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Thread: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

  1. #11

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    Each leg is hinged at the top so all four legs will always be in contact with the ground. You would have a valid point if there wasn't a hinge joint at the top of the leg so the leg can pivot. Not only does each leg pivot at the top like any other tripod and each leg is also adjustable for angle.
    Bob, the point is that it is a whole lot easier to get three legs to sit in a plane than four. In fact, three legs are automatically in the same plane - always. This is basic geometry. Even with hinges, it would take great effort to get all four legs to be in the same plane - which is a necessary condition for the platform to NOT wobble. If you sell any of these, I can almost guarantee the majority of the users will be dissatisfied - unless they like wobbly stools.

    yet another example of an absurd product design coming from some marketing genius.

  2. #12
    David J. Heinrich
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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Bob, the point is that it is a whole lot easier to get three legs to sit in a plane than four. In fact, three legs are automatically in the same plane - always. This is basic geometry. Even with hinges, it would take great effort to get all four legs to be in the same plane - which is a necessary condition for the platform to NOT wobble. If you sell any of these, I can almost guarantee the majority of the users will be dissatisfied - unless they like wobbly stools.

    yet another example of an absurd product design coming from some marketing genius.
    To be fair, IF the hinge on the legs is relatively "loose", then you can just position the pod at the height you want and let the legs drop to the ground.

  3. #13

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by BradS View Post
    Bob, the point is that it is a whole lot easier to get three legs to sit in a plane than four. In fact, three legs are automatically in the same plane - always. This is basic geometry. Even with hinges, it would take great effort to get all four legs to be in the same plane - which is a necessary condition for the platform to NOT wobble. If you sell any of these, I can almost guarantee the majority of the users will be dissatisfied - unless they like wobbly stools.

    yet another example of an absurd product design coming from some marketing genius.
    Brad,

    If you haven't seen it and haven't tried it you can't know how easy or slow it is to set up or how versatile or how limited it is. The first step is to actually educate yourself about it and then comment. Since the first shipments of the Quadropod only arrived in the USA two weeks ago you obviously have never seen or handled a production version.

    It was designed, btw, by nature photographers, not marketing people.

  4. #14

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
    Thanks for that clarification.

    So if I understand correctly, because each leg is hinged, it'll always be in contact with the ground; and there's a way to lock each leg at any angle? That would be very nice.
    The leg angles are adjusted the same way as most other tripods. A three position push/pull stop at the top of the leg. The maximum leg spread of each leg is limited to one of three positions by the adjustable stop. Each leg (at least the full size legs) is calibrated on the bottom sections so it is very quick to set all the legs to the same length, if desired. The Hiking Pole legs are not calibrated, neither are the short table-top legs.
    an be done with some tripods with spiders or strut supports between the leg and the column of the tripod but is not available on most tripods, if any, with the 3 position leg angle adjustments.
    But if your question is can the leg angle be locked at any angle? No, that can be done on some tripods with center struts ar a spider between the legs but I am not aware of any tripod with the 3-position leg angle adjustment that also has continuously adjustable locking angles.

  5. #15

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    Brad,

    If you haven't seen it and haven't tried it you can't know how easy or slow it is to set up or how versatile or how limited it is. The first step is to actually educate yourself about it and then comment. Since the first shipments of the Quadropod only arrived in the USA two weeks ago you obviously have never seen or handled a production version.

    It was designed, btw, by nature photographers, not marketing people.

    ...designed by nature photographers....who communicated their "design" to the marketing department which then convinced the upper management and the financial wizards that the company really must put this new, innovative product into production!

    Sorry Bob, I've been an engineer for twenty years...I know all to well how these things really work.



    on your suggestion that I should "educating myself"...tell you what, may I suggest that you pick up a few high school math textbooks and do the same.

    I realize this is your job...to market this thing....and I have to hand it to you for standing tough but....I kinda feel bad for you because the whole concept (of a four legged camera support) is really quite absurd. I honestly thought it must be a joke or something. The four legged camera support has some very basic mathematics working against it. Three legs will always be in the same plane...(this is basic math) and thus will always be stable. The problem with four legs is that at any given moment in time, three of them will be in one plane (by definition) and the fourth....well...very likely will not be. Then a moment later, three other legs will be in a different plan and the fourth will not...see the problem? This is why a four legged table on a tile floor always, always, ALWAYS has a wad of napkins or a stack of matchbooks under one of the legs and the damned thing still wobbles. All four legs must be in the same plane for the thing to be stable. With a the three legged tripod, once the three legs touch solid ground, the tripod is stable. PERIOD. This is dictated by simple math (above). With four legs, you'll get three legs on the ground, and the thing will be stable (again, basic math tells us it has to be) and then, you have to diddle with the fourth leg and try to get it to be in the same plane already defined by the first three legs. If you fail to get the fourth leg in the exact same plane described by the other three...the platform is not stable...it wobbles!

    And, I'm not even going to go into why the four legged thing weighs more than a three legged thing with equal load carrying capacity....I really am sorry....it is just way, way too funny.
    Last edited by BradS; 4-Jun-2009 at 16:32. Reason: two little typos

  6. #16

    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Brad, the nature shooters own Novoflex. And forget what you "know" when something new comes out it can be very different from what you know. And the Quadropod is very different in operation, support, lack of vibration and versatility then any tripod you have ever used or even seen. There simply is no 5 to 6.5lb tripod that can support 110+ lbs and not have that dead spot where a heavy lens or camera can simply fall over because the legs are 120° apart rather then 90°.

    First learn and handle the Quadropod then issue your comments from hands on experience, not from theory.

    .

  7. #17

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon - HP Marketing View Post
    ...

    First learn and handle the Quadropod then issue your comments from hands on experience, not from theory.

    .
    I wish I could see one. I must say I am skeptical for the reasons cited. But Novoflex makes quality gear so anytime something new comes out I think it is great and would be eager to see one.

  8. #18

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    BradS-
    Actually, if your kitchen table had adjustable legs (length, angle), you could eliminate that wobble on your tile floor without the need of a matchbook or napkin.

    A quadpod out in nature on uneven surfaces can be made to work by just adjusting the fourth leg (as stated it says to lower/swing down until it makes contact with the ground). So, depending on the severity of the ground slope a four legged 'pod could be made quite stable. The benefit would be if you had heavy offset lenses (e.g. 600mm F4 for 35mm) then if all four legs are somewhat splayed out symmetrically you wouldn't create a tip-over situation so easily when panning. But "somewhat" is the operative word, if you're on very uneven terrain and the legs end up being splayed out in very uneven fashion, you probably would still end up with a possible tip-over situation at some panned position (and a three legged 'pod would also be susceptible to tip-over). Canon and Nikon both overcame this issue (a long time ago) with their big professional lens by including an attachment collar along the barrel of the lens that pretty much balances the camera body/lens combo. All of the large format cameras I've used have a means to pretty much balance the camera over the tripod, but there are probably some ultra large formats the make this more of a challenge.

    I guess we'll see how well this does, I can't imagine this (four legs) hasn't been tried before.
    The only trouble with doin' nothing is you can't tell when you get caught up

  9. #19
    David J. Heinrich
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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Yea, I think that BradS is a little unfair to Bob Salomon. I've read a lot in these forms and always see helpful posts by him.

    Because the 4-legged pod legs are adjustable, you can avoid the situation of having wobble. It will be more difficult to get the quadropod setup perfectly so that there is no wobble, because it isn't a given that all 4 points will be in a plane. With 3 legs, that's automatic - it just falls to he most stable position, and all 3 legs are in plane. So that's the cost of 4 legs. The benefit is that the weight-support is more distributed, and as others have said, it is less likely to tip over due to balancing issues. Added stability.

    In that weight class, it will support the most weight. Supporting 110 lbs is incredibly impressive for a 5-6 pound "quad-pod". Even the wooden Berlebachs don't support that much weight.

  10. #20

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    Re: New Novoflex 4 leg tripod system at Photokina

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Metcalf View Post
    BradS-
    Actually, if your kitchen table had adjustable legs (length, angle), you could eliminate that wobble on your tile floor without the need of a matchbook or napkin.
    ...and if the table had three legs, it wouldn't wobble (period). The point is, of course, that you would have to invest extra effort to eliminate the wobble in the four legged table. And, the three legs on the three legged table don't even need to be adjustable (in either length or angle). They only need be "pretty close" to the same length...

    The four legged table is inherently less stable than the three legged table - this is an indisputable fact...it is basic physics...marketing claims cannot change the laws of nature.



    Quote Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
    Yea, I think that BradS is a little unfair to Bob Salomon. I've read a lot in these forms and always see helpful posts by him.

    Because the 4-legged pod legs are adjustable, you can avoid the situation of having wobble. It will be more difficult to get the quadropod setup perfectly so that there is no wobble, because it isn't a given that all 4 points will be in a plane. With 3 legs, that's automatic - it just falls to he most stable position, and all 3 legs are in plane. So that's the cost of 4 legs. The benefit is that the weight-support is more distributed, and as others have said, it is less likely to tip over due to balancing issues. Added stability. .

    Well, I don't feel like I have been unfair to Bob. Actually, on the contrary, I am being up-front and honest with him and the company. I am sticking my neck out to give him valid feedback about the product (for free!). Feedback that I am sure that he and the company will have to deal with. Any engineer who looks at this new product announcement is likely to have this same perception - that a four legged camera support is laughably absurd. Further to the point of offering my opinion, in my 20 year career as an engineer, I have always seen feedback from customers and potential customers - both positive and negative - as a gift. It isn't always easy to take but, if sincerely and honestly offered, it is always valued. At one big company where I used to work we would even fly consumers in a target demographic to so called "focus groups". Put them up in hotels and give them lunch and dinner...just to get their opinion of new design ideas. As a marketing professional, I am certain that Bob also understands the value of consumer feedback - both positive and negative and though he may be a bit exasperated with me, I doubt very much that he has taken any offense. It is certainly not my intention to be offensive. Besides, one does not advance to the position he is in without a much thicker skin than that.

    Anyway, I think I agree with the rest of your observations...up to the last sentence...a four legged platform/table/chair/camera support (whatever) simply cannot be more stable than three legs. The best it can do is be as stable as three legs...That is not opinion, it is just plain and simple physics. Any mechanical engineer can easily verify this (actually, it could be a test question for the first year of college physics).

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