Hiking through Europe - what tripod??

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My son and friend want to "tour" around Europe when their school is out this spring. The school is in England but they want to train around some other countries. He is taking his backpack and wants a light tripod. What should I consider getting for him?

-- Patrick Batchelder (batchpd@louisville.stortek.com), January 14, 2002


I guess it all depends of what camera/lens system he will be travelling with. Personnally I like the Gitzo Carbon Fiber units. For travelling and backpacking I use the G1127 with a Giotto ball head. Other might recommend the G1228 which is shorter when closed but taller when extended and a bit heavier (not much). If your son goes for the Gitzo have him buy the tripod through Robert White Photography in England, he will save hundreds.

-- Georges Pelpel (gpelpel@attbi.com), January 14, 2002.

Unless your son is a very responsible and is willing to guard an expensive piece of equipment with his life, I'd suggest that you not spend over a hundred dollars on a tripod. One thing about traveling is that your under constant danger of being ripped off. People look for "tourists" with expensive equipment and target them for cash and esspesially camera gear. I don't want to make this out to be too paranoid but it's something to consider. How old is this son? Is he an avid enough photographer to appreciate the value of a Gitzo or even a Bogen? While many may laugh at suggesting a cheapo "Slik" tripod, (available at any decent camera store and even Walmart, and Kit's Camera will have them. Understand that they are lightweight and very compact, and as long as there isn't a heavy lense on your camera body or a 35 MPH wind factor then they work fine. Expect to spend from $50-$85 and consider that this includes a head. If it gets ripped off, no big loss, if it gets broken...no big loss. If he's in a spot where he needs a tripod...Bam Bam... he's got one.

-- Brian G. Backus (outlaw7x77@yahoo.com), May 07, 2002.

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