About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head??
After researching around the past two weeksand considering budget as well iam about to buy a Feisol CT 3301 3 section tripod and Ball head. Has anyone used the ball head and comments.
There was a flurry about the tripods in 2004 here but little since. I have heard nothing about the Ballhead. Wondering if some have had less than stellar experience. One said in reply that his tripod has done well, but not too much else said.
Considering the features as compared to the Gitzo Basalt it seems I will get a sturdy and convenient travel pod. They have a deal going re: ballhead + tripod which brings it even with the Manfrotto head.
I am in a bit of a hurry since my Velbon lost a leg yesterday (gave up the ghost because it knew I was researching its replacement.)
#1. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 0alm Registered since 29th Oct 2005Sat 04-Mar-06 01:43 PM
I use the Feisol CT-3301N tripod. I would recommend getting the new version over the old CT-3301. If you don't use the center column, the base plate is more stable than the CT-3301 without center column extension. If you do use it, the center column assembly on the CT-3301N is more stable.
I'm quite happy with my tripod. It's light and sturdy enough for anything I tried so far. The heaviest combination I tried is a D70 + AF 80-200/2.8 + SB-800, so I don't know how it behaves with long lenses. If you use it mainly for travel, you might prefer the CT-3401N. It's somewhat less stable and more work to setup, but smaller when folded. I'm sure the Gitzo tripods are more robust, they better be for three times the price, but I don't throw my tripod around every day.
I've never used their ballhead. They fixed their number one complaint about the old version: no seperate panning knob. From the specs it seems to be somewhere between the mid-sized ballheads like the Manfrotto 488 and the pro ballheads from Kirk, Markins, RRS and Arca-Swiss. Since it uses the Arca-Swiss quick-release system, it can use the same QR plates as the pro ballheads.
The fact that most posts are from 2004 is probably because all posts between December 2004 and October 2005 were lost in a server crash.
#13. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 1valvo Registered since 29th Jan 2007Wed 16-Jan-08 12:23 PM
I use the 3401 as my travel tripod. Its one of my favorites and able to produce tack sharp images with a heavy F5 and 300MM AFED. You should be equally happy with the 3301. Here is an example and a 100% crop. These are great pods and I have the new larger tripod on order.
I've never used the ball head. I use an Acratech with this set up.
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Attachment#2 (jpg file)
#2. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 13Sat 04-Mar-06 04:05 PM
Nice shot! Lokks like the pod had to set up on uneven terrain to boot.
I am considering the 3301 because it JUST fits my luggage but still has 3 sections so the shortcomings of the collete and turning legs is more easily tolerated. 3 sections are always (things equal) more stable than four, but once it is out of my luggage a few centimeters makes no difference but stability and less parts do.
thanks for the input--now to get response on whether the shorter post can be exchanged for the standard. Sometimes I actually need the center post(no wind and timer fire, of course).
They have a deal on for the Ball head that brings it down in price below the Manfrotto 488. The latter has a plastic ball (good plastic but still plastic . I am also getting the Markins M-10 for continuous use.
Now I have NO excuses for blurry photos,,..yeah sure.
#3. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 2valvo Registered since 29th Jan 2007Sat 04-Mar-06 10:39 PM
Actually, the terrain was not that bad. That shot was taken with the 300mm from about 100yards away. From what I've seen of the Feisol ball, it looks like a good product. My 3401 is one of the originals. I too sometimes like a little center col. Mine came with a short col. which I do use from time-to-time. Never had an issue with this pod.
#8. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 3Tue 14-Mar-06 02:22 PM
You mention you've had no problems with your Feisol tripod so far. What is your experience/estimate about their feet/spikes? I understand they only have rubber feet and you cannot put spiked feet on them. Is that true?
Richard, Win7, OS X, D700, Nikon/Sigma glass
#4. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 0
Well, I am a newbie and was in a similar quandry over the purchase of a reasonably good tripod and ballhead setup...
Feisol was having a special on tripods and ballhead in february: free ball head and quick release plate with the purchase of two or more tripod leg sets...I pulled the trigger and bought both the 3301 and 3401...
I am now working with a complete feisol setup of their ballhead plus their 3 and 4 section tripods...still can't decide which tripod I would keep if I had to choose just one...I haven't done enough work with tripods to-date to discern a real difference.
You should note that the 4 section is also a little taller when fully expanded.
I have never had a ballhead before but I am delighted to work with the feisol to-date: here again, I don't have a lot of experience with tripods...and or ballheads.
I am not disappointed in making my purchase: I have definitely started to get experience with a tripod on a daily basis...almost everything I am doing recently is done with the tripod just to see what is required to set up and manuever etc...I am liking the experience.
The purchasing experience via their web site was very positive: they were quite responsive via e-mail to my questions and kept me posted on shipping details etc...
#5. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 4Mon 13-Mar-06 11:55 PM
Did you order from feisol.com and are us in USA?
If so did you consider their american outlet
Trans(something) Concepts (at a higher price
but starts in USA)?
Richard, Win7, OS X, D700, Nikon/Sigma glass
#6. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 5Tue 14-Mar-06 10:57 AM
USA outlet was out of stock for what i wanted, more expensive by way too much and was not offering the Ballhead plus 1 tripod deal (get monopod and extra camera plate free+ carry strap and bags (not needed).
I ordered last tuesday and it arrived from Taiwan in 7 days, ballhead is very good and tripod and monopod very nice--time will tell on longevity, but they are built quite well.
#7. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 6katzoo Registered since 16th May 2004Tue 14-Mar-06 11:41 AM
Could you give us some of your feelings on the ballhead? It is way less expensive than many others and I am wondering if it is truely competitive with them from a functional standpoint.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#9. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 7Tue 14-Mar-06 02:29 PM
Sorry I posted this twice but I meant for it to go at the bottom and also I now want to ask all Feisol tripod owners.
Are the feet rubber? If so how do they hold up? Can you get metal spiked feet on the Feisol's?
Richard, Win7, OS X, D700, Nikon/Sigma glass
#10. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 7Tue 14-Mar-06 03:33 PM
> Could you give us some of your feelings on the ballhead?
>It is way less expensive than many others and I am wondering
>if it is truely competitive with them from a functional
I have received both my Markins M-10 Ballhead and Feisol's CB-50H.
One day of testing on Feisol CT 3301 N Carbon 3 section tripod(even tried them on the monopod (hardly enough, but a start):
Specs: Markins: 4" hi; 1.05# wt: 1.5" ball dia(approx); 40kg cap Cost: $400 including camera plate + shipping
Feisol: 3.75"hi; 1.17# wt; 1.97" ball dia. web:19kg cap yet show photos of 41kg Cost: $200 with plate incnl shipping (if you buy it on this deal cost drops to $85 (if you want a tripod and monopod)
Both have full pan single direction vertical slot, and 3 controls for independent pan, Ball set and friction set. Both have similar QR w/safety lock, Markins requires seperate camera plate purchase $40-50
Markins needed intensive cleaning as per instructions I had to get from very helpful Mfr. due to nasty "stickiness". Thumb friction set screw needed screw driver to get started. now corrected on both accounts.
Feisol out of the box smooth and I dare to say still smoother than Markins. Maybe because it has a larger ball than the Markins. Friction setup was a breeze but it sets limit diffeently than Markins.
Operation: As I said, even after cleaning the Markins, the Feisol is slightly smoother. My definitive test? leveling the camera in both planes as well as vertical setup. Weather moist foggy cold. Moving the camera on site both similar enough to be neck and neck. Panning similar. HOWEVER: Markins is definitely more intuitive and simple to operate once setup. The Feisol controls are not entirely independent and will take some getting used to not intuitive for me (big issue for me but one can learn to ride any bike eventually (like learning Digital (I'll seldom go back to film)
On the Other hand: the QR supplied by Markins has no button on the outside to release safety button inside so the 1000mm camera base I am using for basic macro rail is limited to >2" versus 3 1/2" with Feisol.
Comments on field use potential: Markins has a lot of positive durability field experience for much longer than Feisol. As far as rig sizes, I wouldn't surprised the 50mm ball of Feisol's can handle more than the Markins (despite sebsite specs of both)but they both have plenty of leeway in their class. they are both very well machined. HOWEVER, I see a potential problem with the Feisol in dirty environments: When you flop the ball over for vertical (in the slot) the bottom of the ball has an open space that will let crud get in which IT WILL creating problems in the future IMHO.
Conclusion for now: I am glad I accepted Feisol's March deal which effectively brought the cost of the ball head below $80 (given that I wanted the monopod and tripod anyway and the extra long rail will be very useful (no extra cost). I now have two good ball heads. If you seldom work in dirty environments I would probably go for the Feisol--otherwise the Markins is probably the better long term ,tried and tested choice IMHO.
Hope this is useful
#12. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 5
>Did you order from feisol.com and are us in USA?
>If so did you consider their american outlet
>Trans(something) Concepts (at a higher price
>but starts in USA)?
Yes, I did consider the the american distributor...they are located within easy driving distance from my house...all things considered, including the deals from Feisol direct via their web site, I went with Feisol web site - Taiwan: excellent experience, responsive e-mail support, reasonably fast delivery. I would do it again.
I got both the 3301 and the 3401 to take advantage of the ballhead offer in february: got ballhead and mounting plate free with two leg sets. I was primarily looking for my first decent tripod setup. I was going to sell one of the leg sets after I decided which set was best suited for me. However, to-date I can't decide. My first consideration was stability (reading the talk about the 3 sections vs the 4 section tripods) but I haven't been able to confirm any definite differences between the Feisol 3 section vs 4 section with my heaviest lens (Bigma). BUT I haven't had any real "FIELD" experience with them to-date (eg hiking with all the weather elements like wind to consider) All my experience to date has been around the home/house: I just can't decide which one to keep(will probably just keep both)...
I am very pleased with the ball head. Its control has already become second nature for me. The mounting plates are nice too: I actually like the safety pin feature, especially for the Bigma when mounting and dismounting (extra security from oops - dropping)...
I never had a ball head and now wonder how one can use a tripod without a ballhead. It holds my Bigma without any creeping etc...
For me the Feisol setup has been a very beneficial experience in my journey - I am a newbie - learning on all fronts - and this provides what I sense to-date a very good compliment of tools to work with in understanding the use of tripods.
#11. "RE: About to buy FEISOL 3301. Any warnings?? Ball head" | In response to Reply # 0
I will add my generally experience in Feisol tripods.
Through the years I have used many tripods of varying brands,
qualities and prices.
For the last 10 years I have used a Benbo1 for nature Photographing
in the most widely conditions and weather (and still do). And for that things Benbo is an outstanding alternative but a little bit heavy to carry and some times much to heavy and bulky. Therefore I have as an alternative used a smaller Gitzo (very expensive) aluminum tripod.
For one year ago my son give me at tip of an Asian manufacturer
for non expensive carbon fiber tripods. I purchased a Feisol CT-3401
and I have never regretted that. For some month ago a upgraded
with the new center column. After that I must say that this tripod is
very competitive to many other tripods in much higher prices.
Extremely good value for the money.
I have no experience in Feisol Ball Heads.
(I use an old Benbo ball head)