Silver-Halide wrote in post #17897021
Jake, et al
any updates to your experience so far? I'm thinking of picking up one.
I noticed for the first time that the center column is not CF, it is aluminum. Adds weight and 2" height when collapsed. I don't see a way to use it without the center column, at least not without some work involved.
Even when removed, the "shoulder" onto which the center column twist locks screws is 1.75" above the spider, so saws and permanent mutilation woudl be required to cut down that 2".
To reduce weight, a series 2 CF short center column MIGHT fit, (Series 3 I have and is too large) but even one from Induro (vs. Gitzo) would cost nearly as much as the tripod did.
The aluminum center column got me thinking about the weight of this rig, compared to other CF it is quite heavy. So I did a little more tear down.
Those weird feet I mentioned? Part of the problem. they have a unique "sleeve" that screws onto the CF leg column sideways. This sleeve or more "cup" shape is what the threaded rod that makes of the spiked part of the foot is semi permanently threaded into.
So you have plastic booties, that screw onto metal spikes, that are inserted into cast metal (aluminum?) cups. The whole assembly would be easily 3 to 4 times the weight of what is normally threaded into the bottom of a tripod leg. (mere threaded rod with a rubber foot, or threaded spikes) I'm actually impressed with the amount of work, parts and engineering that went into these feet, but they do seem unnecessary, and certainly unnecessarily heavy.
Next, I took part a leg, section by section. I found more reasons for the weight.
The CF legs are in fact Carbon fiber as expected, and certainly light weight as expected, but each of the leg locks employs a big rubber grip (taller than a Gitzo leg lock, thicker, and yes, heavier!) which is wrapped around threaded bit of aluminum tube, that in turn screws onto a fairly substantial bit of threaded ALUMINUM tubing that is fused to the end of each leg section.
The Aluminum tubing used for the leg locks, both leg side and lock side, is again, much heavier than that used on the Gitzo and Induro, again adding to that weight.
So it seems we have in our bargain priced tripod MORE material and heavier material than the higher priced models. What remains to be seen is if the beefier bits will translate into sturdiness, or if these heavy items are simply indicative of sloppier design and thus will in no way add to the durability of the tripod.