Currently shopping for a tripod to replace my Feisol CT3441. Besides needing something a little more solid, I've had a couple of issues w/ this one:
- legs constantly coming loose where connected to the base plate, requiring me to always have an allen wrench handy (this factor is probably amplified by my slipping one leg of the tripod into the loop on my pack when I hike long distances, which I often to to shoot). Per Feisol's suggestion, I've disassembled many times & applied grease, but it doesn't seem to help.
- in areas like S. UT, where the air always seems full of microscopic grains of sand, sand always works its way into the leg locking mechanism. Multiple thorough disassembly, cleaning, & lube don't seem to help, and are a major project (4-legged model).
So, was hoping to find something w/ cam locks to make disassembly/cleaning easier for the second issue, but the brands I keep coming back to (Gitzo, RRS) seem to have only twist-lock legs which, I assume, will also have all the rings/seals that tend to catch the sand (and make maintenance a major project). Have read some reviews of RRS that the first problem mentioned above can be an issue on those.
Interested in what experiences others have had w/ high end tripods when using in harsh conditions, especially where lots of fine sand and grit is present, as that seems to be the biggest contributor to my problems.
I should add that weight is a large factor for me, given that I often hike several miles w/ my gear. Don't want to get into a discussion of this model vs that; the construction & design w/in each brand is fairly consistent in my experience.