I’m considering getting at Feisol 3342 with a center column (but also looking at the Gitzo’s GT1531 and GT2531). I believe the center column is reversible on the Feisol by unscrewing the cap on the end that holds the hook (I checked with a rep at B&H). Not sure about the Gitzo’s, can anyone confirm this?
However, I was wondering whether anyone has experience with using Feisol tripods with the legs in a position other than the secure ‘clip’ positions. I realize that the tripod will not be totally secure in intermediate positions, but is it even possible to set it up, or will the legs slide back into a clipped position. The B&H rep said ‘no, not secure’, but I wonder what this really means in practice.
It seems like I can tighten the legs which might help, but right now I have a cheap Giottos tripod (that I actually quite like) that uses a completely different clip system for the legs that allows me to do this and I find quite useful. It looks more similar to the Gitzo system, at least on the GT2531.
I would think that all the Feisol tripods use the same system, so it is probably similar for other models.
Any opinions are welcome (apart from ‘don’t set the legs in a non-clipped position’ – I realize the potential drawbacks).
Other tripod suggestions also welcome, but these are my requirements:
Light (definitely less than 3lb, I take it everywhere). The max it has to support is an ungripped 5DII + 70-200 f4 IS – actually the 5DII + TS-E 17mm is probably more unbalanced since I don’t have a collar for it.
Reversible center column (an absolute must – are the Gitzo’s center columns reversible?)
3 legs, unless there is the ‘perfect’ tripod with 4, but even then I’m not sure. I think even the Gitzo’s will fit in a large suitcase, so collapsed length is not a bit issue even though I will be hiking with it.
I’m not overly concerned about the height, but I do wonder if the GT1531 is a little short. I do mostly landscapes and don’t often need the tripod at 6ft, although I would like get to this with the center column extended (and sacrificing stability).
Price – well clearly I’m going to spend money, but $800 for legs is going to be a hard sell. A perfect set for $600 is doable. The ones I’ve mentioned are all in my price range.
Oh - and it's going to take some abuse, but it seems like all these tripods are pretty well built. No plastic bits or any knobs (esp. plastic) sticking out etc... They will get caught on something and ripped off.
I’ve read that the Feisol legs might be a little narrow at the minimum angle, which is a bit of a concern too – I’d rather have more stability and sacrifice some height. It seems like I’m sacrificing quite a lot of height with the Gitzo’s though – but maybe there is a good reason for that?
Geez, I never had this much trouble deciding on a camera body or lenses. Any help appreciated.