Best lightweight tripod for 500 series Blad

Swissblad

Member
Hi fellow Blad users,
I am considering a new lightweight carbon tripod for hiking - my usual "Benbo" is just getting too heavy - although I love its "any-position is fine by me" flexibility. I am tending towards the Manfrotto (Bogen) 055 series. Does anybody have experience with these tripods - or have another suggestion.
As a head I will continue using my Linhoff / Novoflex combination.
Thanks
Sinuhe
 

polypal

New Member
I am sure this will not make me the most popular guy but lightweight tripods are not very effective.
The mass of a good tripod also serves as an absorber for any vibrations caused by the camera. A light tripod is no good for that purpose.

Some manufacturers even offer facilities to attach extra weight that can be found on the location like sand or stones to increase eight.
 
If you use any of the lightweight carbon tripods you would be well advised to use your camera bag as steadying ballast.

Yes, the Benbos are heavy, and yes, I've been seriously tempted to switch to carbon (Gitzo Explorer series), but the fact is despite their weight I value their rigidity and adaptability.
 

vandevantersh

New Member
I am sure this will not make me the most popular guy but lightweight tripods are not very effective.
The mass of a good tripod also serves as an absorber for any vibrations caused by the camera. A light tripod is no good for that purpose.

Some manufacturers even offer facilities to attach extra weight that can be found on the location like sand or stones to increase eight.
On the other hand, the tripod that stays in the car or at home because it is too heavy to carry around is worth nothing. My 503CWD+winder doesn't have a lot of vibration with the mirror up and remote IR release. A lazy hobbyist such as myself, has to make trade-offs.
 

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polypal

New Member
Better a poor tripod than no tripod, true but a decent lightweight tripod carries heavyweight costs.


I have two Slick Japanese made tripods.
This one came with a film or video head.
An older Linhof ball head replaced the video head.


IMG_1389-2.jpg

Top of the Slick with Linhof, Q coupling, my favourit 500 ELX and 100 mm Planar.



IMG_1390-2.jpg

Slick heavy tripod.
 

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vandevantersh

New Member
I can't argue with physics but the thought of back-packing that at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon makes my back, knees and lungs hurt. Getting old changes one's view on "things".

Steve
 

polypal

New Member
Steve,

I am a bit of a coward.
For trips like yours I use a 503CW with PM 45 a lighter Slick and smaller ball head.

The lenses are probably the largest part of the weight from that kit.


Paul
 

Swissblad

Member
Thanks for the input gents - I have to admit I'm tending towards the option that Steve is using - I just don't feel up to lugging all my baggage anymore - unless the car is close by!
Sinuhe
 

bensonga

MFF-Patron
Here's what I use for the Hasselblads (501CM, 553ELX & 503CWD-II)......seems to work great and it's a good compromise between a heavier metal tripod vs the smaller carbon fiber tripods. This is the Gitzo GT3530S (Standard) which is part of their carbon fiber Systematic line. I don't use a center column so my RRS ball head is mounted directly on the base plate. Center columns are available, also leveling columns etc. The tripod itself weighs about 4 lbs and has a rated load capacity of almost 40 lbs.

On the other hand.....I love the Berlebach wood tripod....but it's overkill for the Hasselblads. Works perfectly for the P67 or my Ebony 4x5.

Gary Benson
Eagle River, Alaska
 

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polypal

New Member
Good idea to leave out the center column.
The connection between ball head and tripod is more direct that way.

I like the wooden tripods too. Used them many years with Arriflex movie cameras. Could be wood aborbs vibrations better than metal.
 
Getting old changes one's view on "things".

Steve
Certainly does. At 57 years old I had a major heart attack whilst shooting on a remote Greek Island; not to be recommended. I quit smoking and started walking miles every day. Two years down the line I now feel fitter than I have for years. My Benbo continues to give me a workout!
 

vandevantersh

New Member
Certainly does. At 57 years old I had a major heart attack whilst shooting on a remote Greek Island; not to be recommended. I quit smoking and started walking miles every day. Two years down the line I now feel fitter than I have for years. My Benbo continues to give me a workout!
The same with me. I am 64+ and had 1/3 of my right lung taken out 2 months ago and I still am in better shape than 10 years ago. I rode >35 km on my bike yesterday...on the other hand, my girl friend ran the same distance. I am getting old!!!

Steve
 

cs_foto

Member
I use manfrotto 055 with the 804rc2 head and it is charming!








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Swissblad

Member
Looks, ike a good combination Gary. The idea of leaving the centre post ut is great - and one which Gitzo readily allows. I remember reading about t first on Galen Rowels forum.
I also have an old Zone VI wooden tripod for their view camera - which is great - but larger too large for the Blad - but I understand the temptation.



Here's what I use for the Hasselblads (501CM, 553ELX & 503CWD-II)......seems to work great and it's a good compromise between a heavier metal tripod vs the smaller carbon fiber tripods. This is the Gitzo GT3530S (Standard) which is part of their carbon fiber Systematic line. I don't use a center column so my RRS ball head is mounted directly on the base plate. Center columns are available, also leveling columns etc. The tripod itself weighs about 4 lbs and has a rated load capacity of almost 40 lbs.

On the other hand.....I love the Berlebach wood tripod....but it's overkill for the Hasselblads. Works perfectly for the P67 or my Ebony 4x5.

Gary Benson
Eagle River, Alaska
 

ComicDom1

Member
I am sure this will not make me the most popular guy but lightweight tripods are not very effective.
The mass of a good tripod also serves as an absorber for any vibrations caused by the camera. A light tripod is no good for that purpose.

Some manufacturers even offer facilities to attach extra weight that can be found on the location like sand or stones to increase eight.
I agree with Polypal here. I have learned the hard way so I invested in a Bogen 3221. I have probably had that tripod almost 12 years now. It is heavier and very stable. I have never had to add weight to it.

One of the major concerns for me, was finding a tripod that would go high enough where I could avoid having to extend the center columm very much. I am not all that tall so It was probably easier for me to find than a person over 6 feet or over.

On top of it I have a Slik Pistol Grip head that is very easy to use one handed. It also serves as a handle when I have to carry my Tripod. My tripod legs will also rotate out and have angle adjustment for uneven surfaces. That feature has come in very useful for me.

Lately I bought a rolling camera back off ebay which is also a backpack. It has a place on the outside of it where my tripod mounts so if I want to take a hike, I can carry both my gear and my Tripod.

Jason
 

bensonga

MFF-Patron
I agree with Polypal here. I have learned the hard way so I invested in a Bogen 3221. I have probably had that tripod almost 12 years now. It is heavier and very stable. I have never had to add weight to it.
I have owned a 3221 for many years also and it's an excellent tripod....but I have yet to see any difference in the sharpness of photos I take while using the 3221 vs the Gitzo GT3530S. The GT3530 is not one of the smaller, lighter weight CF tripods....it's sort of in the upper end of the Gitzo line re strength and load rating, so maybe that's why. You can certainly get alot more for your money going with a metal tripod instead of carbon fiber! I have heard that the aluminum is more prone to vibration than the CF or wood, but I've never had a problem either way (that I can tell anyways).

Gary
 

bensonga

MFF-Patron
I also have an old Zone VI wooden tripod for their view camera........but I understand the temptation.
Yup, there's just something about those wooden tripods (the nicely made ones anyways)......really enjoyable to use. The model of Berlebach I purchased has a leveling ball built into the base and no center column.....it seems very stable.

They are best suited to a view camera I think....the whole look and feel of it! :)

Gary
 

ulrik

Member
Camera supports are always a compromise in some way. If you want a lightweight tripod for hiking and you do not want to compromise an stability you may want to compromise on size. My lightweight tripod is a Berlebach Mini with Novoflex ballhead that does carry a Hasselblad easily. Of course it is limited with respect to maximum height. Another compromise are monopods: easy to carry, full height, better stability than hand-held but nothing compared to a tripod and useless for long exposures.

Ulrik
 

Swissblad

Member
Thanks for the feedback gents - after weighing up all l the pro's and con's - and after I had my arm twisted by my friendly camera salesman - who gave me a very good discount - I bought a carbon Manfrotto - it is not the smallest tripod - but it is a lot lighter than what I have in my collection - and is very stable. The Gitzo pods are lovely - but exhoarbantantly priced locally - so it was out of the question. Will test it this weekend, and post the results asap.
By the way, this little lady is the reason that we are getting fitter and need a lighter pod - as I scamper to try and keep up with her.
Cheers

Sinuhe

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ulrik

Member
To adjust hiking speed I would let the dog carry the camera backpack. I myself prefer donkeys though...

Ulrik
 
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