Travel Tripod or Monopod
I'm looking to buy a tripod or monopod for travel, and was wondering if anybody had any suggestion. It should be strong enough to support a Nikon D40 with the 55-200mm VR and should be of minimal size when collapsed. Lets say something that can fit in the average backpack. If there isn't such a tripod/monopod what is the smallest that can support my D40 and lens combination?.

Thanks Everybody!..

Comments (9)

Ecdeboer wrote:.

I'm looking to buy a tripod or monopod for travel, and was wonderingif anybody had any suggestion. It should be strong enough to supporta Nikon D40 with the 55-200mm VR.

The whole point of VR is that it greatly reduces the need for a tripod or a monopod. Are you sure you want to lug around a tripod or monopod? If so, what is your intended use? The answer to that last question can guide others to give you better answers..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #1

I really enjoy night photography landscapes citylights and what not. I will be traveling to San Fransisco in late March. Also possible for panorama type shots.Thanks..

Comment #2

Ecdeboer wrote:.

I really enjoy night photography landscapes citylights and what not..

Presumably you also have an 18-55mm kit lens, that would usually be better for cityscapes, unless you are doing....

I will be traveling to San Fransisco in late March. Also possiblefor panorama type shots..

Panoramas. In which case that lens could be useful..

A monopod won't be much help..

A tripod would, but will you carry it around? One sturdy enough to carry a DSLR, even a small one like the D40, won't be tiny. And price s a factor, too. You can go with anything from a basic $100 Bogen or Slik with 3D head up to $600 Gitzo Traveler legs + $300 Acratech ballhead..

As an alternative suggestion, how about a beanbag? Fits in your pocket, and you can use any bench/table/rock/car/etc as a base. Plunk beanbag down, put camera on beanbag. Use a remote release or just the timer to trip the shutter..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #3

It does not sound like a monopod would be any use to you. Tripods can get expensive and bulky and even more expensive if they are not heavy..

Consider a tabletop tripod. I often use mine with a long lens on a wall, a patio table or whatever..

Whatever device you buy it will be of little use to you if it is so heavy/bulky that you normally leave it behind..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #4

The really small travel tripods that get recommended most frequently on this site are the Velbon Ultra series. I recently bought the Velbon Ultra Luxi SF which folds down to 13.5" and weighs 2.1 lbs..

I have tested it with a heavier camera/lens combination than yours and it was surprisingly stable with the centre column down - I wouldn't recommend using it with the centre column up. It isn't sturdy enough to be usable in a wind and with the centre column down I have to go down on one knee. The ball head that comes with it is just about usable - you can replace it with a better head but that will add to the weight..

I am taking it on a long trip later this month and will be interested to see how it performs. I am not expecting miracles, but at least I will have a tripod with me..

Velbon also makes the Ultra Luxi F which has longer legs and a much better head, but is heavier and 2" longer folded down. I wouldn't recommend the Ultra Maxi tripods because the lowest leg sections are pencil thin.Chris R..

Comment #5

...which I bought back in the days before image stabilized lenses were available. I've never found it to be all that useful, and in fact I haven't used it for years. For shots taken at shutter speeds as low as 1/6 sec., image stabilization works well enough (depending on focal length, of course) not to bother with taking the monopod. Then if the shutter speed is *really* slow, then you need a tripodor, as other suggested, a beanbag or small table-top tripod. A sturdy table-top tripod is a better option than a flimsy full-sized tripod. People that are serious about landscape photography spend hundreds of dollars just on the tripod head..


Comment #6

I travel with my tripod everytime. I have a 3 pound tripod with a 1 pound ballhead (slik and manfrotto). I carry this combo in a padded case slung over my shoulder. they are not cumbersome (my other tripod is). I have a d70 and 18-200vr. I use the tripod so I can include myself in the picture with my family.

Good luck...

Comment #7

Giottos QU500B with MH1303 ballhead. Holds 3 kg and you don't need separate insurance. You do need to be prepared to get down on your belly a lot though. I also have a Manfrotto monopod, which is good mainly for things like animal photography when you sit around waiting a lot and it is good to have the camera + lens weight supported but you need to be able to move quickly. It doubles as a walking stick, but you could put a 1/4" screw in the top of a wooden alpenstock for a fraction of the price...

Comment #8

What you want is a monopod that you can use as a tripod. Manfrotto Art.1334SS. This I use when I travel. The legs are in the bottom of the unit. Put you camera case on the bottom legs and a Ball head on top and you are set to go anywhere anytime.I have been all over the world with this set up...

Comment #9

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