Sat 30-Jun-12 01:17 AM | edited Sat 30-Jun-12 02:40 PM by Bokeh888
Whenever I checked the RRS web-site various tripods, brackets and ball heads were always backordered. They still are. Additionally, their products have consistently received high marks from various reviewers. It justified a question. Why would anyone pay more for RRS products given the excellent landscape of products?
After an extensive review, I purchased the RRS TQC-14 Quick Column Series One tripod because it fits my needs and is logical for my purposes. This is my first high-quality tripod system. It was essential to me to have a high quality, integrated system where I could make one telephone call if I had an issue or needed supplementary information or products.
RRS staff and service are, IMO, exceptional; plus their products are made in the USA. Prior to my purchase, I spent a fair amount of time understanding the options with RRS staff on four different occasions. Their staff was knowledgeable, friendly and informative. Of course, they were patient with my questions that must have been no-brainers for them.
My photographic objectives include low ISO shots, longer shutter speeds, night shots, HDR and video’s. The gear I use is a Nikon D800E with a Nikon 85mm/ 1.4G and 24mm/1.4G. My next lens will be a Nikon 35mm/1.4G. There is a slight probability that I may purchase the Nikon 70-200 VR II down the road. The RRS Series 1 tripod has the following characteristics:
Weight with center column 2.7 pounds (Carbon Fiber Tripod) Collapsed Size- 17.8” Load capacity 25 lbs. 48” with quick center column collapsed 59” with quick center column extended
Ball head RRS BH-40 mid-sized with lever release clamp
Load capacity 18 lbs. Weight 16.9 oz. Dual Drop notches Two controls (on for locking and other for drag) Panning knob
L Plate for Nikon D800 E- this is great and I cannot recommend it high enough
The first surprise to me was the how easy it was to open the tripod. One could be wearing mittens and not have a problem because the rubber twist locks a big and firm. It is easy to tell that one is handling a fine piece of equipment by the ease of opening; the tolerances are impressive. You can open one leg at a time or all three twist logs on a leg at once. Closing it is a breeze. Big plus.
When opened fully I could lift the tripod with the center column using my pinky. Even my wife was impressed. The offset joint legs and ratcheting angle make it easy for me to put the tripod at maximum length or any other set length. The tripod is rock solid.
Afterwards, I elevated the center column to the maximum height with a butterfly shaped locking ring. It was unyielding at the optimal height of 59 inches. It does not move. The BH-40 ball head screws on perfectly to the tripod.
Then I took out the L Plate for the Nikon D800 and attached it with the hex key on to the D800E. The L-plate allows one to put the camera over the apex of the tripod without having to use the drop notch so you can have the camera in the horizontal or vertical position. Once again the tolerance were amazing when I attached the L-Plate (attached to the camera) to the BH-40 ball head that was on the tripod. Really Right Stuff is extremely exacting when it comes to “perfect fits.”
I have been taking pictures using the RRS system for the past week. Anyone who shoots with the Nikon D800/D800E knows that your tripod better be stable or you will see the imperfections, especially with HDR (3 shots). Some of the time I had a wind of 10-15 MPH. That may not be a three-club wind in golf, but it is notable. The bottom line is that when the tripod is extended with the center column, photos are perfect. Nothing moves and photographic results are exactly what they should be. Many authorities on this site made me cautious about purchasing a tripod with a center column. All I can say is that with my equipment and under normal conditions there were no visible signs of vibration. However, I did use a wireless-remote shutter release.
Lastly, the tripod case for my objectives is terrific. The RRS Series One Tripod and BH-40 ball head (when put in the drop notch) fit perfectly into the TQB-47 Compact Tripod Bag (external length 21”). So, when I travel it can be tossed into a suitcase without an issue.
Interestingly, I use a Black Rapid rs-7 strap and RRS makes a clamp with a threaded socket for it. Right now, I don’t have it. Similarly, if I elected to ever (probably never) purchase the Nikon 70-200 VR II, RRS makes a footplate for it. Obviously, for my purpose, the system is integrated and comprehensive.
The downside to all of this is that it comes at a price. Even given the price, I strongly recommend RRS.
For the record, I do not claim to be an expert in tripods, ball heads or L-plates. There are numerous people with significantly more knowledge than me. This merely represents my own evaluation. I want to thank all those on this site who assisted me. All the best. Good luck.