I use this tripod quite often, not that I carry it always with me. But it has its place in the trunk of my car. During the year I was using it I obused it many times. It provided me with sturdy support in ocean (salt water), on the jagged rocks of mountains and in waters of small and big creeks. Almost any weather conditions possible. And I don't remember a single time when I couldn't rely on this tripod.
My previos two tripods somewhat quickly died (after a few months) - wobbly legs and a broken leg. This one is just great. I don't mind paying such a price ($460) for such reliable equipment.
Here are a few highlights:
- The locking system is great, just twist and it's done - with one hand. The only thing, if you don't twist it tight enough, you will have hard time adjusting the other sections of this leg.
- The center column could be adjusted almost in any possible way. But you better have a good tripod head, so it would not get in the way, mine sometimes is hard to adjust (thinking to by Acratech).
- The height is sufficient for landscapes and usual stuff. Actually it's higher than me (fully extended) and I don't see where I am pointing my camera (I am 6').
- Legs flexibility and sturdiness. The locking mechanism at the center column (where I control the angle/spread of the legs) is very tight so I can spread the legs almost flat and suspend the camera in the middle (more like in a spider web).
- Weight of the equipment. I use 1D Mark II and big lens, such as 70-200 f2.8 L IS and it doesn't make my life any harder - no shaking or other problems.
- Foot pads. Each leg has a rubber shoe or whatever you call it. There is no sharp metal point, but it works just fine. Maybe sometime on a slicky surfaces you have to find a crevice or something (or just lock the leg as it is - at the center), so it would hold it.
So far after a year of use, the tripod has just a few scrathces and works as new. I didn't have to tighten any bolts and nuts or joints. And I am quite happy with this product.