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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Going On A Photo Road Trip

Be ready for anything by packing for a journey with the essentials

Labels: How-ToGear

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Really Right Stuff BH-40
Kirk Enterprises BH-3
Really Right Stuff’s BH-40 is a midsized ballhead that makes it a great choice for travel and backpacking. It’s designed for popular medium-sized lenses, such as the 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 and 300mm ƒ/4. It can handle up to 18 pounds while weighing just 13 ounces. The BH-40 is available with quick-release clamps, a plain platform or a panning clamp. Clamps also are open-channel, allowing you to position the mounting plate for best balance when changing lenses. Estimated Street Price: $375 (BH-40 LR).

The Kirk Enterprises BH-3 panning ballhead is a rugged, compact precision unit that weighs just 19 ounces, yet it can handle up to 15 pounds. A single knob releases and locks the ball, while additional knobs adjust friction and control the 360-degree panning base. The BH-3 features a new quick-release platform with built-in spirit level that accepts Arca-style plates, and durable aluminum, brass and stainless-steel construction assures ruggedness. Estimated Street Price: $265.

Induro Adventure Series
The most appropriately named tripod for travel, Induro’s Adventure Series of tripod kits comes with everything you’ll need for support, including tripod legs, head and carrying case. The tripods are made from a magnesium and aluminum alloy. The system features simple setup and fast maneuvering with Quick Lock Legs, an interchangeable snap-in quick-release plate and a ballhead with a single lever lock for securing camera position and head rotation simultaneously. List Price: Starts at $136.

Thanks to new manufacturing processes and materials, tripods are lighter than ever before, so there's no excuse to leave yours at home. Perfect exposures require perfect sharpness, and you just can't get sharpness without a good tripod.

Manfrotto’s CX series of tripods is easy to transport out in the field, thanks to 100-percent carbon-fiber tubing, magnesium and aluminum die castings, and construction that minimizes the weight of the tripod while maintaining a maximum level of sturdiness. The ergonomic leg-angle selectors of the CX range are more precise and also more comfortable to handle. Estimated Street Price: $349 (055CX3).

Manfrotto CX Series

The Slik SPRINT MINI II GM and SPRINT PRO II GM compact tripods provide a collapsible height of only 14 inches and 19 inches, respectively, making them handy and easily portable. The tripods are light, too, at 1.75 pounds and 2 pounds, and the legs are padded for a comfortable grip while carrying. The tripods extend to a height of 43.3 inches and 64 inches, respectively. They’re ideal for most general use, and a built-in short center column also makes them a good solution for macro work with a minimum height of only 6.4 inches from the ground. (The main center column can be reversed for low-to-the-ground shooting, too.) Estimated Street Price: $75 (SPRINT MINI); $90 (SPRINT PRO).

Sunpak’s PRO 724M carbon-fiber monopod features four carbon-fiber leg sections with twist locks and extends from 19 inches to 63 inches. The carbon fiber is light, absorbs vibrations and provides the strength to support up to 11 pounds—a pro D-SLR with long lens—yet the unit weighs just a tenth of that. A neoprene grip offers comfortable handling in any climate, and a retractable spiked rubber foot provides a good grip on any surface. Estimated Street Price: $74.


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