BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Best Camera Tripods

Photography Question 
Lorena Simon

Need Lightweight Yet Sturdy Tripod

Hi, I have a really good tripod but it is very heavy to carry for hiking with camera, and all the equipment. Can you suggest to me a light but steady tripod for this kind of situations? I have a Nikon D80 camera, and the heaviest lens I have is a 70-210 zoom.

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11/4/2009 8:13:08 AM

Donald R. Curry
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/2/2006
  Take a look at a Monfrotto. I have neen using the the model 3001n for years. I do a lot of hiking.

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11/7/2009 6:10:56 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
  Hello Lorena,
I have a heavier Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 tripod that I mainly use at home and a very light Bogen/Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod w/Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Magnesium Hydrostatic Ballhead. The 190CXPRO4 has 4 sectioned legs and collapses down nicely for carrying on one of my camera backpacks. It runs about $324 at Amazon. It is easy to position, sturdy & very light.
I wanted the Gitzo 1541 (also a carbon fiber tripod) but this one runs about $600. The Gitzo with a Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead would be my preference but they are not cheap.
I am happy with the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 w/468MGRC and this combo is cheaper than the Gitzo tripod alone.
If you have the $$ - I would go with the Gitzo/Really Right Stuff combo but otherwise my Manfrotto is a great alternative.
I hike a lot as well and it makes a huge difference when carrying a lightweight tripod and is well worth the investment. I also use a 100-400mm f/4.5L lens I carry on my hikes and it is plenty sturdy on this tripod.

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11/7/2009 6:49:04 PM

Kerry Drager
BetterPhoto Member
Kerry's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: Creative Close-ups
  Hi Everyone,
Great question, and great tips! Also check out Rob Sheppard's Camera Tripods: An Essential Photo Accessory BetterPhoto Instructor Insights blog.



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11/12/2009 1:19:26 PM

Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
  Thanks for the link Kerry.
I lugged my heavy tripod with me everywhere and it is so nice to have the lighter Carbon Fiber tripod now. I love landscapes, waterfalls, slow shutter speeds, more DOF & HDR imaging so my tripod gets a lot of use and I really enjoy getting everything set up and dialed in and the hitting the remote shutter release just knowing my captures will be good :)
I cringe when I hear a photographer say a tripod is too much hassle. I would feel lost without mine.
Have a great day everyone and Lorena, let us know what you get.

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11/12/2009 4:26:38 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Try this one

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11/13/2009 3:12:05 AM

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