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| p.4 #6 · Need tripod advice, please. |
Let us know how the Induro works out for you. I'm still trying to decide, Feisol vs. Photo Clam vs. Gitzo.
As they say, you can have an inexpensive, high quality, lightweight, and stable tripod; just choose any 3.
Will do. Those are the same choices I debated. Feisol, Photo Clam, Induro, or Gitzo. I ruled out Gitzo mainly because of the price and because of people complaining about Gitzo not honoring their warranty. The lifetime warranty doesn't mean much if they don't honor it. However, this may just be a vocal minority with extenuating circumstances. Who knows.
The Feisol is very nice in that the legs are designed to let you flip it over the top and hang your camera upside down for really low shots. However, this also means you'll need to spend extra money on the optional center column if it's not tall enough. This may or may not be a big deal. The column is only $40. The larger spider may also mean more stability, but I haven't seen any conclusive tests for that. Feisol is also seems well known for their excellent customer service. If something breaks, they just send you a new part from what users are reporting.
Photo Clam ball heads have a pretty solid reputation even though they haven't been around very long. Their tripods are even newer so there's not much written about them so far. However, if their tripods are as good as their ballheads, it should be comparable to a Feisol or Induro. Maybe even as good as a Gitzo. I haven't seen any direct comparison so it's hard to say. And that's why I didn't buy it. It's hard to say anything about it because very few people have one right now.
Induro/Benro seem to have a positive reputation overall. They are accused of being a Gitzo copycat. That's seems true in some of their designs, but if Gitzo is considered the best, then it's not such a bad company to copy. The CT214 has a solid reputation as it's been around longer. The Photoclam and Induro both have reversible center columns. So they can achieve the same lower mounted position as the Feisol but you'll have to pull out the center column to do it since the legs aren't able to articulate all the way into reverse position so it'll take longer to do so. This may or may not be a deal breaker for you. For me it wasn't. I'd rather have the center column.
In terms of overall length of track record I would rank them as Gitzo >>>>> Induro/Benro > Feisol > Photoclam.
In terms of value it appears to be Photoclam > Induro/Benro > Feisol (if you have to buy the center column, if not I'd say it's equal to the Induro) >>>> Gitzo
In terms of weight Photoclam is the clear winner at 2.3lbs with a center column while the others are 3 or more. The Feisol is the same weight if the center column isn't used.
In terms of stability, I can only guess they'd be very similar if not a slight edge to Feisol for the wider spider. Although the Induro's extra weight may help. It's hard to tell and I haven't seen/read a comparison.
This is all based on what I've been able to find online so don't take my word for it. I just haven't found any hands on experiences where someone had all these tripods to compare so it's the best I could do.
So based of my limited experience with tripods and the reviews that are available, it appears to be a toss up between the 3 non Gitzo tripods. Clearly most will recommend a Gitzo or RRS tripod if money is no object. Since this is just a hobby for me, money is definitely an issue. The extra money I "saved" from not buying a Gitzo paid for my ballhead. That's a pretty significant difference. Only time will tell if these Korean and Chinese/Taiwanese tripods will hold up to the tried an true Gitzo/RSS pods.