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Archive 2012 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?
  
 
Phrasikleia
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


I have been very unfortunate in my tripod purchases. I now have a closet full of skeletons...all of the tripods that did not meet my needs for one reason or another. Just last night I had a second material failure with a Gitzo tripod (this time a GT-2531: the leg broke off while I was shooting because the cast magnesium alloy of the collar/spider snapped clean through in cold weather for no apparent reason other than it was cold).

I'm assuming that Gitzo will eventually repair this tripod as they did with my last one that broke, but my amusement stops here. I treat my gear very gently and expect that a tripod will keep all three of its legs no matter how far I hike or how cold it is.

So now I'm researching alternatives and will not consider anything that involves a lot of plastics or cast alloys. I know that RRS uses machined metals, so they are looking the most appealing right now. But maybe there are horror stories out there that I should know about. Please let me know your honest experiences with RRS tripod legs. Have you ever had anything fail? If so, what? And did RRS fix it without issue?

I already have a ball head (by Markins), so I'm not asking for opinions about about those. I just want to know about the legs. How reliable are they?

Thank you!



Dec 10, 2012 at 08:07 PM
AmIgone
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


Well I’ve had a TVC-33 for almost 2 years now and I have not had one problem with it. I have also not heard of anyone else having any problems with them. Mine has seen a fair amount of use holding a 500 f4 too. I wouldn’t hesitate in suggesting one.


Dec 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
kdphotography
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


I use a TVC-24 as my lightweight tripod. The only problem with it is that I like it so much, I yearn for a TVC-33 instead of my Gitzo 5541LS. As long as you buy a tripod with the right specifications for your needs, you really can't go wrong with a CF tripod from RRS or Gitzo.

You can tell the quality of a tripod when you take it apart to clean and maintain it---that's when you can really see the attention to details and how the tripod responds after a week in the field and a good cleaning. I dislike taking apart, cleaning and lubing tripods, but my Gitzo and RRS tripods work as new...



Dec 11, 2012 at 01:42 AM
ACNYPhoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


I think my biggest problem with RRS stuff is I didn't switch sooner! I've had the TVC33 for a few years now, I do stuff like plop it in the ocean so I can shoot surfing and I've had not a problem with it...


Dec 11, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Roland W
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p.1 #5 · 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.



Dec 11, 2012 at 03:41 AM
sjms
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


RRS puts more thought, engineering and effort into their products then any of the rest on the market.

I own:
1 of the original 10 RRS TVC33's
1 Gitzo GT2540EX
1 RRS TQC14



Edited on Dec 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM · View previous versions



Dec 11, 2012 at 04:25 AM
spdntrxi
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


I love my TVC-24L.. zero issues


Dec 11, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Phrasikleia
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


Many thanks for the helpful replies. I really appreciate them.


kdphotography wroteAs long as you buy a tripod with the right specifications for your needs, you really can't go wrong with a CF tripod from RRS or Gitzo.

I'm hoping that's true about RRS, but I can say from experience that it's not about Gitzo, unless it says somewhere in Gitzo's specifications that their tripods can't be used in cold weather. I've now had two Gitzos break in this way.

For anyone who is curious, here is a photo of the damage to the GT-2531:








And these are the conditions I was in when it happened. This is me using the tripod right about the moment that i heard a loud "CRACK!":









Dec 11, 2012 at 07:27 AM
jfeldt
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


None with my TVC-33. I've had it a year and use it with the BH-55 and the Wimberly WH-200.


Dec 11, 2012 at 07:30 AM
RoyC
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


Many people just replace the platform with a Markins TH-200 Hub, which is machined.
https://www.ppsna.com/product_info.php/cPath/21/products_id/1210?osCsid=a4hhcs5j7f2h3514lttbog0jd4




Dec 11, 2012 at 12:55 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



sjms
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


yep, make one part more like an RRS tripod, but not quite.

Edited on Dec 11, 2012 at 01:32 PM · View previous versions



Dec 11, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Phrasikleia
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


RoyC wrote:
Many people just replace the platform with a Markins TH-200 Hub, which is machined.
https://www.ppsna.com/product_info.php/cPath/21/products_id/1210?osCsid=a4hhcs5j7f2h3514lttbog0jd4



Yeah, thanks, someone else told me about those yesterday. I'm seriously considering it because it would save me about $800, but then I'd still be using a tripod with cast metal at the tops of the legs, also thin areas that are subject to stress. Do I really want to sink even more money into this Gitzo? Plus, I do use my center column on occasion and am very happy to have it when there is no other way to get the shot I want.

Which reminds me: does anyone here have a RRS tripod with a center column in it, and if so can it be reversed so that the camera can hang upside down beneath the legs (as is possible with Gitzos)?



Dec 11, 2012 at 01:21 PM
campyone
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


Strange, I've been using my Gitzo 1325 for probably 12-13 years without the first problem. I don't abuse it but I lived in Oregon for many years and hiked in the Cascades, photographed on the coast, etc. so it isn't babied either.

Anyhow, on to your question. I don't have the RRS tripod but I have a good friend who does. He loves it, I've played around with it and decided that if I ever need another tripod that's the one I would get.



Dec 11, 2012 at 01:21 PM
sjms
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


Phrasikleia wrote:
Yeah, thanks, someone else told me about those yesterday. I'm seriously considering it because it would save me about $800, but then I'd still be using a tripod with cast metal at the tops of the legs, also thin areas that are subject to stress. Do I really want to sink even more money into this Gitzo? Plus, I do use my center column on occasion and am very happy to have it when there is no other way to get the shot I want.

Which reminds me: does anyone here have a RRS tripod with a center column in it,
...Show more

yes it can be on all their models that (can) use a center column, which is all their models. that capability is shared by most tripods out in the world where the CP is removable.

a 25 year old Bogen /Manfrotto 3021 with a 2012 RRS TQC14. I don't use a CF on my TVC33. I use a leveling platform but if you purchased a CF setup for it, it will easily reverse.





  X10    7mm    f/3.6    1/15s    1600 ISO    0.0 EV  



Edited on Dec 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM · View previous versions



Dec 11, 2012 at 01:35 PM
egdelacitrev
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


RRS TVC 33 - Doesn't get any better. I bought it when they first come
Out. I use a wimberly head with my 600mm f4



Dec 11, 2012 at 01:45 PM
sjms
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


campyone wrote:
Strange, I've been using my Gitzo 1325 for probably 12-13 years without the first problem. I don't abuse it but I lived in Oregon for many years and hiked in the Cascades, photographed on the coast, etc. so it isn't babied either.

Anyhow, on to your question. I don't have the RRS tripod but I have a good friend who does. He loves it, I've played around with it and decided that if I ever need another tripod that's the one I would get.


Gitzo has been continuously "optimizing" their product line the past years at a fairly fast rate as the competition has been mounting against them. just over 15 years ago Gitzo was a unique product in a then fairly small market. now not so much. design and construction decisions are made, some good some not so good.



Dec 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Phrasikleia
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


sjms, thanks for the photo. I figured they probably could go upside down, but I wasn't finding any mention of that capability on the RRS website. egdelacitrev, I'm sure you're right, but I'll probably get a TVC-23, if I go with RRS. My longest lens is a 70-200 (f/4L IS), and I do a lot of travel by air and a lot of backpacking. The Gitzo 2531 was just small and light enough to be an all-rounder for me. It's a pity that the equivalent RRS model will be a bit heavier and twice as expensive, if I go that route.


Dec 11, 2012 at 02:30 PM
sjms
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


just remember that when you get a 2 series RRS tripod your getting pretty much of the equivalent 3 series Gitzo overall. better made and more versatile.


Dec 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM
peter_n
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


Your 2-series Gitzo has been replaced with a systematic design and I was comparing the design of the leg joint area in your pic to my own systematic and it's very different, the systematic design looks to be more sturdy but who knows? Gitzo claim that their latest update to their systematic designs are stronger still. I'm not suggesting you get another Gitzo but the 2-series has radically changed this year.

I'd also take a look at the TVC-24 now you're considering RRS. The folded length is 18.7" vs the 23.6" folded length of the TVC-23 which has a better max height. Weight is the same but the TVC-24 costs more, a lot more for some reason. But you're doing a lot of flying and hiking so folded length should be a concern.

You should also take a look at Feisol tripods; they're made in Taiwan and have a good reputation. Their more expensive models also use milled 6061 T6 aluminum for the base like RRS. Their nomenclature is kind of weird but they have some interesting looking models, the CT-3442 for example is a hybrid travel/systematic that has good specs. Worth checking out, there are lots of Feisol users on POTN.




Dec 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM
sjms
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · RRS tripods: any problems whatsoever?


yep, optimized yet again. its interesting being one of the hounds when you spent so long being the fox.


Dec 11, 2012 at 03:43 PM
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