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Thread started 06 Feb 2013 (Wednesday) 12:30
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3 leg sections vs 4 leg sections... does it really matter anymore?

 
tgara
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Feb 06, 2013 21:09 |  #16

mafoo wrote in post #15580092 (external link)
As you can see, the difference when collapsed is quite a bit, so the inconvenance of an added lock is acceptable. However if it really does impact stability, I then have to think more about it.

I guess a basic question would be: How stable do you need the tripod to be? What do you plan to shoot with it where incremental differences in tripod stability would make a difference in your final photo product?


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Feb 06, 2013 22:02 |  #17

I use a 4 leg section 3-series systematic, and I have it because its folded length is 21.7" and I can take it on planes. It has more than enough stability for me as I don't use DSLRs or long lenses.


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mafoo
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Feb 06, 2013 22:12 |  #18

tgara wrote in post #15581296 (external link)
I guess a basic question would be: How stable do you need the tripod to be? What do you plan to shoot with it where incremental differences in tripod stability would make a difference in your final photo product?

Well, for me, if I am going to spend between $400-$1000 on a pair of legs, I want them to do whatever I plan to shoot over the next 20 years.

However right now, long exposure landscaps.


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Feb 07, 2013 06:07 as a reply to  @ mafoo's post |  #19

I chose a Gitzo 3541xls for the following reasons:
I am 6'4''
3 sections extended = eye level when I want it.
4 sections allow for hillside accommodation or bridging terrain like small streams or for overhead shots.
Exponentially greater vibration damping than my Manfrotto 3021ProB, even at full extension.
Still gets flat on the ground when needed.

Most of the time the fourth section never sees the light of day, but it is there when I need it.

Yes it is very long when collapsed and not a good candidate for a travel tripod, but its other versatility allows me to over look that.


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nathan549
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Feb 07, 2013 07:39 |  #20

its called a Tripod, tri meaning three, seems to make more sense if it has three legs and three extensions. its not a Quadpod :P

All kidding aside, i feel that a three leg is more stable then 4 leg extensions. But in reality there is very minimal differences. im 6 foot even and three extensions work perfectly, if you're 7 foot then you might need to get the four leg extension :P


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Feb 07, 2013 08:59 as a reply to  @ nathan549's post |  #21

With modern high end tripods, it would take extreme conditions in order to see any difference in the photos between a 3 vs 4 section tripod. I think the first decision between the two should be, do you need a smaller folded length or a faster setup/take down, with stability second.

Saying that, I went with a 3 section, 4 series tripod for the speed and the utmost in stability. My thought is one should always use the most stable camera support that one is willing to carry.


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Feb 07, 2013 09:11 |  #22

I'm about to pull the trigger on Feisol Tournament CT-3442 Rapid 4-Section Carbon Tripod. Its max load is 22 lbs, 18.9" folded length and only weighs 2.31 lbs. Perfect all around at less than $400. I'm not worried about its stability issues due to its 4-section legs.



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Feb 07, 2013 09:18 as a reply to  @ nathan549's post |  #23

I have a three section and a four section tripod (different models so I don't compare performance) and I just find that it is faster to set up the tripod with fewer locks. If I am not moving too far at a time, I just put it over my shoulder with the legs extended, but when I move a bit further, it is more trouble to use the four section tripod. It is so much lighter, though, I don't complain (much).


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Feb 07, 2013 15:21 |  #24

mafoo wrote in post #15581467 (external link)
Well, for me, if I am going to spend between $400-$1000 on a pair of legs, I want them to do whatever I plan to shoot over the next 20 years.

However right now, long exposure landscaps.

I used a Bogen 3221 (Manfrotto) for many years with great satisfaction with a medium format kit. Then I took it on a trip to Hawaii, with same medium format gear, and set it up on a gusting, windy day. I then noticed the fact that the wind would use my long FL lens as a sail, and the tripod would torque about the center column (which I normally did not elevate!). THAT is when lower torsional rigidity will manifest itself. The smaller diameter leg sections of the 4-section leg will be inherently less rigid, thereby contributing to lower torsional rigidity.

Many folks would be like me (before Hawaii trip)...oblivious to the torsional rigidity characteristics of their tripod, and happier than a pig in sh*t


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Feb 08, 2013 07:12 |  #25

It really depends upon the use. If your tripod safely supports the weight then all other things being equal it probably does no make any difference. It is only as you approach the weight limits that this will become an issue.


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MsKutispwet
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Feb 08, 2013 07:24 |  #26

Physics is Physics and there's no changing that, I think the best answer to your question is to try the tripod in actuality. I've had experiences where the specs looked real good but it's always different when you're in the store trying it on and experiencing it.




  
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3 leg sections vs 4 leg sections... does it really matter anymore?
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