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10-01-2021, 08:48 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One thing to look for with twist type leg locks such as the Leofoto is to ensure that the leg extensions don't twist inside the the other tubes. My early model Feisols do that, and it can make loosening the leg locks a bit of a bear.
I know Feisol has addressed the issue with their more recent models.
Also, I've found with the Feisol tripods that the head can unscrew from the tripod a bit easily. With mine, I took a page from the Manfrotto playbook and had a few holes drilled through the mounting plates that were then tapped for grub screws to hold things down better.
I have two Feisol tripods, both have given me very good service.
QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Interesting - that's not a point I considered, but I imagine it's still perfectly fine if they do twist, maybe just a bit of annoyance here and there?
Sometimes it becomes a three handed operation as the inner leg twists against the one above it while trying to loosen the one below. I looked at the Leofoto tripod mentioned above just now, they look nice, and it appears to be slightly less expensive than the Feisol that has a similar specification.

10-01-2021, 11:16 AM - 1 Like   #17
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I'll second the idea of getting to a real shop to play with some real tripods first: that's how I chose mine (and rejected other models.) I'd also forgotten how expensive even a moderately-competent tripod can be, so I'd suggest keeping a sharp lookout for dealers selling off demo models at the end of the season. The savings can be considerable ... and again, that's how I got mine.
10-01-2021, 05:13 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
I'll second the idea of getting to a real shop to play with some real tripods first: that's how I chose mine (and rejected other models.) I'd also forgotten how expensive even a moderately-competent tripod can be, so I'd suggest keeping a sharp lookout for dealers selling off demo models at the end of the season. The savings can be considerable ... and again, that's how I got mine.
That would be nice - except the closest shop is 300km away, actually 400km right now due to construction...

Again I'm no rush, so next time I'm through that way I'll stop in (if I haven't bought something by then).
10-02-2021, 03:04 AM   #19
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I spent a few hours yesterday watching Youtube videos about different tripods. I liked the one about travel-tripods made by "The Camera Store", and I really liked the Sirui tripod they were talking about. But what all that persuaded me of, is that the Sirui NX- (some numbers) thing I already have, which I purchased used from another PF member some years back, is really the best deal going - nothing new has any special benefit, really. I could reduce the weight a bit but is it worth the extra megabucks? Naaah.

Moral of the story: look for something good, but used, a model from about three years ago, and one that got great reviews at that time.

10-03-2021, 05:15 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
One thing to look for with twist type leg locks such as the Leofoto is to ensure that the leg extensions don't twist inside the the other tubes. My early model Feisols do that, and it can make loosening the leg locks a bit of a bear.
That Leofoto does have some kind of anti-twist thing built-in. I'm able to grab all three locks, give 'em a twist at the same time, and pull the leg out to full extension. It's taking some getting used to because, as you say, loosening or tightening the legs locks was a two-hand operation with my older tripods.
10-03-2021, 07:37 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
Tripod Musings
I would break this into two elements... firstly I'd do away the budget element, i.e. save up and truly get the one I wanted. This also fits in better with your "buy it right once" philosophy.

For low level shooting... you can easily achieve this by using one of these Platypod Max reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

It's also small, light and fits all carry on bags and removes another criteria for your tripod to try and achieve.
10-03-2021, 08:03 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
That Leofoto does have some kind of anti-twist thing built-in. I'm able to grab all three locks, give 'em a twist at the same time, and pull the leg out to full extension. It's taking some getting used to because, as you say, loosening or tightening the legs locks was a two-hand operation with my older tripods.
That's good to hear!


QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I would break this into two elements... firstly I'd do away the budget element, i.e. save up and truly get the one I wanted. This also fits in better with your "buy it right once" philosophy.

For low level shooting... you can easily achieve this by using one of these Platypod Max reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

It's also small, light and fits all carry on bags and removes another criteria for your tripod to try and achieve.
You raise two good points there.

Firstly, as far as budget, with the limited use a tripod would get I'm not sure I'd really ever be willing to spend more than $500 or so. Unless I drastically change my shooting style, that is. Also, while some more expensive options may have have slightly nicer features, or benefits, if I can manage without - then is it worth it?

Secondly, as far as a ground pod thingy-ma-jig - I see the usefulness, but I think that ultimately a tripod would be more flexible in this regard - as well as less things to carry around, and switching heads here and there, etc.

10-04-2021, 05:57 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
It's actually mentioned in my OP
I missed that, sorry!

QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
But seriously, I'll take a second look at the PD aluminium one - I think I'd probably want to try to get in a store and play with it rather than ordering online however...
That's always a good idea

I hope you find a tripod which suits your wishes and requirements.
10-10-2021, 02:05 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by wadge22 Quote
Another value-but-pro brand that I am seeing on Amazon is Innorel, although I have no experience with that one at all. All three of these brands look like they essentially focus on high quality knockoffs of the best designs at really great prices. Hard to argue against going that route, even as a lover of American manufacturing.
Hmm, I've just come across these on Amazon - must have missed your comment previously. I imagine build quality would be pretty similar to the Leofoto tripods... if I don't find anything on the used market, I may end up going that route and just seeing what it's like. While there's not mention of them online, for what there is it's quite positive...
10-11-2021, 04:23 AM   #25
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Lots of contradictory needs

Fit in carry-on is thr worst combined with any other need especially strong and stable
Low to the ground and no center column as a reversible center column is the means to get it.
You want independant legs I think
Light but able to carry / support 4 kilos minimum

Moderate cost I can see the head alone eating 50% of your budget

I wish you luck
10-11-2021, 09:04 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Lots of contradictory needs

Fit in carry-on is thr worst combined with any other need especially strong and stable
Low to the ground and no center column as a reversible center column is the means to get it.
You want independant legs I think
Light but able to carry / support 4 kilos minimum

Moderate cost I can see the head alone eating 50% of your budget

I wish you luck
Valid points Lowell... I guess I'm not super sure what I'm looking for exactly.

Carry on - at first I was thinking this would be convenient - avoiding checked bags when flying with gear, but I think this may be more hassle than it's worth, and I suppose checking isn't that big of a deal.
Low to the ground - I was meaning legs splaying out without having to fiddle around reversing columns - I think it's just simpler not to have a centre column at all, if it can be avoided.
Light weight... what does light weight even mean? I was thinking something not much over 5lbs - maybe that's not 'lightweight'?


I'm strongly considering just going with the Chinese tripod route and then taking the time to write a proper in depth review once I get it and use it a bit.

Maybe the Artcise (Innorel) AS80C - seems to have quite attractive specs, especially for the price (under CA$250).
It's a 4 section tripod without a centre column (leg widths of 32.5, 29, 25.5, 22mm), extends to 63.8" and down to 5.5" with legs splayed out, folding to 22.8" so meeting most of the requirements as well as having the bonus of a levelling head.
It gets quite favourable Amazon reviews and on Youtube too - so does it's bigger brother, the AS90C, but I'm thinking that's overkill for my needs.

Would this support the 150-450 solidly - that is the real question, reports seem to say that it should.

And if I were to go this route, what type of head should I get?

Initially I was saying a ball head, which I think is probably the most versatile for what I shoot being landscape and wildlife - but open to hearing suggestions... Do I go the Chinese Artcise head as well - see how that does for a complete 'cheap' tripod system overview?

More ideas and more questions...
10-11-2021, 02:19 PM - 1 Like   #27
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If you are wanting a head more suited to wildlife ect, and don't want to go the gimbal route, maybe a two way fluid video head would suit your needs. If you go the leefoto tripod option, see if they have one with a build in leveling base. With the video head, just get a small nodal/macro rail to attach when you just want to mount a camera with shorter lens. ( I always use a nodal rail even on my ballheads to balance camera and lens combos and set the nodal point f the lens for panos) Of course, I have a full compatable arca-swiss set of plates on all my cameras and lenses, so everything works together seamlessly.
11-09-2021, 06:30 AM - 1 Like   #28
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Figured I should bring a conclusion to this thread. In the end I decided to go for a Chinese one - went with an Innorel LT324C.

I won't list out all the specs as they're in that Amazon link, but some of the things that drew me to this one specifically; it goes up to eye-level with a head, goes down nice and low, has decently thick leg tubes, not too heavy and folds short enough, it also came with a flat plate top and a 75mm half ball levelling head. Now that I have it, build quality is good and I'm not seeing any problems - and it's pretty strong and stable. A point raised earlier about legs twisting, they don't, so it's really quick to unlock and extend all leg sections. If anyone has any specific questions about the tripod, I'd be happy to answer. Pretty good for CA$300 I feel.

As far as heads, I picked up a used Sirui K-30X for CA$100, it's nice to use. Decently big ball makes adjustments fine, even with the 150-450 it's not bad if I'm locking it down for a landscape shot. Put this on the flat plate, as I didn't feel that it really needed a levelling head for a ball head. But then I found a used Jobu Jr3 gimbal for CA$200, and at an experienced forum member's recommendation that it was suited quite well for the 150-450, I decided just to go for it. Really not heavy, super smooth motion. But then I only got this yesterdays and I haven't used it for photographing anything yet. Mounted it to the 75mm half ball, so I can level it on the tripod. Both heads are pretty quick to switch out (keeping them on the plate/leveller) and suit the size of the tripod quite well.

All in all it's a bit more than I wanted to spend, at CA$600, but I think this is a fairly capable and versatile setup that should last me a long time. Thanks for all the advice here folks!
11-09-2021, 01:53 PM   #29
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Looks like a good set-up. I have basically the same set-up just different brands. You will really appreciate the bowl leveling, makes setting up a breeze, and very simple, I think thats the key to actually using a tripod system, The Gimbal is the best for a longer lens, but, you can use it with just the camera if you add a little nodal/macro rail. I use my gimbal for astro in that config.

Sort of like this, but normally with the rail on the bottom, not at the top like this photo .

11-10-2021, 07:01 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by cmohr Quote
Looks like a good set-up. I have basically the same set-up just different brands. You will really appreciate the bowl leveling, makes setting up a breeze, and very simple, I think thats the key to actually using a tripod system, The Gimbal is the best for a longer lens, but, you can use it with just the camera if you add a little nodal/macro rail. I use my gimbal for astro in that config.

Sort of like this, but normally with the rail on the bottom, not at the top like this photo .

Ah that's a neat way of adding some versatility
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