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Photo Forum Everything on Travel Photography, from what kind of equipment to how to light a subject, moderated by Stuart (Reggie) Martindale, a pro English photographer
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  #1  
Old 17 Oct 2004
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Which tripod - and where to put it on the bike?

Hi,

I just decided to take some decent photo gear with me. I will put my photo gear into the tank bag, but (quoting Grant) a tripod does not make much sense if it is hidden under piles of luggage, so where put it?.

I will use a R100GS with Tesch-boxes (and racks) and thought about maybe putting a small tripod on the racket between right box and seat (in that little space where there is the exhaust at the left side)?

Any experiences/recommendations?

Regards

Lars
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  #2  
Old 18 Oct 2004
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I've always carried a compact tripod with me - Velbon CX-220, but since i started use MF camera the tripod is dissapointing - it's very fragile and has a lot of vibrations when massive camera is on.

So if you have more massive camera (i.e. with tele-optics) i'd recommend a better, bigger and more stable tripod. Most of them are mostly rust proof so you can simply leave it attached on the panniers. Other option is to let custom build a tube for it. AS famous MC travelling photographer Michael Martin has done on his R1150GS - put a tubes on the side of panniers.

Good choice to fit big teleoptics and tripods.

Margus

Quote:
Originally posted by Lars:
Hi,

I just decided to take some decent photo gear with me. I will put my photo gear into the tank bag, but (quoting Grant) a tripod does not make much sense if it is hidden under piles of luggage, so where put it?.

I will use a R100GS with Tesch-boxes (and racks) and thought about maybe putting a small tripod on the racket between right box and seat (in that little space where there is the exhaust at the left side)?

Any experiences/recommendations?

Regards

Lars
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  #3  
Old 21 Oct 2004
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Hi,

I travel with a tripod even though I don´t use it that often. There is no substitute.

1 What tripod?

- the size of the tripod depends on what weight camera + lenses you are using:
- Mini, Compact or normal (3 or 4 leg sections).
- what closed length?

2 What Budget?

- how serious are you about your photos?
- strong, stable and expensive or cheaper, less stable and heavier/lighter?

3 Where?

I put mine in its bag on top of one of the panniers.

The side ones in the great photo above, although low, maybe vulnerable to being squashed falling over. (I drop my bike alot)

fwiw I use a manfrotto 444 tripod and arca swiss b1 head.



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  #4  
Old 27 Oct 2004
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Wouldn't it be possible to use your bike as a sort of tripod?
Fix a 'tripod swivel' somewhere on the bike (on a reinforces screen?).

Downside is that you can take pictures with it away from your bike.
Pro is that it is quick in setup.

Pieter.
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  #5  
Old 27 Oct 2004
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Check out the Gitzo Mountaineer range - 1228 is a good one, I used mine on our rtw with a Kaiser ball head and Arca Swiss plate (from Kirk Enterprises).

It packs short as it's a 4 section, only 28" plus head, carbon fibre so it's super light, and very stable and strong. I keep it in one of my front boxes, very accessible, but M Martin's method is similar.

DO keep it VERY accessible, or you won't use it, it become's too much hassle when you're on the road. I know people that roll theirs up inside their sleeping bag to protect it, or under a roll on the back of the bike etc. And then say they never use it - wonder why?

Manfrotto makes a cheaper version of the 1228, but not quite as good size wise. Quicker method of locking the legs though, it's levers are quicker than the twist system Gitzo uses.


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  #6  
Old 29 Oct 2004
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I keep my tripod exactly where you suggest - between the pannier and the rear of the bike on the pannier frame, on the opersite side to the exhaust. It works out to be really accesable there so I use it pretty often. The tripod itself is a cheep thing I picked up on route in Mexico. Its not the most solid I could have bought and at times the camera moves about in wind but more often than not I can shield it with my body so its not too much of a problem.

If using a large camera or large lenz's I'd go for a stronger tripod, but stronger = more expensive to a degree. If mine gets stolen somewhere I wouldn't be too worried as it was cheep so I'll just buy another cheep one and ride on. Don't forget that if it's accesable to you its accesable to others. Put a small cable lock round it that is easy for YOU to open quickly.

Chris
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  #7  
Old 15 Nov 2004
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We had a Gitzo too (the best in terms of sturdiness) but we left it home because, in spite of its comparatively small size and weight, it was still too big and heavy for us to take RTW. We looked everywhere for another solution, did not find it, and finally we left home with only a tiny table-top Manfrotto...

However we got lucky to find in Lima, Peru exactly what we had been looking for. In a store that was selling only brand-new out-of-the-box 30-years-old professional made-in-germany camera gear, we bought a Bilora Stabilo #1114 tripod. All metal, nice ball-head, approximately 120cm in height (50 inches), very light, well sturdy enough for us, and only $30.

You can find them on eBay under Bilora Tripod, or Bilora Vintage Tripod. Or, since you are from Germany, you might contact the company directly (www.bilora.de)

How do we store the tripod? It is small and light enough to fit inside the small daypack that we fix on top of the luggage with a bungee net.

Pierre (& Merritt too)
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  #8  
Old 15 Nov 2004
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If you use a cable release (or remote IR as I do) then absolute rigidity is not essential in a tripod and you can use a far smaller, or, dare I say it, flimsier tripod which takes up a lot less valuable space on your bike. Pre release the camera's rear shutter first if you have one.
John

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  #9  
Old 15 Nov 2004
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Forgot to mention that for carrying my own flimsy tripod on the bike I use re-usable cable ties to hold it on to the handles of my paniers. I would add that the handles on my panniers (Krauser BMW 1985 approx) are on the top of the panniers and so the cable ties do not actually support the weight of the tripod.
Incidentally, does anybody else use these reusable ties, I've never seen any outside of BT (British Telecom) where they are used to keep the wires tidy at the top of telephone poles. They have a little latch which you press to release the tie and re use it as many times as you want. Neat.

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  #10  
Old 19 Nov 2004
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Had a short mail exchange with Michael Martin's office.

He uses ordinary PVC rigid soil pipes, strenghened with aluminium.

Further, someone send a link to a traveller's webpage who used a transport container said to be used by the army for anti-tank-rockets and attached it to the frame between fork and engine (unfortunately I deleted the mail...).

But since I do not have any contacts to any army, I will probably try to work out a PVC-Pipe-solution during the winter.

Thanks for your comments!

Lars
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