro equivalent is quite a bit less expensive:

rrs-walkstool-miller.jpg
rrs-walkstool-miller.jpg (502.74 KiB) Viewed 1003 times


Finally, I'd like to suggest that you consider a full size carbon fibre tripod just by itself. Levelling a tripod is not rocket science. On a hike, it might add a minute to your setup time. If you add a half ball and a levelling base, you can even save the minute. This is an old video, but it does a good job of showing what I'm talking about. I have, and use, the current version of the levelling base in the video (the noise at 1:34 is not the levelling base, it's a guy in the background pushing a cart :) ):

Last edited by robedge on Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:39 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:26 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:
Robert Niessner wrote:A monopod with a ball head won't work, as there is no way to mount it like that with a tripod through a center hole.

For leveling purposes of my flat base video head I got a leveling base from Novoflex which was the only one strong enough to handle some weight. I tried several others but they got loose all the time.
The Novoflex MBAL-PRO75 is expensive but worth the money.


On the ball head, I'm looking at a flat base which there are quite a few - RRS makes a few of them. No sure if this is what you meant.


I see. I was thinking of the base when you said ball head. My fault.

So why would you go with a ball head? Won't work well with moving shots I think. No?
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:38 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:So why would you go with a ball head? Won't work well with moving shots I think. No?

I wanted to use it for a 90 degree tilt shot. A pan-tilt ball head can do moving shots.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:41 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:I wanted to use it for a 90 degree tilt shot. A pan-tilt ball head can do moving shots.
.

A ball head and a pan/tilt head are different heads. See my post above. The Benro and RRS ball heads that you mention earlier would be a nightmare to use for a pan or tilt. They are designed for locked off shots, usually with still cameras.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 3:50 pm

robedge wrote:I think that you will have a problem with the ball heads that come with inexpensive travel tripods. These ball heads are lightly built, plus you want to use zoom lenses, which cause an issue with weight distribution.

Totally agree with you here that is why I am a bit hesitant and asking for experience advise from you guys.

robedge wrote:If your shots are all locked off, a ball head can work. If you want to do pans or tilts, I think that you should be looking at a pan and tilt head. This Gitzo, at 1.3lbs, is an option, although the true maximum weight that it can support as a practical matter will be affected by your use of zoom lenses. Note that this head replaces an earlier Gitzo head and that B&H has the prior version used for $250.

Most shots are likely landscapes and wildlife so I will say for the most part, the shots will be locked off. I will look into the pan/tilt head. Those are ball-heads with pan and tilt, right?

robedge wrote:If your shots are locked off, a geared pan and tilt head is also an option. This Manfrotto Junior Geared Head, which I have, is well made and will have no problem supporting your camera: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _Head.html

I'll look into this. I like the setup you're showing in your pics.

robedge wrote:If your Benro monopod has a 3/8" stud on the bottom, you can also screw it down to a short tripod. Benro itself makes one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _bowl.html

It has 3/8 stud at the mounting end but the bottom has the retractable stand. I have not tried to see if the legs can be removed and it they are just mounted to a 3/8 stud. I can check with Benro on it. But I like the idea of your short tripod and mounting the monopod on it. I will check out the one you suggested above.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 4:18 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:Most shots are likely landscapes and wildlife so I will say for the most part, the shots will be locked off. I will look into the pan/tilt head. Those are ball-heads with pan and tilt, right?


Stop talking about pan and tilt ball heads, it's a contradiction in terms :)


Ellory Yu wrote:[The Benro monopod] has 3/8 stud at the mounting end but the bottom has the retractable stand. I have not tried to see if the legs can be removed and it they are just mounted to a 3/8 stud. I can check with Benro on it.


OK, your monopod has three short legs on the bottom. This has become a popular design, especially with wedding and event photographers. However, you really need to be on level ground. Just one suggestion. Don't ever walk away from it. There are a few videos on YouTube that show what can happen if you do :)

My setup is quite a bit more stable, and it works on uneven ground. That said, I would not walk away from it if there's more than a very light breeze. Even then, I don't like tempting fate. The photo above was taken in dead calm.

The question about your Benro is whether it has a 3/8" threaded hole on the bottom, not (as I erroneously asked above) whether it has a 3/8" threaded stud. The idea is to screw the bottom of the monopod to the tripod's top plate 3/8" stud.
Last edited by robedge on Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 4:47 pm

robedge wrote:
Ellory Yu wrote:Most shots are likely landscapes and wildlife so I will say for the most part, the shots will be locked off. I will look into the pan/tilt head. Those are ball-heads with pan and tilt, right?


Stop talking about pan and tilt ball heads, it's a contradiction in terms :)


Ellory Yu wrote:[The Benro monopod] has 3/8 stud at the mounting end but the bottom has the retractable stand. I have not tried to see if the legs can be removed and it they are just mounted to a 3/8 stud. I can check with Benro on it.


OK, your monopod has three short legs on the bottom. This has become a popular design, especially with wedding and event photographers. However, you really need to be on level ground. Just one suggestion. Don't ever walk away from it. There are a few videos on YouTube that show what can happen if you do :)

My setup is quite a bit more stable, and it works on uneven ground. That said, I would not walk away from it if there's more than a very light breeze. Even then, I don't like tempting fate. The photo above was taken in dead calm.

The question about your Benro is whether it has a 3/8" threaded hole on the bottom, not (as I erroneously asked above) whether it has a 3/8" threaded stud.


Got it, thanks!
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 5:59 pm

Further on short tripods...

Benro and Induro are the same company. Their short tripods appear to be identical, except that the Benro has aluminium legs and comes with a half bowl, and the Induro has carbon fibre legs and comes with a flat top. To use the Benro with your flat base fluid head, you'd need Benro's half ball adapter.

Here are two videos that include footage of these tripods being used in an outdoors environment:

Benro Hi-Hat:




Induro Baby Grand:



A 6" riser could be added for additional height, as in this photo with a RRS short tripod:

rrs-tallest-riser.jpg
rrs-tallest-riser.jpg (523.2 KiB) Viewed 929 times


B&H Links:
Benro: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _bowl.html

Induro: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... grand.html

Benro Half Ball Adapter: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... apter.html

ProMediaGear Riser: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _bowl.html
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:25 pm

robedge wrote:Further on short tripods...

Benro and Induro are the same company. Their short tripods appear to be identical, except that the Benro has aluminium legs and comes with a half bowl, and the Induro has carbon fibre legs and comes with a flat top. To use the Benro with your flat base fluid head, you'd need Benro's half ball adapter.

Here are two videos that include footage of these tripods being used in an outdoors environment:

Benro Hi-Hat:




Induro Baby Grand:



A 6" riser could be added for additional height, as in this photo with a RRS short tripod:

rrs-tallest-riser.jpg


B&H Links:
Benro: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _bowl.html

Induro: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... grand.html

Benro Half Ball Adapter: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... apter.html

ProMediaGear Riser: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _bowl.html


I'm going to stay with my current setup of the Benro monopod with the fluid head that I have. I am checking if the legs of the monopod is detachable. If it is, then I will get the Induro Hit Hat being that it is carbon fiber hence lighter and I won't need to get a half ball adapter. I already have a 75mm riser that I use on my slider. I can just use that. Thanks for the links.

EDIT: Looking at the specs, the Benro + half ball adapter is slightly lighter than the Induro. Go figure.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:29 pm

[EDIT: Just saw your post above. Maybe this will interest others.]

For somewhat more money, RRS offers aluminium and carbon fibre short tripods. The aluminium one is less expensive and has a superb reputation, especially with wildlife photographers (no tubes to get clogged up with dirt or sand). It has an integrated flat base that can't be changed out, but that works with a flat base fluid head.

Aluminum: https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/tfa-32g


Screenshot 2020-08-28 at 14.25.30.jpg
Screenshot 2020-08-28 at 14.25.30.jpg (63.7 KiB) Viewed 919 times



Carbon Fiber: https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/tripod ... 2-sections

This is the tripod that's in the photo two posts up.


Screenshot 2020-08-28 at 14.27.18.jpg
Screenshot 2020-08-28 at 14.27.18.jpg (80.07 KiB) Viewed 919 times
Last edited by robedge on Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:39 pm

I like the RRS. If I was going to get a ball head, it was going to be an RSS. The TFA32G aluminum one has a good price and might work for the monopod. It's about the same price as the Induro anyway.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:49 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:I like the RRS. If I was going to get a ball head, it was going to be an RSS. The TFA32G aluminum one has a good price and might work for the monopod. It's about the same price as the Induro anyway.
.

I amended my post to say why the RRS aluminium tripod is popular with wildlife photographers. No tubes for dirt, sand and water to get into. Might be a consideration for you, depending on what kind of hiking you're doing.

However, note that aluminium can get cold and hot, and that the feet on this tripod are not interchangeable.

A few months ago, RRS updated this tripod, but the only difference is that they shaved off a few ounces.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 6:57 pm

I recommend taking a look at the Peak Design tripod. I've had one since around January, and I've been quite happy with it. It's actually able to handle my Red Epic-W with a big honkin' Sigma ART 50-100 lens + 2x teleconverter, provided that I center it. It actually doesn't work as smoothly with the much lighter Nikon 200mm lens, because I don't have enough range of movement with that setup to center the weight over the ball. It has an optional flat plate that allows using something like a Really Right Stuff ballhead as well.

It's my default travel and hiking tripod now; I only use my Really Right Stuff 'pod on set because of it. :)
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 7:42 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:I recommend taking a look at the Peak Design tripod. I've had one since around January, and I've been quite happy with it. It's actually able to handle my Red Epic-W with a big honkin' Sigma ART 50-100 lens + 2x teleconverter, provided that I center it. It actually doesn't work as smoothly with the much lighter Nikon 200mm lens, because I don't have enough range of movement with that setup to center the weight over the ball. It has an optional flat plate that allows using something like a Really Right Stuff ballhead as well.

It's my default travel and hiking tripod now; I only use my Really Right Stuff 'pod on set because of it. :)

Which Peak Design Tripod? Which RSS Ball head that handles your RED Epic-W? Link please?
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 7:46 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote: It has an optional flat plate that allows using something like a Really Right Stuff ballhead as well.



Do you have the aluminium (US$350) or carbon fibre (US$600) version the tripod? Is this the flat plate adapter you mention?

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 8:18 pm

robedge wrote:Do you have the aluminium (US$350) or carbon fibre (US$600) version the tripod? Is this the flat plate adapter you mention?


I have a carbon fiber model, and yes that's the one.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 8:20 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:Which Peak Design Tripod? Which RSS Ball head that handles your RED Epic-W? Link please?


I haven't gotten a new RRS ballhead yet, I'm still using the Peak Design head on mine. I have one of the flat plates because it was discounted during the Kickstarter.

https://www.peakdesign.com/products/travel-tripod

There's really just one Peak Design tripod right now, with two options for materials. AFAIK their load capacities are the same, but the carbon fiber one is lighter, so I went for carbon.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 8:28 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:I haven't gotten a new RRS ballhead yet, I'm still using the Peak Design head on mine. I have one of the flat plates because it was discounted during the Kickstarter.

https://www.peakdesign.com/products/travel-tripod

There's really just one Peak Design tripod right now, with two options for materials. AFAIK their load capacities are the same, but the carbon fiber one is lighter, so I went for carbon.

Thanks! Checking it out too.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostFri Aug 28, 2020 9:08 pm

The Peak Design tripod is one of the four covered in the video linked in post #3. It's one of the two, the other being the Gitzo, that I said might have a decent ball head.

B&H has the tripod in stock and I'm interested in checking it out. The initial run resulted in a re-design, but the problem was resolved months ago. It's certainly an interesting design.

Like other travel tripods, Peak Design's uses a centre column, in this case to get the height up from just over 4' to a maximum of 5'. Still photographers, who are the photographers regularly faced with a decision on whether to go the centre column route, are divided into two camps, those who are happy to use a centre column and those who are considerably less enthusiastic. Historically, I’ve been in the latter camp. I mostly use the two travel tripods that I own to mount microphones, and I've never purchased a centre column tripod for serious camera use. It would be interesting to know what Rakesh thinks of this one.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 7:13 am

The Peak Design is now really peaking my interest, no pun intended. Might just be the perfect travel tripod for my upcoming trip with the P6K.
Watch this as Gene (aka Potato Jet) reviewed it, starting @ 5:16.

I might even be able to use it as a hi-hat or short tripod for my G2. :lol: I guess if I really need to.
It's kind of pricey but I think it is worth investing in. After all, a RRS ball head I'm thinking of buying earlier for my monopod is almost that price of the carbon fiber model, and more expensive than the aluminum model.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 8:10 am

IME if you are doing eye level shots use a monopod and remove any remaining movement in post. If you want shots on a long lens even very large tripods still suffer from vibration and are best used low to the ground where even small and light tripods can perform well so just go with whatever is tolerable in weight and size. For travel / hike I use a Gitzo GT2545T + GH1780 ball head. It weighs 1.6kg / 3.5lbs. With just one leg section extended it's more stable than either my Gitzo 5 series systematic or my Flowtec 75 at eye level. If you extend one leg all the way and extend the center column it can be used as a monopod as well.
Last edited by John Griffin on Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Which is what I said, and even though this is what I was talking about, there is not too much comparison between your actions at the moment compared to some not around here.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 12:30 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:The Peak Design is now really peaking my interest...


Can't hurt to try it, if necessary by ordering one, if no-one local has it, from a vendor that offers easy returns.

I would treat this as a 51" tripod and avoid using the centre column. Gene Nagata's video (2 posts up) shows why from 07:30. As he says at 08:20 "It’s definitely more stable when you have the centre column lowered”. The DP Review/Chris Niccolls video (post #3) shows what the situation is on height, without and with the centre column, at 03:30. Note that Nagata and his friend, when they used the tripod to shoot video, lowered the centre column (12:15) and lowered their physical position to stay in frame (13:45).

For me, the other issue is that this is a 5-section tripod. Personally, I prefer 3 sections, 4 max, partly because I don't like fiddling with that many joints and partly for stability reasons. Testing this tripod, I'd want to determine how solid it is with the fifth section extended, and how tall the tripod is without it extended. I'd like to know what the diameters are of the five leg sections, especially the 4th and 5th, but neither Peak Design's site nor B&H's has this information.

I think that the B&H customer reviews are worth reading. Some of them do a good job of explaining the tradeoffs.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 2:02 pm

I've tried out the Peak Design carbon fiber travel tripod with the adapter plate with a ball head for pan and tilt of a BM Pocket 4k. It just doesn't work most of the time for a stable pan and tilt like a fluid head. You can find sections of the shot that work and also use edit software such as warp stabilizer in Premiere to help get more footage. But there is a great deal of lost footage that makes the Peak Design a no go for pan and tilt. The Peak does work for locked-off video and is wonderful for photography.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 2:46 pm

John Richard wrote:I've tried out the Peak Design carbon fiber travel tripod with the adapter plate with a ball head for pan and tilt of a BM Pocket 4k. It just doesn't work most of the time for a stable pan and tilt like a fluid head. You can find sections of the shot that work and also use edit software such as warp stabilizer in Premiere to help get more footage. But there is a great deal of lost footage that makes the Peak Design a no go for pan and tilt. The Peak does work for locked-off video and is wonderful for photography.

I can believe that. For a fluid head to work properly the legs need to resist twisting forces otherwise the start and end of motions jerk as the forces 'wound up' in the legs spring back and any less than perfect panning action is similarly disturbed. Video legs are twin tube for this very reason. No reflection on the peak design as it's a stills tripod and never designed for this but interestingly the Flowtec 75 which is basically a bigger version is not that good either and I find an older set of Vinten CF twin tube legs to be better. The flowtec wins on speed of setup and adjustment and everything is a tradeoff.
Which is what I said, and even though this is what I was talking about, there is not too much comparison between your actions at the moment compared to some not around here.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 4:12 pm

John Griffin wrote:For a fluid head to work properly the legs need to resist twisting forces otherwise the start and end of motions jerk as the forces 'wound up' in the legs spring back and any less than perfect panning action is similarly disturbed. Video legs are twin tube for this very reason.


As you know, Miller makes both fluid heads and tripods. It's Solo tripods are single tube. I use a Miller CX6, a Pocket 4K and a Fujinon MK 18-55mm lens with a Gitzo full-size tripod and the RRS ground tripod shown in post #17. Works fine.

I think that a ball head is just the wrong tool for the job, a good example of trying to drive a square peg into a round hole. Note that John Richard's post is about using a third party ball head with the Peak Design tripod. Peak Design's own ball head may work in a way that would make it particularly problematic. Perhaps someone can clarify, but it's unclear to me whether it's even possible to pan with it. Apparently there are issues with using it to make panoramas.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 5:49 pm

robedge wrote:
John Griffin wrote:For a fluid head to work properly the legs need to resist twisting forces otherwise the start and end of motions jerk as the forces 'wound up' in the legs spring back and any less than perfect panning action is similarly disturbed. Video legs are twin tube for this very reason.


As you know, Miller makes both fluid heads and tripods. It's Solo tripods are single tube. I use a Miller CX6, a Pocket 4K and a Fujinon MK 18-55mm lens with a Gitzo full-size tripod and the RRS ground tripod shown in post #17. Works fine.


Single tubes can work esp if the head is wide like the Solo or Gitzo systematic as this adds rigidity but that doesn't mean they are as good as twin tube designs.
Which is what I said, and even though this is what I was talking about, there is not too much comparison between your actions at the moment compared to some not around here.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 6:52 pm

Ball heads by themselves are rarely good for moving shots other than tracking a moving subject like wildlife. Adding a panning plate like the ones that Really Right Stuff makes can help a great deal with one axis at a time, since you can also use an L-bracket to flip it 90 degrees and use it for tilt, but for both it's still not good.

But if you find a lightweight pan tilt head to put on the flat plate adapter, then it might work well.

I do use the center column from time to time, and I've found that it's more stable than I'd expected, but not enough for the Red. It's fairly straightforward to remove it though.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSat Aug 29, 2020 10:52 pm

The B&H site says that it has the first three items below on display. The fourth can probably be brought up from the basement. I'm curious enough that I think that I’ll drop by tomorrow or Monday to have a look. I also want to look at the ATEM Mini Pro, which B&H has in stock, but that’s not this thread.

1. Peak Design Tripod with ball head ($630 with adapter): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... ripod.html

2. Gitzo Traveler Tripod ($470, or $600 with ball head): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 1545t.html

3. Gitzo Pan & Tilt Head ($320): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _head.html

4. RRS Ground Level Aluminium Tripod ($395): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... eries.html
Last edited by robedge on Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 3:37 am

Further to the above post, Gitzo makes a number of Traveler tripods. As the DP Review/Chris Niccolls video (post #3) says, the direct competitor to the Peak Design is Gitzo's Series 1 Traveler. The price quoted in the video is US$950, which was Niccolls's principal criticism (14:45 of the video). Leaving aside price, Niccolls said "The Gitzo has fantastic technology, and the best build quality by far". It’s also lighter than the Peak Design.

As the link in the above post shows, the current price of the Gitzo tripod, with ball head, is actually $600, not $950, and $470 without the head. The Peak Design is also $600, and $630 with the head adapter, which I think is more or less mandatory for people shooting video.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 7:16 am

I'm just sharing this from a chat I had with Louis of Peak Design. This one is particularly about load capacity. We all know this already but it is from Peak Design's perspective and their honest explanation that is true for their tripod.

From Louis of Peak Design:
If you've ever shopped around for tripods, you'll find that every manufacturer gives their tripod some sort of weight rating or load capacity. You'll also notice that these numbers can vary greatly between manufacturers. Does that mean that tripod strength and stability varies stupendously from one brand to the next? No. It means that there is no tripod weight capacity standard. In fact, most brands don't even explain what their weight capacity numbers mean.

Well, here's what it means to us: you can put a 20 lb. object on top of the Travel Tripod and it will still safely function. Can it hold more without collapsing? Yeah, a lot more. It takes about 85 lbs. of downward force before the center column starts to slip. Do we recommend using the Travel Tripod as your go-to solution for holding 20 lb. objects? Not really. Just because it can hold 20 lbs. doesn't mean it's optimized for it.

The Peak Design Travel Tripod was designed to let you confidently shoot with professional rigs, up to full-frame DSLRs with telephoto lenses. That means that the Travel Tripod has the stiffness, stability, and vibration-resistance you need to get the shot you want with most pro gear setups in most environments.

The performance of the Travel Tripod (or any tripod) depends on a ton of factors—the weight and form factor of your camera/lens, your surface and environment, and the type of shot you're trying to get. As your rig gets heavier, or your weight gets more off-center, or your surface gets softer, stability and performance will inevitably diminish. An 8 lb. rig with a short lens may be more stable than a 5 lb. rig with a long lens. Shooting on sand may be less stable than shooting on pavement. All this is to say, if you ask us "will the Travel Tripod hold camera X with lens Y?" our answer is yes, it will safely hold it, provided it weighs less than 20 lbs. If you're shooting with particularly heavy (>8lb) or particularly large (>600mm focal length) setups, you'll notice diminishing performance in certain environments.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 2:04 pm

I decided to make this spreadsheet as prep before going to B&H to have a look at these tripods. The spreadsheet covers the Peak Design tripod, its direct Gitzo Series 1 competitor (1545T) and Gitzo's more robust Series 2 tripod (2545T). The first column is Really Right Stuff's ground-level aluminium tripod. The two Gitzo tripods are also available as 5-section tripods. The post three above has B&H links to these tripods.

I have used manufacturers' data in cases where B&H's data differs. Some of the B&H specs on the Gitzo tripods reflect a copy and paste between configurations with and without a ball head. As a consequence, its specs for some criteria are simply wrong.


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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 3:56 pm

In this video, Lok Cheung compares the Peak Design tripod to a Manfrotto travel tripod at half the price. His basic message is that travel tripods have inherent weaknesses. Either accept them or don't buy a travel tripod. For example, what's happening with the Peak Design legs at 01:12 is either acceptable to you or it isn't. Cheung's point is that all really light travel tripods will behave more or less similarly.

He also makes the argument for Peak Design's approach to ball head design, while demonstrating the head's peculiarities. There's no getting around the fact that it's fiddly. People who shoot video will be interested in the section where he mounts a pan and tilt head on top of the Peak Design head. At the end, he talks briefly about Gitzo's Traveler tripods.

This is one of the few videos, and probably the only one by an "influencer", that Peak Design didn't pay for in cash and/or in kind, although Cheung says that Peak Design paid for an earlier review.



This Peak Design video covers its travel tripod and how the legs and integrated ball head work in detail. Note that Peak Design says that the carbon fibre version is superior to the aluminium version with respect to stiffness and vibration:



This Gitzo promotional video is a "day in the life" demonstration of its Series 2 Traveler, which is a step up from the Series 1 that competes with Peak Design's tripod. I have not come across a useful video review of the Series 2, but this video does a decent job of showing how the Traveller tripods work.



Finally, this DP Review/Chris Niccolls video reviews four travel tripods, including the Peak Design and Gitzo's Series 1. However, note that the current price of the Gitzo is US$350 less than quoted in the video. Leaving aside what DP Review believed was the price when the video was made, Niccolls says, at 14:45, that "The Gitzo has fantastic technology, and the best build quality by far".



The spreadsheet in the post above has the prices and specs for all three Peak Design and Gitzo tripods.


_
Last edited by robedge on Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 11:01 pm

robedge wrote:I have used manufacturers' data in cases where B&H's data differs. Some of the B&H specs on the Gitzo tripods reflect a copy and paste between configurations with and without a ball head. As a consequence, its specs for some criteria are simply wrong.


The RRS Ground pod is a TANK. I have one of the original models, with only two leg angle selections (normal and flat). I used it with my Ebony 4x5, had no trouble shooting long exposures on it with a 720mm lens.

But it's a tad limited in the height department...

:)
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 11:08 pm

robedge wrote:
Finally, this DP Review/Chris Niccolls video reviews four travel tripods, including the Peak Design and Gitzo's Series 1. However, note that the current price of the Gitzo is US$350 less than quoted in the video. Leaving aside what DP Review believed was the price when the video was made, Niccolls says, at 14:45, that "The Gitzo has fantastic technology, and the best build quality by far".


I've never been particularly impressed with Manfrotto's tripods, but the Gitzo legs have been great in my experience. I did eventually shift over to Really Right Stuff mostly, but my first professional tripod was a Gitzo. It was on the bulky and heavy side, but technology has come a very long way since then.

IMO Gitzo and RRS are the top dogs in the tripod department. I'm not fan of Gitzo's head though. I've always preferred Arca-Swiss style plates, and also found that for ballheads Really Right Stuff, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, and Kirk were far more user friendly and stable.

It sounds like Peak Design got their attention, so we'll probably see some leapfrogging among them :)

Of those though the only one whose video head I've had a chance to play with is the one from Really Right Stuff. It was great, but not something I'd carry on a backpacking trip.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 11:17 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote: I'm not fan of Gitzo's head though. I've always preferred Arca-Swiss style plates, and also found that for ballheads Really Right Stuff, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, and Kirk were far more user friendly and stable.


The Gitzo ball heads for these tripods is a new design that uses Arca-Swiss plates. I plan to have a closer look at the design at B&H tomorrow.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca-Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps/DPA mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6ii

Main Sample Libraries: Bechstein Piano, BBC Symphony Orchestra
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostSun Aug 30, 2020 11:36 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:
The RRS Ground pod is a TANK. I have one of the original models, with only two leg angle selections (normal and flat). I used it with my Ebony 4x5, had no trouble shooting long exposures on it with a 720mm lens.

But it's a tad limited in the height department...

:)


I have the RRS carbon fibre ground tripod. As you know, the aluminium ground tripod is a completely different design. I'm also going to check it out tomorrow. If I was a wildlife photographer, it would be a no-brainer (no tubes), but I'm not and would need a different excuse to get one.

For those who aren't familiar with the RRS carbon fibre tripod, there are a couple of photos above of my Pocket 4K on one. This is one of the photos:

rrs-tallest-riser.jpg
rrs-tallest-riser.jpg (523.2 KiB) Viewed 564 times
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca-Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps/DPA mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6ii

Main Sample Libraries: Bechstein Piano, BBC Symphony Orchestra
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostMon Aug 31, 2020 10:08 am

robedge wrote:
Rakesh Malik wrote: I'm not fan of Gitzo's head though. I've always preferred Arca-Swiss style plates, and also found that for ballheads Really Right Stuff, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, and Kirk were far more user friendly and stable.


The Gitzo ball heads for these tripods is a new design that uses Arca-Swiss plates. I plan to have a closer look at the design at B&H tomorrow.

The Series 2 is MUCH more robust than the Series 1 Gitzo's which are very 'spindly'. The included ball head in the series 2 traveller is designed to fit between the legs when collapsed so is a compromise as far as stability is concerned. Gitzo heads are mainly magnesium and are very light but IME very solid.
Which is what I said, and even though this is what I was talking about, there is not too much comparison between your actions at the moment compared to some not around here.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostMon Aug 31, 2020 11:48 am

John Griffin wrote:The Series 2 is MUCH more robust than the Series 1 Gitzo's which are very 'spindly'. The included ball head in the series 2 traveller is designed to fit between the legs when collapsed so is a compromise as far as stability is concerned. Gitzo heads are mainly magnesium and are very light but IME very solid.


Thanks. As I understand it, you're using a Series 2 Traveler with an older Gitzo ball head that wasn't designed for this tripod. Presumably that means that the legs don't collapse as tightly. If so, is that an issue? How inconvenient is it?

If you look at 1:30 of this video about your tripod, the guy isn’t walking around with the legs collapsed around the head anyway:

Last edited by robedge on Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca-Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps/DPA mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6ii

Main Sample Libraries: Bechstein Piano, BBC Symphony Orchestra
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostMon Aug 31, 2020 12:13 pm

robedge wrote:
John Griffin wrote:The Series 2 is MUCH more robust than the Series 1 Gitzo's which are very 'spindly'. The included ball head in the series 2 traveller is designed to fit between the legs when collapsed so is a compromise as far as stability is concerned. Gitzo heads are mainly magnesium and are very light but IME very solid.


Thanks. As I understand it, you're using a Series 2 Traveler with an older Gitzo ball head that wasn't designed for this tripod. Presumably that means that the legs don't collapse as tightly. Is that an issue?

Not at all as the head is very short so with the legs reversed and the head on top and not between the legs it's still quite compact esp if you remove the rubber grip to the centre column as it enables the legs to squeeze down more than they would with a ball head between them. I also used it with a Manfrotto ball head but it was much heavier and not as solid. I use the tripod in the reversed orientation and don't bother flipping them round to use the angle locks as this saves length and setup time.
Which is what I said, and even though this is what I was talking about, there is not too much comparison between your actions at the moment compared to some not around here.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostMon Aug 31, 2020 8:17 pm

I like Rob's setup with the monopod, fluid head, and the RRS tripod. Since I have a Benro monopod and the fluid head, I think I'll look at getting a low tripod, probably the Induro carbon fiber, to give enough ground stability and still be portable. Right now I'm trying to figure out if the monopod legs can be detach to expose a 3/8 screw hole.
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Re: Travel tripod for a rigged P6K

PostMon Aug 31, 2020 9:08 pm

Here are my impressions after a visit to B&H. This is the third time that I've looked at travel tripods in the last five years and I'm still not quite there. Obviously, a lot of other people, including some of the people who have posted in this thread, are more enthusiastic. This is one of those decisions that is just about personal preferences and tradeoffs.

Of the travel tripods, I would choose, as John Griffin did (see earlier posts), the Gitzo Series 2. It is noticeably more robust and stiffer than the Gitzo Series 1 and the Peak Design.

However, I'm a bit over 5.6' at eye level (1.7m) and the tripod's maximum height, with a ball head but the centre column lowered, is 4.6' (1.4m). I'm happy to lie on the ground, sit on the ground and kneel on the ground, but I am not going to hunch over a foot to take photos or shoot video, nor am I going to regularly use a centre column because I bought a tripod that's too short for me :) This would only work if I bring along my Comfort 55 Walkstool. Not a deal breaker, but it's another thing to carry and another 1.8lbs (800g). By the way, this is a Walkstool (a Comfort 45 might be better with this tripod): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... lding.html

As a practical matter, most people will use one of these travel tripods with a ball head. Without one, the only way to level the camera is to level the tripod legs. It's one thing to level the legs of a ground tripod, but patience just might grow thin if one has to do it with a 4-stage, 4.6' tall tripod all day long.

There is a technical problem if one wants to use a head with one of these travel tripods that isn't specifically designed for it. The top plate of the Gitzo tripod is 1.65" in diameter. Standard heads have a base diameter of 2.36" or more. One can increase the diameter of the top plate by adding a platform that has a 3/8" female bottom and a 3/8" male top. One potentially attractive way to do this is to use a quick release base and a quick release top plate. Peak Design, whose tripod also results in this discrepancy, sells an accessory platform to address this specific issue. John Griffin has the Gitzo Series 2 and says in an earlier post that he's using a standard head. It would be interesting to know what, if anything, he does to address this.

At B&H, I also had a good look at RRS's aluminum ground tripod. As Rakesh Malik says above, it's built like a tank. I already have RRS's carbon fibre ground tripod, but I'm working on an excuse to purchase the aluminum one as well. Add a monopod that can be screwed to the ground tripod, and maybe there's a pretty flexible travel solution with three shooting options. What's the diameter of my monopod's top plate? The same as a standard head. How short can a monopod be? How many leg sections are you prepared to have? The more, the shorter.

Cheers
Last edited by robedge on Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
Video: Pocket 4K, Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica primes

Stills: Leica M3/M6/M240; Mamiya 7II; Arca-Swiss 4x5/8x10

Sound: Schoeps/DPA mikes; Sound Devices 702T/MixPre-6ii

Main Sample Libraries: Bechstein Piano, BBC Symphony Orchestra
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