Today I’ve been trying to decide on a new tripod. I’ve owned precisely one tripod of note and that was for my compact camera. Needless to say I never had it with me when I needed it so it didn’t get used much.
Tripods for SLRs have to be much heavier (am I’m even less likely to bring it along) to cope with the weight of the camera and lens. Herein lies the issue I’m facing. It has to just heavy enough. Too heavy and I wont have it with me, not heavy enough and I’ll see my gear tumble to the ground with the first light breeze
With this in mind I set about finding the lightest one that can be used (allegedly) with a DSLR.
This is what I found out..
- You have to choose head and legs separately
- Most people recommended manfrotto (I asked about on twitter)
- The lightest manfrotto legs I could find were still far too heavy (1.6kg)
- Found a Feisol one at 0.9kg (without head) and 1.1kg with ball head.
While I was looking at all the heads for tripods I found its easy to get carried away with the geekery and choose something that perhaps doesn’t fit my requirements. I started to further analyse what these actually are.
factor no1. Weight.
If I don’t have it with me I can’t use it anyway, so this is a major factor. Well I already knew this. What was harder to pin down was head & height requirements.
factor no2. height?
Well I want it to be versatile but pack up small (to fit in a small case or backpack). I found out that 4 sections in the legs are better than 3 for this purpose. Do I really need it to be as tall as me? Am I going to use it for extended periods and get back ache with a short one? Maybe. Am I going to want it to adjust really low to the ground (maybe) if so I need to be able to adjust or remove the center column.
factor no3. head usage?
Am I going do panoramas with it? Yes. So I need it to pan. Will I be using it on uneven ground? Maybe. But, does it really need a leveler function & spirit level built in or should I just get one of those little cheapo spirit levels for the top of my camera? Yes, I’ll do that.
So what have I decided? Well so far I’ve decided to get this one:
and perhaps the PB-70 panning base but I’m still talking with the very helpful sales staff at www.feisoluk.com about that one.