After reading through the tripod/head forums, I am leaning towards the Markins M10. I am also very interesed in a Feisol tripod. I just don't know what would suit me best. I'm 5'1 and use a D200, no really long heavy lenses. Any feedback is appreciated.
#1. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 0Wed 12-Mar-08 10:43 PM
You may want to go to www.feisol.com and drop Orion and email stating your specifications. He answers promptly and is a big help.
I just received my 3471 which is the large 4 section and it appears well made, sturdy and will in my opinion last a long time.
#2. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 1Thu 13-Mar-08 12:02 AM
Joe is right - Orion is soooo helpful.
I have a 3342 TOURNAMENT CLASS with an M10 - an excellent combination.
My "agonies" in selection are reproduced here:
My "ecstasies" in taking delivery are here:
Linze got a 3442 and Q3 - a very neat set-up that may well suit your gear and talks about it here:
Another alternative is the cheaper STANDARD range. they have just been enhanced - I supspect tehy now have aluminium leg locks - and now support 9kg but they are holding the old prices till 18 March - they appear to be a great deal.
Details are here - under pre-order:
By the way at your height 120 cm should be sufficient - but more height is good as you can then retract part of the narrower lower section. I'd avoid the centre columns as they are not as stable - like a monopod on top of your tripod.
W i l l
Nikonian in Bogor, West Java
#3. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 0
Thanks Joe and Will.
Will, it seems like you just went through all this turmoil. I will e-mail Orion - thanks for that. In your experience, given my height of 120 cm, do you think I can get away with the 3442? I really like the 19cm folded length for portability. I'm just wondering how much stability I would be sacrificing. I would never have it fully extended given my height. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who agonizes over these decisions.
#4. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 3Thu 13-Mar-08 02:59 PM
I think either the 3342 or 3442 will work. The 3342 is 4 inches longer folded but it does eliminate the 4th section. I believe the 3342 top section is 28mm and the bottom is 22 and the 3442 is 28 and 19.
I spent a couple of months going over all of the options and finally decided on the large 3471. I need the height of 60" san center column. I received it yesterday and I was really surprised. It is a very sturdy, well made tripod and I fully expect to get many years or enjoyment from it.
Will can elaborate more on the 3342 but I think he will agree it is a very good tripod and the value compared to Gitzo is excellent.
Hope this helps.
#5. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 4Thu 13-Mar-08 07:56 PM | edited Fri 14-Mar-08 07:53 PM by William Symonds
The 3342 is 142cm and the 3442 138cm.
I think you could leave the bottom section of either tripod almost 50% unextended at all times and even retracting it totally would not be require too much stooping.
Chris Platt, Daniel Foster and Linze Boonstra all seem delighted with the 3442. I did think you might like it which is why I posted the link to Linze's photo. It fits nicely with the Q3 too - in your position I might be very tempted to get that combination.. EDIT - after reading comments from Linze and Joe below I am not convinced that I would yield to the temptation.
I got both 3342 because I felt I needed the height and because I use a 70-200 f/2.8 and TC 17 which doesn't react well to vibration and thus requires a fair degree of support. I also have a feeling that height for height a three section series tripod will be always be more stable. There are also more locks to fiddle with in a four section tripod.
I got the M10 because I use both this lens and also the 17-55 f/2.8 - another heavy lens that does not have a tripod mount to balance it.
What lenses might you get in future?
W i l l
Nikonian in Bogor, West Java
#6. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 5Fri 14-Mar-08 06:37 AM | edited Sat 15-Mar-08 01:48 PM by libo1949
I am doing some extensive tests on the CT-3442 with Markins Q3. Camera: D80; lens: 80-400VR.
Neil is giving me some guidelines as how to execute these tests.
I am using the Nikon collar of the 80-400VR, but tests of a.o. Bjorn indicate that this is not a very good collar at all. I am waiting for the Kirk collar and the camera plate for the D80 to do more tests with 80-400VR and 18-200VR.
1. I see a lot of vibrations with exposure delay off. When I switch on exposure compensation, the results are OK;
2. all 4 legs extended shows a bit of blur. This blur has disappeared when you shoot at 3 legs.
I want to complete all the tests before I report back. That's going to take another 2 weeks I guess.
The ONLY reason I have chosen the CT-3442 with Q3 is that I wanted a light, compact travel set, fitting in a carry on. Otherwise it would have been the CT-3342 with M10.
#7. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 6Joe Mueller Registered since 30th Mar 2004Fri 14-Mar-08 10:12 AM
I ordered a 3342 and 3442 together with a friend of mine. He opted for the 3442 for compactness, I choose the 3342 for sturdiness.
There is a noticable differenece in stability between the 2 tripods and the 4th leg section of then 3442 is obviously the main culprit - as expected.
Besides that: the 3342/3442 are hard to beat in "weight/height/stability" section
#15. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 7Mon 05-May-08 07:43 PM
Hi Joe, your experience is the only time I've come across a mention on the forums of someone who's had both the 3442 and 3342 in hand. I was wondering how your friend and you are liking your respective tripods so far? Do either of you wish you made the other choice? As I mentioned in another post, I'm having a hard time figuring out how much more stable the 3342 is and whether the greater stability is worth the sacrifice in portability. I don't have extreme requirements (no massive lenses, extensive backpacking, or being really tall), just trying to pick out the best portable, all-purpose tripod. Thanks for any info on the tripods.
#16. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 15Mon 05-May-08 08:33 PM | edited Mon 05-May-08 08:34 PM by jki
I have the tournament 3342 and just got the standard 3401 (newest upgraded version). I got the 3401 as a small, travel tripod to fit easily in carry on luggage. Because the 3401 has a smaller diameter top plate, the legs when folded are quite a bit closer together at the plate than the tournament class tripods, which have a much larger top plate. This makes the 3401 much easier to pack (together with the shorter OAL.) I know that Feisol says that the CF in the tournament grade is higher grade (lighter? stiffer?) but I will say that the 3401 with all three sections extended is significantly less stable than the 3342 with its two sections extended. I would expect that the tournament grade version of the 3401, which is the 3442, would be a bit better, but the 19 mm diameter of the last leg section appears to be the main culprit of stability loss. No, I have not yet performed lens testing comparisons, but my suggestion is that the 3342 makes a better solution if it is to be used as your main support. Provided that its size or "packability" is not an issue (all of these 28mm CF tripods are very light!), the three section pods are easier to set up and at least a little (or more) stable than their four section counterparts.
#17. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 16nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Mon 05-May-08 10:39 PM
Interestingly, I took a series of shots with a 3442 with successive legs extended. There was little or no difference between all 4 sections extended and only the first 3 (I count sections different than you ). Linze ran the same set of tests on his 3442 and came to the same conclusion. Neither of us, of course, actually tested a 3342 against a 3442. We retracted the last section to act as a proxy, but I can only assume there is validity to that.
Years ago I did the same with my G1228 (predecessor to GT2540), noticing a significant improvement with the lowest section retracted. I'm going to reshoot that test for comparison- at some point in the not too distant future, I hope.
Interesting comparison of the 3401 and 3342, by the way, but could raise as many questions as it answers, as is so typical with these things.
#18. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 17Tue 06-May-08 02:19 AM
Tonight I just had the 3401 so I did some critical tests in my hotel room comparing performance between three and four leg sections. My conclusions: 1) shutter delay gives better results than no delay (D300), 2) mirror lock up vs. shutter delay does not further improve performance (with my 105VR), and 3) under these ideal conditions, there is no difference whether the fourth section is extended or retracted. I would hypothesize, however, that the results might be different under real world shooting conditions with some wind factor, where larger diameter legs would offer additional stability. While it is good that we are trying to prove how well the 4 section tripod compares to a 3 section, and under ideal conditions it appears to be true, the fact of the matter is that the larger diameter of the 3 section tripod must be better, all else equal.
#14. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 6
Hi Linze, I'm in the middle of deciding on a tripod (3342 or 3442) and would be very interested to know how your tests and experiences with the 3442 have been so far? I'm trying to decide how much more stable the 3342 is, and whether the additional stability is worth the sacrifice in portability. Also, I'm 5'6" and was wondering whether you find the 3442 to be tall enough for you?
#19. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 14Tue 06-May-08 04:29 AM | edited Tue 06-May-08 04:32 AM by libo1949
I guess that you have seen this thread: https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=159&topic_id=23992&mesg_id=23992&page=4
With 4 legs extended and a D80 with 18-200VR the center of the view finder is 152,5 cm (1 ft, 1 inch). I am am 178 cm (5'11") and have to bend to look through the viewer. My eye level is about 161 cm (5'4"). You should be OK with your 5'6".
The 80-400VR is just about at my eye level, because of the taller lens plate.
I have done some tests with the 18-200VR (finally the camera plate arrived) and unlike with the 80-400VR the legs perform excellent. I don't see any effect of the exposure delay. And there is no difference between 3 vs 4 legs extended. I can send the tests shots later, but I am stressed for time now.
Although I haven't tested the 80-400VR on a 3342, I assume that you can expect the same results as with the 3442. These Tournament legs are not really ideal for such a big lens. Although, I still will take them as my travelling kit with the 80-400VR. I tested at 1/15 sec and that is not normally my shutter speed in the field.
What would I do if I have to do it all over again? The same. Go for 2 legs. Get a CT3442 for travelling and a Gitzo 3-series. But of course I have to pay for this flexibility.
#20. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 19Tue 06-May-08 09:22 PM | edited Tue 06-May-08 09:27 PM by juliat27
Thanks Linze, Neil, jki. Linze, I actually hadn't seen the test results you posted. They're very helpful. I guess it means if I get the 3442, I should expect to retract the last section to accommodate wind conditions and lenses over 200 mm.
I would just go for the 3342 so I wouldn't have to worry about stability as much, but I do think I'll sometimes need to take the tripod in carry-on luggage. I'm contacting a few more people re: the 3442. If it's stable enough the vast majority of the time for lenses 200 and under, I'll probably go for that one.
It's funny. I contacted Feisol.com to ask the difference in stability between the 3342 and 3442. The reply was, "If you need stability, you can pick 3-section tripods. If you need compactness, then 4-section tripods will do the job." (Uh, I want both!) I guess they wouldn't want to shoot themselves in the foot by being more specific about the relative stability between the two.
#21. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 20Tue 06-May-08 10:22 PM
Juliat27, even though the 3442 will fit in a carry-on, it will take up a lot of room due to the large overall outside diameter of the folded legs. If your ballhead is small enough so that you can fold the legs back over it, then you will achieve more efficient space utilization , but otherwise you will need to remove the ballhead. The 3401 makes a much better carry-on tripod IMO as the legs are much closer together when folded due to the smaller top plate.
I had a co-worker facing the same dilemma as you, and I convinced him to go with the three section because it will be his main tripod and he should go for highest utility and best performance for the greatest percentage of usage. Since he rarely travels, purchasing a 4 section for the 0.1% of the time he would need to pack it in luggage seemed like too little justification compared to the greater utility and performance of the three section.
#22. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 20Wet1 Registered since 04th Dec 2007Tue 06-May-08 11:44 PM | edited Tue 06-May-08 11:47 PM by Wet1
I own both the 3301 and the 3371. Owning both is really ideal, but I could live with just the 3301. The 3301 is tall enough for me (I'm 5' 11"), stable enough for all my needs, yet compact enough that it's no problem to bring carry-on. I considered the 3342, but I don't feel I gave up anything by going with the 3301, and since I bought at the old price, I saved a lot of money as well. Given the height and potential stability loss of the 4th section, I wasn't willing to go with the x4xx series.
I have zero regrets choosing the 3301.
#23. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 14
here are some test shots with D80, Q3, 18-200VR;
shots 1-4: shutter speed 1/15 sec. f: 9; taken inside.
shot 5 as reference; speed 1/160; f 11; taken outside
1. 4 legs; exposure delay off
2. 4 legs; exposure delay on
3. 3 legs; exposure delay off
4. 3 legs; exposure delay on
5. 4 legs; exposure delay on; 1/160 sec;
I don't see too much difference between these shots. My conclusion: 3442/Q3 is OK for my D80 and 18-200VR
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
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Attachment#5 (jpg file)
#9. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 5
You make excellent points. I keep thinking that one tripod does all but I'm coming to the conclusion that I may need 2 tripods eventually. I think I might start out with the 3442 for portability/travel. I think as my lenses grow I will need the 3342 or more. I'm thinking that the 80-400 VR may be somewhere in my very distant future... right now I use an 18-200 and the 105 macro.
#11. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 9Sat 15-Mar-08 02:07 PM
We just went for a Durian fest after a meal in Bogor's Chinatown. I took the 3342 over my shoulder and barely noticed it - example photo below. The 3442 is no lighter - how important is the packed size? remember also that the extra joints means more fiddle.
The reason I'm saying this is because if the 3342 is your future it may - perhaps - be an idea to get one now. Then again if you are going to get a larger tripod you may be better off with the 3442 - but how much better off?
W i l l
Nikonian in Bogor, West Java
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
#10. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 0
Currently I shoot an 18-200 VR and a Sigma 10-20. I know the pod is over kill for these lenses. I usually shoot on the gulf coast where it can be very windy so I figured the 3471 would be a good fit. I am planning on the 70-200VR with a converter (not sure which one). I am also thinking about an 80-400VR or the Sigma 50-500. The 3471 should be able to handle one or a combination of the larger lenses (at least I hope so ).
I will be taking it on a trip next week to Vegas and plan on shooting in Valley of Fire and Red Rock Canyon so I will be able to gage whether it will be my all purpose pod. I may have to go to the two pod setup in the future. I looked at the 3342 but did not feel it would be sturdy enough for the windy conditions here on the coast, plus it is about 6” shorter than I would like. However, for travel it would be ideal. I will know more once I get back and have trekked the desert with it.
#13. "RE: Feisol tripod and M10" | In response to Reply # 12Sat 15-Mar-08 02:17 PM
They are Durian - a very smelly and highly sensual fruit said to possess aphrodisiac qualities as is when the Durians come down from the trees the Sarongs come off!
Not always loved by Westerners though. The smell is so strong that all airlines and most hotels ban them!
W i l l
Nikonian in Bogor, West Java