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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Sanford, North Carolina
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    Table top tripod, any ideas.......

    For a good one? I'm thinking about buying one because there have been quite a few times I've needed one but didn't have one. I guess the only "requirements" would be that it supported my Olympus E-500 with the 70-300 lens and be steady while doing so. If it was less than 75 bucks that would be a nice bonus. Thanks!


    Jay
    I don't make mistakes.....I have happy little accidents. (Bob Ross)




    http://www.flickr.com/photos/builder24car/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    2,345
    I think almost any compact tripod will be fine. A bigger issue will be the cheap heads that tend to come on those. A decent head like a Manfrotto will be ~$50. It might be difficult to find a table top tripod that lets you mount a different head. How tall do you need it to be? Or is this just so you can adjust the camera position and height is not important?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Sanford, North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgosden View Post
    I think almost any compact tripod will be fine. A bigger issue will be the cheap heads that tend to come on those. A decent head like a Manfrotto will be ~$50. It might be difficult to find a table top tripod that lets you mount a different head. How tall do you need it to be? Or is this just so you can adjust the camera position and height is not important?

    I didn't think about the possibility of cheap heads kgosden. Thanks for the heads up on that. Height is important. I'd prefer it not to be over a foot high max, preferably about six inches or less. I shoot things ground level sometimes and have to depend on rocks, sticks, etc to prop the camera up. Other times I'll shoot out the window and have to listen to the bitching and complaining about my tripod being in the way. A table top model would solve that problem I think.
    I don't make mistakes.....I have happy little accidents. (Bob Ross)




    http://www.flickr.com/photos/builder24car/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    If you don't need a lot of height the UltraPod II might work for you.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...G&A=details&Q=

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    6,931
    Sounds like a perfect candidate for a GorillaPod or one of it's variants to me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sanford, North Carolina
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    Thanks ya'll, I really appreciate the info. I'll look into them now.
    I don't make mistakes.....I have happy little accidents. (Bob Ross)




    http://www.flickr.com/photos/builder24car/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Livin in a redneck paradise
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    1,874
    Good subject, I'm looking for one of these things too. Except I don't know if I'd be happy with a permanently short one, or want something that also extends to five feet. If I had a tall one I could always make it shorter...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    Raven,

    I have both a GorillaPod (SLR version) and the UltraPod. I must admit to occasionally packing them since they fit in my camera bag. But I rarely use them; mainly because the heads suck. They really do not support anything as big as the 70-300 without a little care in the placement and then you cannot make many adjustments.

    I would rather carry a 36-48 inch capable tripod that I can make shorter. The Gitzo mountaineer series is what I lust after, but I would rather spend that money on a new camera. I ended up buying a nice Vanguard Alta+ 225CT. It was not cheap ~$250, but it is small (13.5" folded) and light (1.8lbs). It will hold over 6 lbs. This is my hiking and light traveling tripod. For shorter trips or the car I have a decent sized Velbon El Carmagne 640. It is still one of my favorite camera related purchases.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Livin in a redneck paradise
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    1,874
    I notice one called Giottos MTL 9240B, which seems to have similar specs as the Manfrotto you mentioned, but is aluminum and half the price. There is also a similar Giottos MTL 9241. Any reason why I'd choose the more expensive one?

    Actually yours isn't bad either. I'm half thinking if I choose anything but the smallest, lightest one I would never use it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    Raven,

    The Giottos are both a little longer than my Velbon. I went with the 4 section carbon for weight and luggage compatibility. It will fit inside even a roll aboard bag with the head removed. The Vanguard is not as sturdy, but it is very easy to carry all day. It fits on top of or inside even a medium camera bag. From what I have seen of your travels something the size of the Vanguard would be a great fit.

    The plus to the bigger tripod is stability and height without the center column extended. I use decent Manfrotto 48xRC2 series heads with both so they share quick release plates (looks like these are now replaced by 49xRC2 series). With the 486RC2 on the Velbon the camera is secure enough and the tripod sturdy enough to be comfortable carrying the camera on the tripod with the whole setup over my shoulder. This is great when staying in an area that you are moving about while scouting the best vantage point. I would not use my lighter Vanguard setup in that fashion.

    It might be in your best interest to hunt down something in China since that is where a lot of the 3rd tier CF tripods are sourced. Fiesol is a popular brand on eBay based on what I see over on dpreview forums. Also there are some nice Benro tripods like their Travel Angel series. They recently released one that collapses flat since the flange(?) where the legs come together is a linear design rather than a round one. This is great for saving packing space in your suitcase.

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