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Sturdy travel tripod - suggestions welcome

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by Phate, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Phate


    Joined: Nov 1, 2003

    Posts: 33,323

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Hi all,

    Looking at upgrading my tripod. Currently I have a Velbon UT 43 II which to be fair, has been fine the past couple of years. I don't necessarily have heavy equipment setup nor use it THAT much anyway not until recently where I have been getting into photography more and especially moving toward more long exposure landscapes.

    The tripod itself is great, it folds up to 30cm, weighs about a kilo. Stands at 150cm tall or thereabouts, made from aluminium. The problem with it however, when the legs are fully extended it feels like a strong breeze could move it, coupled with the inability to hang a bag from it to weigh it down (also nor would I want to hang one either) - basically I want to eventually upgrade it to something more sturdy and stronger...something which can stand up to the elements a more.

    In terms of my setup I use mirrorless Olympus stuff, so it doesn't need DSLR worthy robustness (not necessarily anyway!)

    Looking around, I've drooled over Gitzos, but one of their top spec travel ones is coming in around €800-900 with a head. *gulp*

    I've seen Velbon do a carbon version of my tripod for around €500.

    However, I checked out Manfrotto today and saw the Manfrotto Befree Advanced Carbon tripod. It looks like a fantastic bit of kit and is €270. Not sure if it includes a head or not but it seems like a bargain!

    Does anyone have any comments on this tripod? or have any recommendations of any other lightweight travel tripods? :)

    TIA :)

  2. macuser


    Joined: Feb 3, 2004

    Posts: 499

    Been looking at the Benro tripods recently in particular Travel Angel FTA28CV1 Carbon Tripod with V1 Ballhead. That Manfrotto looks a little lightweight, also not a fan of the Manfrotto quick release on the legs.

    Which Velbon tripod you looking at?
  3. Phate


    Joined: Nov 1, 2003

    Posts: 33,323

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Velbon UTC-63 - basically a carbon fibre edition of mine.

    I'll check out that Benro. The Manfrotto I was checking reviews of last night and its overwhelmingly positive it seems!

    Which release do you mean? Do you mean the twist lock or the level based release? The Befree advanced comes with either option so its personal choice :)
  4. doodah


    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 17,051

    Location: London

    Wow some of those prices, I do wonder if the Benro Travel Slim CF might be too small time league considering what you're looking at :p.

    Decided to bring its test forward a little and take it to Wales next weekend (walks, beach etc) so should have some views shortly after :).
  5. Phate


    Joined: Nov 1, 2003

    Posts: 33,323

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Haha don't be fooled! For me I am someone who researches everything and tries to buy something which firmly does the job I need, regardless of the price. If something is cheap and fits the bill, then that will do. If I HAVE to buy a Gitzo....then..well, yeah :p

    No rush on the feedback :) - I won't be buying until maybe Sept or October :) - deadline is my next trip which is Vienna in December! Looking forward to it all the same.
  6. EsaT


    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,980

    Location: Finland

    Number of leg segments must be high with innermost leg being awfully thin...

    This site has good search filters so might want to use it to search for possible candidates:
  7. Amp34


    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,022

    Location: Canada

    I have a Mefoto Roadtrip which is definitely worth a look. It’s around the same size and weight as your current one. I’ve used it quite a lot over the last couple of years and it’s pretty sturdy, even with long fast glass on it. I believe Mefoto also do a smaller tripod as well if that’s of interest.
  8. Phate


    Joined: Nov 1, 2003

    Posts: 33,323

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Thanks Amp34 :) I'll take a look!