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Author Topic: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L  (Read 1559 times)

Philmar

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I have been using an old Gitzo Mountaineer 1531 which I am quite happy with. At only 2.5 lbs. it is perfect for traveling which I get around to a lot. I find it suitable for most of my regular home town needs: long exposure, low light photography. I live close to a beach where I use it often as well in freezing weather. I live in Toronto, Canada.

But as a result of a recent trip to the windy Yucatan coast as well as the recent windy polar vortex weather I find the Mountaineer just doesn't cut it in windy conditions. So I am looking for something more solid to augment not replace the Mountaineer for windier days. I do not drive so I get around the city on bike or foot so the light Gitzo Mountaineer probably will remain my go to tripod.

I shoot with a 5D3 and carry a 24-70Lf2.8 II, 70-200 f4 and a 16-35 f4 so a much heavier new tripod will be a huge load on foot with my camera lens kit. I would not consider carrying the new heavier tripod on bicycle. On occasion I might mount a Tamron 150-600 on this new set of legs.

I am 6 feet tall so I want a tripod that is at least 55 inches high. As weight is still an important consideration I suppose the max weight should be 4.5 pounds. I wish i could play with RRS gear at a store but no such luck.

I have been looking at the excellent tripod rankings on https://thecentercolumn.com/rankings/ for help. Should I be searching for the tripod with the highest 'Stiffness' score that is at least 55 inches tall and under 5 pounds? Because that suggests the RRS TVC-33.
The RRS TVC-33 has higher 'Stiffness' score than both the 24L and 34L yet very few tripod recommendation threads that I read recommend this tripod.

The TVC-33 height of 55 inches is more than sufficient for me (I am accustomed to the 53 inch height of my Gitzo)

Can anyone suggest why, given my described photography needs/gear/usage, they think I would be better served with either the 24L or 34L. There seems to be a significant difference between the stiffness of the 33 vs. 24L (2184 vs. 1132) and I think the 34L may be at the limit of my carry tolerance (with 3 lenses and a 5D3)

https://thecentercolumn.com/rankings/  indicates the CVT-33 has a larger stiffness score that the CVT-34L. So why would I want to buy a CVT-34L if it is heavier and less stable? I don't understand the need for an extra long leg on hills. I hear people saying the extra length on the lower leg helps but can't one create the same effect by shortening the height of the leg that is further up the hill? and wouldn't that be more stable?
Also - the stiffness scores on The Center Column are measured at full height. Could the CVT-34L perhaps be MORE stable than the CVT-33 when they are measured at the same extended height?

Thanks for any input
Phil M.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2019, 11:50:36 am by Philmar »
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2019, 11:16:29 am »

Phil,

Have you tried hanging a weight at the bottom of the center post of  your tripod...when I was up in Newfoundland last year that little trick worked wonders for me in some very strong winds. If you haven't it's worth a try.

Peter

The image below is form the internet...

Hanging my camera bag with the 2 other lenses didn't help. I felt it just created a vibration inducing swinging pendulum....maybe if it were heavier that might work. 

Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2019, 01:11:35 pm »

Thanks Peter, can I ask which Gitzo you use? I wonder how carrying 10 lbs of extra weight is an effective solution when a more stable 5 lb heavier tripod would work?
Your solution is cost effective though.

kers

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 02:59:44 pm »

..
I have been looking at the excellent tripod rankings on https://thecentercolumn.com/rankings/ for help.
...
Thanks for any input
Phil M.

Thank you for pointing me out this website i did not know...
I can imagine wind can be a problem, but even for a heavier tripod...
The bag you fill with stones/ our you hang your backpack on it- and to keep it from swinging it should touch the ground a little...
good luck!

Pieter Kers
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gkroeger

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 03:33:38 pm »

I use a RRS TVC-24L.  Looking at the stiffness ratings, I am struck by the fact that they are all measured at full height. No doubt a TVC-33 is stiffer than a TVC-24L at full height, but how stiff is the 24L at 55"? I would love to see stiffnesses measured at some common height as well.  The extra height is there for when you need it!  You say that 55" is high enough, and I (at 6 foot tall) would agree that it is if I am always on level ground. But a significant plurality, if not majority, of my images are made on slopes, where the value of the 24L is not overall height, but the ability to extend one, or two, legs longer to allow me to work comfortably on the slope. I also make many images where I don't even extend the 4th segment of the legs, and then the 24L is much stiffer than at full extension. So it really comes down to how much flexibility you need and what weight and size you are willing to put up with. I would also point out that the TFC-33S measures about 10% stiffer than the TVC-33S, so perhaps a TFC-24L would be similarly stiffer near the apex.
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Ray Harrison

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2019, 03:53:25 pm »

I owned the mk1 version of the TVC 33. I highly recommend it (mk2 now, of course) as a great balance of carry weight, stiffness and fit/finish. It handled an old Nikkor 600 f4 MF with ease. I carried it into the back country here in Colorado just fine and it worked great. Whether it is tall enough depends on what you are shooting. You can do exactly as you suggest - shorten the up hill legs - but if you are shooting birds in flight with your 150-600, it can make for some awkward stances, depending on where the bird is in proximity to you. I ended up getting a PMG TR 424 for some of the work Iím doing now and while an absolute beast, I do like the height (should probably have gone with smaller diameter sticks though for weight). I still think in general, the TVC 33 is a great bet. 
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2019, 08:11:19 pm »

The bag you fill with stones/ our you hang your backpack on it- and to keep it from swinging it should touch the ground a little...

So one needs a 50+ inch bag? cord? bungee cord?

Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2019, 08:19:38 pm »

I use a RRS TVC-24L.  Looking at the stiffness ratings, I am struck by the fact that they are all measured at full height. No doubt a TVC-33 is stiffer than a TVC-24L at full height, but how stiff is the 24L at 55"? I would love to see stiffnesses measured at some common height as well. 

https://thecentercolumn.com/2018/04/08/really-right-stuff-tvc-34l-tvc24l-stiffness-vs-height/

alan_b

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 01:11:54 am »

24L in use, downhill leg extended and backpack ballast:
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 12:42:18 am »

OK I am confused.

RRS has two different versions of each tripod....a fixed apex vs. versa apex version.
I never shoot panoramas nor do I shoot video. So is the fixed apex version for me?

mcbroomf

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 06:51:27 am »

I assume you mean the ability to add a leveling base with the Versa?  I'd say if you've not missed it on your current setup you don't need it now unless you think your photography might change.  I have a leveling base on my long tripod that stays in the car and gets only occasional use and I usually don't use the feature, and rarely wish I had it on my carry tripod (the odd pano, but I manage with either the ballhead or manually leveling the legs and shooting a bit wide).

Very nice images on your website BTW ...
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 10:13:59 am »

I assume you mean the ability to add a leveling base with the Versa?  I'd say if you've not missed it on your current setup you don't need it now unless you think your photography might change.  I have a leveling base on my long tripod that stays in the car and gets only occasional use and I usually don't use the feature, and rarely wish I had it on my carry tripod (the odd pano, but I manage with either the ballhead or manually leveling the legs and shooting a bit wide).
I don't shoot panos....if I do then I can always shoot wide and or stitch in PS. I don't shoot video on a tripod. I am just wondering if there are uses for the leveling base I am not aware of - thanks!

Very nice images on your website BTW ...
Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:07:52 pm by Philmar »
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gkroeger

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 11:37:45 am »

Some additional thoughts on TFC vs TVC apex. I don't shoot panos nor use a center column, but I have a TVC-24L since the TFC version was not offered when I purchased. I would consider the TFC versions (or upgrading mine) but I have two questions I would want answered. First, how big is the flat area around the threaded stud? The TFC area looks significantly smaller than the TVC and I wonder about how well various heads will fit on the smaller apex. Second, I carry the tripod by grabbing one leg, so the larger apex are of the TVC version leaves room for my hand and fingers. With the TFC version it appears I would have to carry the tripod with the included strap, but I am not sure I would like that as well.
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2019, 01:51:30 pm »

OK - finally received the TFC-33 last night. Initial thoughts. Bigger than expected but also lighter. As I will be using it within walking distance of my house it should be perfect.

I just need the proper ball head.

The main use of this tripod & head is for use in windy cold winter days when my light and portable series 1 Gitzo Mountaineer & Sirui ball head is not up to the task. I was set on a Markins ball head but I hear they do not fare well in extreme cold.
I am considering offerings from RRS and Acratech based on their cold weather performance but haven't decided upon either yet.
One thing that may tip the scale towards Acratech is its stated ability to serve as a gimbal but as one who is always suspicious about real world function vs. marketing I seek confirmation.
I do own a Tamron 150-600 lens that I haven't used on a tripod because I dared not use it on the weaker Gitzo but now that I have a set of sturdier legs the possibility may arise. I live in a major metropolis and bird photos were not a priority for me but if the Acratech is a decent gimbal then who knows?

Are the Acratech heads really a suitable gimbal for this 150-600 lens or is this a recipe for disaster? Or would I probably buy a dedicated gimbal if birding was in my future?

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2019, 04:41:55 pm »

OK - finally received the TFC-33 last night. Initial thoughts. Bigger than expected but also lighter. As I will be using it within walking distance of my house it should be perfect.

Congratulations! So what is the diameter of the flat area around the threaded stud on the TFC apex?

Glenn
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 05:41:16 pm by gkroeger »
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2019, 12:20:20 pm »

Congratulations! So what is the diameter of the flat area around the threaded stud on the TFC apex? Glenn

Thanks...am at work now and will measure it later.

Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2019, 12:23:03 pm »

I am considering the RRS BH-40 and Acratech based on their cold weather performance but haven't decided upon either yet. Originally I was interested in Markins (strong and light) but they have a bad rep in the cold. I was very intrigued by the FLM line but read that many people found it wasn't fully compatible with other companies' implementation of Arca-Swiss plates/brackets. I use an RRS L-Plate on my 5DIII.

Does anyone here with a FLM ball head use it with a RRS L-plate?

Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2019, 12:48:43 pm »

GAH - I've written to FLM Canada and they've informed me:
"the clamps are Arca compatible, but I have to warn you that RRS plates are more proprietary than other so-called Arca-type plates. If RRS doesn't work for you, I'd suggest looking for the SunwayFoto L-bracket for the 5D3; SunwayFoto makes very good gear and they're very reasonably priced."

alan_b

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2019, 01:34:30 pm »

Does anyone here with a FLM ball head use it with a RRS L-plate?

I use a modified FLM SRB-60 clamp with RRS L-brackets.  I chose this clamp as it's the same diameter as the P0, and allows me to see the bubble level with the camera in the clamp.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 04:07:43 pm by alan_b »
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Philmar

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Re: Want to buy a RRS tripod...tomorrow...but which one? 24L vs. 33 vs. 34L
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2019, 02:07:55 pm »

Thanks...am at work now and will measure it later.

Approx. 50 cm
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