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| p.2 #1 · 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.
Peter, many thanks for the thoughtful tips. I think if I were to buy another Gitzo, it would be one of the Ocean models, since those don't use any cast metals. I rarely shoot seascapes, but I am in snow and fog a lot, so I suppose it wouldn't be completely ridiculous for me to get the Ocean model...that is, except for the fact that the price tags are eye-watering on those things.
I did look at Feisol, but a pretty bad review on B&H gave me pause. Plus I have been able to find quite a lot of threads on various forums with broken Feisol stories. Such stories are almost non-existent for RRS tripods, but then they have been out on the market for a much shorter period (two years?).
As for the TVC-23 versus 24: the 23 is the same length when folded as my Gitzo 2531, so that's not a problem. I always fly with it in my checked luggage, so the folded length works for me. I'm much more concerned about standing height and weight. I prefer taller, lighter tripods (who doesn't?). I often work on slopes where I need the extra height, and I have a hip and knee that are threatening to go on strike if I pack too much more on my treks. Even the 3-pound Gitzo is pushing it for backpacking. I carry it around in a padded shoulder bag that I sling alongside my backpack. It is slightly awkward, but the tripod is very accessible that way and stays very protected in there. Anyway, the added weight of the RRS, even though it's only 0.2 lbs, is a bit of a drawback.
I have to say that the one other thing that really bugs me about the RRS tripods is the pimped-out pattern of the carbon fiber. They look like toys to me for some reason. Blech!