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Author Topic: Need advice on a travel tripod +head for less than $500 (Feisol CT-3441T)  (Read 2471 times)
charlottegoss
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« on: May 28, 2013, 09:05:05 AM »
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Hi so I've read through a heap of tripod related threads on here and I think I've worked out that I'd like to buy a Feisol CT-3441T

I have a canon 5D mark iii and my main lens is the 24-70mm f2.8 lens. I'm about to go traveling for 2 months; one month will be going through North America (I'm from Australia) and the other will be predominantly in Iceland.

Main use will be landscape photography, particularly long exposures, so I really need a sturdy (but lightweight and not too bulky) tripod, and I really like the look of the feisol CT-3441S and CT-3441T (the latter I think is supposed to be sturdier so leaning towards that one).

I also do a lot of hiking around Australia so it would get a lot of use. Naturally I want one that can lasts a few years.

For what I plan on doing would the Feisol CT- 3441T be a good choice? and can anyone recommend a good head to go with it that still lets it fold up properly? (not too concerned about this at the moment I know there are other threads on it)


also, the guy at the local camera shop Michaels in Melbourne was trying really hard to sell me the Promaster xc525 when I went in there to see what brands they stocked, but when I looked up reviews I barely found a mention of the brand good or bad. Has anyone heard much about it? or would I be better to stick with the Feisol and buy it when I get to America/online? The guy in the shop didnt really seem to be an expert on tripods, so I didnt want to go on his word alone.

thanks for your help Smiley
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 09:21:48 AM »
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I've been using a 3441S for several years.  I use it with the CB-30C head.  I've used it with a 5D+grip+Sigma 100-300 f4 lens (a fairly large/heavy lens).  The head, while rated for that weight is pushing the limits at that configuration.  I've also used the 'pod/legs with my D700/D800+grip and up to a Nikon 28-70 f.28 lens (this too is a large/heavy lens) and it's fine. 

The only problem I've had with the tripod is I lost one of the rubber feet for the legs.  The U.S. distributor sent me a new set at no charge.  One of the legs has become a bit tight in terms of the extension/retraction but I think that's due to there being some dirt inside and it needs to be cleaned.  The twist locks work well but you do need to make sure they're tight otherwise the legs will twist when you try to twist a lock to extend/retract the legs.  The head has developed a small bit of twist play but there's no wobble so it's not a problem.

As with any carbon tripod, it is quite light so it will get buffeted in a breeze.  There is a hook on the bottom of the centre column to suspend a weight.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 09:57:49 AM »
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I would look at the Manfrotto 055 series carbon fiber tripods as well. And while a little longer, I prefer a 3-section tripod for stability and weight. I also prefer flip locks than twist locks--I use both Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods.

You can then pick up a ball head for $100 or less. Ball heads are simple and hold a lot of weight. The difference between my cheap ball heads and expensive ones have nothing to do with stability. I don't like quick release systems as I am always looking to reduce the weight of my gear. But you also save by not have quick plates and such.

At this point, I would put more money into the tripod. You can always upgrade your ball head later.
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2013, 09:58:46 AM »
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Never heard of a Promaster and never trust a camera store selling from stock.
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NancyP
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2013, 02:45:23 PM »
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I have the 3472 no-center-column carbon fiber Feisol, and it is a lovely piece of kit. My tripod is used with long lenses. I use an Arca-Swiss Z1sp ball head with it, and a Custom Brackets Basic Gimbal add-on to the  ball head when needed for long lens.
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charlottegoss
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2013, 12:52:22 AM »
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Thanks for all your feedback. I did look into the Manfrotto 055 tripods as well and did like that they were 3 sections rather than 4 but I think the smaller folded down length of the feisol CT-3441S is going to win it for me, especially with all the positive feedback about that tripod and the brand!


One last question, does anyone know of a feisol dealer in LA or San Francisco? or would the best bet be to wait until I get to New York and go to B&H?

Thanks again!
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nma
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 09:23:55 AM »
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Thanks for all your feedback. I did look into the Manfrotto 055 tripods as well and did like that they were 3 sections rather than 4 but I think the smaller folded down length of the feisol CT-3441S is going to win it for me, especially with all the positive feedback about that tripod and the brand!


One last question, does anyone know of a feisol dealer in LA or San Francisco? or would the best bet be to wait until I get to New York and go to B&H?

Thanks again!

You should also consider the Feisol 3442, a CF tripod which can be folded to fit in a roll-on suitcase. The distinguishing feature for landscape work is that a center column is added only at your option. This tripod also features a milled aluminum spyder, making it more rigid than the 3441. Not to split hairs, but Feisol considers the 3442 to be a Tournament class tripod, presumably more rugged than the travel models. But in my opinion, the 3442 is more suited to landscape/travel photography than the 3441.
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Byron Will
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2013, 12:48:30 AM »
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I use the Feisol CT-3442 4 section for hiking/travel and it has worked out well. I've had it four years. As mentioned, it does not have a column, but you can get one for it later if you like.  Although more expensive, you can get it with anti-rotation legs now. It's high enough for me (5' 11") with a ballhead.

You can get them on the west coast from Kerry at reallybigcameras.com (Beaverton, near Portland, OR.) I replaced the rubber feet it comes with with rubber feet for stools, etc. They stay on much better. Hardware stores sometimes have them.

An accessory I can't live without with my support systems is an L-Plate for the camera.

-Byron
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LarsHansen
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 04:49:49 AM »
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I have good experiences with a Feisol CT-3401 classic tripod.

Initially I also looked at the traveler tripods that you mention but chose the CT-3401 - I don't need (or want) the center column and the folded length and weight of the CT-3401 is similar to the CT-3441T traveler.

You should consider if you really need the center column - you will probably get a more sturdy solution without a center column and should you, at a later point, find that you need one, you can still buy one for the CT-3401. With the price difference you will also have money left for a ball head - $414.00 for the Traveler and $284.00 for the CT-3401. If you have a chance to compare them, you should.

I have a Feisol CB-40D ball head - it's probably fine at the price and so far I haven't had issues.

The tripods you are looking at are a bit light for windy conditions with long exposures, but that's the trade off when it must be easy to carry.

Make sure you always have the tools to service the tripod with you on a long trip - I have to tighten the base plate regularly (3 screws). Get a set of spikes also - I have the long ones and they work well in soft soil, ice, snow etc.
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charlottegoss
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2013, 07:23:22 AM »
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I've now been convinced to go for the Feisol 3442 as I really dont need the center column, especially since I'm only 5.5ft. I really like the look of the tournament series. I originally was looking for one with out the center column as I read how it's beneficial not to have one, but hadn't found one that I liked for the right price and quality.

Thanks for all the advice! When I get back in September I will write another post on here saying how I found it for what I'm doing and how happy I am with my results, for future people asking the same question Smiley
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LarsHansen
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2013, 11:23:22 AM »
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Very nice! .. I was also considering that tripod but finally went for the cheaper CT-3401... Wink
As far as I remember the Tournament series have extra accessories available.  

It would be very interesting to hear what your experiences are.  
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tived
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 02:21:11 AM »
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Hi,

I recently bought a http://www.3leggedthing.com/ set of legs, to bring in my carry on luggage. It is rated for 8 kg.
I'll have a arcs Swiss cube on it and a RRS pano hard with my Canon 1d and 24-70 or similar lens, even a 70-200

It seems very steady, the legs don't give in or bend, I am yet to bring it out in some windy weather

But it fits nicely in my carry on, ohh it also came with a little ball head with a camera plate for Arca Swiss very cute,

Just some food for thought

Henrik

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