Fri 13-Jan-12 04:43 AM | edited Fri 13-Jan-12 04:46 AM by spear_head
The RRS pods are very, very good. I would prefer one to a Gitzo any day looking at a friends TVC-33. I say that mainly from the point of view of the workmanship and looks of the RRS. As far as the stability of my Gitzo GT3550LS vs the TVC-33 is concerned, I think that they're both about equal from what I've read - not much if any difference either way.
Some people claim that Gitzo quality control has deteriorated from what it used to be. Then again, a lot of people say a lot of things that aren't necessarily true.
The BH-55 LR is a first class ballhead and if you were to go the RRS route then their package deal with the bag looks the a great choice.
My experience with RRS is that the quality is the best available. The higher price is typically justified in terms of materials, design and workmanship.
Now a separate question is whether it is worth investing more for those features. That's a question you will need to evaluate for yourself. My assessment is you are paying about $250 more and directly offsetting that by saving $70 on the plate. That makes the cost of the RRS features about $180.
If Gitzo releases updated models as expected, I would expect a higher price but also design improvements. So it might make sense to wait a few weeks. Also RRS is sold out of almost all of their tripods right now, so they might have an update in progress or simply be reflecting lack of stock with Gitzo.
I've been using RRS equipment for years and their quality is excellent. I've also used Gitzo for years and also find their quality to be excellent. This strikes me as one of those situations where you could go from "really, really good" to "really, really, really good" by paying a bit more. If I were in the market for a new tripod (I'm not), I'd consider one of the RRS ones, but I'm not certain I'd get one when I factored in the cost and thought more pragmatically about it. Heck, some people believe that even Gitzos are too far out on the curve of diminishing returns and go for a "really good" brand instead.
Aright then, either way I can't go wrong with the RRS combo. I own a Manfrotto 055CB with a 141RC, but figure it's time to make another one-time investment, and go with a carbon fiber tripod etc. I am sure it will make life a lot easier when I am out'n about or traveling via air; considering the air lines are now imposing severe restrictions on the weight of luggage. Well, I hope.
I just went through the same process and ended up with the RRS. I bought the RSS Ball head first and emailed my sales guy (jokingly) all he needed to do was convince me to buy the tripod. He sent lots of info and made his case. The total price including brackets, the bag, etc was staggering, but these guys aren't screwing around with quality.
Everything I read on ny own except for one forum post said they were equal or gave the advantage to RSS. Add to that the fact that RSS has a slick look, matches the head, has a few more bells and whistles and is designed AND manufactured in the USA, and it became a no-brainer. Service has been excellent to date as well.
It's also nice to go against the idea that Gitzo is the only best choice. It isn't.
As stated Gitzo has refreshed their Systematic line adding a 2 Series and 4 Series. They have changed the top plate from round to triangular and have added a locking mechanism for the plate, so no need for the NatureScape plate. You can read about the new line here.
I decided and made the plunge. According to the UPS tracking system the package has cleared customs so hopefully it won't be too long before it arrives. Since I live in an isolated area UPS packages are flown into Edmonton, AB and then trucked north. Hopefully the icebridge will still be in otherwise, it could be two to six weeks before the ferry across the Mackenzie River starts operating again.
I would personally stick with what I can observe and test in a camera store. It is generally unwise to purchase expensive goods based solely on word of mouth. I have done that before and gotten burned. Go with what you KNOW to be good, not what someone else SAYS is good. You will be much happier in the long run. I, for one, have never even seen an RRS product and wouldn't even consider buying one until I did. There are just too many good products out there that can be sampled, tested, etc.
>It is generally unwise to purchase expensive >goods based solely on word of mouth.
I've found Nikonians to be an exception to that rule - I've made several significant purchasing decisions over my years as a member here that were based almost entirely on the opinions and advice of some of the more experienced Nikonians - and have never been disappointed
<I would personally stick with what I can observe and test in a camera store.>
Wow - that's really narrowing the product options. Of course, if you only buy what is available for review in retail stores, your selection becomes much thinner and you miss most of the ballheads used by top pros and top amateurs.
Most top brands are top brands for a reason. The web is pretty unforgiving with reputation.
RRS has a good return policy. I have never had to return anything, but the option is there. Of course, you pay shipping. Now the last Nikonian I know that returned a tripod / head to RRS ended up ordering the same product again anyway within a few months. I am not aware of any product RRS makes with any significant product deficiencies.
Agreed, nothing like smelling and fondling the real thing but I live in Canada, the Great White North, in an isolated town called Yellowknife. I don't get south that often, but when I do, I try and hit whatever camera shop I can. In this case, I've decided to go out of my comfort zone as I don't think RRS is a fly-by night operation. Well, I hope they aren't, but I'll let you know how things go with my order.
Wed 14-Mar-12 01:43 AM | edited Wed 14-Mar-12 01:44 AM by autoexer
i finally went ahead and purchased a RRS TVQ-24L, WOW!!! The fit and finish is amazing, everthing works great. Perfect fit for my RRS BH-40 ball head. So far i have found it very easy to setup and adjust. Also under 5 lbs for a 69" tall tripod with the ball head.
Wed 14-Mar-12 04:29 AM | edited Wed 14-Mar-12 04:30 AM by Eljugador
>I would personally stick with what I can observe and test in >a camera store. It is generally unwise to purchase expensive >goods based solely on word of mouth. I have done that before >and gotten burned. Go with what you KNOW to be good, not >what someone else SAYS is good. You will be much happier in >the long run. I, for one, have never even seen an RRS >product and wouldn't even consider buying one until I did. >There are just too many good products out there that can be >sampled, tested, etc.
You can get a hell of a look at a T-bone steak by sticking your head up a bull's backside, bit I'd rather take the butcher's word for it.
I can't tell you how many superb pieces of camera gear I own which can't be found in very many camera stores, if any, including some of the superstores such as B&H and Adorama. Most retail camera stores have very tiny selections because they can't afford to inventory expensive stock unless the pieces are big sellers.
Many products are sold direct by quality manufacturers for a variety of reasons including profit and the elimination of middlemen.
Really Right Stuff products are a perfect example of this. They make first class products. All my ball heads, my panorama head, and many brackets are from RRS. I bought them sight unseen, based at first on recommendations here at Nikonians, especially from photographers here I very much trust their judgment such as Neil Rothschild, and Eric Bowles and others. Now I buy RRS products based on my own experience with the company. I also knew and know they had a very generous return policy, with an unsurpassed reputation.
Another example are the backpacks from F-Stop. They're purchased direct too. I have some of their products and they are excellent and less expensive from top store brands which are inferior products compared to their products.
While I understand your point, my personal experience tells me I would be limiting myself far too much following it. I understand the problems of purchasing this way, which is why I only purchase products from highly rated reputable dealers which solid return policies and a reputation for sticking with them, who have products which come highly recommended.
Well, the package arrived last Friday and so far, so good. I am liking it and love the 'L' plate. Makes life a lot easier, but getting used to a ball head has been challenging. That being said, glad I made the purchase and hopefully it will last a long time.