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  1. #1
    huaraches es amor bikeage's Avatar
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    cycling and photography...

    I know there are a lot of people who take pictures, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a tripod that could fit in my messenger bag, but still be tall enough for me not bend over too much to look through the lense?
    Any ideas anyone?

  2. #2
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    I use a Feisol carbon fiber monopod that collapses to about 16 inches and weighs about 1.5 pounds. I am 6'2" and it is not fully extended with a Nikon D70 at eyeball height. I paid ~$90.00 for it on ebay. They are in Taiwan. Feisol also makes a cf tripod for around $210.00.... a couple are on ebay now:

    Feisol Tripod

    Dogbait

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    Referring to the $200 tripod from before: you could buy a bigger messenger bag for less.

    Otherwise, you could rig up some sort of mount to hold a tripod on your bike. You could probably even strap it down to a rack.

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    LF for the accentdeprived
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    It doesn't have to be CF... Al will be cheaper. I believe there are many tripods with 4-section legs (instead of 3) that collapse to a small size. But I'm not into photography so I'll let others make specific recommendations.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
    Bike on flickr and on FGG

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    Senior Member crankstar's Avatar
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  6. #6
    ajd
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    What size is your bag? I've got a Reload Courier that fits a collapsed Velbon CX684, which isn't the best tripod but is cheap and does the job most of the time with the SLR or all of the time with a compact camera. Closest current model is the CX-640, although if it's sufficiently similar to what I have, claiming it's compatible with medium format cameras is a stretch.

    I've also got a Bogen 3221 which weighs about twice as much for when I need a tripod that does the job every time, and it sets up faster, too. I don't put that in a bag because it's got its own strap, so I throw that over one shoulder and put a camera bag over the other shoulder. I've carried it in the Reload, though. Works, but awkward.

    A tripod with more leg sections will be more compact, but it also means slower setup and the legs are more likely to walk, unless you can afford a Gitzo.

  7. #7
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    eek. stay away from that variety unless you have a very lightweight camera. If you do go with the de-facto aluminum foil and plastic tripod, make sure you don't spend more than about $15 for it. This is almost exactly the kind of tripod wally world sells, and they are junk. Probably made in the same factory.

    I'm actually also in the middle of the tripod dilemma. I have a sweet (and heavy as ****) Bogen/Manfrotto setup with one of the biggest heads they make. I can disassemble it into a few pieces and put it in my huge backpack, but it sticks way out the top. I think I'm going to get a rear rack, put a pannier bag on one side for my camera case and other gear, and build a pannier mount that will bolt onto the tripod's legs so it can be snapped onto the other side just like a pannier bag.

    As someone else said, there are some tripods with four-section telescoping legs that will help you get a more compact package without sacrificing so much height. I don't know of any exact models/manufacturers offhand though.

    Another thing I am going to do is build a mount for a tripod head that clamps onto my top tube. Then you just ride your dura ace equipped tripod around town and use it for stable shooting whenever you need to. A kickstand would be helpful but you should be able to lean the bike on things too if you want.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  8. #8
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    I'm probably being only marginally useful but:



    REI Ultrapod II. Will mount to anything up about the size of your wrist. Mine doubles as the framepump strap on tours.


    Not what you asked for, but I've found mine preposterously useful for a fifteen dollar item.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  9. #9
    Senior Member mrwhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew A Brown
    I'm probably being only marginally useful but:

    MEC (Canadian REI) make them and the few times Ive used the tripod (like my own wedding) this worked perfectly.

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    Dismount Run Remount etc. 12XU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew A Brown
    I'm probably being only marginally useful but:

    "Excellent for those hard to miss snapshots of shuffling feet."

  11. #11
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    A buddy of mine has that exact REI tripod. It's small no doubt, but it actually holds a heavy camera quite well so long as the weight is mostly centered. It works fine with my 10D and a normal lens, but don't expect to be shooting with a 400mm tele without having that tripod falling over nose-first.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  12. #12
    Gone, but not forgotten Shiznaz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacG
    Another thing I am going to do is build a mount for a tripod head that clamps onto my top tube. Then you just ride your dura ace equipped tripod around town and use it for stable shooting whenever you need to. A kickstand would be helpful but you should be able to lean the bike on things too if you want.



    yes, the smallest solution by far is to get a 'super clamp' (made by several different brands, designed to clamp onto tripods or anything else), and then attach a ball head to it. Then you can clamp to your top tube, bars, wheels, cranks etc.

  13. #13
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeage
    I know there are a lot of people who take pictures, but I was wondering if anyone could recommend a tripod that could fit in my messenger bag, but still be tall enough for me not bend over too much to look through the lense?
    Any ideas anyone?
    If you don't mind my asking, how do you plan to use a tripod?

    I was a professional photographer for 6 years covering everything from local BMXers to MLB and NFL as well as general newspaper assignments. I never needed a tripod. You may not need one either.

    A few fun snaps:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carleton_hall/

    Portfolio:
    http://www.carletonhall.com

  14. #14
    ~ hlm227's Avatar
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    I use a Quantaray QSX-Digi Pro 100 http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/291660728.htm that sells for $60. It extends to 51.4" and collapses to 13.6". It fits in my backpack which is smaller than a messenger bag.

  15. #15
    huaraches es amor bikeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton
    If you don't mind my asking, how do you plan to use a tripod?

    I was a professional photographer for 6 years covering everything from local BMXers to MLB and NFL as well as general newspaper assignments. I never needed a tripod. You may not need one either.

    A few fun snaps:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carleton_hall/

    Portfolio:
    http://www.carletonhall.com
    I'm gonna be doing timed exposures at night

  16. #16
    huaraches es amor bikeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajd
    What size is your bag? I've got a Reload Courier that fits a collapsed Velbon CX684, which isn't the best tripod but is cheap and does the job most of the time with the SLR or all of the time with a compact camera. Closest current model is the CX-640, although if it's sufficiently similar to what I have, claiming it's compatible with medium format cameras is a stretch.

    I've also got a Bogen 3221 which weighs about twice as much for when I need a tripod that does the job every time, and it sets up faster, too. I don't put that in a bag because it's got its own strap, so I throw that over one shoulder and put a camera bag over the other shoulder. I've carried it in the Reload, though. Works, but awkward.

    A tripod with more leg sections will be more compact, but it also means slower setup and the legs are more likely to walk, unless you can afford a Gitzo.
    my messenger bag is about the same size as the Reload Courier. I'll check out the Velbon CX684

  17. #17
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12XU
    "Excellent for those hard to miss snapshots of shuffling feet."


    edit: Credit to The Aaron Kahn.

    Best porch evar.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  18. #18
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    i just strap a manfrotto 724B onto my Metropolis.
    {o,o**
    |)__)
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    O RLY?

  19. #19
    ajd
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeage
    my messenger bag is about the same size as the Reload Courier. I'll check out the Velbon CX684
    Okay... you said you're doing night photos. If you're using an SLR for that (or any other camera with moving parts or without an electronic remote), the Velbon's not going to be your friend -- it's too light and willing to move.

  20. #20
    qqy
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    As was mentioned above, it totally depends on the weight of the body and lens you intend to use. When I travel, I take my Canon 300D and a Sigma 17-125mm lens. I find that all I need is the cheapest tripod possible (like this), because my gear only weighs 2 pounds in total. That tripod extends to eye-level and is very light. However, it's very cheap too and cannot take abuse. But it's a hell of a lot cheaper than my Manfrotto CF tripod and achieves the exact same effect.

    Shiznaz's idea is a good one. I'll have to get a super clamp and try it. I like the idea of keeping the camera mounted to the bars and just taking pics are you go. Just hope I don't get distracted and go down...

    Also, make sure you have a cable release or remote for the shutter. Just touching the shutter release button is enough to ruin a long exposure.

  21. #21
    Beausage is Beautiful Fugazi Dave's Avatar
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    Not compact enough to fit inside a normal messenger bag, but I ride with a Bogen/Manfrotto 3221. I strap it to the outside/bottom of my Metropolis using the straps already on the bag. It holds it there steadily and isn't uncomfortable. The tripod itself is very nice and does all I need it to and then some. Its predecessor was the same model and I utterly beat the sh*t out of it for eight years before it finally gave out. A good tripod will pay for its initial cost many times over, IMO. If you want something light and can afford it, go for one of the carbon, basalt, or mag-fiber 'pods on the market from a good manufacturer. Otherwise, accept the weight and get a decent Al tripod. You will thank yourself in the long run by avoiding the cheap stuff - they're more trouble than they're worth.

  22. #22
    Vanned. worker4youth's Avatar
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    How about a monopod instead?

  23. #23
    don't pedal backwards... MacG's Avatar
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    Monopods are a whole different breed of beast. They are designed to give you a more stable base to shoot from when your exposure times are between about 1/60 second and 1 second. Anything slower than 1/30 second is really getting into the realm where you need a self-supporting base, which a monopod is not.

    I routinely shoot with exposure times anywhere from several seconds to going on a half hour. For this I need a tripod, and one that won't vibrate in the wind. For example, here's four minutes of moonrise in the middle of North Dakota. The white lines are the stars making streaks as the earth slowly rotates beneath them.
    from Minneapolis, with bike love

  24. #24
    while my car gently weeps kennethalan's Avatar
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    ****.

  25. #25
    Dismount Run Remount etc. 12XU's Avatar
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    Gorgeous shot, MacG.

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