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Author Topic: Which RRS Tripod?  (Read 7232 times)
adam z
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« on: March 15, 2013, 02:59:36 AM »
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I'm trying to make my final decision on which RRS Versa tripod to buy.  I had the idea in my head to just get the big TCV34L and BH55, but after chatting to Joshua Holko, I'm thinking that the smaller TVC24L tripod with the 2 series levelling base and the BH55 as he suggested.

I will be using whatever I end up with with a 1DX and lenses ranging from 17mm TSE through to the 70-200 2.8L IS II for now, and I don't really see myself buying anything bigger and heavier than either the 200 f2L IS or the 300 f2.8L IS

It will be used for everything from landscapes to studio work. I assume that I will eventually buy a smaller tripod later on if I get the TVC34L, however if the smaller one is more than stable enough, it may well be an all round solution, and even be small enough for the occasional hike to a landscape location. That being said, I have never walked for more than an hour so far with a tripod, so if the 34L is significantly more stable with the gear I am using, I think it might be worth buying despite the extra weight.

Look forward to some opinions. Preferrably from those who have experience with these two tripods.

Thanks in advance
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2013, 03:08:09 AM »
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Well, when are ya wanting to pull the trigger? I ask cause for the most part, all the tripods except the TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Tripod & the TVC-33S Versa Series 3 Tripod seem to be on backorder...
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adam z
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2013, 04:32:16 AM »
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Yess, I noticed that too. As soon as I make a decision I want to order it so that I can get it ASAP. I'm curious to know how long the wait might be as well, but haven't contacted RS yet to ask. If anyone has any idea on that feel free to chime in too.
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brianrybolt
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2013, 05:34:19 AM »
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Why don't you just phone and get it from the horses mouth?  I just ordered a different product from them and it said a couple days earlier on their website they were backordered but in fact they weren't.

Good luck,  Brian
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ternst
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 06:20:00 AM »
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Just a thought - when you are shooting on anything other than a level surface (like in the woods), your tripod becomes much shorter. Their tallest model is not really all that heavy, but the extra height is nice - plus the wider tubes seem more stable - I have their 3" steel spikes and dig them into the ground for added stability, and/or and height. I've used one since they first came out, and find the RRS better and more reliable than the Gitzos (loose legs, feet falling off). I also prefer a geared cube head over any ballhead - once you use one you will know why (I find them a lot faster to adjust than a ballhead). I'm much older than I use to be, but still find packing the big tripod and gear head over long distances to be the least of my issues (I use a shoulder strap and just carry it like a rifle over my shoulder, and it works great with my large camera backpack) - it is SO NICE to have such a wonderful platform to work from once I arrive at shooting location, even far into the backcountry. RRS tripods are almost always out of stock, so just order one and wait and be thrilled when it ships! 
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Enchanter
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2013, 10:40:52 PM »
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Recently I ordered and received the TVC-34L and BH-55LR. It was only on backorder about three days. The heaviest lens I use is the Nikon 200 F/2 VR II. I would strongly suggest that you go for the TVC-33 or 34L if you're going to be using anything bigger than the 70-200 F/2.8. If you're reasonably tall, say over 5'10" then get the 34L.

I'm blown away by the quality of the RRS tripod and ballhead, well worth the money. I previously used a series 3 Gitzo systematic.

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Wellington, New Zealand
jwstl
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2013, 01:32:42 PM »
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I, too, am about to order one of the TVC tripods from RRS and I've been going back and forth between the 24L and the 34L. I'm right at 6' so I've decided on one of the L series for height. I've also decided on the BH-55 head. What I can't seem to do is decide between the 24L or 34L. I like the lower weight of the 24L and right now I'm using nothing larger than a 70-200 so I think it would suffice. However, there's always a chance I might use a larger lens someday and I don't want to regret not buying the 34L.
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drb
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 12:17:56 AM »
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I, too, am about to order one of the TVC tripods from RRS and I've been going back and forth between the 24L and the 34L. I'm right at 6' so I've decided on one of the L series for height. I've also decided on the BH-55 head. What I can't seem to do is decide between the 24L or 34L. I like the lower weight of the 24L and right now I'm using nothing larger than a 70-200 so I think it would suffice. However, there's always a chance I might use a larger lens someday and I don't want to regret not buying the 34L.

I don't think the 24L is that rigid when the fourth leg section is extended out more than maybe half way.  I haven't used the tripod in the field, but I did go by RRS and check out all of their 2 and 3 series tripod models the other day.  We brought with us a new Gitzo Systematic 3 (GT3532LS) and my old Gitzo 1349 to compare.  I felt the TVC-23 and TVC-24 would end up being too short if you got on a hill (and I'm not tall).  The TVC-33 I thought was a good height, but the 3 series RRS tripods are quite a bit heftier than the 2 series.  For some reason I expected the 3 series RRS tripods to be comparable in the 3 series Gitzos.  The 3 series Gitzos are much more like the 2 series RRS tripods except that the Gitzo has a larger base plate for the tripod head.  A RRS BH-55 head is much larger in diameter than the RRS 2 series base plate (they said that's not a problem however).  Interestingly, my old Gitzo 1349 seemed more rigid than the new Gitzo Systematic 3 and any of the 2 series RRS tripods, but it's also a lot heavier.  Again, these are all impressions from playing with the legs/heads in the store with out mounting rigs on top of the legs.
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jwstl
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 10:19:28 AM »
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Thank for the info. I wish I had the opportunity to look at and compare the RSS tripods before purchasing but I don't live near their offices. I typically don't like spending that amount of money on products unseen but I have no choice since they aren't sold in local stores. I'm trusting the many positive reviews I've read about their products. Right now I'm leaning towards the 34L for the extra stability. I don't expect to hike far with it so the weight may not be an issue.
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SangRaal
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 10:24:25 AM »
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I have been using the RRS TVC 33(i'm short) and have found it to be durable and very stable. I have both the accs spike feet and the metal claw feet, I use the claw feet much more than the spikes this tripod combo works well for me in river and stream situations and is stable on rocks covered with plantlife and macro-inverts. For more stability in high wind I have an old canvas kind of reverse parachute that hangs from the center hook(or off the base plate) that I fill with onsite rocks/ dirt etc. I originally had a Gitzo system tripod that had major bonding issues with the carbon tubes after use in water the RRS is a major improvement in both stability and reliablity. If you want to shoot down  or do macro work off your tripod your head / ball head needs to have a larger diameter than your tripod base plate. Normally I am a weight weenie but I went with the heavier duty tripod(btw the 3 with 1 less leg clamp is lighter than the 4 series) to save weight I will use  a lighter head like a monopod indexing tilt head that will still stabilize a large telephoto , last week I climbed an almost 2,000 foot ridge to photo a comet and used the monopod head to save some weight(photo was never done due to clouds).
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adam z
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2013, 12:44:22 AM »
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Thanks everyone. I think I will just go with the 34L and be done with it - safe in the knowledge that I have as much stability and height as possible since I rarely work too far from my car.
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jwstl
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 01:21:15 AM »
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Thanks everyone. I think I will just go with the 34L and be done with it - safe in the knowledge that I have as much stability and height as possible since I rarely work too far from my car.

I came to the same conclusion yesterday.
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Enchanter
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 12:52:48 AM »
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You won't regret it. Fantastic tripod and not overly heavy either.

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Wellington, New Zealand
Kyle Kielinski
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 01:36:30 PM »
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+1 to not regretting it.
I bought the 34L and BH-55 last year and absolutely love them.  Typically, they're holding a D800 and up to a 300mm f/2.8 with out any problems.  Recently cracked out the old Mamiya RZ (with grip, winder, viewfinder, etc.) and shot some film - no problems with that, either!
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adam z
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 08:53:13 AM »
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Funny you mentioned the RZ, I just today pulled the RB out of it's case and thought it might be interesting to sit it next to the 1DX for a photo, I may at some point even mount it on the RRS Tripod once I get it and shoot a bit of film.

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Marlyn
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 04:10:48 PM »
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Personally, the 24L is ideal.  (Note, I own both the 24L and the 34L).   I am 6' 3", and it works great on hills, slopes, uneven ground, etc etc. 

If you are going to be shooting on sandy or soft surfaces (moss, grass etc), then I recommend the spikes.
If you are going to be shooting on rocks, ice, or slippery surfaces, then I highly recommend the Rock Claws.

I just returned from 2 weeks in iceland (funnily enough, with Josh Holko, plus Andy Bigs and Daniel Bergman),  and a considerable number of tripods on the trip were RRS 24L's,  and some 34's along with the usual collection of either BH 55's  and a few Arca-Cubes.

 I actually got the 24L for my wife, and decided I liked it better for the field over the 34.  It is pretty much just as strong, stable etc. Certainly survived iceland in winter just fine. (Needed to be cleaned once after the black beach. Sand got in the threads).   Fully extended it is only about 3" shorter than the 34.  Still taller than I am.

Either of them definitely seem to be the landscape photographers tripod of choice.   

Regards

Mark
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jwstl
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2013, 07:48:19 PM »
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Just when I had my decision made. So you preferred the 24L due to the lighter weight? Did you use the BH-55 with the 24L?
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Marlyn
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2013, 09:59:25 PM »
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Yes, I prefer the 24L both because it is a bit lighter, but mainly because it is more compact and packs better on the side of the pack (without compromising performance).

I use it mainly with the RRS Leveling head, and an Arca-Cube (When shooting technical camera/landscapes),   or a Gimbal head when using a long lens.  I have used it with 1dIV and canon 800mm lens on a Jobu or Mongoose gimbal head without any problems.   

The bottom leg section, whilst smaller than the 34 obviously, is thicker than most (if not all) tripods of its size.

The only issues I've had with the RRS are A: Sand in the threads and leg locks from Jokusarlon beach (fine, black, annoying), but that was fixed by a clean, and initially the hex bolts on the legs can work a bit loose and need to be tightened.  (The only effect of that is the legs swing easier when you pick it up, I like them stiff so they stay where I put them).

The Rock claws are utterly brilliant btw,  excellent on Ice in various places (inc an ice cave), and equally as good on a rocky shoreline with slippery rocks.  Much better than the rubber feet or the spikes in those cases.   Spikes however are best on the beach or in soft ground (though claws and rubber feet also do fine).


Really Right stuff = Porn for photographers.

Regards

Mark.
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David Watson
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2013, 02:54:22 AM »
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No question in my mind.  The 34L is the best choice.  The extra leg length is very useful on slopes.  Build quality and rigidity is excellent.  I use mine with the levelling head and an Arca Cube.  Great combination.
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David Watson ARPS
simonstucki
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« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2013, 08:32:59 AM »
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I had the same problem last fall, I went with the 24L and I use it mainly with an om-d and small primes, for that it is probably a bit overkill, but I like it, and if fully extended it isn't much to much for my taste. So if I wanted to use it with a 300/2.8 I would probably go with the 34L (haven't had the chance to try it, but it should be a bit more stable I guess). however I don't think it is IMpossible to use a 300/2.8 with the 24L fully extended, and I'm confident that if the last segment isn't extended then the 24L should be/feel fine with a 300/2.8.

but I also knew that the 24L isn't the most rigid and tallest rrs tripod, the 34L should be (again I haven't had the chance to compare them) and I always want the maximum. so why did I go with the 24L? Because for my current system it is very adequate and the 34L isn't that much taller and also because I hope, that rrs will come out with a really tall (> 2.5m) series 4 tripod in the future which would be a great addition to the 24L (which is extremely light and portable for the height and stability it provides)

a few years ago I had a Gitzo 1348 which is a bit heavier and bigger (and about one inch less tall) than the 24L and in my memory felt a more rigid. maybe the larger apex platform was responsible for that.
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