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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?...Advice gratefully received, what is the best way to carry a tripod on longer hillwalks etc? I currently use a ...
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Old 08-10-2007, 18:42   #1 (permalink)
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carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Advice gratefully received, what is the best way to carry a tripod on longer hillwalks etc? I currently use a lowepro slingshot, great for accessibility etc but am considering buying a backpack for longer walks and wonder about how people usually carry a tripod in such situations? Obviously for shorter excursions it's fine just to use the slingshot and carry the tripod in one hand, but not so up a mountain. What do other people do and can anyone recommend a backpack with tripod attachment that works well, preferably with a compartment for waterproof, drink, snack etc. aswell.?

TIA, Ruth
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Old 08-10-2007, 18:45   #2 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I use either a Tamrac Expidition 5 or Lowepro Nature Trekker with a tripod strapped down the side.
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Old 08-10-2007, 18:50   #3 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I've used the Tamrac Expedition 8 for over 3 years but was recently given a new generation Expedition 7 - carry tripod on the back in the tripod slot.

I also have a strap on the tripod, so for shorter excursions or carrying from setup to setup I'll use that rather than placing back in pack
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Old 08-10-2007, 18:51   #4 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I get my kids to carry mine, they think it's a treat.

cheers

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Old 08-10-2007, 19:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

The Lowepro MiniTrekker also has a tripod strap on the back.

A yak and sherpas are best though.
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Old 08-10-2007, 21:49   #6 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I have a hama star 63 and carry it in my hand with camera attached to the end!
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:29   #7 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

You can get tripod bags. Depends on the size of your tripod as to what is most practical, if you have a small/light tripod then you could maybe just fit it alongside the tamrac 5. When I had this I used a tripod bag as well slung over the shoulder as the bag was not big enough to comortably support the tripod without it feeling like it was pulling me back.

Another option is to get some tripod straps that attach to the foot and head of them to allow it to be carried over the shoulder too.
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Old 09-10-2007, 20:09   #8 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Many thanks, this has given me much to think about
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:33   #9 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Ruth, of course it is a good thing to use a tripod. However, for most well lit subjects you do not really need a tripod. Obviously for dusk, dawn, night, IR or inside buildings (non flash) you do. You also also need a tripod for HDR and it is useful but not essential for panoramics. I find I already have too much to carry without a tripod so only take a tripod if I plan to take one of the subjects above.

The last two lenses I have purchased are also Image Stabilised which means I am even less likely to need a tripod. I find this particularly valuable on holidays abroad as I never take a full sized tripod (I do carry a mini tripod). I guess I do all that I resonably can to avoid carrying a tripod because they are difficult to carry, heavy and annoy other people in many locations.
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Old 10-10-2007, 14:04   #10 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

^^^^ That has made my conscience feel a lot better. I thought I was just lazy, but actually I'm considerate.
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Old 16-10-2007, 15:58   #11 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Canon View Post
Ruth, of course it is a good thing to use a tripod. However, for most well lit subjects you do not really need a tripod.

Sorry Dave, for all their inconvenience, I would personally feel that a tripod should be considered a permanent attachment to the camera. In fact I don't know why they don't make cameras with at least a 5lb tripod welded to the bottom! (OK and one on the side for portrait format images for 35mm users: or why not just give us a square image then we can decide later ala 6x6 format).

Honestly though, if you are serious about image quality, then a tripod should be your second purchase after the camera/lens combo and used for virtually every image you create. The pros for using a tripod are so far ahead of the cons (which often comes down to 'can't be bothered carting it around') that it doesn't make sense NOT to use one. In fact, once you integrate a tripod into your image making process you wonder how you did without it.

The most important points for using a tripod for every image: it will make your images sharper (assuming proper focus technique) and it will allow you to really control your exposure and DoF settings.

Even with IS lenses (what are they doing anyway other than trying to correct your shaking camera and resultant fuzzy images), you cannot beat the tripod for the above benefits (the added weight of IS and autofocus lenses exacerbates the problems mentioned above).

OK, I admit I don't always use a tripod (when using the camera as a photo-sketch book) BUT I am nearly always disappointed with the lack of sharpness and loss of DoF control I experience when not using one.
Waiting for the inevitable tirade of opposition...

Les
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Old 16-10-2007, 16:03   #12 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Silkstone

Sorry, lazy (or mis-informed) it is. Be considerate to all that expensive camera gear you use and the images it produces by using those three extra legs to advantage. Your camera and creative spirit will be eternally grateful!

Les
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Old 16-10-2007, 20:08   #13 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I am halfway between Les and Dave Canon. I agree that in pirnciple, wherever possible and practical a tripod IS the ideal. However, if you are taking shots of fast moving objects that can become impractical and you'll be cursing yourself more over missed shots than over the lack of sharpness.

Providing you've got decent enough light to stay over the general maxim of shutter speed being a minimum of 1/focal length (e.g. using a 100mm lens you should aim for a shutter speed of 1/100th second or faster) it is not always going to be possible to use a tripod. I have tried mounting my camera for shots of the Red Arrows but those planes cover the ground at one heck of a speed and change angle of direction in a split second so it is not helpful to have the camera anchored at its base.

In those situations though I try where possible to use my monopod which is a happy medium between maneouvrability and support.

When kit is in backpack, I use the central tripod straps to carry the tripod. This is on my MiniTrekker. I hate the ones where the tripod is mounted on one side as I always feel unbalanced, even with my carbon-fibre tripod.

So yes, a tripod IS an essential bit of kit for anyone aiming for sharp pictures but this is a general rule and does not apply to every picture. But with less than fast shutter speeds, hand-held will never be as sharp as a tripod, even with IS lenses.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 16-10-2007, 21:49   #14 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I agree, you should be married to your tripod, like Les said, The Pros are so far ahead of the cons. It doesn't matter what picture your taking, if you use a tripod your picture will be sharp.
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Old 16-10-2007, 23:23   #15 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Meehan View Post
Waiting for the inevitable tirade of opposition...
I'll do my best!

Actually, I'd agree that wherever possible, it's much better to use a tripod - including fast moving objects (where it may be just using the tripod as a weight rest - the shot will still benefit).

However, I would also suggest that there will be occasions where using a tripod may not be possible - insufficient time to set up, inaccessability, disallowed (National Trust! Grrrrr!). So, taking shots without a tripod (and I'd throw in using a monopod as an additional skill) will ensure that you've covered all eventualities and are proficient in them!
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Old 17-10-2007, 01:49   #16 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markulous View Post
( I'd throw in using a monopod as an additional skill)
I agree

A monopod can even be used as a walking stick, it will help you with the gear weight.
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Old 17-10-2007, 21:37   #17 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I use a wheeled shopping trolley. (Ikea do a lightweight one with 7 inch wheels, for £11)

Preparation
1 Take the bag off. (It's good for garden refuse)
2 Make a plywood base. (stops your camera beg from falling through)
3 Put your bag on the base and strap it and the tripod to the handles.

The advantages (appart from the obious one that you dont have to carry anything)

a) You don't have to keep taking the bag off your shoulders.
b) The trolley provides a base that keeps the bag off the floor.
c) Nobody argues when you ask for concessionary entry fees.

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Old 18-10-2007, 00:09   #18 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I have also used this method for my LF gear and it works a treat.
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Old 22-10-2007, 15:36   #19 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Hi
I use the Lowepro Rover II. Loads of room for camera, lenses, spare batteries, filters, waterproofs, lunch etc and tripod straps on back. I am the one at the back of the group with the hunched back and pained expression. My how we suffer for our art!
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Old 22-10-2007, 15:59   #20 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

I use the Tamrac Expedition 7, great bag and large enough for the gear I have but wished I got the 8 or 9 at the time.....Bit of a hassle having to take it off to reach ANYTHING!! Bought extra pockets for water bottle and flash etc.
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Old 01-11-2007, 17:27   #21 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Ever seen these trackers with rucksacks which have their tent or foam bed things rolled up? They fit them across to top or bottom horizontally. Why not use that same principal, fitting the tripod in place of the tent/bed holder, after all, the size of closed tripod is pretty similar. All assuming you aren't actually camping out and need the space for a tent/bed of course
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Old 01-11-2007, 19:44   #22 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Meehan View Post
Sorry Dave, for all their inconvenience, I would personally feel that a tripod should be considered a permanent attachment to the camera.
Especially given Ruthiebabe gave examples of what the tripod holder was to be used for. I.E. going long walks and the possiblity of some landscape work.

Given that, I have to agree with Les. Tripod is a must. No if's no buts.

Mine is a pita to carry about but I still wouldn't leave it behind. I don't have a proper tripod mount on my rucksack - just a jury rigged system, and I have looked to upgrade. Silkies mention of The Lowepro MiniTrekker is where I was looking too.
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Old 01-11-2007, 20:29   #23 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Having just come back from a holiday where we walked everyday its interesting to hear peoples setup. For me my camera gear goes in a slingshot bag same as you Ruth but i carry an additional backpack for waterproofs, food, drink and my tripod, a velbon ultra maxi F not the sturdiest of tripods but with a folded length of 14" it surprisingly does a good job. My backpack sits on my back as its suppose to and the slingshot just to my side and its pretty comfortable. I also carry a monopod as my walking stick.

My main bag is an Tamrac Expedition 5 where all my gear resides and i find i really don't need everything on a hike so if i used that back i would end up taking loads of stuff out each time, which is far to much of a pain in the arse. So i just load up my slingshot and food and water in my backpack (hiking gears lives in there permanently) and I'm off.
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Old 02-11-2007, 20:03   #24 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Les, I am sure that it might be better if I did use s tripod for more of my pictures for the reasons you give but there are now so many circumstances where a tripod is unwelcome or even unacceptable now. It also depends what type of photography you have in mind and what your goals are. I enter competitions and have had reasonable success. The more arty pics do not need to be very sharp. Record photography benefits from sharpness but is not popular in competitions.

Having said that I used a tripod 3 times last weekend though I was photographing at dusk (tall ships in Gloucester docks). However, I was staggered by the number of other photographers who were not using tripods; this included many with SLR's. I was using an average of 1/2 second at f8 so I dread to think what their images will be like. I am also about to buy a new tripod (see another thread) so your advice is not totally wasted on me.
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Old 12-11-2007, 17:30   #25 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

Ok,,here goes another view,,,I'm much older and need water, sometimes water for two. My pack has big pockets on the sides for whatever. I carry more water then anything else. I have three codes of conduct for hiking, the back pack or the hunting vest with big pockets in front for water. or just the vest with an IS lens. I close down my pod and tie it on the back of my park for longer hikes. I use the vest for shorter hikes and carry my pod on my shoulder with my camera locked on the end most of the time. I can use my pod as a walking stick with the three legs pulled in and the head turned at a 90 degrees for a handle,,,I love a gun grip style, but that's me. All this is planned ahead of time for what I want to shoot. And last of all you can't forget a little first aid kit. It seems thought that my cameras take 3rd and 4th behind the amount of water and food or even a small folding chair for the misses. I feel like an 18 wheeler when all packed up looking for the next step not to fall over. What fun
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Old 12-11-2007, 22:10   #26 (permalink)
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Re: carrying tripod on longer walks/backpacks?

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Originally Posted by Boofers View Post
Ok,,here goes another view,,,I'm much older and need water, sometimes water for two. My pack has big pockets on the sides for whatever. I carry more water then anything else. I have three codes of conduct for hiking, the back pack or the hunting vest with big pockets in front for water. or just the vest with an IS lens. I close down my pod and tie it on the back of my park for longer hikes. I use the vest for shorter hikes and carry my pod on my shoulder with my camera locked on the end most of the time. I can use my pod as a walking stick with the three legs pulled in and the head turned at a 90 degrees for a handle,,,I love a gun grip style, but that's me. All this is planned ahead of time for what I want to shoot. And last of all you can't forget a little first aid kit. It seems thought that my cameras take 3rd and 4th behind the amount of water and food or even a small folding chair for the misses. I feel like an 18 wheeler when all packed up looking for the next step not to fall over. What fun
Last time I went fell walking we had a short scramble. It was easier for one person to go down and be handed the rucksacks, then we all followed. My bag was commented on. What the f********* have you got in there! The photographers burden.
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