Has anyone here tried the Day Tripper easel? I like that each component is lightweight. I have to limit lifting even 5-pound objects, so the lighter the better. But I hear the customer service and shipping can be a nightmare. Anyone have recent experience with them?
I've seen some DIY plans to make a plein air easel too attach to a photography tripod. Have one lying around, and have plans to make an easel out of it (when I find the time). Didn't know they are sold though, I'll look that day tripper up.
Edit, found it! For that price I think the diy route is worth it....
shop around you can get other makes for around $150+
They are easy to make, you can also make them out of other stuff - like I did with this old pencil box.
Here it is on my Mabef field easel. I made it originally for a tripod - it's too small and doesn't fit right on the Maybef so I'm going to make another one from scratch similar to the ones at https://www.shamrockboxes.com/products.
I have such a field easel as Bongo shows, my dad gave me his decennia ago. It has a certain sentimental value, and I've used it at home for charcoal drawing, but mine is a rather flimsy and finnicky affair, not very practical, certainly not outside.
The box you made for it is great bongo, I plan something similar for my camera tripod, with a detachable lid that serves as a drawing board to be screwed on the camera connection.Not my own idea, this is a good example
this is my current setup - a Russian easel called "Yarka". Since a lot of people are unfamiliar with it, I thought I'd give you a tour.
Size of a briefcase - 20" x 15" x 4 "
weighs 9lbs - 5lbs less than a french easel, about the same compared to a combination tripod, easel, and panel holder.
opened ready to paint
ready to close up - holds a wet palette, wet brushes and a wet panel up to 18" x14".
I had a French easel I had picked up at a thriftstore for $15.
Never used it so I converted it into a "Frarka" (FRench yARKA).
When I got the Yarka had to make a Sophie's choice between the two.
Frarka came in a close second - the legs on the Yarka made the difference.
Thanks for the replies! I think I've ruled out the Day Tripper. The customer service complaints are very concerning.
Another option is the Strada Mark II mast easel and the palette. The mast looks great; the palette looks overpriced.
Mostly what I'm looking for is an easel that doesn't wobble and yet doesn't weigh a lot. Those goals may be incompatible! I've used a host of pochade boxes: the Sienna, the Strada, the Guerilla Painter boxes, and most recently the EasyL Versa, which is my favorite of the lot. But even the EasyL wobbles. When you have both the palette and the support sitting on top of the tripod, any weak link will create wobble. I find that the wingnut holding the pochade to the tripod loosens, and I get rotational wobble as well as horizontal wobble. Very annoying.
So I'm wondering -- does a mast design wobble less? The idea is that there's less weight on the top of the tripod.
I can't stand wobbling or jiggling. That's why I went with the French easel and the Yarka.
However there are things you can do to effectively deal with it.
Do NOT screw the release plate into the 1/4" insert. Mount a "cheese plate" to the bottom of the pochade and attach the release plate to that.
Do NOT use a little tripod with a chintzy ball head. Use a video tripod with a fluid head or pan head - preferably with a 3/8" rather than the 1/4" screw. They are not all that heavy and not all that more expensive - but a must if you want a stable pochade.
Do NOT use a big heavy pochade box. One that looks really interesting to me is the U Go. Under 2lbs and has torsion hinges to hold the lid. These are incredibly strong hinges that blow away the type found on most pochades.
On a mast-type panel holder, the bottom cross piece needs to be long. Many have little three-inch bottom cross pieces - replacing with one six or seven inches plus long will make a big difference. (Mast-type panel holders don't wobble, but they jiggle). My field easel was unusable IMO until I did that...
So which is better? Also keep in mind how you like to work. Is panel at eye level more important than reducing fatigue on your arm?
All the above is my conjecture, based on limited experience - so keep that in mind.