Tripod, tribrach, and monopod recommendations

We’re ecologists playing surveyors as part of a new project. We have 2 Reach RS’s ordered - and excited for their arrival. We wanted to hit the ground running, and get some the necessary physical hardware for surveying so that it’ll be ready when the Reach RS’s get here.

I apologize for my lack of technical knowledge. Like I said, we’re newbies! And I hope given the price and polish of the Reach RS, I imagine this question might appeal to many others getting into the field.

I’m looking for recommendations for affordable, but quality (i.e. best buys) tripods, tribrachs (for the base station) and monopods for the rover. I understand that Reach RS can accept both photo/video and survey tripods. I wouldn’t mind either, but certainly there seems to be several survey tripods within reach (maybe $400-500 total budget). If not particular, any thoughts on wood vs. aluminum vs. fiberglass. Optical vs. laser plummet? What do you have or what would you get?

So you know our likely use: survey instrumentation and plants in agricultural fields. We’ll need <10cm level relative accuracy, but fields are scattered around the Midwest, USA.

I’ve searched on this Forum and found some DIY recommendations (e.g. Making custom tripod adapters) - but we’re hoping for more of the affordable, but good off-the-shelf recommendations. I’ve also search the web generally for good, but affordable survey tripods, mono or bipods, and tribrachs, but haven’t found much (don’t really know where to look).

Any help is appreciated. Sorry again as a novice.

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i will just put down a few words that might be considered. With <10cm accuracy, you could actually use anything.
The pricetag goes quickly throught the roof for carbon and light weight. Cheap get the job done but might be less precise and less durable.
Other things to remember
-RS has 1/4 mount hole and need to use an adapter to fit on gear with 5/8 screws, This adapter builds about 22mm on the height and some tripods are not able to tightn this firmly to its surface due to the extra space the adapter creates. I like 1/4 , is easier to come by and lighter to fit on photogear and its cheaper. Most hobby stores has 1/4 threaded screw for gopros and such
-For accurat position over a point, a vertical plump that could hang from tripods center fix is nice. You can see the hook in this thread
The same thread show a tripod that adapter would cause extra space issue
I personally use this tripod and this portable plumb
And i have a fix at the bottom om my tripod to hang a vertical plumb or DIY laser drop

You could probably buy tripod that has it all, but it will cost you.
Hope i gave you some ideas. Most of it is found on ebay or alibaba or you local photogear store.
Others here have great tools they use and might give some glues there. I might update this one if new info comes to mind.

Another thought. You can go halfway in between in terms of quality and price and look at tripods for laser levels. 50 bucks will go a long ways there. I have both wood and metal and I prefer my metal one (it’s so light) and seems to weather better than the wooden one. They get left outside for extended periods of time. I love TB_RTK’s DIY but by the time I’ve done it myself to where I actually like it I’ve bought three cheap versions and wasted days…I don’t have Reach RS (yet) but this is what I use for my Reach kit. Laser level tripod from Brandt tractor. Also, I’ve got to show off my new Walmart watertight reach case.Sort of DIY:slight_smile:



:heart_eyes: DIY lunch box

After starting with camera gear and moving to survey gear, I think there is a place for both.

I would be thinking about the wind, and if you want a heavy flat top tripod with tribrach for your base that will not tip over or if you want a light and portable (flimsy?) camera tripod that you can weigh or anchor down for windy conditions.

For the rover, I got a telescopic prism pole (2.5m) with bubble level (Seco 5530-10). And I got the optional bipod legs as well. For <10cm points you may not need the bipod, but it is nice to step back and let go (do not let go in the the wind though). Plus get a pole clamp which will hold your smartphone for controlling ReachView. I don’t have one and wish I did.

If you want the best accuracy and you don’t have to carry it several kilometers, then go with the heavy survey tripod and tribrach (mine is optical).

Thanks for the great feedback. I definitely got some good ideas from all of you (Nice walmart case Brent!). Sorry for my pokey response - we’re busy here prepping for an early field season.

I ultimately decided that there was some decent enough, but still affordable survey equipment. So I ordered a Bosch Heavy Duty Tripod, Adirpro tribrach, prism pole, bipod legs, and all the needed accessories for less than $500. Probably more than the clever DIYer might need to spend, but this is for work, and I’m overloaded there, so didn’t have the ability to spend a lot to time for a bit of savings.

Happy to share models if anyone else is interested.


Please do, and tell us what you think when you start using them as well.

Yes, please share the models please.

Well, according to my experience with using multiple tripods for video recording and photo shooting, I can suggest you use some GoPro tripods instead of spending money on the overpriced Reach RS models.