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Thread started 25 Mar 2011 (Friday) 14:10
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RRS Tripods

 
mbdeso
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May 05, 2011 07:18 |  #121

roger1234 wrote in post #12351068 (external link)
PS: I use Markins M20 personally.

You had it prior to the TVC-24 or it was a deliberate preference over the RSS ?
It looks like a good alternative, same weight as BH-40 and possibly in the BH-55 league ??




  
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peter_n
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May 05, 2011 08:13 |  #122

I got a 3541LS recently and also a ballhead for it. I don't like the weight or the ergonomics of the RRS BH-55 so my choice was between the Markins Q20 and the Arca-Swiss Z1. I got the Z1 and like it a lot; huge ball (54mm), extremely smooth in operation, great locking, absolutely zero creep. The elliptical ball is impressive in operation as the camera/lens just sinks slowly instead of flopping. It's worth a look if you're still considering ballheads.


~Peter

  
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mbdeso
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May 05, 2011 09:51 |  #123

The Arca Z1 is indeed another serious option !
I think I will be happy with any of these choices (RSS, Arca or Markins).

I see a new RSS tripod model arrived, the 33-S ... also tempting ...
Far too many choices, the more I read, the more combinations and good ideas I find, the less I am able to decide ;-)a
(in fact the only reason why I still hesitate is because of the high cost for a function I am still doubting about for my personnal use).




  
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Kyles
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May 05, 2011 09:52 as a reply to  @ peter_n's post |  #124

my tripod was shipped two days ago, should be here monday or tuesday, i will post my first impressions asap,


Cameras - 1DMKIV - 1DMKII - 7D W/Grip
Primes - 100 F2.8 macro L - 135 F2 L - 300 F4 L
Zooms - 24-70 F2.8 L - 70-200 F2.8 L - 70-200 F4 L
Tripod - RRS TVC 33 - RRS BH55

  
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roger1234
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May 05, 2011 21:06 |  #125

mbdeso wrote in post #12351343 (external link)
You had it prior to the TVC-24 or it was a deliberate preference over the RSS ?
It looks like a good alternative, same weight as BH-40 and possibly in the BH-55 league ??

Indeed RRS, AS and Markins are all good choices. I have M-20 prior to having TVC-24 and I was comparing these three. If I had to conclude all three are more or less equal but RRS is much different in (1) operation - knobs and profile and (2) weight.

As for AS I play with it once (bought from B&H) and felt that it is also pretty good, but I did not switch over to Z1 due to Markins having smoother operation for Macro. (note that smoothness may not always be a good thing - for Markins the cost of that extra bit of smoothness is a gradual creeping of the rig when the rig is front heavy - you need to tight it down just a little bit more than its sweet spot)

The effect is stick/slip in engineering term - in this department Markins is currently the minimum one.




  
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roger1234
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May 05, 2011 21:14 |  #126

Kyles wrote in post #12352004 (external link)
my tripod was shipped two days ago, should be here monday or tuesday, i will post my first impressions asap,

Waiting for your great news! I really want to handle 3x series once, and compare to 2x like the 24 I have....

Too bad 3x's weight and size doesn't fit my practical usage.




  
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GeneC
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May 06, 2011 16:44 |  #127

Kyles wrote in post #12133072 (external link)
my only concern about my new Gitzo is the plate being securly locked on the tripod, RRS seems to have done a better job with that issue, any thoughts?

I have a 3530 LSV. If I were worried about this I would drill and tap a hole in the side of the platform containment ring and put a screw in it. It wouldn't cost a dime unless you are tool deficient. I think I have heard of one or two confirmed only by the owner platform *being* loose out of the thousands sold. But this is the internet where fiction becomes fact. It is a non issue in my book. Just tighten it properly once.:).

gene


Canon 5D3 with lenses, Sony A7r with lenses, Nikon D810 with lenses. Olympus EP-5 with lenses, Gitzo, RRS Markins and Acratech.

  
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roger1234
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May 06, 2011 17:49 |  #128

GeneC wrote in post #12361101 (external link)
I have a 3530 LSV. If I were worried about this I would drill and tap a hole in the side of the platform containment ring and put a screw in it. It wouldn't cost a dime unless you are tool deficient. I think I have heard of one or two confirmed only by the owner platform *being* loose out of the thousands sold. But this is the internet where fiction becomes fact. It is a non issue in my book. Just tighten it properly once.:).

gene

Don't think its fiction - but yes regularly check if the screw tighten is the way to go for Gitzo systematic.

My screw of Gitzo is slightly lose after my tripod is inactive for weeks and temperature changes rapidly within those days. Not enough to even fall off with normal gear but if I have heavy super-tele on gimbal, and carry by shoulder then things could (and will) go differently.




  
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peter_n
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May 06, 2011 19:02 |  #129

I bought the "giant washer" for my 3541LS 'cos I know I'll forget to check.


~Peter

  
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jeev
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May 06, 2011 21:42 |  #130

I have 3541 too will need to check this out..


1d4|5D3|85LII|50L|200F2LIS|500 F4L IS|
2.8/21 ZE|2/35 ZE|2/100 MP ZE|T* 50mm f/1.7 C/Y|
16-35II|70-200II|

  
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Kyles
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May 06, 2011 21:58 as a reply to  @ jeev's post |  #131

RRS plate holds the camera on the tripod securely right out of the box with no additional parts required, that is the way it should be,


Cameras - 1DMKIV - 1DMKII - 7D W/Grip
Primes - 100 F2.8 macro L - 135 F2 L - 300 F4 L
Zooms - 24-70 F2.8 L - 70-200 F2.8 L - 70-200 F4 L
Tripod - RRS TVC 33 - RRS BH55

  
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Kyles
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May 18, 2011 10:35 as a reply to  @ Kyles's post |  #132

TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Tripod

First impressions,
I had heard that this tripod “TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Tripod” was attractive in design; it is indeed a very nice looking tripod. I realize this in no way has anything to do with how it handles and or preforms its task but for an expensive tripod it certainly is a bonus which I appreciate.

Lightweight but feels solid and strong in build quality. The SureGrip™ Apex Lock system is very secure and holds the camera and lens with confidence. Everything about this tripod is sleek and well designed. My BH-55 fits it like a glove. Sturdy, easy to adjust and exudes quality in every aspect.

Price comparison -

Gitzo GT3530LS $699.90
plus Naturescapes - Safety Plate for Gitzo Tripods $69.95
Total $769.85 with free shipping from B&H

RRS TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Tripod $925.00 minus $40.00 “package price” = $885.00
Note- I purchased a BH-55 from RRS a few months ago hence the reason they gave me the $40.00 off of the tripod price.
plus shipping $18.78
total $903.78

Price difference, $133.93 “shipped”

RRS fan boy? Ok, before anyone jumps to that conclusion let me say, the Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod that I purchased and returned was also a great tripod. I realize some would prefer to compare perhaps other models directly with the RRS TVC-33 but I was only considering between the Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod and the RRS TVC-33. I am very sure that if I had kept the Gitzo GT3530LS I would have been very satisfied with it. It is a great tripod. At this level of tripod it is for me a matter of which one I like the best. I have already pointed out, the plate issue with Gitzo “which only seems to bother me”, would have made me growl each time I thought about it. Aside from that, that’s about it. In this case “personal preference” is the determining factor.

Made in the USA, ok, this was not a make or break issue in my decision. Having said that, I am pleased that RRS products are made in the USA. I have not ever called Gitzo on the phone for any reason and therefore I have no idea how good their customer service is. I will make an assumption that they are excellent and that they are easy to deal with. Now, I can say what it is like contacting RRS, they have been excellent with their customer service, only one phone call away each time I have called them. I am sure depending on whom you ask about each companies customer service the comments will reflect various opinions. In that respect this was a non-issue.

I am more than pleased with my tripod choice. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread “so far”, hopefully the information will assist other photographers on this topic.

Thank you, Kyle


Cameras - 1DMKIV - 1DMKII - 7D W/Grip
Primes - 100 F2.8 macro L - 135 F2 L - 300 F4 L
Zooms - 24-70 F2.8 L - 70-200 F2.8 L - 70-200 F4 L
Tripod - RRS TVC 33 - RRS BH55

  
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Vermin87
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Location: CA
     
Jun 03, 2011 15:28 |  #133

roger1234 wrote in post #12278037 (external link)
I also seriously doubt the "last for lifetime" scenario for carbon tripods compare to old style aluminum.

Just like the tiny chip on my TVC-24 end tube - it is qualify as cosmetic imperfection, but who knows if that tiny area could be the failing point of the future?

I'd like to offer a few of my own thoughts about carbon fiber vs. aluminum. I'm a mechanical engineer and I've had a good amount of experience with both aluminum and carbon fiber. My senior project at California Polytechnic State University was creating a set of lightweight, carbon fiber car wheels for racing. I've also taken a number of stress analysis classes and so I can offer you some textbook answers as well as my real-life experience.

Carbon fiber is definitely stronger for the same weight. That is well known. The main difference, however is that carbon fiber is a fiber. It's strong in tension (pulling) and weak in compression (squeezing). Fibers are only strong in one dimension, along the length of the fibers. Aluminum, in comparison, has roughly the same strength in all directions. It can be squeezed and pulled in all directions and behave similarly.

Carbon fiber manufacturing is not an easily automated process, however for tubes, it is relatively easy. The manufactures take a mandrel, or a long inner "mold" and wrap it with the carbon fiber. They can use machines to perform the wrapping, and typically alternate the weave pattern so that the fibers face in different directions. This allows carbon fiber tubes to behave similar to aluminum, because it has strength in multiple directions. In fact, carbon fiber can be more efficient than aluminum at carrying a load because the fibers can be oriented such that they are aligned with the direction of the greatest stress on the part.

One significant advantage carbon fiber has over aluminum is fracture strength. In aluminum, once a crack forms, it can easily spread. This is the same with any metal. In steel ships, when a crack would form in the hull, they would need to drill a hole at the tip of the crack to stop it from spreading and then weld on an additional plate to keep the hull in tact. Carbon fiber is not as prone to crack propagation. Because the fibers are oriented in different directions, when a crack forms, it stops almost immediately and does not easily spread. the crack wants to spread along the direction of the fibers, but then it hits a fiber laid in across its path and most of the time does not have enough energy to break the fiber in its way.

Aluminum is also prone to fatigue failure. Airplanes made of aluminum used to have a lot of problems with the wings falling off in flight. This is because aluminum does not show signs of wear and failure well. In other words, aluminum, over time can wear out on you and then when you least expect it, it will break. The relative fatigue strength of carbon fiber is much higher than aluminum. That's why many bicycle forks are being made of carbon fiber now. They typically undergo high amounts of cyclical stress, and carbon fiber is much better at withstanding those stresses.

Another main advantage to carbon fiber is that it is much better at absorbing vibration than aluminum. Again, bicycle riders prefer carbon fiber forks to aluminum ones because it gives them a smoother ride. The layered fibers break up vibrations where as the solid, homogeneous aluminum structure transfers vibration easily. Want something to resonate? Aluminum and other metals are the way to go. Tuning forks are make of aluminum. Want something to dampen vibrations? Carbon fiber is the way to go.

In terms of peeling, you've got big problems if you're able to "peel" a layer off of a carbon fiber structure. This means the fibers are not properly "wet" or covered in its resin, which binds the structure together. If you're able to peel off a layer, then the structure is too dry or has begun delaminating. Delamination is the most common method of failure in carbon fiber and it occurs when the structure is subject to loads higher than what it was designed for. Also, on tripods, the ends of carbon fiber tubes should not be exposed under normal use so that nothing can damage the ends and cause delamination.

So what are the disadvantages to carbon fiber?

  • It's super expensive for one. Most operations require a lot of human labor or manipulation.
  • It is much more difficult and expensive to make dimensionally accurate parts. Cutting metal on a machine is easy. Cutting carbon fiber eats through tools very quickly. Try drilling a few holes in a carbon fiber plate. If you don't have carbide bits, I'm sure you'll notice your drill bit is noticeably duller after one or two holes.
  • Depending on the quality of the resin and exterior coatings, it can be susceptible to UV damage.
  • It's difficult to interface carbon fiber with metals because of galvanic reactions with aluminum, as well as problems with different thermal expansion rates. Not impossible though...you just need to know some tricks of the trade.
  • Carbon structures are best bonded together with a special adhesive. Metal fasteners, such as screws, don't work for most applications where it would with metal.
  • Structural parts critical to operation require extensive engineering and analysis in order to optimize. Sure, you can throw a bunch of layers together until it holds up, but you'll probably end up with fibers that do nothing to support your load and just add to the weight of the part.

I hope that helps clear up any misconceptions about carbon fiber.

So will your carbon fiber tripod last longer than your aluminum tripod? I can't say for certain. It depends largely upon the quality of engineering in both. However, I can tell you that if engineered properly, carbon fiber is a superior structural material to aluminum for tripod legs.

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NicolasRubio
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Jun 03, 2011 15:50 |  #134

Vermin87 wrote in post #12530740 (external link)
I'd like to offer a few of my own thoughts about carbon fiber vs. aluminum. I'm a mechanical engineer and I've had a good amount of experience with both aluminum and carbon fiber. My senior project at California Polytechnic State University was creating a set of lightweight, carbon fiber car wheels for racing. I've also taken a number of stress analysis classes and so I can offer you some textbook answers as well as my real-life experience.

bw!

Longest post I've ever read on a forum without even thinking "when will this end?" Simply EXCELLENT!


Gripped 7D - 3 Ls - 3 non-Ls - 580EX II - Too much Think Tank gear - Cotton Carrier Holster


Detailed Gear List - My Website (external link)

  
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Indecent ­ Exposure
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Jun 03, 2011 16:27 |  #135

Vermin87 wrote in post #12530740 (external link)
I'd like to offer a few of my own thoughts about carbon fiber vs. aluminum...

All very interesting. Thanks for sharing.


- James -
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