A Third Tripod
Since the Trek-Tech T-Pod had apparently been shipped to an unknown destination, Becky Owens of Werner Publishing informed me via email that a replacement was shipped on January 6.
The replacement tripod, a Manfrotto 785B arrived in two days. The Manfrotto 785B was designed to be a travel tripod. At 2.2 lbs. I found it light enough to carry on mountain trails when I first used it on 1-9-2010.
I usually carry the camera in an small, inexpensive backpack that wasn’t designed specifically as a camera carrier. I found it at a Target store a couple years ago. It doesn’t have any padding to protect the camera, so I’m quite careful with it. With the camera in the small pack, there isn’t enough room for the Manfrotto, but I can easily carry it in my hand.
Though the Manfrotto is rated to hold up to 2.2 lbs., it seemed stable enough holding my 2.75 lb. camera/lens combination. The only downside to the tripod is instability in wind, but that is not a valid criticism, since it was out of the scope of the travel tripod design. It has simple controls, which is a good feature when standing in the darkness, setting up for a sunrise. The pistol grip-controlled ballhead is intuitive, and fairly easy to pan. Fully extended, it will reach a height of 59.2″, and since the legs can be adjusted to 3 different angles, it can be configured as a tabletop tripod with a height as low as 6.9″.
As it turned out, the journey of the Trek-Tech T-Pod into the void was a good thing. The Manfrotto is much better suited to my uses.