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Small tripod for Leica III?
Old 08-20-2019   #1
Jerevan
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Small tripod for Leica III?

I am thinking of getting a tripod for my Leica III (yes, odd - tripod for a Leica) - something that is small enough to carry around in the mountains and hopefully fits in a small bag. It needs to have a level too.

Any good ideas?
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Old 08-20-2019   #2
Mr_Flibble
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Small tripods with bubble level is not something I've seen very often, if at all.
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Old 08-20-2019   #3
Malcolm M
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I bought a Kenro 103 a few months ago, specifically for Leica use. Copy and paste from What have you just BOUGHT- Kenro 103 trodpipe. The search for a useable, dedicated, ‘pod for the Leicas. The P & T head on my Manfrotto tilts anticlockwise, which is what you want if you’re right-eyed and using an SLR, but wrong for a Leica with the tripod screw on the right and viewfinder on the left, where it needs to tilt clockwise to bring the finder up and clear of the tripod. Also, the Manfrotto QR plate fouls the tripod mount on the Hektor.
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Old 08-20-2019   #4
peterm1
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Too bad you want a level. Otherwise I would recommend the "real thing". Back in the day Leica made small tripods for their own cameras. Here is a picture of a later one (only cosmetically different from the older ones). I always found that part of the enjoyment of using old LTM cameras was that it gave an excuse to also use some of Leica's own, sometimes, weird and wonderful accessories. The tripod's legs rotate when the locking screw is loosened, making the tripod able to be carried and stored in the demounted / collapsed / flat pack state. Everything is metal in these BTW though not too heavy but certainly strong.

You could always put one of those cheap bubble levels (as found on eBay) for mounting in accessory shoes on the 111's own accessory shoe unless you need it to help with framing by using an accessory finder.

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Old 08-20-2019   #5
Vince Lupo
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Ex-Pro Spirit Level Travel Tripod. Doesn't look like it's fantastic quality, but it has a built-in spirit level and doesn't look too cumbersome. The Kenro (Karoo) 103 that's been mentioned looks pretty good, and also has a spirit level.

If you're looking for something more like a tabletop tripod, you can't go wrong with the Leica version (only thing I don't like about it is that it collapses into an odd, dog-leg shape). The Manfrotto 709 looks good too.

As far as a spirit level goes, maybe just buy a shoe-mounted spirit level and then you can use any tripod you want. They're cheap and easily available. B&H has a number of options.
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Old 08-20-2019   #6
Jerevan
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Thanks for the ideas!

I already have a Manfrotto Pixi Evo table tripod (using it for pinhole stuff, close to the ground, wideangle) but I guess I could try it out with a small bubble level in the cold shoe. My pinhole camera has a level built-in, but still ... I am not too fond of ballheads.

I wonder what they used back in the days, apart from the table top versions? I suppose it was these thin-legged things one sometimes can find in the fleamarkets.
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Old 08-20-2019   #7
presspass
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Siriu makes a couple of small tripods that fold compactly. I have one - can't remember the model - that's carbon fiber and comes with its own bag. It does come with a ball head and takes the included quick release plate - ARCA Swiss style. It's light enough to carry and strong enough to hold a truly heavy lens/camera combo. I suppose you could replace the ball head with another type, and it doesn't have a bubble level. So it only ticks one of the three boxes for things you want.
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Old 08-20-2019   #8
mpaniagua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Too bad you want a level. Otherwise I would recommend the "real thing". Back in the day Leica made small tripods for their own cameras. Here is a picture of a later one (only cosmetically different from the older ones). I always found that part of the enjoyment of using old LTM cameras was that it gave an excuse to also use some of Leica's own, sometimes, weird and wonderful accessories. The tripod's legs rotate when the locking screw is loosened, making the tripod able to be carried and stored in the demounted / collapsed / flat pack state. Everything is metal in these BTW though not too heavy but certainly strong.

You could always put one of those cheap bubble levels (as found on eBay) for mounting in accessory shoes on the 111's own accessory shoe unless you need it to help with framing by using an accessory finder.


Great gadget. Besides using on a tabletop, you can put the legs on your chest to gain better support. I can usually shot at 15th with no problem with it.

Marcelo
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Old 08-20-2019   #9
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+2 for the tabletop from Leica or Minolta (made during the CL and CLE era).

If you want to try a less rigid tripod you might use some paracord and hang a medium-sized rock or branch from the center post and a cable release. The additional weight should help add some stability.

B2 (;->
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Old 08-20-2019   #10
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Jerevan, I've used a Triopo carbon fiber, a manfrotto monopod & went back to a Gitzo. I've used them with Leica, Fuji 6x9, & Rolleiflex. For budget considerations B&H has this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...RoCS7kQAvD_BwE.
As for the bubble level....it doesn't matter if the tripod is level if the camera isnt. I level by eye, but you could buy an inexpensive line level and lay it on the top of the camera. I've often used the Leitz tabletop head on number of those leg options.
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Old 08-20-2019   #11
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Not cheap but the last one you'll ever buy...
https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/tfa-01u
Put a RRS ball head on top and forget about any issues with ball heads you ever had or heard about.
The combo is so small you can fit it in the front pocket of e.g. a Domke F6 (little bit smaller bag).
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Old 08-20-2019   #12
Vince Lupo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
Thanks for the ideas!

I already have a Manfrotto Pixi Evo table tripod (using it for pinhole stuff, close to the ground, wideangle) but I guess I could try it out with a small bubble level in the cold shoe. My pinhole camera has a level built-in, but still ... I am not too fond of ballheads.

I wonder what they used back in the days, apart from the table top versions? I suppose it was these thin-legged things one sometimes can find in the fleamarkets.
If you want a super-cool and period-correct spirit level, look for a Leitz DOOLU! A few are on eBay -- not cheap, but they'd look great!

Back in the days (depends on which days you're talking about!) I think there was a combination of tabletop and thin-legged tripods. I used to have a very vintage (1920s?) thin-legged Kodak tripod, and paired it with an equally-vintage Zeiss Ikon tripod head. I also have two tabletop tripods -- a Sears version that's likely from the 1960s-1970s, as well as a no-name brand that I've had since 1983 when it was new. Nice thing about those two tabletop tripods is that the leg assembly unscrews from the base and you can store the legs in the main column of the tripod. Definitely more compact than the Leica version, but of course not quite as 'gusto' as the Leica. Hama, Bilora, Kaiser and Rowi come to mind.

Maybe look on eBay etc for 'vintage tabletop tripod' and see what pops up - you may be surprised at what treasures might turn up!
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Old 08-20-2019   #13
BillBingham2
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Not sure how crazy you want to go, but a monopod might be an option too? How slow a shutter speed do you want to go to?

B2 (;->
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Old 08-20-2019   #14
mike rosenlof
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I own one of those Leica tabletop tripods. I really like it. I've taken it on many trips... And have rarely used it. My shooting style just doesn't fit with a tabletop tripod.


The problem with a leice iii is that most any tripod that is still sturdy when extended to eye level is a LOT heavier than the camera! Maybe a monopod is the answer. With 35mm, I usually brace against a tree or building or something.
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Old 08-20-2019   #15
shawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
Too bad you want a level. Otherwise I would recommend the "real thing". Back in the day Leica made small tripods for their own cameras. Here is a picture of a later one (only cosmetically different from the older ones). I always found that part of the enjoyment of using old LTM cameras was that it gave an excuse to also use some of Leica's own, sometimes, weird and wonderful accessories. The tripod's legs rotate when the locking screw is loosened, making the tripod able to be carried and stored in the demounted / collapsed / flat pack state. Everything is metal in these BTW though not too heavy but certainly strong.

You could always put one of those cheap bubble levels (as found on eBay) for mounting in accessory shoes on the 111's own accessory shoe unless you need it to help with framing by using an accessory finder.


Or the Minox tripod which is just tiny all put away! Stable too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNsZIq-myhQ

Shawn
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Old 08-20-2019   #16
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I would look for a small carbon-fiber model. I'd say it ought to extent to at least 42 inches--48 would better.
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Old 10-13-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I would look for a small carbon-fiber model. I'd say it ought to extent to at least 42 inches--48 would better.
The best tripod you can buy (and the one that will last the longest) in the above category is the RRS TFC-14 Mk2 or if you want a center column on it as well the RRS TQC-14 Mk2. If you decide on the TQC-14 Mk2 you can also buy a Series 1 fixed apex conversion kit to turn the tripod into a TFC-14 Mk2 (and back).
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Old 10-13-2019   #18
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Rather than a vintage table top tripod, surely a Joby Gorilla Pod ? Much more versatile.
Joby also sell separate spirit levels that sit in-between the camera and tripod
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Old 10-13-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by presspass View Post
Siriu makes a couple of small tripods that fold compactly. I have one - can't remember the model - that's carbon fiber and comes with its own bag. It does come with a ball head and takes the included quick release plate - ARCA Swiss style. It's light enough to carry and strong enough to hold a truly heavy lens/camera combo. I suppose you could replace the ball head with another type, and it doesn't have a bubble level. So it only ticks one of the three boxes for things you want.
I have a Siriu carbon fiber one. It is very light. Took it to eastern Europe this summer for my Rolleiflex and a small digital P&S. I replaced the head with the smallest RRS head and attached the Rollei quick release adapter.

This is the smallest, lightest tripod I have seen.

I carry a line level in my bag.
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Old 10-14-2019   #20
p81
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Rollei Compact Traveller?!
With Levelbulbs and not so big. Comes with a little bag.
Maybe you have a look on it. I have one and its really handy.
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Old 10-14-2019   #21
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I did a vid on the 3 tabletop tripods recently..
For sheer lightweight and speed..I luv the latest Gitzo..so quick and firm..

The Oben is more flexible..but more things to adjust..

I decided to keep them both as well as my old Gitzo..
The Oben extension fits the Gitzo perfectly too..
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNh5bmMd6H8
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