Home · Register · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username  

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | General Gear-talk | Join Upload & Sell

1              end
  

The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii

  
 
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii




Michel85 wrote:
If the weight of 3 lb 5 oz as you say is correct than at least the listed weight on the German website of 1.5 kg is accurate (3 lb 5 oz = 1,502 kg).. that is re-assuring for me.
I just hate it when equipment is significant more heavy than listed weight. Especially when gram counting for multiple-day hiking trips and try to stay within a certain self-imposed weight limit


Interesting. Most websites list it at 1.4kg 3.1 lbs, including FLM's own US and Canada subsidiaries as well as B&H.



Mar 19, 2024 at 01:42 PM
rdeloe
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


I've used Feisol (good but wore out a bit too quickly), Leofoto (OK), and now FLM (excellent).

I have the FLM CP26 Travel II tripod and the FLM CP30-L4 II Tripod.

The FLM CP30-L4 II Tripod is not a travel tripod, but I've carried it in my hand for long days of work. It stands enormously tall if needed, which is very useful on uneven ground. It will comfortably hold my Arca-Swiss F-Universalis, GFX 100S camera, and whatever lens I put on it. I use the Arca-Swiss QuickConnect system to put a C1 Cube on top (an excellent combo).

For much lighter applications, the FLM CP26 Travel II tripod is very nice. I will use it with the GFX 100S and a GF 35-70mm lens without concern. I have an Acra-Tech GPSS head on that one.



Mar 19, 2024 at 01:44 PM
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


Michel85 wrote:
I was on the same lookout to get the CP30 M4 II as an upgrade for my Gitzo GT1542 mountaineer (which I like but it lacks spikes and I'd like slightly better height and thicker legs). The CP30 M4 seems like an almost perfect tripod for my needs with height right to eye level.
However I decided to go for the CP30 L4 II instead, mainly because the height with only 2 sections extended (so 1 section collapsed) is already very usable for most of my shots. That means I can extend it realy fast with added stability when needed
...Show more
GroovyGeek wrote:
Agree. The 30-M4 and 30-L4 weigh almost the same and the extra height of the L4 is quite beneficial. I actually ordered a 30-L4 and it is in my possession. It is meaningfully heavier than spec though, 3 lbs 5 oz vs a spec of 3 lb 1 oz. As such it is only 6 oz lighter than the RRS TFC-24L that I already own. There is just too much overlap in specs and capability to keep both.

Ideally I need a tripod that I can take on demanding hikes that is good enough for 98%+ of situations. That means
...Show more
Bobarino wrote:
Go try the Gitzo 2-series Traveller (GT-2545T) and you'll probably call it a day.


Don't think so. Center column that limits min height is a nogo. Also the max height without center column is likely well below the stated 60 inch max height. There are far better options out there, especially given the price point.




Mar 19, 2024 at 01:46 PM
Bobarino
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


GroovyGeek wrote:
Don't think so. Center column that limits min height is a nogo. Also the max height without center column is likely well below the stated 60 inch max height. There are far better options out there, especially given the price point.



The center column is removed for shooting low,,, and replaced with the included short column accessory. That short column does not protrude under the spider, and does not interfere with ground level shots. You can also reverse the regular column for shooting between the legs, and if you have an L-bracket, you don't have to shoot with the camera upside down.

Height of the tripod itself, with the center column down, is 53". The head and a camera body adds another 10" or so to the view-finder position. A total of 63" without using the column.

I'm 69" tall, but my eye-level is the typical -5",,, for a total of 64". Zero stooping, and considerably stiffer than the M4 according to TCC..




Mar 19, 2024 at 05:39 PM
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii




Bobarino wrote:


The center column is removed for shooting low,,, and replaced with the included short column accessory. That short column does not protrude under the spider, and does not interfere with ground level shots. You can also reverse the regular column for shooting between the legs, and if you have an L-bracket, you don't have to shoot with the camera upside down.

Height of the tripod itself, with the center column down, is 53". The head and a camera body adds another 10" or so to the view-finder position. A total of 63" without using the column.

I'm 69" tall, but
...Show more

Unfortunately the math for those of us over 6ft is not as favorable, particularly on uneven terrain. My current hiking tripod is 53" without the column and that is serviceable but not comfortable. A CP30-M4 gets me to 60" without a center column. So does a Leofoto 284CEX.



Mar 19, 2024 at 07:11 PM
tsdevine
Offline
• • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


Where did you find the M4 measurements on TCC?

Bobarino wrote:


The center column is removed for shooting low,,, and replaced with the included short column accessory. That short column does not protrude under the spider, and does not interfere with ground level shots. You can also reverse the regular column for shooting between the legs, and if you have an L-bracket, you don't have to shoot with the camera upside down.

Height of the tripod itself, with the center column down, is 53". The head and a camera body adds another 10" or so to the view-finder position. A total of 63" without using the column.

I'm 69" tall, but
...Show more




Mar 19, 2024 at 09:05 PM
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


tsdevine wrote:
Where did you find the M4 measurements on TCC?



No M4 measurements on TCC only S4 and L4. It is safe to say that if you split the difference you will get the M4.

The official tripod specs are only on the German site
https://english.flm-gmbh.de/tripods/cp-30/cp30-m4-ii.php



Mar 19, 2024 at 10:45 PM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


OK, my search is (almost) coming to an end. The three contenders were

Benro ttor24clv, 59" max height, leveling platform, 3.1 lbs. Got it an an insanely great price ($130 open box from eBay). Positive is it has an almost 25 degree leg angle and reasonably sized tubes. However this is 8x CF and the lowest section has a notably higher yield/wobble when I press slightly forward on the tripod relative to the other two contenders. Going back to eBay seller.

FLM CP30-L4 II, 67" max height, 3.3lbs. If I had no other tripod this would be the tripod I keep. Excellent stability especially given the height, manageable collapsed length. FLM made a few interesting design choices. The leg angle is slightly above 22 degrees. With that height they could have easily made it 25 degrees, which is comparable to the RRS tripods and they would have only given up about 1.5" of height. It is easy to modify the tripod yourself to get to 25 degrees if you put a file or a grinder to the leg stops... but why? Fully extended the leg spread is sufficient for this not to matter, but even at my height the times where I will use this tripod fully extended are few and far between. I am also not crazy about the metal locks. They are slippery. And I mean SLIPPERY. Again, relatively easy to fix with tape or inner tube... but why? Last but not least I already own a RRS TFC-24L and the CP30-L4 II is too close to it in size, weight, and height to own both - the RRS is 3.7 lb, 66 in height. It does cost 2x if you buy it new, so the FLM one is an outstanding value. Alas it is going back to B&H.

And finally, the Leofoto LS-284CEX. 59" max height, leveling platform, 2 lb 15 oz on my scales. Legs are NOTABLY stiffer than the Benro, but the leg opening angle is barely 22 degrees (despite it being advertised as 23 degrees). The leg tabs are aluminum and I can grind them down a bit to get to 25 degree spread, which will bring the max height to a hair under 58 inches. With an acratech head the camera viewfinder is slightly above my eye level. It is one of those tripods that is not particularly impressive along any dimension but does not suck at anything either and is a good fit for my needs. Price is great too. Got it from eBay for $270 in a package with the BV-10 head, which I can probably sell for slightly over $70 to bring by price down to under $200.



Mar 20, 2024 at 12:20 AM
Bobarino
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


Congrats, and I hope it works out for you. The moment of truth though, will happen when you mount your 400mm on a somewhat windy day. Just check the weather report and wind speed/gusts for your area. Yaw stiffness on the shorter LS-284C is 479 +/- 1 Nm/rad, so the CEX would be a bit lower due to the added height. TCC didn't test the CEX.version.

Good luck, and keep us posted.



Mar 20, 2024 at 12:45 AM
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


Bobarino wrote:
Congrats, and I hope it works out for you. The moment of truth though, will happen when you mount your 400mm on a somewhat windy day. Just check the weather report and wind speed/gusts for your area. Yaw stiffness on the shorter LS-284C is 479 +/- 1 Nm/rad, so the CEX would be a bit lower due to the added height. TCC didn't test the CEX.version.

Good luck, and keep us posted.


Yup, there are definitely tradeoffs. When I increase the leg angle to 25 degrees the yaw stiffness will go up by about 20% (according to TCC) which should compensate for the 20% or so drop one would expect between the 284C and 284CEX. So it should still be a very good tripod in most situations. I don't shoot on the long end too much and these days high ISO isn't that much of an issue, so I have workarounds. There is also the option to shoot only on 3 sections (or even less) in demanding situations. I actually own the 284C as an ultra compact travel tripod, and can tell you that the 284CEX on 3 sections is just as tall as the 284C on 4, and is notably stiffer.

Have not sent the CP30-L4 back yet, so I still have time to change my mind



Mar 20, 2024 at 02:35 AM
Cinstance
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


I had the CP30-L4 briefly and if my memory served me right, besides the narrow angle and the slippery locks, I found the damping to be pretty bad. It took a long time to damp an impact on the top leg. Typically for a tripod with good damping, one can see a large pulse followed by secondary pulses with much lower/negligible amplitude. But with the CP-30-L4, I got a series of secondary pulses and the amplitude faded pretty slowly. So it takes a long time for the initial shock to die off.

To modify the angle blocks of the Leofoto, you should do it slowly and check the effect along the way. It is a little more complicated than you think it would be. Modifying the angle alone would not be adequate. It needs a combination of modifying the angle and the height of the block. Otherwise it will not be able to sit flush with the leg stops due to their shallow depth.




Mar 20, 2024 at 09:27 AM
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


Cinstance wrote:
I had the CP30-L4 briefly and if my memory served me right, besides the narrow angle and the slippery locks, I found the damping to be pretty bad. It took a long time to damp an impact on the top leg. Typically for a tripod with good damping, one can see a large pulse followed by secondary pulses with much lower/negligible amplitude. But with the CP-30-L4, I got a series of secondary pulses and the amplitude faded pretty slowly. So it takes a long time for the initial shock to die off.

To modify the angle blocks of the Leofoto,
...Show more

I have already modified my 284C to 25 degrees. I misspoke earlier, I just trimmed down the tabs not the stops. And yes, I shaved a bit at a time and checked my work along the way. Did not feel complicated at all, but maybe it wasn't done quite up to your expectations. The amount to be shaved per tab is less than a mm so I am not sure I understand the alignment concerns you highlight.

Update: put the 284CEX "under the file" tonight. Had to take off less than 0.5mm from each tab, very easy to do with a coarse manual file (just wrap the spider in multiple layers of painters tape and take your time to ensure that you are filing appropriately square). Leg angle is a hair under 25 degrees now. Measured tripod height is 57.5 inches, only half an inch less than the spec height. Not sure why Leofoto is playing that stupid leg angle game for under 1 inch of max height. Out of the box the 284C series is nearly unusable for anything but flat studio surfaces.

Edited on Mar 20, 2024 at 11:40 PM · View previous versions



Mar 20, 2024 at 10:24 AM
walknorth
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii


I just found this thread. What I found interesting is how many times Ari's name came up.

Ari is the secret feature of FLM. I had a concern and Ari sent me exactly what I needed immediately and unexpectedly.





Mar 20, 2024 at 02:56 PM
GroovyGeek
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · The elusive FLM CP30-M4 Ii




walknorth wrote:
I just found this thread. What I found interesting is how many times Ari's name came up.

Ari is the secret feature of FLM. I had a concern and Ari sent me exactly what I needed immediately and unexpectedly.



Yes, I hope FLM realizes what a secret weapon he is. In fact when I wrote FLM-USA about availability of the CP30-M4 they redirected me to Ari at FLM-Canada who replied at 8am on a Sunday.



Mar 20, 2024 at 03:05 PM
1              end






FM Forums | General Gear-talk | Join Upload & Sell

1              end
    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username       Or Reset password



This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.