Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Manfrotto 719B - the perfect travel tripod?

Looking the major tripod manufacturers today - you have Gitzo, Manfrotto and the rest. The rest includes quite ok brands like Velbon or Slik and the china brands which I wont mention...

I guess the perfect travel tripod would be the Gitzo carbon fiber GT1540 until you hit the cost issue (around 500 USD)... ugh.. thats serious $$$

So what is a perfect travel tripod to me?? It

- must be light at around 3lbs (1.36kg) or so
- must extend to the right height for me - at least 1.2m for the legs w/o the center column, plus head and camera this would bring it to around 1.5-1.6m through the eyepiece.

- must fold and fit into a backpack while at <50cm,>
My Manfrotto 719B NEARLY fulfils all of the requirements and its 1/5 the cost of the Gitzo at around 100 bucks new. It went with me on my New Zealand trip and did its job well. Its only weakness is the built-in head which cannot support heavier lens setups like a 70-200mm f2.8. In a fit of shopping-lust, I replaced it with a Velbon carbon fiber version with a Kirk Enterprises head and my 719b is used now as an overweight light stand.