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| p.1 #5 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever? |
I am very happy with my Really Right Stuff TVC-33, and have put it through some semi serious usage. I still use my Gitzo tripods some, but tend to always go with the TVC-33 when I am going to a remote location, or have a lot of load to support.
When I first got a great deal on my TVC-33 as a used item on eBay, I had a problem with one of the legs coming un bonded from the metal socket at the top. I talked with RRS, and they said they had had some quality issues with a small batch of early tripods, and that was likely the cause of my problem. Because I was not the original purchaser, they had no obligation to fix the tripod, but they took care of me promptly with a repair to all three legs, and I could not tell the tripod from new,
And ironically I had the same issue with a Gitzo GT 3 series tripod several years before. When I talked to the Gitzo people in the US about it, they insisted I needed a reciept, even though the tripod had only been out on the market for about 6 months in the US. I then wanted to know what the cost and availability would be to buy the upper leg part, and they said it was too new to know the price, but that the lead time would be at least 2 months. That was not what I wanted to hear at all, so I ordered some 3M structural two part filled epoxy adhesive in a gray color, and fixed it my self. You can see the extra filet of epoxy where it did it, but it is holding well so far.
The alloy aluminum plate that Really Right Stuff starts with to machine there things out of is not at all likley to have a cold weather induced failure, or any other breakage other than a ductile yield from gross overload. Any die cast product has a chance of having a manufacturing defect that can be the start of a failure induced by cold or by normal use, even if the chances are low. I doubt I will ever buy a Gitzo again, especially since the current series is almost as expensive as a RRS. Features, material selection, performance, and customer service, all combine to make Really Right Stuff the way to go. And made in the USA is another nice thing if that matters to you. They may not be perfect every time, but they are the best right now.