Whilst waiting for my Singapore trip to pick up a Markins head I've been looking at tripods on the web and here too.
It seems the Feisol 3342/3442 are just over 1kg and will support 10kg at half the price of a Gitzo 2 series. . They don't have centre columns which is great coz I don't want one! This new "Tournament Class" line seems to get pretty favourable reviews too...
They will ship here too and are remarkably responsive to email enquiry - even at 6am on a Sunday morning!
I am 5' 9"/1.77m - if I fitted a M10 and D200 atop a 3442 would it be high enough? My guess is that it would be OK without a column - I don't much want a monopod on top of a tripod?
And - please - tell me the bad things about Feisol Tournament Class tripods .. and also their 1401 Monopod which appears to be a steal?
Sun 17-Feb-08 08:57 PM | edited Mon 18-Feb-08 10:48 AM by howardm4
You might have to crouch an inch or 2.
I have the 3342 (3 section version) and an M10 but I'm still waiting on the RRS L bracket so I can't tell you 100% but I'm 5'11" also. I don't think there will be a problem (I didn't want to fuss w/ a 4 section).
Let's see.... The optional long spikes cannot be turned around inside the legs. The carbon is an odd sort of rough carbon (contrast Gitzo smooth carbon) which I think makes you have to loosen the lock collar another 1/4 turn than you think you should. No leg locks so you have to do it in sequence from top to bottom. An M10 ballhead will be an slightly uncomfortable fit if you try to fully reverse the legs (you'll want to remove the head if you do that) but it can work. Very well made. Very light even w/ M10 head.
So far, I'm happy w/ the 3342 quality although I have not taken out for a full road test.
It has a leg stance of 42.5" w/o spikes & height of 55.75" (to the platform). The exposed length of the spikes are 1.25"
The tripod is plenty tall enough. I'm 5' 11" and do not extend it fully. Agree, it would have been nice to have reversible spikes. I think the stance of the tripod is a bit narrow, but it does seem to work well. If anything, it may be too light. It seemed to handle my D300 and Sigma 100-300 F4 without issue, and the Sigma is a big lens.
I think the Q3 would fit. It's significantly smaller than the M10 (48mm vs 62) so the knobs would be pulled in more which would clear the leg. Also consider whether your clamp of choice would be small enough to clear it all.
The M10 head actually does fit, it's just that the pan knob touches the leg and can scratch it (and can put some side load on the knob assembly).
The RRS QR clamp has 60mm jaws.
Supposedly, the Feisol ballhead CB50 is designed to work w/ the Tourny legs so nothing interferes but I recall reading somewhere that the head itself isn't in the top-tier like a Q3 (but it is 1/2 the price )
Tue 19-Feb-08 03:33 AM | edited Tue 19-Feb-08 05:33 AM by William Symonds
I just read the thread where you decided to get yours.
I think I'm getting a 3342. I've already put the Manfrotto kit on the market and I've got a bite.
Having previously decided on a M10 I'm now wondering now whether to go for a Q3 for the greater convenience. I have a 70-200 but have only used it on a tripod once and then only really to take the weight off as I was shooting cricket at 1/500 shutter speeds. The Emille would cope with a 70-200 anyhows...
Almost all my tripod use will be with a D200 and 12-25/17-55/85.
>Really! that's a 3442 without the centre column? > >>But then again the packed length of the 3442 is kind of >cool...?
View finder is at my chin if I stand straight. As I tip my head forward and down a little to look through the view finder, it lines up fine. When I put a lens with a foot on it, it's even better. Tipping my head a little is a good trade off for the lightness and packable size IMO. ...and, pull the legs in a little - it raises it quite nicely.
Fri 22-Feb-08 01:20 AM | edited Fri 22-Feb-08 01:23 AM by cdplatt
Actually, the four sections don't concern me from a stability perspective. It is impressively stable, but "stable" depends on what you plan to use it for. I needed a small, light, packable tripod. It's perfect for that. IF I get into a situation where stability is a concern - either a lot of wind, weight of gear that is pushing the limits, or a longer lens,(like a Bigma zoomed out past 300mm or farther), I'd probably just leave the lower leg sections in and stoop or put in on a table or rock, etc; because that is a tradeoff I'm willing to make for the portability. (I keep a right-angle view finder attachment handy for stooping emergencies...) If portability isn't a concern, I'll pull out my Berlebach, or the BIG Gitzo.
I am following these threads with interest, because I think that this could be an excellent travelling tripod. I am considering the CT3442 because of its smaller folding length. What ballhead did you finally order? the Q3 or the M10?
BTW I did try a RRS BH40 out yesterday. I felt it a bit small and not that smooth. It's not cheap here either - over $500 with no warranty. This helped me choose the M10 too. the M10 is not so much heavier and the extra 1 cm will do no harm. I have never touched a Markins head so I'll soon find out.
(Incidentally I should probably add that Markins recommended a Gitzo 2530 or 3530,and not the Feisol 3342 I mentioned on my order form. I did write back and ask why and it seems they were unfamiliar with the new 3342 - they went on to add that with a 10 kg load it should be OK. I chose to ignore the original comment. I think the advice of fellow Nikonians with hands on experience has been invaluable - it's proved pretty hard to find a bad word out there in respect of the Tournament Series.)
Thanks again to all and have a good weekend. I'm at home enjoying a glass of wine already!
Will, thanks for the prompt and detailed reply and enjoy the wine!
I also went through the other thread, but missed your edited post. I will get the M10L as well. This will also work on the Gitzo 3540LS and I don't think that I will buy the M20 after all. The M10 should be good enough for my gear.
I think I put the Gitzo on hold for a while. A light traveling tripod is my priority right now. I exchanged some mails with Feisol in Taiwan because they do not have dealership in Europe yet. But I can order by mail. People seem to be happy with the responsivenss and customer oriented attitude of the Feisol guys. So far I am impressed by their responsivenss too.
So it will be the CT-3442 and the M10L for me. Thanks for doing all the research Might consider the monopod too
BTW: great site this Nikonians. I never would have heard of Feisol and Markins otherwise.
I have contacted this Feisol site. I was referred to Feisol.net and according to a mail I received they are planning to start an official FEISOL distrubutorship for Europe this summer but they want to complete all the work on their USA distributorship first. They do ship to Europe but their shipping costs are $69. There is also a Dutch website http://www.buteo-outdoorsupplies.nl/?menu=category&categoryID=156011 offerring these tripods, but the prices are sky high and I do not trust this site at all.
I am ging to order directly from Taiwan as soon as I have confirmation regarding the availability of the monopod. I assume that when this distributorship is established in Europe the prices will rise to cover for all the additional overheads
Have a look at reply 13 in this thread by cdplatt as well. I am in the same position. I want something light and small for traveling. I intend to buy Gitzo 3540LS for the heavier work. The 3442 will just fit in my carry on luggage and is easier for backpacking and that's important for me. Otherwise I would have ordered the 3 section tripod. It all depends on your needs and circumstances.
Sun 24-Feb-08 09:23 PM | edited Tue 26-Feb-08 12:52 AM by William Symonds
I went through a simialr thought process in posts 8-13. I eventually chose the 3342 because I am not getting a larger tripod in the foreseeable future.
To me it was the conservative choice as it will be my main tripod. The extra height means that it needn't be fuuly extended and three sections means fewere joints and of course the narrowest section is 3cm larger in diamteter. So it is likely to be more stable at the limit. I do not want to be disappointed by stability whereas I can cope with a larger packed size. The 3342 is also 4cm taller easier to operate. It's also fractionally lighter and cheaper.
But not for nothing is the 3442 the best seller per the Feisol site. If you need the size and portality then the 3442 does pack up very small especially with a small head so you can fold the legs back .... and with a 3442 you can always leave the fourth section unextended and crouch...
But then again with the 3342 you can leave the third section unextended. All in all the 3342 was the right choice for me.
UPDATE I sent the above as a question to Feisol and asked them if they thought that the 3342 was the best choice for me. The answer they gave was "Because you are 1.77m tall. The CT-3342 is tall enough for you". They have a point as the 138cm of the 3442 is a pinch for me. And a 3342 at 138cm is not fully extended would be more stable as a result.
They did also point out in an earlier email exchange that any fair Gitzo comparison should be made at the maximum extended height of the Gitzo (which is a few cm shorter than the 3342) so there is perhaps tacit acceptance that use of either 3342 or 3442 at a few cm less than full extension helps stability. I'm sticking with the 3342.....
My CM-1401 has had light use for almost 4 years now and is still holding up. The tripod collars are plastic, not metal. You get metal if you go up to the larger monopod. I think it is very good value and I've been happy with it. It's certainly not a Gitzo, but I like CF, even in a monopod, and I've been happy. I also have a couple of Gitzo tripods so the differences are very clear to me. If I were using it every weekend and I wanted it to last forever, then I might think about the Gitzo. I probably use it 10-20 times a year.
Thanks for the heads up, William! I was unaware of the new model. I was surprised to see that the price did not increase. I suspect the machined collars cost a bit more to produce.
I wonder if they will do the same with the CT-3x01,3x02 tripod line? My main reservation with the plastic collars is that they need a little more attention than my G1228 collars just to make sure they are really tight and nothing is slipping. With my monopod, that isn't a big deal because there are only 3 collars to worry about. With the tripod, there are either 6 or 9 collars.
In terms of durability, I don't worry about it (plastic collars) too much because I think Feisol will be around for long time and I know they are very good about replacing broken parts.
I think their low end tripods are very good value for the money, and they are the only "cheap" CF legs that I would consider, just based on what I (think I) know. I have seen a CT-3401 in the field and compared it to my G1228 (older Gitzo 2 series 4 section) as well as my monopod. I thought the 3401 was a very decent leg set, especially for the price. I know we are talking monopods here, but the 3401 uses the exact same leg as my monopod so it gave me a good reference frame.
I ordered mine last Sunday and the legs passed clearance in Amsterdam all ready! (can track the progress on the DHL-site); Knowing DHL they will deliver tomorrow. Now waiting for the M10 which I ordered today.
Fri 29-Feb-08 07:26 PM | edited Fri 29-Feb-08 08:00 PM by William Symonds
Congratulations on your new arrival.
Eoro 60 is par for the course I guess - you'd pay even more if they priced seprately for the European market where Gitzos cost 40-50% more than in the US as far as I can see, despite having been made in Italy.
- I wired the cash on Monday and they despatched Tuesday. This is little short of amazing as a wire transfer within Jakarta can take three days! The the tripod was in Jakarta by Wednesday lunchtime. It was released by Customs on Friday so it will be delivered Saturday I guess and I will then see how much I am charged.
If nothing else their customer service has thus far been a joy.
By comparison I wired cash to Markins on the same day and have sent two follow up emails and have thus had no response whatsoever... still agonising about Q3 v M10 and have added to Roger Bee's post on that subject.
I only can talk very positive about PhotoProShop Europe. I asked them this morning to change the M10 for Q3 and within 2 hours I had confirmation that is was OK, that they would refund the difference and that the products would be shipped today. The sales guy (Juergen) is very responsive. Thanks Juergen
I guess that the Q3 is also a better fit for your monopod than the M10.
I am not sure yet how my needs and interests are going to develop. I am very tempted by the 200-400 VR, but I am not sure if I see myself carrying this one all over the world. In that case I need a heavier set up (Gitzo 3540LS + M20)
Hope that you are luckier with customs than me (my wife cannot stop laughing)
I think the lack of communication from Markins may mean that i get the M10 - which is perhaps no bad thing. I just don't see myself ever needing a M20 so why compromise now. I have some biggish lenses too - the 17-55 takes some support and is off-centre plus the 70-200 is no baby...
I have a Manfrotto swivel head which I prefer to a ballhead on a Monopod. I will run with that a while though I will try whichever Markins head turns up.. Another ballhead option on a Monopod is a $100 283g Feisol MB30 with Arca Swiss mounts.
In truth I never adjust the swivel much and I could probably screw it the lens straight into the head.
In future I might try mounting a Arca Swiss shoe clamp directly onto the Monopod or use the RRS solution which consists of screwing a Arc Swiss shoe onto a Manfrotto.
Cheers - how is the new Tripod though I guess you need the head too
Your case is different then mine. You have bigger lenses and camera than I have. I see that you just made a decision to go for M10. Good choice I think. My largest traveling lens is going to be 80-400VR and I think that Q3 is OK for this. And I want to travel light and small. So unless Neil jumps in telling me this is stupid decision, I stick with Q3.
Tripod is still sitting in box waiting for its head to be delivered. And now it is my turn to enjoy my glass of wine
>> So unless Neil jumps in telling me this is stupid decision, I stick with Q3.
I think you both made the right decision, though different. In your case, Linze, you want to err a little on the side of portability and that is very understandable. We are cutting decimal places here, most likely, and either ballheads are good decisions.
Interestingly, nothing I have read from anyone suggests the Q4 can't handle your 80-400, although typically you see 70-200. The potential issue raised in a few threads I saw pertained only to body mounted nose heavy Pro F/2.8 wide-normal zooms. The collar mounted lenses, although longer and heavier, have a huge advantage of inherently good balance, which you can tweak if you wish. Any ballhead will perform better with a balanced load than an unbalanced load, unless the unbalanced load is just multiple levels below what it is capable of. I also want to make clear that I'm not comfortable making a call like this based on one or two reports. I just like to err on the side of bigger myself, and I guess it all fits together for me in having a *slight* preference for the M10 on Series 2 class legs such as the 3342/3442. I would not have tried to talk William out of a Q3, by the way, but he was second guessing his order for the M10, needlessly by my way of thinking.
Thanks Neil and I fully understand. I didn't want to involve you in my decision taking process. If I did I am sorry. Was just looking for some kind of comformation. I see myself ending up with 2 sets; a travel set (Feisol-3442/Q3) and a sturdy set (Gitzo-3530LS/M20) as my hobby progresses. It is an expensive solution, but one with the least compromises. Now I can also go for a 3-section Gitzo in stead of the 4-section one. I have no hurry and I am going to look around if I can buy a used one.
No problem at all, really. I just thought it would be a good idea to expand a bit on my thinking since they are both very fine heads. I think you are doing the right thing by thinking along the lines of two sets of legs, and planning for it, which is what I did (G1228 and G1410). It's very, very difficult to make one set of legs do everything. A 4 section travel set also makes a lot of sense if you have it backed up with a heavier 3 section for regular use. I've second guessed my decision to buy the 4 section G1228 many times but in the end I've decided that I have the G1410 for situations where I'm not comfortable with the smaller 4 section. It works out well for me and gives me the best of both worlds.
I've considered the idea of selling my M10 and replacing it with a Q3. That would leave me with a Q3 and M20, same as you are considering. I think that is a very attractive pair, with the best of both worlds.
Actually this decision "feels" good, if you know what you mean. I am going to start with the lighter set up (Feisol 3442 + Markins Q3). And as (this extremely expensive) hobby progresses I am thinking of getting a D300 (or its successor ), bigger lenses and also Gitzo 3530LSV + Markins M20. And I am probably keeping the lighter gear for traveling.
After spending about half a year on Nikonians, there is one thing I have learned: (digital) photography is all about making compromises, especially concerning lenses and tripods. Between "expensive, heavy, big, super quality" on the one side and "cheaper, lighter, smaller, reasonable quality" on the other. Thanks a lot for helping to make this clear. It is not so obvious when you start.
OK. It costs more, but I also will use it more. I am convinced about that. And may be investing in a good, used set is a better investment then bringing your money to the stock market these days. And certainly a lot more pleasant and less stressful investment.
Thanks a lot for your patience and I will let you know about my progress and experience
PS: there is a guy around here who has a signature like "when I grow old I want to be a moderator": Well, I have grown old (although my wife sometimes thinks differently ) but for sure I don't want to become a moderator. Not enough patience. So glad that some guys do
Sat 01-Mar-08 10:05 PM | edited Sat 01-Mar-08 10:11 PM by nrothschild
Lol! It's been a pleasure helping you out, really! We've had an interesting group of members here the past week or so, all going through "the process". It will be interesting to hear all the feedback when the gear arrives. You really will use it more and enjoy it more than if you had compromised on something solely based on price. My G1228/M10 was a real eye opener. I previously had a cheap pan/tilt setup that spent most of it's time in a closet. It was the better support that got me into wildlife and other things because long lens work became doable.
I assume you are used to these kind of things. Isn't that part of the fun of living and working in these "exotic" countries? Just makes life a bit more "interesting" > I will >try to get a refund but I don't much fancy the odds of >success...
I wish you very good luck Just take your "losses" and enjoy the kit.
> >But at least I will have the whole kaboodle by tonight!
It was a very enjoyable thread indeed - though all good things must come to an end. But we'll be back I'm sure with reviews of our new kit.
I'm very happy - the tripod is amazingly light and seems very sturdy AFAICT.
I need to dip my head a little. With the tripod fully extended the eyepiece of my F100 is at 160cm.
And the head is a work of Art in itself - a thing of graet aesthetic beauty. Believe me it pretty much blows away the RRS BH40 I tried and so nearly bought - let alone anything I have had before. It is as smmoth as you might imagine - truly love at first sight.
So much so that even though I have not taken a photo with my new tripod and head, here is a photo of the new tripod adorned with its stunning Markins M10 ballhead...........
Mon 03-Mar-08 08:50 AM | edited Mon 03-Mar-08 09:03 AM by William Symonds
The aesthetic style and evident engineering beauty of the ballhead so blew me away that the legs at first underwhelmed me. They are so simple - three plain black sticks - a rough surface rather than the smooth grey of the Gitzos. But they seem to work.... I just compared the legs to my 679B monopod for flex. You quickly observe that there is 200% more play in the Manfrotto leg. And there is no way I can get the joint to collapse under mt weight whereas the Manfrotto slides under half my body weight. I'm glad I got the 3342 as I think I need the additional 4cm height. Also three sections has to be a little stronger as fewewr joints and a wider bottom leg.
This is the first shot - 10 seconds at f/22 with mirror locked up and cable release used... To my eye no problems other than with diffraction and needing to trim the garden! More to follow once I work out what to do! Cheers
Looks good, I like the blue of the Markins. When you get a chance can you tell me exactly how tall the entire setup is with camera? I see in your profile that you use a D200 so that should be right on since I am using a D300.
I am glad you are enjoying the setup, I am about to pull the trigger myself.
Get the Markins immediately if you can - honestly it's a no brainer even on a Velbon aasuming you can fit it on.. Tripods are less easy to pick.
The 3342 (without column) is 1.60 to the eyepiece of the D200. I am about 1.77 without shoes in shoes and I need to bow my head very slightly - it does not seem an issue but I'm glad I did not get the 3442 as I'm not intending to get a larger tripod.
It is a very Spartan tripod - I think that is good news. There is very little play in the legs and If I place as much body weight as I can vertically downwards nothing gives... but I've never used a Gitzo. We need someone to compare the two side by side really.
From what I can tell, you have to really abuse a monopod for it to be insufficient. I have a $40 Manfrotto 679B monopod that I used very heavily last year, often with a Bigma, and it just laughed at the work. Other than the foot, you can't even tell it's used. It is obviously not a Gitzo, which I would have bought had I not been just about broke the weekend I needed a monopod, but on the other hand after using it for a year I see no reason to upgrade it to a Gitzo, either, despite being a more than satisfied user of Gitzo tripods.
From my Manfrotto experience, I can't imagine that the 1401 would be much of a problem.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Mon 17-Mar-08 02:03 AM | edited Tue 18-Mar-08 07:35 PM by William Symonds
The Feisol CM1401 just arrived.
The thing is as light as a feather and far more stable than my Manfrotto.
The general quality of the the CF in use and the new metal locks seem to be identical to those on the 3342.
I have attached a photo of the two side by side..
So far - so brilliant. Like the Manfrotto 679B, which it now replaces, the top platform is plastic which seems a little out of place but overall I am extremely happy and the Manfrotto is for sale!
I am going to study the JRP article and try using the M10. An alternative may be to use a QR 48 shoe (or equivalent), which will be fine for kid's soccer, or persevere with my Manfrotto swivel head, with its horrid plates.
I have a Bogen 679B in the closet too, after getting a CM-1401. Been there for over 3 years; I should sell it. I was going to give it to one of my kids.
The weight difference between the CM-1401 and the 679B is not much in ounces, but I think it makes a big difference in how it handles when NOT in use. I find the Feisol much easier to carry. It's not huge, but nor is the price difference. I also prefer the twist collars over snap locks for my wildlife shooting, but that is a very personal preference. Although I've laways wanted to upgrade to a Gitzo, it's hard to justify $250 for one leg. I think the Feisol is very well priced and very compelling. I would certainly do it again, especially for those metal leg collars .
I ended up removing my platform. I attach a ballhead or RRS B2 Pro clamp directly to the stud. Not sure if that is a great idea, but it works and I'm not quite sure why that might possibly hurt anything. It just cuts the bulk down a bit, especially when just the clamp is installed. Since I use the M10 now most of the time, I should probably try to find where I stashed that platform...
I noticed that everyone is leaning toward the 3342/3442 Tournament series. Just curious, is there a reason not many are or have considered the Large Tripod series (3371/3372) series? I'm looking at those legs myself, and noticed the Large series might be better for my height of 6' 2" Both series are Carbon Fiber, but is the Tournament series better for any reason?
I can only speak for myself. I had a specific reason for buying the 3442 Tournament and the Markins Q3: small, light, compact, portable, should fit in carry on luggage and not too heavy for a days hiking. And I am (only) 5'8" and then the height is just OK for me.
If I would have been 6'2" and traveling wouldn't have been an issue, I would have gone for the Large series or Gitzo 3-series. Actually my plan still is to get a sturdier tripod in addition to the CT-3442. I knew in advance that I was compromising with the CT-3442/Q3. In your case I would go for a larger set.
Mon 24-Mar-08 06:11 AM | edited Mon 24-Mar-08 07:27 PM by William Symonds
The 3371 and 3471 are heavier duty tripods with wider legs - equivalent to a series 3 or 4 Gitzo - not sure which. The 3371 is especially tall! I think a few Nikonians went that route. A good call for longer lenses and I see from another thread that a 200-400 may be in your future.
For me at least I felt Series 2 was sufficient and I liked the lighter weight.
There is a 3372 and 3472 coming very soon - lighter weight than the 3371/3471 and even heavier load capacity - but the costs will apprioach $500. It may be worth asking Feisol about this tripod which sounds terrific on paper though at a priice that approcahes Gitzo territory - as I recall the height is about 150 or 152 cdm.
The 3371/3372 are equivalent to Gitzo Series 4 (37mm leg diameter).
There is a HUGE difference in portability between a Series 2 and Series 4. It's not just the weight, but the bulk too. The Feisol 3342/3442 discussed here is equivalent to a series 2. You can carry a Series 2 around all day and not be bothered with it. You just can't do that with a Series 4, even in CF.
Most people buying a Series 2 size legs are shooting 70-200 class lenses (or should be with those legs). If you have heavier glass, such as 300/2.8 and up, the 3371 is more appropriate.
If you don't have to carry a tripod very far, then a Series 3 or 4 class leg might be appropriate, regardless of lens, and I personally don't think you can overkill support as long as you can transport it and will use it. You have to think through your transport needs very carefully.
Thank you all so much for your help. I guess I need to deal with the fact that since I have many photographic interests at this point -- still emerging -- there is no perfect tripod. What I enjoy and do now might change later, and I just can't keep spending the money. This stuff is expensive, and, like many of you I'm sure, I want to purchase as much as I can that will last a lifetime.
I'm tall, so I have to choose a tall tripod. The Gitzo Series 2 aren't tall enough. Series 3 is, but costs much more than the Feisol's Tournament. Feisol's Large series is less expensive that Gitzo 3/4 series and tall enough, but bulky and does not fold down very small.
Will I need to carry it a lot? Maybe. Will bulk mater? I suppose not, but maybe later it will. But I want that 200-400 lens down the road because I want to shoot wildlife and birds.
I would love to have a lightweight, small, portable that can hold 200-400 lens and be tall enough for me at 6' 2"
So....do you all agree there is no tripod like this? If so, will I have to spend Gitzo prices?
This is fun, while at the same time frustrating. Jerry
One of the things Nikonians like most is spending somebody else's money , but look at it this way: You are planning to spend close to 10.000 USD for a D3, a 200-400VR and a SB-800. In that case I wouldn't hesitate for one moment to spend an extra 50 USD for a Markins M20 in stead of a M10. And what is the difference between a Gitzo (which still is considered to be the market leader) and a Feisol? May be 350 USD. So you are talking about a difference of appr. 400 USD. I know that is a lot. On the other hand it is only 4% of the 10k your are going to spend on camera and lens. I know what I would do...................
OK. I know it is personal preference, but there are some things that most agree on when it comes to compromises made when getting a tripod. These are mine to consider and am wondering if anyone has had to choose among these as well. So what's the worst of the following?:
Folded down is 26" kind of long (this would be 3-section legs, but is sturdier than 4 section).
Tripod has four-section legs... shorter folded down, but now stability is an issue.
Tripod is shorter than ideal when fully extended. I'll need to bend a bit to compose. I'm 6' 2"
Tripod has center column. Can the Gitzos come out to create a flat top?? Columns add to instability.
You use the right word: *compromise*. And that's why it is almost impossible to give you a good advise. What is important for me might not be so important for you. Just to put it in perspective a bit: you gear (D3, 200-400, SB-800) weighs close to 5 kg and is close to 40 cm long. I would worry more how to lug this around then worry about 3 or 4 legs. You are buying pro equipment here (it is on my wish list too, but I am looking for a caddy first ). There is one thing I wouldn't compromise: *sturdiness*. May be you should consider a new thread: "best tripod for D3 and 200-400VR", or do a search on Nikoscope, because I am almost sure the question has been asked before. I just tried but it is out of the air because of maintenance. You might get more relevant input.
Tue 25-Mar-08 10:50 AM | edited Tue 25-Mar-08 11:04 AM by jshankin
Thanks, Linze. I appreciate your input.
Another thing... I'm really just dreaming of that equipment. It's hard enough spending $600 on a printer and then a tripod, and on and on... let alone D3, 200-400, while trying to raise a family.
The thing is, I'm trying to buy only one time, hoping the gear will outlast me. I really have no idea if I'll ever be able to afford what I mentioned above. Yet I thought I should buy for the future. My current equipment is D300, SB800, and my largest lens is the 70-200/2.8/VR.
I suppose I could buy for my current equipment now and just deal with the fact I might need to upgrade (spend more) later. I don't know.
"The thing is, I'm trying to buy only one time, hoping the gear will outlast me".
I have the Feisol 3471 which is the 4 section model. I am 6’ and the tripod is plenty tall for me. I only need to extend the bottom section about 7 inches to bring the entire setup to eye level without stooping.
The tripod is huge and very sturdy. It has 37mm top section and the bottom is 28mm, which is the size of the top section of the Gitzo 2 series and Feisol standard and tournament class. I have to admit that the tripod can become heavy and at times awkward to carry especially after a couple of hours in the sun. Fortunately I do not hike very far or very often so the size is not an issue, I wanted sturdiness and the 3471 has that.
The legs run right at $319 so you will have to spend a little or a lot more for a head depending on what you want.
Hope this helps, I know I agonized over this decision for months before pulling the trigger.
Thanks, Joe. I am currently looking at the Feisols. One rep from Feisol highly recommended the Tournament series, and their site says it's the sturdiest. But I don't get why that is when the legs are clearly larger with the Large series. Do you know why they make that claim? Is the carbon fiber of different quality with the Tournament vs. the Large series?
I was leaning toward the Large series for it's thick legs and height.
A few members here have purchased Tournament series legs. They behave like typical 3 and 4 section Gitzo Series 2 class 28mm legs, handling up to 200mm well, and start to have some trouble beyond 200mm.
I think their site's claims are ambiguous and they are comparing their Tournament legs to other 28mm legs. Marketing is marketing. A 37mm leg set is a different class, in terms of what it will handle and it's portability issues (not heavy but a bit bulky). If you are shooting at 200mm and up (particularly at well over 200mm) the 37mm legs would be a more rigid and better performing choice.
"If you are shooting at 200mm and up (particularly at well over 200mm) the 37mm legs would be a more rigid and better performing choice.
I agree with Neil’s assessment. With the 3371/3471 and the upcoming 3372/3472 the smallest section is 31mm/28mm respectively. The Feisol large series is bulky to carry ( I have for the past three days) and after a couple of hours trekking around may even begin to get heavy. However, it is very sturdy, easy to use and simple in design. You may want to consider buying the carrying strap if you do not want to carry it around in the case. I did and it made it easier to carry for the short hikes this past weekend.
For the cost I do not think you can go wrong, and like Will mentioned in a previous post you can buy both series for less than a Gitzo 3 series.
Fri 28-Mar-08 09:39 AM | edited Sat 29-Mar-08 12:56 AM by William Symonds
I don't think you can go wrong at all.
I used to hanker after Gitzos - I'd like to play with them in the store. I loved the light weight of the 1540 until I learnt it wasn't so stable. Then I'd look at the 2540 and think - maybe one day.
I went back to JPC two days ago and undid a 2530 and - you know what - I was fairly underwhelmed by it. My Feisol is certainly no less stable from all that I can tell. The Feisol is both taller and lighter. And I don't need to go out and replace the column with a Markins platform and buy leg wraps.
Would I swop it for a Gitzo 2530 - consideration of resale aside - I'd certainly need to think about it!
Today I've just blown up some shots taken with mirror down at 1/6 second and the results are stunning. With my lens usage the F3342 is all I will ever need.
And that's about it for this thread I guess - the truth is that there really wasn't anything bad to tell....
PS Now I just wonder how good the F3372 will be? A 150cm Series 4 equivalent CF weighing 1.75kg is a fairly mean proposition.... even at $499.. Will there be an introductory offer? I'll let someone else post that question though!
>I went back to JPC two days ago and undid a 2530 and - you >know what - I was fairly underwhelmed by it. My Feisol is >certainly no less stable from all that I can tell. The Feisol >is both taller and lighter. And I don't need to go out and >replace the column with a Markins platform and buy leg wraps.
Funny you mention this. I too went back to the camera store and compared my 3471 to a Gitzo 3540XLS side by side (I was surprised they let me do it). Other than height (78” /198cm) the Feisol and I may now be biased looked heftier. You would not have thought that 37mm vs 32mm would make a lot of difference but it did. The Feisol raised interest with several of the people in the shop. I figured I better get out of there quick before they banned me.
The new 3372/3472 will be something to see. I really don’t think the weight difference will be that much of an incentive the pod is bulky due to the size of the top plate and the legs. In any event the new large series should inch Feisol closer to the top.
This has been a great thread and a lot of good information, opinions and suggestions have been shared. It also has been a lot of fun. Isn’t Nikonians great?
Consider that the area of a circle (the cross section of the leg) increases by the square of the diameter. The volume increases by the cube (factor of 8!).
Edit: The circumference of a circle also increases to the square of the diameter. Given that at least within a given maker the tube wall thickness is constant at usually 1-1.5mm, the I presume the volume of CF increases in proportion to the square of the diameter.
A series 4 class leg is 33.7% larger in cross sectional area and 54.5% larger in volume. No matter how you slice that, each increase in series is a significant increase in either geometry. In the smaller series the relative increases are even more significant because the more or less constant 4mm increase is applied to a small leg diameter. Although the 4 series and Feisol 3471 have a 5mm increment on the top leg, all 3 lower legs are proportionately larger too, to a more significant extent, although the precise leg diameters of the various 3471 leg sections is unclear to me. Run the numbers, though, and you will see what I mean.
I would not want to put any Gitzo Series 3 up against your legs, and put money on it, just because leg diameter rules.
That cubic increase in volume is why the Series 3 is "the perfect leg set", in most ways, simply because the geometry gets out of hand once you cross that 32mm threashhold, as you indicate above, especially in terms of the upper base casting. It has a sweetspot in terms of performance verses volume. Not that a Series 4 is a bad thing (I shoot one and love it), but it is what it is and it ain't what I call walk around legs . I could carry a Series 3 all day if I had to. Not so my Series 4, even if it were CF.
>Not that a Series 4 is a bad thing >(I shoot one and love it), but it is what it is and it ain't >what I call walk around legs . I could carry a Series 3 >all day if I had to. Not so my Series 4, even if it were CF.
I have to agree on all points especially the carrying part. I need the larger leg set due to the windy conditions here on the coast. I am with everyone else that there is no one all purpose set of legs. Working from the car this past weekend was just fine, it was when I needed to take them down a trail for a mile or two that I wished they were lighter. For here at home they are ideal, however, I may need to invest in a set for hiking and travel. When that times comes you can bet it will be Feisol.
Mon 24-Mar-08 07:42 PM | edited Tue 25-Mar-08 05:36 AM by William Symonds
This may interest you in your search for the ultimate compromise.
I don't know who Really Right Cameras are.. There is currently nothing on the Feisol website but you could always email Feisol.
"Feisol also announced their new CT-3372 model at PMA08 (http://www.feisol.com/english/PMA08.htm) a month ago. Complete specs aren't available yet, but at 1.7kg (3.75 lbs.) it will be considerably lighter than the CT-3371 (2.2kg = 4.85 lbs.) and have a higher rated maximum load capacity. This new CT-3372 model isn't available yet, but I have some on order and should be getting them as soon as they are available in about 4 weeks. The price for the CT-3372 will be $499.00.
Feisol makes some tempting stuff, and I know they're making a lot of people here happy -- but price is a big part of their attractiveness. Those would have to be some pretty impressive legs to attract buyers at 80-85% of the price of the Gitzo CF 3-series. B&H sells the 3530S for $589, and the 3540LS for $649 -- and they can probably be found cheaper.
Mon 24-Mar-08 09:28 PM | edited Mon 24-Mar-08 10:19 PM by William Symonds
Strictly speaking the new Feisol is a 4 Series equivalent as it has 37mm legs, and Gitzo do not have a 4 series CF tripod, but nonetheless I see where you are coming from..
Feisol will need this one to compete on performance. OTOH a 150cm 1.7kg 4 Series equivalent will tempt someone! The bottom section diameter will be 31cm (I think) which is almost the size of the (32cm) top section of a 3 Series.
Tue 25-Mar-08 01:01 AM | edited Tue 25-Mar-08 01:07 AM by William Symonds
I live in Indonesia and it would have worked for me as I got hit for duty on importing my M10.
Singapore is not a good buy vs purchase in the US from the Nikonians shop for example - I think these days the M10 comes in at about US$400 in Singapore - it's about S$560 from memory. They are US$340 plus shipping in the US.
They have them in a couple of Singapore stores including John 3:16 in the Fun'an Centre.
Hi Will, Thank you for the response and guidance. I can't wait to fly to Australia and Singapore next week ... I'll be spending time in both locations over the next 20+ days! The only downside is the long flights; I guess this goes with the territory. Cheers, Jeff
"You don't take a photograph, you make it." - Ansel Adams (1902-1984)