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

       2       3              5       6       end
  

Archive 2009 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead

  
 
MrGreen
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Hello fellow FM'ers,

I'm not sure if reviews exist for these or not, but if so here's another opinion anyways.

I recently purchased a new carbon fiber tripod and ballhead after many months, and months of research online and trying some out in stores. I came
to the decision of purchasing a Feisol 3442 carbon fiber tripod, and I went with a Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead. I also bought a used Kirk L-plate for
my XTi off eBay.

The tripod and ballhead were bought through Really Big Cameras in the good ol' US of A: http://www.reallybigcameras.com/

How I came to deciding this was the right combo was a combination of a few factors. I hike a lot, so I needed an extremely light weight combo that I
wouldn't notice on my backpack. I'm also not short being 6'4", so the height was a major factor as well. Most tripods out there that are tall
enough for me are too heavy to consider taking hiking. Manfrotto is a perfect example. Sure they're nice, but not hiking tripods, even their carbon
fiber models are heavy in comparison.

Anyways, I've been VERY happy with my purchase and have had a chance to get out and use it a few times now. I'll break this into sections for now to
make it easier to talk about one thing.

The tripod: Feisol CT-3442 Carbon Fiber legs with the CT-3442CC centre column kit.

It's very light, being under 3 lbs with the centre column kit.

Strong holding 22 lbs max load, and handling telephoto focal lengths quite well even in windy conditions. I recently was shooting the sunset on a
windy night at the beach and got sharp shots at 105mm focal length. This was with no extra weight to stabilize the tripod, but the legs were not
extended at all, and it was quite low to the ground.

Extending the legs is fairly quick, and 9 times out of 10 they will unlock just fine. Every now and then you wont be able to twist the lock free
because the leg is rotating, so when that happens you need to tighten the previous lock above it to stop this. Honestly, this doesn't bother me at
all. I know some people whine and complain because certain tripods don't have Gitzo's "famous and wonderful" G-lock system, but it's really a
non-issue. I tried out a Gitzo in the store and I couldn't for the life of me see why it would be worth so much more. The Feisol is equal in
quality, strength, and ease of use, so nothing justified the whopping extra cost to me.

Now, as for the length - both folded and fully extended - it meets my requirements just fine. As I said previous, I'm tall, but fully extended this
tripod will go higher than I can even see through the camera. With the legs fully extended and the centre column down all the way, I can almost see
through the camera without bending over. To me, this is just fine.

Tripod fully extended - column down |||||||||||||||||||| Tripod fully extended - column up


If you want to get low to the ground you have a few options. You can retract the legs and extend the centre column up a bit, like this:



You can unscrew the plate at the end of the centre column and slide the tube out, reverse it and feed it through from underneath. This takes a bit
of time however, so I prefer to just reverse the legs by folding them backwards - basically turning the whole tripod upside down like this.



Now mind you, if you do this the picture will be upside down too, and you'll have to get down low to see through the viewfinder which is not
comfortable. I really wish I had Live View for stuff like this!

Being able to fold the legs back in a reverse position is handy for packing it up too. If you want to stuff it in a suitcase it's quite small if you
do this. Also, this will allow it to fit in the supplied carrying case EVEN with the ballhead attached.



=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The Ballhead: Photoclam PC-40NS

Here's a video showing the ballhead in use. If you can get past his goofy accent, it's a decent video!



First off, probably the best feature about this ballhead is that it's fully Arca compatible. Meaning, you can use L-plates from Really Right Stuff,
Kirk, or some other companies that may or may not exist. Also, that gives you MANY more plate options and in my opinion is a better system than the
crappy Manfrotto plates.

Here's a picture showing the profile of the clamp, and with my L-bracket/camera attached too.



Not much else to say about the ballhead really. It's a fairly simple piece of equipment so no need to ramble on about it.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Conclusion of the pair:

Overall, I couldn't be happier with this combo. The two are definitely worthy of being called professional, as they are extremely well built, and
perform very well. I would recommend this combo to anyone looking to save money over a Gitzo, but still get something just as good.

Here's a few more pix to show the tripod, ballhead, L-bracket, and my camera. These illustrate a few things I talked about earlier, and hopefully
help you visualize what they look like together.

Close-up of the legs with centre column, column twist lock, ballhead.



Showing the column fully extended. As you can see, it's not going to be nearly as stable as it would be down, but it IS surprisingly more stable
than anything I would have expected. It's completely useable to me so long as there isn't a strong wind.



Here's a final picture showing all the stuff that you get with the tripod: optional screw-on hook for the centre column kit, flat plate that
normally comes with the tripod, tools to install the different plates, tighten screws on the tripod, etc.



Edited on Apr 01, 2009 at 07:07 PM · View previous versions



Apr 01, 2009 at 12:22 PM
Kamil Kisiel
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Nice review.

However, this isn't POTN



Apr 01, 2009 at 01:12 PM
MrGreen
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Kamil Kisiel wrote:
Nice review.

However, this isn't POTN


Hah, nice catch. I just copy/pasted what I had. Thanks for the heads up.



Apr 01, 2009 at 07:07 PM
mach250
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Why didn't you choose the 3441S? It folds up to about 2 inches shorter and manages the same specs besides being about 4 inches shorter when extended.


Apr 01, 2009 at 11:27 PM
Kamil Kisiel
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


The 3441S is not at all like the 3442. You can't remove or change the direction of the center column for one.


Apr 02, 2009 at 12:17 AM
Tor Flaata
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Thanks for the review. Lots of good information

Cheers,

Tor



Apr 02, 2009 at 01:57 AM
Billdev
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Thanks for a thorough review. I have the 3441-S with a PC-33NS, and I am very happy with this combo.


Apr 02, 2009 at 08:11 AM
MrGreen
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


mach250 wrote:
Why didn't you choose the 3441S? It folds up to about 2 inches shorter and manages the same specs besides being about 4 inches shorter when extended.


Well, I was set on buying the 3441s tripod and PC-36NS ballhead, but the 3442 is sturdier and can handle vibrations better, same goes for the PC-40 vs the PC-36.

The difference in weight is less than a pound, and then 3442 still folds up shorter than 19", which is plenty short enough for me.



Apr 02, 2009 at 07:27 PM
cwarburton
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


THANK YOU for spending the time to put this together.


Apr 03, 2009 at 01:10 PM
phyrpowr
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


You silver tongued devil, you talked me right into it. My 3342 is on order as we speak

Thanks for the extensive review. I live in NC, but the company doesn't have any sort of showroom at the Wilmington facility; I wanted to go heft one et al, but your review is almost as good



Apr 04, 2009 at 05:03 PM
kvolk
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


I have been using the same tripod but with the 3 section legs instead of 4. The shorter length was minimal for me and I like the idea of releasing the legs with only two twists. I have absolutely no complaints. I also bought the center column but I have never installed it. I am 6'3" and have never felt the need. I will just save those few ounces in my backpack for food.
I bought a Feisol ballhead and have been very happy with it as well. Perhaps my bliss if from ignorance and I don't know any better but it works very well for me. No creep and is smooth. It locks solid. When buying the head you get one free plate.



Apr 06, 2009 at 09:56 AM
phyrpowr
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Just got mine, great service, only ordered it Friday night
Incredibly light, seems more supportive than my Bogen 3021, with the same 488RC2 ballhead. Just a little weight on the (included) hook, and you can thump it with almost no effect. Rock solid with my 5D and 100-400 IS
Recently got an Adorama Flashpoint 1228, had been impressed, this is lighter, taller, steadier, but packs a little bigger if that's a consideration to you
No centerpost, don't need one at six feet even. Just sort of nod my head and the eyepiece is right there.
Can't say enough good things about this tripod, the 3342, hoping it's got the "stamina" for the long haul



Apr 07, 2009 at 02:41 PM
MrGreen
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Glad you guys are enjoying your Feisols, as I know I sure am.

I recently went on a hike last weekend where I had my tripod on some fairly steep cliff sides but the articulating legs were able to stabilize it enough for sharp shots.

I'm loving my tripod the more I use it.



Apr 07, 2009 at 03:37 PM
ecidi
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Thanks for the review. I just got the latest Feisol CT-3372 with a clear finish from Kerry Thalmann at Really Big Cameras. It is about 3.99 pounds and with the RRS BH-55 LR head it is very sturdy with no creep at all with my big lenses.


Apr 10, 2009 at 04:10 AM
MrGreen
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


ecidi wrote:
Thanks for the review. I just got the latest Feisol CT-3372 with a clear finish from Kerry Thalmann at Really Big Cameras. It is about 3.99 pounds and with the RRS BH-55 LR head it is very sturdy with no creep at all with my big lenses.


What lenses are you using?



Apr 11, 2009 at 08:17 PM
banjopete
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Great review, and nice scenery in the background. It makes me miss Vancouver. I am curious how the shipping/duties were for the exchange. How did they send your package to you? USPS? Fed Ex?


Apr 11, 2009 at 08:36 PM
ecidi
Offline
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


MrGreen wrote:
What lenses are you using?


Sorry! I meant to say heavy lenses like the 14-24 AF-S. 24-70 AF-S and 80-200 lenses



Apr 12, 2009 at 04:55 AM
fredharris
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


Nicely done review, MrGreen!

Fred



Apr 12, 2009 at 02:45 PM
MrGreen
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


banjopete wrote:
Great review, and nice scenery in the background. It makes me miss Vancouver. I am curious how the shipping/duties were for the exchange. How did they send your package to you? USPS? Fed Ex?


I had mine shipped to an address in the USA and picked it up from there, so I'm not 100% sure, but I do know I saved ~$130 doing it this way.

The shipping itself is quite reasonable up to Canada, but the stupid duty/tax they charge is what kills you and that's what I avoided.



Apr 13, 2009 at 04:08 PM
hyperion
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Review: Feisol CT-3442 tripod, Photoclam PC-40NS ballhead


One of the BEST posts on FM in recent memory.


I know it took some time to post all that info. THANKS! Big props to you MrGreen!



Apr 13, 2009 at 09:06 PM
       2       3              5       6       end




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

       2       3              5       6       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.