November 6, 2015 at 3:22PM
Travel tripod recommendation
Last year, I spent a good bit of time researching a travel tripod solution. I found this article (http://alaskavideoshooter.com/your-tripod-search-ends-here/) which turned me on to the world of photo tripods and leveling heads.
So I bought a kit, and after several months of travelling to shoot, I can confidently recommend a travel tripod setup.
My requirements when I set out to build a kit: solid and reliable, fluid head, leveling base, and compact enough so it all fits in carry-on luggage.
This is my travel kit:
MeFoto Roadtrip aluminum tripod. Throw away the ball head.
Manfrotto 701HDV or 501HDV head (both have now been replaced by newer versions). Leave the arm at home. Both have fluid tilt and pan, with a lock for each. The 701 is smaller and fits easier in luggage, so I usually use it unless I'm dealing with a heavy kit. The 501 handles everything else. Both can handle more weight in real life than you'd think.
Benro LBA2 leveling base. This thing is tiny, but rock solid and tough. It gives a really, really wide leveling range, more than I need, and it supports the most weight (110 lb!) I could find for one of the lowest prices I could find for a reputable brand.
After several trips, all of this has been rock solid and I haven't missed my heavier tripod at all. The tripod collapses down really small, and the head and base fit in a suitcase wrapped in clothes to protect the plastic knobs (which are prone to break on the HDV Manfrotto heads).
I hope someone finds this helpful, or at least the article at the top. If you have any travel tripod suggestions, please share!