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First impressions on the RRS TVC-33 tripod

dwnelson79

Santa Monica, US
10 posts

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dwnelson79 Registered since 05th Jan 2010
Tue 19-Jan-10 06:56 AM

Hello everyone,

Like many of you I have been looking for good user reports of the new TVC-33 tripod, but I haven't found many. Here's my contribution:

I ordered it December 1st and it arrived last Friday (6.5 weeks). I was told it would take 4-6 weeks; demand is still high.

It's silky smooth, even the carbon fiber. It just feels nice. Nothing snags anywhere. The finish of the carbon fiber feels as smooth as the anodized aluminum, and by comparison smoother than the 6X carbon fiber Gitzo. Obviously this doesn't really matter in a functional sense, but it is nice.

The offset leg joints make it fold up into a more compact package near the apex. I like it a lot and I think if it isn't a common thing on tripods already, it will be soon.

I got the matching tripod bag (TQB-80) and the BH-55 ball heed. The combo fits really well in the bag, and it's easy to get in and out. I'm going to use the bag quite a bit. Even the bag feels well made, and I appreciate the huge zipper, ample padding, quality materials and shoulder sling.

I like the girth of the tubes... it fits my hands well when I sling it over my shoulder (I'm 5'11' with proportionally-sized hands). My last tripod was a Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 (10-15 yrs old), which has much smaller tubes.

With all the legs extended, I have to get on my tippy toes to see through the viewfinder of my D90. I've learned to not fully extend the lower leg sections for normal eye-level photography.

The locks are quick, easy, and secure. They feel very comparable to the Gitzo G-locks (for comparison, I have a GM5541 monopod).

The ratcheting leg angle settings are pretty sweet. They're much easier than my Gitzo GT1541 tripod, which requires some effort to change the leg angles. However, there is definitely an audible "click." I happen to like this because you can hear it click into place, but if you need it to be quiet, you'll have to manually hold the silver slider thingy and prevent it from snapping against the aluminum as you move the leg. It's easier done than said, and it's something that you have to do anyway with the Gitzos.

I've only done a few shots with a D90 and an 18-70 lens, so I can't comment on stability under heavy loads. Obviously the tripod was plenty stable for this combo.

My commentary:
This is my first professional grade tripod; my previous one was a Bogen/Manfrotto 3021 aluminum tripod with an Arca-Swiss B1 ball head. This was a huge upgrade for me. I like the big tubes that don't freeze my hands in the cold, I like that it's a lot smoother to the touch, I like the added height (although it may be too much!), and I like that overall, everything just feels more solid and nice. In terms of actual effect on my images, it probably won't add a whole bunch since I use mirror lockup and smaller lenses. But it sure is nice to use!

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