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| p.3 #3 · Really Right Stuff Tripods |
I'm just offering it as a data point. I am not saying they're as good as the RRS pods, as I haven't used the RRS pods. I've gone through three major tripods. When I first started, like many, I just had the cheap piece of crap that you can buy at Best Buy. When I got my first DSLR, I upgraded to an aluminum set of Manfrotto legs, which were quite good for my purposes, though heavy. I upgraded my ball head from my A/S modified manfrotto head a few years back and saw a visible improvement in droop and solidity, and I saw a big improvement in usability, weight and vibration when upgrading my manfrotto tripod after 6 years to my Carbon Fiber Induro.
My only point is that I think the jump from there to the true top end like the RRS tripods is a huge financial jump, and I don't really know if there's a huge jump in stability that justifies the cost for most photographers. For some, they need the absolute best of the best, no matter the cost. Most of us don't fall into that category, though. My current tripod has no obvious shortcomings that are causing me to miss shots or anything. I don't have droop in my ballhead, I don't have problems with vibrations in my photos (granted, I don't do a lot of long exposure photography in high wind with long lenses...which is where I'd imagine these differences would manifest themselves), though the question isn't between my tripod and an RRS at that point, it's between my tripod and one that's built for long lenses (i.e, one that is thicker and more stout than mine or the TVC-23 as well).
BTW, Scott Bourne is a fairly well known wildlife photographer who does a lot of media work and instruction as well. I certainly am not a Bourne disciple...I disagree with him a lot, actually, but the guy does do VERY well with his photography, both from the imaging point of view, as well as marketing/instruction.