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Author Topic: Table tripods -review  (Read 541 times)

armand

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Table tripods -review
« on: September 21, 2019, 04:01:40 pm »

A review in progress.
I used to have this: https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/Pocket-Pod-Packages?quantity=1&custcol34=1&custcol35=12
Unfortunately it got away during a biking trip and my efforts to locate it and rejoin have proved futile. I thought about getting another one but at 240$ if I lose it again I won't be happy so I started to look for alternatives, both cheaper or different/better.

I posted here some initial thoughts base on the specs: https://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=130500.0


So I'm starting to look at Leofoto MT-02, Sunwayphoto T1A11-ii and Aoka CMP163C. I occasionally compared them with a Sirui T-025 from which I cut the center column, you can get something very similar and maybe a touch lighter by removing it from the current model, T-025x (on the old one the column was not removable).
For tripod heads I got the LittleBeePhoto MBC-19, Aoka KB20 (came with the tripod legs) and the Sirui C-10 which I already had.

Actual weights:

Leofoto MT-02             144g
Sunwayphoto T1A11-ii 180g
Aoka CMP163C            288g
Sirui T-025**              589g


LittleBeePhoto MBC-19       86g
Aoka KB20                       137g
Sirui C-10                        189g



Before I go further, few comments about these options:

- the Leofoto looks to be a knockout of the RRS TFA-01 Ultra. In practice while they look similar they are different though. On the Leofoto the legs have the edges cut out much more the the RRS, the locking mechanism for the legs is quite different (single top lever on the RRS, 2 side levers on the Leofoto). Also the Leophoto has a cut out trough one of the legs which gives you the possibility to run a strap through it and anchor it to branches or fence edges. The RRS used to have a smoother movement and the legs on the Leophoto don't fully connect when closed (one of them) so not quite the same standard. It's competitive enough though even if it was the same price but it's just 1/3.

- the Aoka seems to be identical to the Oben CTT-1000 but it's 10$ cheaper and they give you a cellphone clamp in the price. They are probably made in the same factory, didn't feel paying more for this one.

- the LittleBeePhoto MBC-19 seems to be a clone of the RRS BC-18 but it's also quite different. First, the connecting method to the tripod; while the miniball mechanism is the same, the MBC-19 has a thicker leg which screws over the tripod legs. The RRS instead has the leg that screws into the tripod legs; slightly lighter approach but less versatile. The MBC-19 gives you a level bubble for whatever it's worth. The RRS as far as I  can recall had a smoother action but with either it's difficult to make very fine adjustments. Again, the MBC-19 it's almost 5 times cheaper.


In the end the difference in weight compared to what I have it's not huge (an extra lens) but the difference in compactness is.


« Last Edit: September 21, 2019, 04:07:15 pm by armand »
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armand

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Re: Table tripods -review
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2019, 04:02:38 pm »

extended

armand

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Re: Table tripods -review
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2019, 04:03:18 pm »

intermediate and low

armand

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Re: Table tripods -review
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2019, 04:03:49 pm »

the heads

armand

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Re: Table tripods -review
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2019, 04:07:04 pm »

The Aoka is obviously the most versatile but the least compact. It has a center column which can extend it but I almost never use the center column (occasionally on an older Manfrotto where it can get horizontal).
Either weight the max height is pretty abysmal if you hope not to bend.
Otherwise quite solid though, for an average mirrorless with an average lens should be good enough.





I'll add further impressions as I'll use them more.

armand

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Re: Table tripods -review
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2019, 02:00:48 pm »

As luck has it the RRS tripod that I thought I lost during a biking trip (during which I fell a couple of times and I got caught by nightfall without a proper light) didn't fall while biking but when I put my backpack on the front seat and fell in between the seat and the door. Didn't see it for weeks, that tells you how small these things really are.
Now I have too many tripods but I can also compare them all.


First, few words about the Sunwayphoto T1A11-ii. It has two positions only, you can get to them by screwing/unscrewing legs locks at the base of the legs. The principle is the same as the FLM CP10-A1 but the FLM has an ellipsoid which provides variable angles for the legs as opposed to only 2 positions for the Sunwayphoto. The tripod is quite solid, didn't test it yet with a large camera but I see no reason to doubt it. I think the limitations would be the head and finding a proper equilibrium. The rotating locks means that they are slower than the others to set up if you change between the angle frequently, but the difference is small. If you want to use only the widest base is actually much faster because for the others you have to unlock for every angle.


Going back to the RRS vs Leophoto, the legs.
- the locks: I thought the RRS is easier as it requires just a finger to unlock but they got some sand and it became much more difficult to unlock, even using both hands. The Leophoto is better.

Overall, to my surprise, I think that even if they would cost the same the Leophoto is a better option than the RRS.
- advantages: better locks, hole for strap to tie it to a rail or branch
- disadvantages: slightly less smooth/slightly worse build quality
Equal on all other aspects.



RRS BC-18 mini head vs the LittleBeePhoto MBC-19
- A somehow similar story as for the legs. I think the LittleBeePhoto MBC-19 is a little more versatile with the way it attaches to the legs but because the attachement is thicker it doesn't really reach 45 degrees when angled vs the RRS BC-18.
- The RRS is also a little smoother in action but the LittleBeePhoto offers a fluid bubble and more markings on the clamp. The RRS clamp is a little more compact.
Overall I think are are very close, even if they would cost the same. Here though, much more than for the legs, I would like to see how the LittleBeePhoto MBC-19 passes some abuse in the field.


PS. in the photos the Sunwayphoto legs have the Aoka KB20 tripod attached.
PPS. in 7B all tripods are at the maximum height, in 7C the RRS and Leophoto have the intermediate height while the Sunwayphoto is still at the max, in 7D all tripods are at the minimum height

armand

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Re: Table tripods -review
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2019, 02:02:01 pm »

A couple more just for the RRS combo vs the Leophoto with the LittleBeePhoto MBC-19
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