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These tripods are similar to Gitzo's Basalt tripods. The idea was to create a material that is lighter than aluminum, but not quite as light as carbon fiber. Personally, I found the Giottos Lava tripods to have way too much flex. The material is indeed light, but it is far less rigid than Carbon Fiber. When you set the tripod up to full height and grab two legs near the top, it takes very little torsional force to make the legs flex significantly. If you try this with a good carbon fiber tripod, you'll find that the legs are far more rigid. This comes into play when shooting outside in any amount of wind, or when setting the camera up in water. If you confine the tripod to studio use, it's no big deal, but most people who buy a light tripod do so because they plan on using it outdoors in the elements.