A Little Something New

Relative size of tripods in folded configuration.

I just bought myself a new toy tool. It’s hard to believe it was over a year ago, but I had written in March 2022 about having rented the Peak Design Travel Tripod. I liked it a lot but couldn’t justify spending $600 (at the time – it’s now $650) on a part-time tripod. And I wasn’t sure it was good enough to be an only tripod, so I had lots of excuses to not buy one.

Relative size of tripods in their storage cases.

There aren’t too many cases where I really want a compact, highly portable tripod. I had a Gitzo, that while wasn’t designed for travel was sort of portable – it would fit in a large suitcase with the center column detached, but just barely. My only tripod lately has my big and beefy RRS TVC-33 with the matching BH-55 ballhead. An excellent and steady base, but really overkill for my relatively light Fuji equipment. While it is great for car travel, it’s just a little too tough to jam into a suitcase. It was just the thing when I was shooting with the big-a$$ Canon equipment. Of course a too-big tripod to a photographer is sort of like a too-big diamond to a lovely partner. No such thing, right? But I had been looking for a suitable travel candidate, albeit not too hard. I had done a little research and identified a few likely candidates, but the ones I thought would do the job were still a little pricey for comfort.

A couple of days ago I saw a post on a Fuji Rumors site that B&H was having a MEGA DEAL ZONE – 100s OF DEALS TOO GOOD TO LAST! sale. Included in the sale was a “Benro MeFoto GlobeTrotter Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod Kit” on sale for $175, marked down from $365. The ad indicated that it was $300 off, which is a bit overstated, but it is still half the regular price. It was one of the “finalists” that I had on my Wish List, the price was too good to pass up, so I pulled the trigger.

FedEx delivered the package on Thursday, and while I haven’t had a chance to use it extensively, my initial impression is that it is quite a worthy tripod. The build quality appears to be excellent, and I have to say that it appears quite sturdy. Compared to the RRS model I have to wonder why they are so expensive in comparison. The specs indicate that it is designed to hold 26 pounds. I don’t know about that, but even my heaviest lens won’t come close to testing it. I won’t know how good until I have a chance to use it IRL (‘In Real Life’ as the kids say) but I have an opportunity coming up that should let me put it through its paces.

Side by side comparison with MePhoto center column down.
Side by side comparison with MePhoto center column extended.

10 thoughts on “A Little Something New”

  1. Hi Tom!
    There’s always a new tool for our toys! Same way with books for me!
    In fact, Andy is in Lowes right now AND he brought the truck. I’m holding my breath for what he may bring out
    Karen Fisher

    1. We all have our passions, don’t we? And why do our tools and toys manage to grow into the space available?

      Hopefully Andy was able to fit his purchases into the truck!

  2. LOL You are more than a part-time photographer and having a reliable, easy to carry and setup tripod with you will probably lead to using it more. I have to confess I purchased a smaller tripod a month ago and have found myself using a tripod more. I know a lot of that has to do with it being new. However, when I can reduce both the weight and length in half, especially at my age, then I will carry it with me more often and use it more. I say congratulations and look forward to reading more about this new tool.

    1. Well, I aspire to be a more prolific photographer like Monte, but am happy to be able to spend a little time at home on occasion! Yes, I’m hoping that having a more portable tripod will also make it easier to carry and use. Novelty is part of it, as is finding the right tool for the job. I can get $500 for the RRS from KEH, which makes it even more attractive to like and to perhaps decide to keep just the new one!

  3. Good luck with your new purchase. It sounds like a nice tripod. My travel ‘pod is perfect for the Oly (not the Nikon). Got to know your limitations!

    1. Part of the reason I got rid of the Canon. Like Monte, it is important to lighten the load however I can. And if I can say, I don’t feel that my photography has suffered as a result of the “smaller” gear.

  4. I have a compact MePhoto tripod and a large, heavy Manfrotto with an even heavier RRS ball head. I rarely use either but now that I’ve gone mirrorless by replacing my D800 with the Z7ii I may try using them again. Thanks for the review.

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