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Im looking for recommendations on a lightweight tripod/head setup for packing. Will be used mostly for day hike/backpack hunts with 65mm angled eye piece spotter and/or binoculars. I don't know anything about tripods or heads but I see the name Manfrotto thrown out a lot? Any help would be great.

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I've had a hard time finding a good lightweight tripod myself. I've tried lots and still haven't found what I'm looking for.

That said I do know that 'good' tripods tend to be very heavy. Most people who want good tripods are photographers and they do not want any wiggle or shake - and that means the tripods are heavy. Manfrotto does make GREAT tripods, but they also tend to be REALLY heavy and not great for backpacking.

Last time I looked none of the high end tripods were under 2 pounds.

Consequently, I've tried a bunch of cheap lightweight tripods for my backpacking spotting scope. I used to use a Nikon XL (32 oz) and now use the Nikon 50 ED that weighs 16 oz - so I do not need a super sturdy tripod. Currently I use a Slik tripod that works pretty good - it weighs 32 oz. I can't remember the name just the brand. But it has flintlock rather than twist adjustments, and a good ball head. It works pretty well but it does weigh twice what my scope weighs.

DON'T get the twist leg extensions - they always break. I also tried some lighter weight tripods and they just did not work. I tried some of those 8 oz deals for point and shoot cameras, and one that all folded up with shock cord (something like 12 oz), and they all proved too wobbly and did not have enough quick adjustment for use in the field while hunting. For instance, when you grab it off the pack the pack to check out an animal - you want to get the animal in the scope as soon as possible, and you don't want it wobbling all over the place when you do.

So it seems i'm stuck with a 2 lb tripod - but hey, at least it was cheap (something like 50 bucks). I just wish there was a good one pound tripod and am hoping that someone will post in with information about just such a thing.

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As far as a light tripod goes, a number of companies make carbon fiber tripods. Mine is a Slik brand. A Crown Royal bag full of rocks can help steady the lightweight tripod. You don't have to pack the rocks in. smile

I'll leave a head recommendation to others. I believe Huntsonora mentioned a good one in an earlier thread, might want to see if you can Google it up.


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I've tried a lot of compact tripods. For the money I don't think you can beat the Slik Sprint Pro EZ:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=slik+sprint+pro+ez&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ps

After this little gem, I believe the next step is to carbon fiber as the other gents have pointed out.


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Originally Posted by Akbob5
As far as a light tripod goes, a number of companies make carbon fiber tripods. Mine is a Slik brand. A Crown Royal bag full of rocks can help steady the lightweight tripod. You don't have to pack the rocks in. smile

I'll leave a head recommendation to others. I believe Huntsonora mentioned a good one in an earlier thread, might want to see if you can Google it up.
Oh, so THAT'S what my problem has been. crazy


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My Sirui packs under 15" and about 2 pounds

3 true leg angles

[Linked Image]


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I followed Brad's advice some years ago. After lots of miles in the mountains, I have no regrets whatsoever. Thanks again Brad. E

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This Vangauard might find it's way into my pack this fall

It has everything I want

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1123605-REG/vanguard_veo_235ap_aluminum_tripod_pan_head.html


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Ted, that looks like a nice tripod.


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I've been happy with my Sunpack CF tripod that I bought based on a recommendation I read here. Probably not the 'best', but it held my Theron Saker well and was at a price point that I liked. The trigger on the pistol grip is a bit tight, but works well.

http://www.amazon.com/SUNPAK-620-423-CFT-PX2-Sunpak-Tripod/dp/B004H1M4IY

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I'm using the Slik Sprint Pro II with the ball-head that they include. The head is decent, but I'll likely upgrade it this year and continue using the legs. They're solid for the price and weight...

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I have the manfrotto befree carbon and like it quite a bit.

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Originally Posted by starsky
I have the manfrotto befree carbon and like it quite a bit.


We aren't all rich. Think about the peasants next time you post....

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Did B&H Photo turn down your SNAP card?

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Apparently they don't think the "T" in EBT really does stand for "Tripod".... Oppressed by The Man once again...

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Anyone have any experience with the Vortex Summit SS? Also, what about heads? Ball vs pan? I think I like the idea of a ball head.

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I looked at the Vortex you are refering to and just didnt like it for one reason or another but I can't remember why.....old age

I like a 15" or less fold size and around and or under 3 lbs.

I prefer the pan and tilt over the ball head


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I use a Vortex Highcountry. Comes in at around two pounds. May get junked for something better this year.

Absolutely hate ball heads. I would highly suggest Outdoorsmans Pan/Tilt head. Well worth the money if you grid hillsides.


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I use the Vortex Summit with a Nikon ED50. I have no complaints whatsoever.
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Originally Posted by HuntNRef

Also, what about heads? Ball vs pan? I think I like the idea of a ball head.


Like the others, pan head, no question.

Add an Oben Tripod Hammock for increased stability:

[Linked Image]


“Perfection is Achieved Not When There Is Nothing More to Add, But When There Is Nothing Left to Take Away” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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