Bryan's Coverage of Tripods from March 2014




Brands -

Manfrotto, Gitzo, Really Right Stuff, Benro, Sachtler, Three Legged Thing

Velbon, foto pro (MePhoto, and the 5 other versions of this unit), blacks…   


Materials used-

  • Carbon Fiber

  • Aluminum

  • Basalt

  • Stainless steel


Leg lock types-

  • 360 degree collar locks make the strongest grip

  • lever locks need to be tightened regularly.

  • Lever locks make 2-3 points of connection

  • collar locks make a 360 point connection.

  • New Manfrotto locks


Locking plate types - Show each and give explanations.

  • Arca - Show CC Multi adaptor and fotopro tripod.  

  • Manfrotto - 200 plate system

  • Gitzo - My plate Series 1-5 Aluminium Quick Release Plate Medium C

  • L Bracket - portrait quick change


Heads -

  • Ball head

  • Video head

  • Gimbal


How to carry -

  • Straps

  • Strap to bag

  • Bag boots (show on my bag)

  • Sling through bag strap

  • To chest


Mount systems -   

How tripods mount to camera bags.  


Accessories -

  • Super clamp

  • Tech Table

  • Gorilla pod

  • Quiver - Just like it sounds, a tube like case long enough to hold a tripod.  Easy to slide your tripod in while bag is attached.

  • Snake arms

  • Pocket tripod

  • Tripod holster

Operational discussion:

  • Flat to the ground - demo

  • leveling tripods

  • Reversible or flippable centre columns - demo

  • 3 leg - less clippy things to deal with

  • 4 leg - shorter for traveling


Cleaning and maintenance -

  • Disassemble your tripod and clean it.  only when needed.  Demanding use like full water immersion.  Especially in salty or brackish water or gritty dirt and grime.

  • Remember that if you use a tripod in a dirty environment, you bring that dirt home with you.  and your pets..

  • Different materials require different care.  Carbon Fiber or Basalt are both fairly resistant to salt or sand but rinse it off before compressing the legs to assure most of the sand is off and not grinding the material every time you open or close the legs. Use a paper towel or cloth to dry the legs.

  • Possibly use armor all occasionally by applying it with paper towel.

  • Wrap plastic bags around the joints or exposed areas if you are concerned.

  • Gitzo ocean traveller has sealed locks and tightening elements.

  • Greg Downing from wrote an excelent article on Gitzo tripod maintenance


Maintenance tools:

  • Spare bushings

  • terry cloth or rags/paper towel

  • Toothbrush (preferably one you dont use every day)

  • wd 40 or other mineral spirits if there is tough grease

  • Lithium grease for lubing leg collars.




Interesting difference:


2 year warranty with a 3 year extension if you register online

Online how to choose a tripod tool - weak.  Bring in your kit and we’ll show you how to choose your tripod.  


Gitzo- Disco’d the basalt  released an arca head plate adaptor


RRS- pretty much the best tripods ever built. And priced accordingly. Started as a better quick release plate concept that turned into a company driven to make the best camera supports possible.  


3LT- ridiculously tall and light.  Ive come to learn super handy as a flash stand!


A few good deals…  (Henry’s scoop)

Manfrotto CX190  Carbon Fibre 4 section 299.99 retail (3 section for 279.99)

055xprob w 804 rc2  229.99

055cxpro4 379.99


Ross Chevalier

Technologist, photographer, videographer, general pest

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