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by OntPhoto on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:45 am
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I have a Gitzo 3200 or 3500 series tripod for most of my work.  It's solid, light but bulky especially with those padded sleeves on the legs.  Looking at a lighter tripod for hiking purposes to be attached to a backpack.  Especially when you attach a tripod to the side of a bag like the Think Tank Glass Limo, you don't want the tripod to make the backpack feel lopsided, balance-wise when walking.  What is the lightest tripod, any brand, that you would recommend for a 500 lens for occasional use only? 


Last edited by OntPhoto on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
 

by prairiewing on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:06 am
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For many years now I've hiked with 300, 400 and 500 mm lenses on a 2500 series Gitzo with RRS 40 ballhead. It's mobile and lightweight and I almost never lock down those combinations for long exposures. I often keep the legs together and use it as a monopod. I'm not a tester so I don't have any data to support my actions but I do know the lightweight tripod I have in hand in the field gives me much more support than my heaviest tripod which may be 4 miles away back in my vehicle.
Pat Gerlach
 

by SantaFeJoe on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:18 am
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A lot of variables must be considered. Are you going to be standing, kneeling, leaning on a tree? What shutter speeds, ISO, VR/IS? I feel that with good technique and using your body as an additional stabilizer, a series 2 Gitzo traveler would be perfect. At lower extensions, you could even get away with a series 1 considering some of the variables mentioned above.

http://www.gitzo.com/product/71837.1078806.0.0.0/GT2545T/_/Gitzo_tripod_Traveler%2C_series_2%2C_4_sections

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Karl Egressy on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:22 am
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Hi Wilson,
The modern lenses have (and some cameras) much better IS system than the old ones.
You no longer need a sturdy tripod and head.
If I were you I would choose one of the lightest carbon fiber tripods
on the market that still carries your long lenses as well.
When I know that I would have to walk no more than 500 m, I use Gitzo and Wimberley.
Other times like walking at Point Peele all day long, I go for the lightest I have.
I don't see any difference in sharpness of the images captured.
 

by OntPhoto on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:47 pm
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Karl Egressy wrote:
Hi Wilson,
The modern lenses have (and some cameras) much better IS system than the old ones.
You no longer need a sturdy tripod and head.
If I were you I would choose one of the lightest carbon fiber tripods
on the market that still carries your long lenses as well.
When I know that I would have to walk no more than 500 m, I use Gitzo and Wimberley.
Other times like walking at Point Peele all day long, I go for the lightest I have.
I don't see any difference in sharpness of the images captured.


Thanks Pat, Joe and Karl.  Joe, mostly for standing and may include some longer exposures (1/5 sec, 1/40 sec, etc.).  I use a remote for that.  Hard to do with a monopod which is why I am considering a lightweight tripod (I already have a lightweight monopod).

Karl, you are right about the image stabilization on today's lenses.  Think the 500 f4 II has very good image stabilization.  I looked at the Benro...not too expensive compared to higher end stuff....I just want a lightweight tripod that isn't going to collapse with a 500 f4 II and camera attached.  A tripod I can stash on the side of a backpack and feel stable when walking.  Which Benro do you use and how's the quality so far? 
 

by SantaFeJoe on Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:38 pm
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Here's a link to a recent thread about the MeFoto tripod that may suit your needs. It is not the lightest, though.

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=268903

Towards the bottom of this page is a comparison chart you might find helpful:

https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/mefoto-globetrotter-air-tripod-review

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by OntPhoto on Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:27 am
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
Here's a link to a recent thread about the MeFoto tripod that may suit your needs. It is not the lightest, though.

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=268903

Towards the bottom of this page is a comparison chart you might find helpful:

https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/mefoto-globetrotter-air-tripod-review

Joe


Thanks Joe.  I must have missed that thread on the MeFoto.  What a great tripod for going compact and like the fact it has a built in ball head to go even more compact.  It seems to be made for lighter lenses (may use it for a 70-200 and even a Canon 400 5.6).  Don't think it was made to be used with a 500 f4 unless they have a model built for that purpose? 

PS.  Thanks for clueing me into the MeFoto.  Necessity is the mother of invention and I really think the concept around the MeFoto is really neat. 
 

by Mark Picard on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:20 am
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Years ago I broke a leg completely off when my tripod jammed between two boulders. I was on a trip far from home, and was faced with a "no tripod" dilemma for the two week trip (on the second day). I was using a 80-200 and a prime 500mm at the time. The only tripod I could come up with was offered to me from some one that had a spare tripod and was willing to lend it to me for my trip. I broke a Gitzo 3 series, and the tripod offered was a skinny, (three quarters of an inch was the biggest leg, going all the way down to about a quarter inch last leg.) aluminum Gitzo that went up to about 4 feet fully extended. I had no choice but to use that inadequate little piece of s#!t! But, you know what? It actually worked well enough to get most of my images sharp and well composed! I knew what I was using and paid a lot of attention to good technique - we didn't have the luxury of image stabilization then (20 years ago) either. Pick a nice lightweight carbon fiber tripod with a good light head (BH-40?) that fits on your packpack to your liking and you should be fine.  
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by Karl Egressy on Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:52 pm
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OntPhoto wrote:
Karl Egressy wrote:
Hi Wilson,
The modern lenses have (and some cameras) much better IS system than the old ones.
You no longer need a sturdy tripod and head.
If I were you I would choose one of the lightest carbon fiber tripods
on the market that still carries your long lenses as well.
When I know that I would have to walk no more than 500 m, I use Gitzo and Wimberley.
Other times like walking at Point Peele all day long, I go for the lightest I have.
I don't see any difference in sharpness of the images captured.


Thanks Pat, Joe and Karl.  Joe, mostly for standing and may include some longer exposures (1/5 sec, 1/40 sec, etc.).  I use a remote for that.  Hard to do with a monopod which is why I am considering a lightweight tripod (I already have a lightweight monopod).

Karl, you are right about the image stabilization on today's lenses.  Think the 500 f4 II has very good image stabilization.  I looked at the Benro...not too expensive compared to higher end stuff....I just want a lightweight tripod that isn't going to collapse with a 500 f4 II and camera attached.  A tripod I can stash on the side of a backpack and feel stable when walking.  Which Benro do you use and how's the quality so far? 

I use Benro C2580 T but I think it is discontinued.
I put on a 4th Generation Gimbal head that is only 1.5lb and I use it for the 500 most of the time when I have to walk longer.
It weighs 1.45 kg or 3.04 lb on my scale.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:52 pm
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I've also used the 4th generations mongoose head with the full swing added. Works like to wimberly but significantly lighter. The standard side mount is workable but I like it better with the full swing and i'm willing to pay the weight penalty.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:36 pm
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Here's an older thread regarding the Wimberley and Mongoose 4th generation m-3.6:

viewtopic.php?f=57&t=205304

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by absu on Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:28 pm
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Karl Egressy wrote:
OntPhoto wrote:
Karl Egressy wrote:
Hi Wilson,
The modern lenses have (and some cameras) much better IS system than the old ones.
You no longer need a sturdy tripod and head.
If I were you I would choose one of the lightest carbon fiber tripods
on the market that still carries your long lenses as well.
When I know that I would have to walk no more than 500 m, I use Gitzo and Wimberley.
Other times like walking at Point Peele all day long, I go for the lightest I have.
I don't see any difference in sharpness of the images captured.


Thanks Pat, Joe and Karl.  Joe, mostly for standing and may include some longer exposures (1/5 sec, 1/40 sec, etc.).  I use a remote for that.  Hard to do with a monopod which is why I am considering a lightweight tripod (I already have a lightweight monopod).

Karl, you are right about the image stabilization on today's lenses.  Think the 500 f4 II has very good image stabilization.  I looked at the Benro...not too expensive compared to higher end stuff....I just want a lightweight tripod that isn't going to collapse with a 500 f4 II and camera attached.  A tripod I can stash on the side of a backpack and feel stable when walking.  Which Benro do you use and how's the quality so far? 

I use Benro C2580 T but I think it is discontinued.
I put on a 4th Generation Gimbal head that is only 1.5lb and I use it for the 500 most of the time when I have to walk longer.
It weighs 1.45 kg or 3.04 lb on my scale.


I have used benro c3770t and benro 4770tn. My impression is they are very good and can be used with lighter ball head and 500f4. Of course it will never match Gitzo5541which I am using now. 
Anirban Basu

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— Rabindranath Tagore

Email: anirbanbasu0606@gmail.com
 

by OntPhoto on Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:30 pm
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Thanks to everyone for the feedback.  In my search I discovered that Benro and Induro are the same company or at least use the same legs in their tripods.  Since I am going for a lighter weight backpack, Think Tank Glass Limo, I wanted to explore the use of a lightweight tripod.  The tripod straps onto the side of the backpack, so the lighter the better.  I can always carry it by hand like I do now with the heavier Gitzo.  A pain if I am out exploring.  Only time I do carry it by hand is if I know what I am going to photograph and how far away it is.  

But I like to explore wooded areas hands free if possible, only carrying along a pair of binoculars.  Even the binocular I am thinking about hanging on a binocular harness in the front of the chest.  Sometimes where you park, you don't want people to see you setting up a big 500mm lens.  In some cases I may return to the same area in the same day and may not want to carry the 500 around.  Better no one sees what I am pulling out of the car when possible.  With the backpack I can set it up later in the woods. If I want to go exploring, pack everything up in the backpack so I can move freely.  The Glass Limo seems to be the way to go for this as it is sort of a minimalist bag for a big lens.  Just big enough to fit the lens and some other items.  I currently have a big honkin' bag that can fit the 500mm kens, the 70-200 and the 400 5.6L and a whole bunch of other accessories.  It doesn't feel comfortable.  I will see if the Glass Limo will feel comfortable like or similar to a real hiking backpack.


Last edited by OntPhoto on Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 

by Wildflower-nut on Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:32 pm
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I've been using the GT3542XLS for a long long time in its various editions. A little heavier than some you are talking about but much more capable in terms of weight capacity and height,
 

by billg71 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:56 pm
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One thing that really helps with the bulk of the Gitzo Systematics is the Markins TH-300 tripod hub(if it were in stock it would be even better)

I have one on my 3541XLS and my 5541LS and it really makes a difference in carrying and packing the tripods, especially on the 5541.

As far as lighter, I'd say a 3-section 2500 series would be the way to go. The 2532 is the current model but it'll set you back $850 and only save you .6 lb. over the 3542 Mountaineer or Systematic. I don't know that I'd want to go any lighter with a 500mm, though.

Hope this helps,
Bill
 

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