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| p.1 #1 · Any long term owners of Feisol 3441 tripod(s) ? (and a hello..) |
Hello, I may not be your 'average' photographic gear obsessed member, but I do use cameras, telescopes and other photographic equipment in pursuing my visual interests, professionally and privately. I work in the computer animation industry as a designer, and on the side, as well as for work at times, I regularly paint out doors, and have been at it for about 18 years. I do yearly backpacking trips to the eastern Sierra with other artists to paint. I've used an old Manfrotto 3205s for many years to mount a paintbox, easel and umbrella on. My goal is to keep, or reduce the weight of the tripod, while increasing strength, as, on our next trip, we'll be at 11,000', and mostly out of the trees, so I'm expecting a fair amount of wind. I have nowhere near the need for precision and perfect damping that a long lens user will need, but I am looking for something durable, light weight, and more stable than what I currently am using. Of course I looked at Gitzo, but combining that with a strong (non-ballhead) mount begins to get absurdly costly for my less precise, analog needs. I don't mind paying for a bit of overkill in terms of weight capacity and stability though...
Towards that end the 3441T seems to fill the bill for the manner I plan on using it, and what I'm willing to pay. I only need a tilt type monopod head, and my goal weight is 3.5 lbs or less, including the head. The 'job' of the gear in this case is to be portable, hold up to gusts of wind (I'll weight down the center column with rocks), and hold my gear steady and level in uneven terrain, which is what the long legs will provide. One doesn't need a camera to have an unquenchable desire for stability when working out doors.
I'd appreciate hearing from Feisol users who can tell me how their gear is holding up after a few seasons of outdoor use and unintentional 'abuse'. Previous commenters have taken both sides with regard to its ease of use when hiking, etc. Others have mentioned that theirs was 'slowly falling apart..' but give no details. I don't mind paying more for less weight, increased strength, and would expect such products to be durable. My 15 year old Manfrotto is like an old pickup truck. I once drove over it in my car, and the only damage was squishing the lower part of the center column, which I carefully bent back to full functionality. So, how do the Feisols hold up being hauled around, scraped, blown over, dropped, etc.? (I don't intend to drive over another tripod, if I can help it). That's it. Any help appreciated.