Small Low Tripod Needed, Recommendations?

cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
edited April 2014 in General Discussions
I need a small, low tripod to support a D4s and 14-24 f2.8 or 16mm Nikkor fisheye, and I'm struggling to find one to take that sort of weight.
I'm wondering if anyone has fried the Gorilla Pod Focus? This seems to be the type of thing I need, but haven't been able to find a stockist within a reasonable distance of me to try one.
Could do with other recommendations if you have any.
Post edited by cowleystjames on


  • Benji2505Benji2505 Posts: 517Member
    Small, low because you want the camera as low as possible?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator

    I'm wondering if anyone has fried the Gorilla Pod Focus? .
    Yes, I prefer to use panko bread crumbs and a light egg batter, but plain butter will do in a pinch!

    Even the $89 Slik Sprint Pro II Tripod can do this:

  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,605Member
    I don't own one but have seen the small RRS tripod in use and all I can say is it gets you right down on the ground like the Slik Sprint Pro II in Ironheart's message.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited April 2014
    Not sure what the budget is but this one from RRS might suit your needs...supports up to 100 pounds!

    TFA-01: Pocket 'Pod

    F-Stoppers Review.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • GoIrish2011GoIrish2011 Posts: 2Member
    Great timing on two accounts!
    1) I've been lurking in the forums for months and finally decided to start an account to respond, and
    2) I just received my GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X in the mail two days ago and have been completely thrilled with its performance.

    I bought the Focus sight unseen, so like you, I was a little bit concerned about its ability to hold steady without buckling, but the Focus has had no problem securing my D7100 with SB-700 flash and 24-70 f2.8 fully extended. If you're looking for a "pure" tripod, the ones that have already been mentioned may be great options, but I think that the versatility and surprising strength of the GorillaPod makes it worth seriously considering.

    I got the bundle with the Joby Ballhead X, and was also pretty surprised by the strength and fluidity of the bullhead for the price. At $100 for both... I'm not sure you can do better.
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    Many thanks Golf, I love RRS and have ordered kit from them before, but it's depressing when the price almost doubles here in the UK due to taxes and charges.
    But I do love that Gorillapod Focus. It's going to be used for getting low down racehorse shots on the gallops using the WT-5. So Goirish, many thanks for that timely reply, I was actually looking at that kit with the ball head as it's available from WEX for £119.
    Is it stable? Do the legs splay out under the weight?
  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    I can see a cheap video slider being a much better and much cheaper solution.
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • DeanMoriartyDeanMoriarty Posts: 15Member
    The Gorillapod works great! I use it with my D800/Grip and 24-70. It also works with the 70-200mm but have to watch the way you shift the weight on the ball head or legs if the lens or camera is directly mounted to the POD itself. D4s weight shouldn't be an issue either when my Gorilla Pod came in the legs were incredibly stiff to adjust. I have had it for a couple of years now and still holds well. As for the legs splaying out under weight, i found that spreading the legs completely out in each direction will cause some splay in the legs. i just tilt the last ball (feet to the pod with the rubber on them) all the way down to make a 45 or 90 degree.
    D800, D700, D300s, Nikkormat FTn, Hasselblad 500c, Holy Trinity, 50mm1.4D, 10.5mm 2.8g, f-stop gear.
  • GoIrish2011GoIrish2011 Posts: 2Member
    I agree with DeanMoriarty. The legs are far stiffer than I was expecting. The interesting (perhaps frustrating for some but liberating for others) thing about the Gorillapod is that because each individual ball can tilt, you're only really limited to your imagination as to how you would like to set it up. Once you understand that each arm has many independent "levers", you can play around with the configuration to get a setup that will hold an incredible amount of weight.

    I guess my questions for you are, what height are you hoping to shoot from? what's the most weight you'd want to slap on it? and are you planing on using it on flat ground or to get creative with placement?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    edited April 2014
    The combined price and weight of that kit is such that - for once - I have to agree with @Golf007sd and say buy RRS.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,298Member
    I think the key in this situation would be a good head such as something from Really Right Stuff. As long as the head was up to the challenge of the weight then a variety of lower tripods could be used I think. I have found the Gorillapods to be unstable under certain conditions. Slik, and Manfrotto make some nice sturdy lower tripods as does Benro and a company called Horusbennu. Despite the cost, Really Right Stuff has a solution for everything and this is the way I would go if I were you.
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    I'm looking to put a D4s and 16mm fisheye or possibly 14-24 at the base of a jump on a racehorse gallop to capture that particular type of image.
    So it needs to be a small tripod, but sturdy. Tried fixing a ball head to a Manfrotto centre column, then fixing a spike at the base, but couldn't get the sturdiness necessary to get good images. Just seemed to be too much flexing.
  • sidewayssideways Posts: 54Member
    RRS TP-243 opened out absolutely flat if you have enough space for it. They're awesome. Just need a good solid head to go with it. One of theirs or an Acratech ...
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited April 2014
    @csj, I think the point I and others are trying to make is that any tripod with the legs fully shortened and splayed out to 170° is inherently extremely stable and can take probably 10x the amount of weight if the legs were fully extended at a normal angle. Also your gear is only 5cm off the ground, so no worries there.
    (here you see the split center column removed)
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • cowleystjamescowleystjames Posts: 74Member
    I'd like to use my tripod like that but the regulations won't let me use anything that covers an area more than twelve inches across, this is my problem.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited April 2014
    I would just say use a 5/8" piece of plywood, drill a hole in it, and mount a ballhead. Drill holes in each corner and use either 12" nails or tent spikes to hold it down. That would be the cheapest and most conforming. You won't find anything that covers less than 12" that is remotely sturdy.

    One thing I use at times is a Super Clamp with a ballhead attached to grab onto railing etc. Works very well.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    Damn! That's a good idea Tao.
    Always learning.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,268Member
    edited April 2014
    I'm itching to get out with my Berlebach Mini tripod; there were a number of close-to-the-ground springtime subjects in tight quarters at the Morton Arboretum that I like to try with my D7100 and the macro lens. We'll see how that works out soon (I hope).
    Post edited by dissent on
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • TomBTomB Posts: 44Member
    Skimmer Pod.

    Get the riser block that they sell for it. You can then stick a gimbal head on it and it is brilliant for low angle shots. I lie down on the beach at shoot sandpipers and such feeding in the surf. But be careful, I have given myself wicked neck cramps lying there for too long looking through the viewfinder.

    If you are looking for a SHORT tripod, do what Kirk Industries does. Buy a Manfrotto 3001ProB1 and cut the bottom half off. You completely take the bottom extension out of the leg and saw like 4 inches off the middle with a small pipe cutter. Then stick a few crutch tip style post ends on the stumps. A used one off eBay should be cheap. You wind up with a tripod like 24 inches tall with out the extension, but you can't beat it for use with a 200mm dedicated Macro lense like the Nikon. I use mine for shooting wild flowers and moss in the field. Makes a light weight rig with say a Arcatech GV2 head. Let me know if you want pics of how mine looks.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    @TomB: Right angled finder? £30 on ebay if you don't use it often.
    Always learning.
  • TomBTomB Posts: 44Member
    @spraynpray: Yeah. I use one when I am doing fine macro work, but when I am moving about trying to shoot the shore birds it becomes a hindrance. I use a slightly magnified viewfinder all the time so it isn't too bad. I just know that a fellow on Naturescapes did permanent damage to his neck doing this sort of thing.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,089Moderator
    I hear ya bud - I suffer with my neck too. :(
    Always learning.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    This might be something to consider: Weye-Feye.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
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