Would you take a tripod?

Old Jan 6th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Would you take a tripod?

Hi y'all,

Reading divewop's post about lenses, occurred to me to ask about taking a tripod. I usually take mine everywhere because I shoot a lot at sunrise and sunset and want to use the lowest ISO possible.

Since I'll be on game drives at those times and using a beanbag in the vehicle, do I need to take my tripod? Will I have use for it in the camps?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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We always take one, sometimes two ... don't use them often but when we need the pod we really need the pod. If you have space and you're OK on the weight allowance go ahead and toss it in, if you don't have room don't sweat it, just go without and you'll be fine that way too.

Bill
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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Bill, you have a private vehicle, I believe. I think that would make a difference. Less convenient in a shared vehicle. If you go alone, I'd definitely take it.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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If you're into shooting sunsets etc. take one with you - even if you're in a shared vehicle you might find occasion to use it when you stop for a sundowner drink...

If we have space in the main bag we'll sometimes throw ours in. We don't use it often (and never in the vehicle, we just don't find it practical) but every now and then it comes in handy.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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I've a basic (lightweight) tripod which I've taken twice for use with a small medium format camera for landscapes. I stowed it on the floor of the vehicle at my feet. The tripod was absolutely necessary for the slow shutter speeds involved in that kind of work...as would a heavier one be for bigger 35mm combos outside the vehicle.

I didn't have a private vehicle but I was with friends at all times.The tripod might be an inconvenience to strangers in the vehicle.

John
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 06:24 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll probably take my smaller tripod because I can fit it into my suitcase. I'd kick myself if I wanted/needed it and didn't have it.

I am in the vehicle by myself, so I'll be the only person tripping over it!!!
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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You can save a lot of weight and baggage headaches if your local outfitter have camera accessories available for rent or loan! Best to check with your outfitter before you pack!

Tripods, beanbags, cleaning kits, chargers, rail/window clamps, binocs, etc. are becoming available from some outfitters.
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Old Jan 6th, 2008, 10:20 PM
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climbhighsleeplow, could you name and/or provide contact information for outfitters offering such services?
Thanks-Chuck
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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Hi Chuck

I wish I could but I'd rather not post information about specific outfitters here!

Maybe someone else can jump in with names?

I can say with 100% certainty that accessory rentals are available in Tanzania from at least a few top outfitters.
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 06:12 AM
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climbhighsleeplow,
Thanks for your reply, not really very helpful but I understand your position. You are I beleive "in the business".
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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I agree with Bill's statement about the approach to bringing a tripod. I probably bring one 50% of the time. I always either find a way to use it, or cope when I don't have it. Sometimes when I need it I really need it. But I mostly use the tripod for group shots.
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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I really wish the more outfitters would make this sort of ancillary equipment available. I sometimes bring a monopod but it really isn't of much use on our typical safaris. Renting an inexpensive tripod, without a fancy ball head would be the answer. I hate to bring even my carbon fiber four section Gitzo tripod because I just can't take the extra weight. Seems like when the choice is a lens or a tripod I choose the lens. Now that the newer SLR's have "live view" I kind of think I would like to use a tripod more often. Anyone want to go into the photographic safari outfitting business?
Regards-Chuck
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 08:00 AM
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Chuck, I came to the same conclusion a few years ago. That is why I started offering equipment for rent on my safaris. I don't want this to be a commercial, so I won't. But I do see this as a differentiator for those safari companies that do offer these types of services.
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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The good news is....it is available

Even shotgun external microphones for consumer video cameras (really helps with minimising wind and car noice).

Tripods and universal clamps with pan and swivel and two-way studs for connecting different kinds of equipment.

Obviously not available from every outfitter....
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 08:39 AM
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Andy,
You are absolutly right on. I'm afraid that to many people take this often once in a liftime trip without the right stuff to photograph. I must say that your website does a fantastic job of educating the first time safari photographer. For the record I am not in the travel business or the photography business either. As many of you know I'm just an enthusiastic amatueur trying to provide information to other safari enthusiasts. Safari photography does differ not only from general photography but even from other sorts of wildlife photography. Andy, your Blog on Depth of Field is a great tutorial on how to think of your subjects in safari settings. It caused me to review my own work and to make some very beneficial changes. I imagine you are off to shoot in Tanz soon, good luck.
Regards-Chuck
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 09:55 AM
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Hi Andy
Just a bit of input from my side. I know full well the hassles of a tripod on safari vehicles so much so that I have built my own contraption which works like a charm in open vehicles. Basically I have a U-tube clamp which fastens onto the roll-bar and then I added the extension arm of a wall mount for a TV set and on the end I have a Manfrotto swivel head. Just to stabilze it I bolted on a mono pod 3/4 way down which I can adjust to stabalize it. Its taken care of all my hassles when filming or photographing. If you want I will send you a pic of what it looks like. It really works and it only ways 800 grams.
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 09:58 AM
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weighs
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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sounds like an awesome device! I am always up for new ways to solve problems. Feel free to email me if you wish!
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 11:11 AM
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Bill, I am glad that some of the things that I write are actually read! I need to find the time to do more writing like that. With a home addition in process, a baby on the way, 2 safaris starting next week, and another safari in April, the launching of a camera bag company in the late spring, I am scraping for extra time. yikes!
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Old Jan 7th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Andy,
Bill???
regards-Chuck
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