I would like to buy a light weight tripod + ball head as I have never owned a tripod before. There are quite a few brands and multiples of offerings by each brand for tripods and ball heads hence it is quite daunting and confusing to choose one.

I would like your advice, so that I can narrow it down to a few. I would be using it primarily when I am travelling, I will be carrying it all day, so being lightweight is definitely a must

My gear includes the following

  • Canon 5d mark 3

  • Canon 28-105 F4 lense

  • Canon 430EX II Speedlite

  • In the future I intend to buy the canon 70-200mm f2.8 telephoto zoom lense

I want a tripod + ball head that is

  • Light weight
  • Comfortable to carry all day as I do a lot of country walking
  • I am only interested in taking photos. (no videos)

Please suggest.

Thanks in Advance

  • 2
    This is also a good one: What should one consider when choosing a style of tripod head?
    – dpollitt
    Feb 10 '13 at 19:17
  • 4
    Fraiser, this is very subjective, so hard to answer. Need to know your budget, what you consider "lightweight". Also brands and models change over time, so any answer would become stale. Suggest you obtain the overall weight of your gear (5d + 70-200 say) and make sure the head is rated for at least that weight. You can also easily find out the weight of legs between different models. Then rather than a general recommendation, you could narrow it down and ask something more specific and answerable?
    – MikeW
    Feb 10 '13 at 19:28
  • @MikeW - Thank you for your suggestions. My budget is around $600. The total weight of my gear (camera + 70-200 lense) is around 2.205 Kg (4.86 lbs) i have been researching for weeks without much success hence i thought of asking for expert opinion on this matter. I have tried to narrow down my search to the following tripods - Manfrotto 055 series carbon fibre tripods, Gitzo series 0 (since it can take weight upto 5 kgs), Induro CT213,214 and CT 313,314. also with regards to ball heads i quite like the following ball heads - Arca - swiss P0 and arcatech GP-s. Please suggest
    – Fraiser
    Feb 10 '13 at 20:12

Easy enough, I've that same gear, including the 70-200mm. You can't have light + sturdy + cheap, but for $800+ back in 2010 I bought a Gitzo GH1781QR Series 1 Ball Head and a Gitzo GT0541 Series 0 Carbon Fiber 6X 4. Best combo I've owned for this camera (I had a 5DMII before, similar weight), I used it just last night for long exposure photos.

  • thank you for your suggestion. I just reviewed the Gitzo GT0541 Series 0 tripod on their website, wherein it mentions that it is recommended for compact cameras, lightweight camcorders and DSLRs with 75mm lens or 135mm maximum. Do you have any concerns using it with your 70-200mm lens? Please suggest
    – Fraiser
    Feb 10 '13 at 22:57
  • Nope, no concerns. It is a light tripod, so of course if you put something very heavy on it, even well balanced, you will want to add more weight to your tripod, which can be easily done with a retractable hook that is under the center column. I usually just hang my camera bag from there when I need to. Feb 11 '13 at 22:45

While an entirely subjective question, I haved used manfrotto tripods with almost exactly that kit (a MkII instead of MkIII)

I've also used, with great results, this head

Using their site you can find a tripod body and a suitable head to go with it.

Be warned though, its certainly not the cheapest of kit.

Good luck!

Edit: I should add that currently i use that body with this head which i find much easier to use. With the ball heads, you can occasionally have your camera 'flop' around when its not locked in tightly, this seems to happen a lot less with the '3D grips'.

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