Really Right Stuff Tripods
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Lars Johnsson
Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Total Posts: 33526
Country: Thailand

Hardcore wrote:
Lars Johnsson wrote:
RRS is att the top end of the scale. Sirui is at the bottom end So why choose between those two? Gitzo is also at the top end like RRS.


Do you know that Sirui is at the bottom end? I've actually heard they are as good if not better than Gitzo. It was also rated quite a bit higher in a german magazine that did a shootout on tripods. Anyways, Gitzo looks okay, but there are too many reports of them breaking as well. If I'm going to pay a premium, I'd rather pay a little extra for the RRS. If I'm going to sacrifice some quality, I might as well buy a sirui, save some cash and have the expectation it will operate well for about as long as the gitzo would... Just thinking out loud.


The leg fell off the only Sirui tripod that I have used. After less than ten minutes use. Sirui is a cheap Chinese copy-brand. I live in Bangkok a third of the year and see the cheap Sirui tripods in every photo, computer or big department store daily when staying there. Most of them cost less than $ 100 (often around $50-60) and is the kind of tripods that people just throw away when they get broken. Benro and similar Chinese brands are a lot better than Sirui (IMO)
If they where as good if not better than Gitzo, like you say. Then they would probably be the best brand in the world



Hardcore
Registered: Jan 19, 2009
Total Posts: 744
Country: Canada

Hey Lars, I'm not saying Sirui is better than gitzo. Just echoing what I've heard/read. Nice to hear your thoughts on them though! I will just have to bite the bullet and get the RRS.



Lars Johnsson
Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Total Posts: 33526
Country: Thailand

Hardcore wrote:
Hey Lars, I'm not saying Sirui is better than gitzo. Just echoing what I've heard/read. Nice to hear your thoughts on them though! I will just have to bite the bullet and get the RRS.


I'm sure one from RRS will be a lot better. And last twenty years longer



M635_Guy
Registered: Dec 22, 2010
Total Posts: 2246
Country: United States

Lars - you've handled one Sirui, and by your account one of the very cheap models. Don't you think extrapolating that to the rest of their product line is a bit of a stretch


I was just looking for the testing I saw on a German site somewhere, but Sirui scored very well for stability (was in the top 5), and their higher-end products have received excellent reviews from users on all the other sites I frequent. I can't find the site, but it was linked from here at some point.

If I had the budget for it, I'd have a RRS tripod in a second, but but having handled a number of their higher-end tripods in local stores and talking to them at CES, I think their nicer tripods are quality products and represent an excellent value. I wouldn't call them ultimate stability and pro-quality, but I think they are up to most user needs/environments.



Lars Johnsson
Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Total Posts: 33526
Country: Thailand

I have handled 7-8 different Sirui models. The one that broke was a tripod in the $ 200 range. It's one of the most common tripod brands in Thailand. (where I often stay) And I see Sirui tripods every day in Bangkok. I stay close to the Panthip Plaza Computer Center & MBK Department store. Inside those two department stores there are more than 20 shops selling Sirui tripods.



shaggymatt
Registered: Aug 12, 2002
Total Posts: 60
Country: United States

I just upgraded to a Sirui n2204, and I absolutely love it. Rock solid with a higher weight capacity than many of the other tripods. Put a RRS BH-55 LR II head on it, and I'm stoked. It has a six year warranty, and it was bought from a US dealer so there are no overseas issues to deal with. Retails for $405 most places but Philly Photo Supply sells it for about $50 less.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18144
Country: United States

and what did you upgrade from?



shaggymatt
Registered: Aug 12, 2002
Total Posts: 60
Country: United States

Something that I've now moved to my boat anchor, an old Amvona with Giotto head, so this is a third of the weight.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18144
Country: United States

well, yeah, that would be considered an upgrade. actually from that many things would have been one



Lars Johnsson
Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Total Posts: 33526
Country: Thailand

$ 405 for a Sirui tripod. That's expensive (IMO). And it's the kind of tripod (travel style) where you fold the legs 180 degrees to make it smaller. And they only recommend it for lenses up to 200mm. So it can't be that rock solid. Especially not when it's the kind of tripod that you can convert into a monopod.
Is it CF or Alu ? Because their website say Alu? But it must be CF when it cost $ 400 ?
A BH-55 head is much too big for this kind of tripod with legs that you fold over the head in 180 degrees. I'm sure you can't fold the legs when using the BH-55 head.



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7343
Country: United States

From reading this thread, and so many similar others, I think many of you guys are missing the definition of "solid" support. Just about any tripod, including a $39 Sunpak from Walmart can support your gear, but a truly "solid" tripod is just that, down to the individual pixel level. That's a level which certainly can't be felt by human touch, but can have a great effect on a multi-megapixel sensor's imaging abilities. I can only speak from personal experience, and not scientific research, when I state that images from my 2- or 3-series Gitzo/RRS are better than I've been able to achieve with my other Manfrotto and Feisol supports, or Induro and Flashpoint (and an absolutely ridiculous Dolica a friend recently bought on a recommendation from Ken Rockwell) I've borrowed/tested from friends. Use whatever works for you, but it's just tiresome to hear that virtually all tripod brands are "as good as" Gitzo or RRS, especially when those statements are not ever based on personal experience. I'm certainly not excluding the possibility that other good tripods are available, but let's speak about them using terms other than "I heard", "I read", "just as good as", etc. Maybe I'm guilty of the same offenses with regard to the lesser brands, but those I've tried have been inferior to what I've owned and used for a number of years.



kdphotography
Registered: Dec 22, 2005
Total Posts: 1225
Country: United States

You've asked about the RRS TVC-24, which I have and love it! It's my lighter "travel" tripod and provides a solid stable platform. I would not consider anything other than the newer Gitzo or RRS tripods.

Btw, regardless of tripod brand, you'll still need to regularly maintain/clean the tripod for smooth, seamless operation. I think this is my least favorite chore... But when you do take apart different tripods to clean/maintain, this is where you start to see the little differences (albeit similar engineering) that make a difference. In my experience, the RRS and Gitzo tripods are easier to clean and maintain in a "like new" operating condition.



Hardcore
Registered: Jan 19, 2009
Total Posts: 744
Country: Canada

Ya, thinking the TVC-24 is the one I want, but the TQC-14 is tempting. I have the markins q3 head right now though and it doesn't look like it will fit well with the tqc-14. TVC-24 looks to be a better fit.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18144
Country: United States

i have a the TQC14 and can use either the BH30 or BH40 interchaneably. they had that in mind when the TQC was designed.
the Q3 traveler would b a drop in on the TQC14 the Q3 Emille might not so good the difference is 1/10" in diameter more then a BH40



Light_pilgrim
Registered: Dec 26, 2011
Total Posts: 217
Country: Poland

JameelH wrote:
RRS is definitely top notch. When I was looking to get a sturdier tripod several months ago, I looked seriously at the TVS-24. Finally end up getting a Benro C3780. I am pretty happy with what I ended up with for a fraction of the RRS cost and likely > 90% of RRS quality.

Many here swear by Gitzo/RRS and diss the chinese/taiwan/korean brands.

Another alternative is Feisol. Both their CF as well as AL tripods are pretty good.


I echo this. I was considering RRS and Gitzo, but went for Carbon Benro and it is SO GOOD! Very good quality, design and I do not know what RRS or Gitzo could add on top of this.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18144
Country: United States

Gitzo was the original innovator and have their methodology.
in the case of RRS they do add quite a bit to the "top of this".
all the alloy parts are machined from billet stock
they are higher tolerance in manufacturing (limited manufacturing vs mass to maintain the quality)
higher quality CF in combination with the alloy parts make a superior balance between weight and rigidity.

i don't diss the asian brands. the ones that do get it do it to themselves. for the most part the Korean builders (Markins and such) are small and high in precision. and Taiwan too. China on the other hand tends to try to flood markets at every point but its all based on price and compromise. there are so many names and concentrators (more marketing then manufacturing. change a fitting here a color there and you have yet another branding. same stuff different name). Benro is the big dog overall and has a tripod for every price point and every part of the world (yeah, and the parts don't mix either). their pricing is trending higher too.


RRS/Gitzo will never be able to compete in price and nor will they try. where they exceed is in innovation and quality and producing what they consider their best work. this is not the highest margin lowest common denominator product.

in the end its the choice of the individual consumer.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 9827
Country: United States

Looking at the RRS tripods, it seems the TVC-23 is really short. I use an Induro CX-213, which I got for a great price (I think I paid $190 for the legs on clearance, which was nearly half price), and it's held up wonderfully over the past 3 years and has been a great and light tripod to work with. However, I use pretty light gear, so I know the RRS would be more solid for heavier gear...but if I went that route, I'd need the TVC-33 at least (I hate 4 section tripods and I need at least 56" in height without a center column).

My Induro is 56.5" without the column extended, which is just about my minimum height. With the head and camera mounted, it brings the finder just to eye level on me. I'd actually prefer it to be about 2" taller, but I can deal with this height. The 52" on the TVC-23 is too short for me at least.

As an amateur, there would need to be some serious deficiencies in the lower end tripods to get me to spend $1,000 on tripod legs, and so far I haven't found those deficiencies. I know the RRS is going to be a little more solid, and I'd bet it will last longer too (though as I said, my Induro still looks brand new)...but I can't say I've ever had a shot on my tripod ruined by vibrations, or even any sort of softness due to wind or anything. But, as I said, my gear is pretty light and I don't shoot a lot of really long telephoto stuff, where I'm sure the extra solidity is most needed. However, II my tripod is also a thinner, lighter weight model not really intended for supertelephoto work. I know Induro makes other tripods that are thicker and sturdier for those sorts of work, and I don't know if the RRS is worth the double price premium.



sjms
Registered: Mar 21, 2003
Total Posts: 18144
Country: United States

here is where perception varies. when you look at a CX213 (similar design to the Gitzo GT2530ex) and measure the base height you are taking it off the top of the hinge stack and the centerpost to the flat of the platform. when you look at a TVC and measure the height it has from the top of the spider which is its baseplate and in base form its platform.
CX-213 56.5"
TVC-23 52.4"
image reference from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/486877-REG/Induro_463_213_CX213_Carbonflex_8X_CX_Series.html






the CX-213 has at minimum 3" of additional assemble not on the TVC to begin with. the TVC itself is modular in design and allow either a CP or a leveling base be added which if in place would be within a margin of error the same height range.

i do have a Gitzo GT2540ex (i have no issues with 4 sections. especially on this type of legset. it actually adds to its versatility) which is the base by which used to design it. it is still missing some abilities for some uses that are present in the original that make it the superior model and not just the higher priced one as long as you have actual use for it.

its in the details.



Hardcore
Registered: Jan 19, 2009
Total Posts: 744
Country: Canada

I don't need a tall tripod and I'm 6'4". The short TVC's are no problem. With landscapes, I'm usually shooting at lower heights. I have no need for a tripod to be eye level.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 9827
Country: United States

sjms wrote:
the CX-213 has at minimum 3" of additional assemble not on the TVC to begin with. the TVC itself is modular in design and allow either a CP or a leveling base be added which if in place would be within a margin of error the same height range.


True, but how much more does that cost? (looks to be nearly an extra $200).

I think that for dedicated professional landscape photographers, the kind of support that is present in the RRS tripods is worth the investment. I do think, however, for the rest of us, in many cases it's just money thrown away, as there are cheaper alternatives that are still very good. There are plenty of professionals who use Induro or Benro and they work well. Scott Bourne switched from Gitzo to Induro a few years back. http://photofocus.com/2010/06/08/induro-carbon-8x-tripod-ct-414-mini-review/

I do love RRS products,and have purchased many plates and L-brackets from them. The height thing is, of course a personal thing. I too take more pictures lower than at full extension, but especially on uneven terrain, and shooting detail type shots or macro stuff, the height can be a big deal.



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