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Thread: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

  1. #21
    www.reallybigcameras.com
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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Biggerstaff View Post
    I will give a BIG thumbs up to the Giottos line of tripods, high quality, great price and the most features of any pod on the market today (IMO).

    I prefer the Lava series of pods in the "Classic" version (all come in either "Classic" or "Pro", the pro version as a built in pan/tilt head).

    I am NOT a distributor of these pods and have no business connection with them, it is just a nice series of tripods with lots of features found on more expensive pods for much less money. Also, the come with standard features like padded case, shoulder strap, padded legs, tool kit, etc. that many of the more expensive lines don't even offer.
    Eric,

    I have no dispute with anything you say. I'm sure the Giottos is a fine tripod and everything you say it is. I'm glad you found a good match for your needs.

    However, keep in mind the OP's goal. He specifically stated he was looking for a "lighter tripod" - something significantly lighter than his Bogen/Manfrotto 3221. I don't have the specs for it handy, but from memory I seem to recall the 3221 to weigh just over 5 1/2 pounds (5 lb. 9 oz. rings a bell). I checked the specs on the current Giottos lava Classic series. The model with the 28mm diameter legs and an 8kg load rating, and other specs most similar to the 3221 is the MT-7361. It weighs 4.2 lbs. - only 1 lb. 6 oz. less than the OP's current 3221.

    The Feisol CT-3301, also with 28mm diameter legs, but a slightly higher 9kg load rating, weighs in at 2.59 lbs. - 3 lbs. less than the OPs current heavyweight 3221. The slightly more upscale Feisol CT-3342, with 28mm diameter legs and a 10kg load rating, weighs 2.27 lbs. - or over 3 lb. 4 oz. less than the OP's current tripod.

    Again, I'm not disputing anything you've said about your Giottos Classic series lava tripod. Just pointing out that it doesn't really offer than much of a weight savings over the Bogen/Manfrotto 3221 - which is, after all, the OP's stated goal. Comparing a carbon fiber tripod to one made from lava isn't really an apples:apples comparison. With the focus on saving weight, a more valid comparison would probably be comparing carbon fiber tripods from Giottos and Gitzo to those made by Feisol.

    Kerry Thalmann
    Really Big Cameras

  2. #22

    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J. De Smidt View Post
    Bob,

    Like Kerry I didn't find a lower price than the $214.95 at Adorama. BH was in the $300s.
    This is a tripod on close out. It was just reduced in price. Local stores would be more likely to have the lowest prices but you would have to call them to gt the price. Online searches would not reflect the price yet.

  3. #23

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    I recently purchased an Induro A313 and have been very pleased in a few outings. Most of their tripods for LF include the center column. The A313 (aluminum alloy) I bought for my 8x10 was $160, weighs 6.6 lbs, extends to 68" and is solid. The Feisol tripods look great too but I found the Induro in a local shop and was convinced by the price and quality in about two minutes.

    Good luck!
    Craig McCormick
    Indianapolis, Indiana

  4. #24

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    How do the tripod manufacturers determine "load ratings"? Is it a standardized, even if not realistic, system like EPA milage numbers for automobiles, or does every company use it's own system so you really have to take it as an apple vs. oranges situation?

  5. #25
    Eric Biggerstaff
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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    Kerry,

    I hear ya.

    Actually I own a Gitzo CF, and it is OK.

    I used the Giottos aluminum, CF and Lava pods for a few months when I was writing a review for VC. I was VERY impressed by all of them but I found the lava pod the be my favorite. I also liked their CF models. If I were out to buy a new pod today, it would be a Giottos pod as I think it is a very well built and feature packed pod for the money.

    The review was in the same issue that Ted Harris reviewed the Feisol pods. Ted showed me his Feisol when he was out in Colorado and it too is excellent. I just think that people should have choices and be given information that they can then research and determine which is best for them.

    As I mention, I am not in any way associated with Giottos, but I (and my friend Chauncey Walden) liked their products enough to give them a very positive review. So, I just wanted the OP to be aware of other tripod options that can be researced.

    Thanks
    Eric Biggerstaff

    www.ericbiggerstaff.com

  6. #26

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Biggerstaff View Post
    Kerry,

    I hear ya.

    As I mention, I am not in any way associated with Giottos, but I (and my friend Chauncey Walden) liked their products enough to give them a very positive review. So, I just wanted the OP to be aware of other tripod options that can be researced.

    Thanks
    I just wish Bob didn't have to mention the lower pricing on the Giottos Lava series from last year as now they are probably in the $175 range which is $50 less than online pricing. Then again, I don't have a local store and a local store would likely charge $20-$25 to ship it anyhow, so I'm not too sour over it

    One thing you forgot to mention about the Giottos (model I mentioned) is they also come with the center column piece...

  7. #27

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    How much lighter seems to be the only question to consider at this point. Freisol is the lightest and most versatile. It's also more expensive when you add in the center column that comes free with the Giottos and especially if he can buy the Giottos at a store with the continuous clearance pricing. Coming from 5.5lbs to 4lbs is a major difference. Coming from 5.5lbs to 2.6lbs maybe makes the user feel that the pod is not so stable or strong as the 4lb Giottos. I would personally take the Freisol if it has similar stability/feel/etc. Cost difference is so little it's pointless to buy one over the other. How stable the Freisol is vs. the Giottos is the only question I would consider in this decision since these two seem to be the obvious values on the market right now and should serve their purpose just excellently for many years to come. Being a weight freak, I'd love to have the $500 2.3ish? lbs Freisol if it was a Pod that is as stable/fluid/transparent as the Giottos or other similarly well built pods.

  8. #28

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    Quote Originally Posted by audioexcels View Post
    Coming from 5.5lbs to 2.6lbs maybe makes the user feel that the pod is not so stable or strong as the 4lb Giottos.
    Quite frankly, you're way off base with this comment. I switched from a 5 pound 3021 with a 3 lb 3030 panning head to a 3lb Velbon 630 with a 1 lb Acratech. The weight loss from 8 pounds to 4 pounds is VERY noticable on a pack... AND the velbon/acratech combination is more stable than the Manfrotto.

    In particular on the Velbon the spider and legs are stiffer than the bogen/manfrotto and it is quite noticable even though both tripods have the same weight rating.

    Of course as was mentioned before, weight ratings have absolutely no standards and don't take into account factors like torsional strength.

    I'm not trying to discredit the Giottos nor tout the Feisol. I've owned one of Giottos aluminum tripods as well and I think there is alot of good to be said of their construction and feature set. I haven't seen many Feisols in person but the ones I've seen seem pretty nice. I'm only saying that lightweight doesn't inherently equal unstable. In fact the move from aluminum to CF generally results in a much more rigid tripod at a significantly lower weight.

    Also as a metallurgical/materials engineer in my schooling, I would point out that the carbon and "lava" or "basalt" tripods are technically very similar. In both cases the tripod is made of a plastic reinforced with a fiber. In the lava or basalt models its technically a type of glass which is heavier and less strong than carbon fiber. I would assume that the plastics (typically an epoxy) are the same in both types of tripods and that only the fiber composition (what type and how much) changes.

  9. #29

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    [QUOTE=mrladewig;349071]Quite frankly, you're way off base with this comment.

    You missed the word "maybe". Basalt and Carbon are relatively similar in strength as you mentioned, but the point is how much of each is used to make each as strong as possible. Carbon is a lot more expensive than Basalt.

    Your setup comparison is like comparing a Yugo to a Ferrari. One gets you from point A to B. The other gets you from A to B effortlessly/transparently/and in style.

    Your current legs have been compared to those in the $500-$600 class, but I don't think anyone is going to be putting those Manfrotto legs into any class remotely similar. The Acra-head is also in a different league.


    I'd mention your legs as a highly viable possibility for the OP as one may find a set on the used market or even some place online at a nice price. From my brief research, they are certainly fine legs that are comparable with the others in discussion.


    Given the weight management of the legs you use, may as well add these to the mix...


    http://www.adorama.com/GTGB2138.html


    $185 and 3.3lbs...

  10. #30

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    Re: Looking for a LIGHTER tripod

    The Velbon I use is a relatively affordable tripod. I paid $280 or so for it. The Acratech head on the other hand is not particularly cheap, but this was a huge weight savings and worth it for me. All of the upper level ball heads start at the same price. This setup is not Gitzo and certainly no Ferrari (although Gitzo's ballheads are a bit on the heavy side).

    I considered the Giottos you mentioned as well as their carbon model, but ultimately decided on the Velbon. I also looked at Gitzo, Slik and Manfrotto. It wasn't a knock on the Giottos. I like the flip locks on the Velbon and I thought it was the best fit for my needs and budget.

    I would have taken a closer look at the Feisol, but it wasn't available through a US distributor at the time, wasn't exactly clear what the specs were as they were changing their line and I'd only seen (not handled) one or two of them, so I didn't have a good feel for what the quality would be. Today I think I'd look at them closer.

    I would not consider Benro. Induro are a bit overpriced in my opinion.

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