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Insights & Thoughts

4 Reasons To Travel With Your Tripod

By Anthony Thurston on February 22nd 2015

When you are planning a big trip, what are some items that you simply have to bring every time? Some clothes and your camera are probably pretty high on the list, but where would you rank your tripod?

Youtube picture

Today, I wanted to share this great video from Mark Wallace that highlights four reasons why you should really consider bringing your tripod with you on your next vacation/trip. If you are anything like me, you usually don’t consider your tripod a travel accessory, but in reality, it should be.

[Recommended: Our Favorite Tripods]

There are many tripods out there these days that are great for traveling; they are small, light weight, and are very compact. We at SLR Lounge really like the MeFoto tripods, not only for their quality, but they are pretty to look at, too.

This is not limited to your next long trip or vacation; this is important for your day trips and photo walks, as well! It is easy to convince yourself that you don’t want to carry that tripod for 3 miles to a scenic waterfall, but if you don’t, you will be severely limiting your photographic options.

So next time you find yourself thinking about what to pack in your bag, remember that your tripod should be there by default.

[via Mark Wallace]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Vince Arredondo

    I have a induro and is really heavy. I need to give these puppies a try!

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  2. Danny Thomas

    good points there, i shoot people rather than landscapes though so don’t really have a need for tripod. I do use a monopod though, that’s always handy.

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  3. Frank Solle

    Talking about lightening the load, since shooting this video Mark Wallace has exchanged his Canon gear for a new Leica system – he did a video of this as well. But yet for all the reasons he lists here a tripod is still a valuable tool. I rarely leave home without my MeFoto unit as I rarely leave home without my camera.

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  4. robert garfinkle

    Ahhh, seeing you guys talk about too much stuff to carry – lightening the load.., yup, is it the balance of being fully prepared and capable enough – the happy medium…

    I stated I carry all my gear, camera, lenses, cleaning materials, and tripod. yet sometimes it’s too much… so, what can I bring along which would satisfy the itch to shoot, if I get one…

    I do not have a 2nd body, and the best I can do is drop a few items in a smaller bag, and go with it…

    maybe it’d be best to get a 2nd body – uh, maybe a D750, and keep it in a smaller bag so I can toss a smaller version of the latter in…

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  5. Barry Cunningham

    For international travel, I’m unconvinced.
    Weight is the primary problem. I’m of the one carry-on bag school. I even eschew a DSLR in favor of a pocketable camera like the Sony RX-100. Sure there are shots I can’t do. But, I can get to more locations and suffer less downtime from exhaustion if I’m not lugging around another 10-20 pounds more gear. Just getting old I guess.
    If you have a young, strong back, your mileage may vary: go ahead and bring along those full frame DSLRs, 300mm f/2.8 lenses, and a sturdy tripod. I won’t be around to hear you whine in 40 years. Then again, you probably won’t be whining because you’ll have completely image stabilized large format mirrorless cameras hovering by your side on whisper quiet drones by then. 8^)

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    • Matthew Saville

      Barry, no you’re not getting older, weight concerns are very valid when traveling internationally.

      however, 10-20 lbs in gear has nothing to do with bringing a 1-2 lb tripod, IMO, since you can use a tripod just as easily with any tiny lightweight camera, not just a hefty DSLR. Or if 1-2 lbs isn’t a problem, but space is, I would still bring something like a Giottos table top tripod. They’re rock-solid!

      (Don’t bother with the other versions of this that look identical, the Giottos is the best designed and the strongest. Slap a small Giottos ballhead on there, and peel off the tiny little rubber pads on the tips of the feet, and you’re golden!)

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    • Matthew Saville

      Really, this whole decision is decided by what you shoot obviously. A landscape / nightscape shooter wouldn’t be caught dead without a tripod, while someone who shoots more journalistically, and enjoys people photography more, wouldn’t be caught dead without some sort of lighting setup, or at least they wouldn’t care much about a tripod.

      If I were traveling internationally and weight / space were a serious issue, I’d rather opt for a tiny mirrorless system and bring BOTH a tripod and a flash setup, than a heftier DSLR setup and only one or the other.

      Then again, my crop-sensor DSLR setup has never been a problem to travel internationally with, in fact the last time I went out of the country it was no problem to bring two crop-sensor DSLR bodies, three lenses, a small tripod, AND a flash. Two flashes actually, I think.

      I suppose this guy Mark Wallace has different travel constraints, of course.

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  6. robert garfinkle

    I am not a photographer by trade, yet, as a rule, I carry both my camera and tripod everywhere. What I need to do, is invest in a mono-pod…

    Problem I see, is the D810 and the MBD12 are a bit heavy and the fear is they will snap off the tripod base… I use a quick release, yet just a tad fearful about those in tandem with my setup…

    any suggestions?

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  7. Greg Silver

    I have the MeFoto tripod which is an EXCELLENT tripod, but for some reason, more often than not, leave it at home. The video does have great suggestions and I think I need to be bringing it out more.

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