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Tripods from Field Optics Research

Edward1064
Enthusiast

I'd like to find a decent lightweight tripod (< $220 or so) to carry in my backpack and use with my 7DII and Canon 16-35mmL IS lens for HDR work and possibly try some panoramas.  Since I already have a good ball head, an RRS BH-40, only tripod legs are needed.  After a bunch (too much!) of time spent on the B&H site, two candidates have emerged.  There is a tripod with head from Benro, and a set of tripod legs only from Field Optics Research.  I would replace the Benro head.  I have had good experience with my larger Benro, but know nothing about F.O.R.  And honestly, when looking at their site I am much put off when I see that their main market seems to be tripods for trophy hunting.  

 

Do any of you have experience with F.O.R. tripods, good or bad?

 

Many thanks for your feedback.

 

Ed

6 REPLIES 6

wq9nsc
Authority
Authority

I think that Benro sells most, if not all, of their tripod leg sets without a head although you might have to order directly from their site or another instead of B&H which probably doesn't carry every configuration offered by Benro.

 

I ended up with the Benro version of the better known gimbal head because it was all that was available to ship when I needed it and I have been extremely happy with it.  I use it with my Manfrotto 161MK2B leg set with some very heavy setups including a 1DX III with EF 800 f5.6 and I am really happy with the combo.  Since they did a good job with the more complex head, I wouldn't have any concerns about the quality of the Benro leg set.

 

I don't know what material you are looking at but take a close look at the difference between aluminum and carbon fiber weight since most of the weight will probably be the head.  Carbon fiber is a cool material but it doesn't like impacts so unless the weight savings is large and critical, I would go with the easier to live with aluminum.  My Corvette Z06 came from the factory with a lot of carbon fiber pieces and when anything happens, you replace instead of repairing so it can get expensive in a hurry.  With a tripod, a minor hit of the wrong type will greatly reduce structural integrity unlike aluminum which may receive a small dent but will still be perfectly functional and safe.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Rodger,

 

Those are all excellent suggestions, thank you.  I looked carefully on the Benro site and they don't seem to offer the legset of the (Tripster) travel tripod I'm considering. I have written them just to be sure.  After studying the site, I see another possible issue.  While my robust RRS ball head can be mounted on the lightweight tripod legs, the mounting surface on the tripod is meant for a head of smaller diameter so it won't adequately support my head, which is about 2" in diameter.  Lightweight travel tripods really aren't consistent with beefy heads, it appears, even though that's what I prefer.  The RRS weighs about 1 lb.

 

I'll look for a compromise in the tripod's size and weight.

 

Ed

Ed,

 

You are welcome and you are doing excellent research.  As a marketing prof, I commend your level of involvement because the time you spend now will result in the best buying decision.

 

Unfortunately products are designed for fairly large market segments and the segment of those wanting to mount a large tripod head on a light travel tripod is going to be a pretty small market segment without a lot of offerings.  I bought my big Manfrotto tripod barely used by a birder who didn't realize how large and heavy it is and definitely isn't one you would want to carry on a long hike (without a head, it weighs 17.5 pounds and is 42" long folded down).  A little research would have led him to a very different tripod. I bought it primarily as a highly stable tripod for holding a video camera at sports events but I have used it around the yard to photograph birds with my EF 800 f5.6 lens, 

 

It isn't going hiking with me 🙂

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Any companies good sturdy high weight capacity tripod isn't going to be light.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!


@Edward1064 wrote:

Rodger,

 

Those are all excellent suggestions, thank you.  I looked carefully on the Benro site and they don't seem to offer the legset of the (Tripster) travel tripod I'm considering. I have written them just to be sure.  After studying the site, I see another possible issue.  While my robust RRS ball head can be mounted on the lightweight tripod legs, the mounting surface on the tripod is meant for a head of smaller diameter so it won't adequately support my head, which is about 2" in diameter.  Lightweight travel tripods really aren't consistent with beefy heads, it appears, even though that's what I prefer.  The RRS weighs about 1 lb.

 

I'll look for a compromise in the tripod's size and weight.

 

Ed


The RRS BH-55 can fit perfectly on a 75mm bowl adapter or flat plate.  I have seen at at least one company with 69mm video bowls, which would be too small. I still recommend taking a look at tripods without a center column for greater stability.

 

D6FD25E5-6F61-4E32-8807-A7839882FC76.jpeg

 

Take note of the base diameter.

 

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Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

Check out the Bento video tripods, too. They do sell photo tripods with flat plates. Their bags are always large enough to store a tripod with an installed head.

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