If you replace the ballhead ...
In the summer of 2018 I left the
Velbon Ultra Rexi L tripod
behind at a camping in France since it was far to big and heavy for a bicycle taveller.
However I can really recommend you this tripod since it is the most handy (fullsize) model you will find anywere.
Then the disaster with the Hama Traveller Popup tripod happened of which the ballhead stopped clamping. I left that tripod behind in a hostel in Spain in the autum of 2018.
I then still had one (Redged) tripod left. * But that also was a traditional (so quiet big and very heavy) type, although it was a macro model with a smaller size.
Then I discoverd the Cullmann Neomax 220 tripod. And I knew it has exactly those details you want if you are a real traveller (so have to transport it all by yourself). That is simply because it has the same lightning fast system to adjust the legs the Velbon Ultra Rexi L tripod has.
That system implies that you only have to turn a (1) ring to adjust the leg, regardless of the number of segments the leg has. That makes it very fast and easy to use, and (far) more leightweight.
I was in Malaga but could not get it there from stock. So I orderd the tripod online and pickup it up at a postoffice. And I was very pleased with it from the very first moment, which always is a good sign. I had a thorough look at it and tested it shortly inhouse with my Panasonic FZ1000 camera. First I removed the centerpole. It creates flex, unstability, weight and loss of precious time. And it must be removed anyway everytime you want to pack the tripod (if you want it packed in the original short bag). I dont need the height anyway but "just" a handy and stable tripod. Besides that the usual tripod height is usually not the best height (while to heigh). I use a tripod solely to make nice timelapses and sometimes a selfie 🙂. I also removed the carabin hook since it is only there to be able to hang on some extra weight in case there is to much wind .
The Cullmann specific ballhead has a special feauture namely a round groundplate. That makes it easy to turn the camera if you want to make (pictures for) panorama pictures. A nice idea but worthless since there is no bubble level available. You can read all about creating panorama pictures at YesPanoramas.nl . Take a look there since that article could bring you a very nice new hobby !
It was obvious that this original ballhead was the critical item. The Cullmann specsheet states that "it" has a carrying capacity of 3 kilos. That might be true for the tripod but is for sure not true for the ballhead ... Already from the beginning was the camerafront slowly but surely sinking. No matter how much force I used to tighten the knob. The Panasonic FZ1000 ways some 850 grams.
This Cullmann balhead is not up to the job of positioning a real camera.
So I ordered another ballhead with a larger knob which costed a whole € 3 allin.
And I ofcourse ordered a quick release plate with a price of € 8 allin.
Of which I removed the bubble levels and the platespring since they are useless.
This releaseplate works fine.
It has a double handle for opening- and closing security.
And it locks the camera automatically as soon as the cameraplate pushes down the lockingpin.
So you actually don't have to lock the combination yourself.
That ballhead however had exactly the same problem, it didn't work either for exactly the same reason. The screw to tighten (push) the ball to the head (-wall) is not able to hold the combi. The ball just slips over the end of the bolt. In other words, there is just not enough surface to create enough friction there. However while I was surfing for that ballhead I had also noticed a special type of ballhead that I had not seen before. This type does not use the end of the screw to pinch the ball. The screw tightens the two halfs of the head towards each other. So here the ball is clamped by a very large surface and because of that the screw has a much more relaxed job anyway. An extra feature which is really very handy is that you can easily turn the knob into your own favorite position. So I once more ordered a ballhead for the price of € 11 allin. But it would come with it's own quick release plate of a type I didn't know and of which I could not find any information about. To my relieve I managed easily to dismount the quick releaseplate that came with it and to mount the one I had ordered before. It fits exactly and even has an anti-turning facility (by accident). So now this tripod, ballhead and quick release plate form a very stable and sturdy combination.
Conclusion : by the time I write this article, february 2019, I have the tripod about 2 months and about 1 month in the upgraded version as described here. It is very small, very handy, very stable and very lightweight. And it is quiet cheap if you realise that size does matter !
The Cullmann Neomax 220 tripod is the best tripod for selfpowered travellers. If you replace the ballhead ...
And these are examples of what I use my tripod for.
* Yes indeed, YesTrip started with 3 tripods on board 🙂 ...