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Author Topic: Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?  (Read 22338 times)

LarsHansen

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« on: August 04, 2010, 08:14:30 am »

Hi,

I've been reading some great posts here regarding what to consider when choosing a tripod. I've noted some recommendations from many of you:

- avoid raising the center column because it can make the tripod more unstable - only use it for fine adjustment if needed
- be aware that the informed max. height of a tripod can be based on the legs set in a narrow and unstable angle  
- save money by buying good equipment .. read the recommendations by Thom Hogan. I did..

I've concluded that the Feisol CT-3441S could be the right one for me - it seems to support the weight of the gear I expect to use and it's possible to buy a short center column or maybe even with a fixed plate:
http://www.feisol.net/feisol-traveler-trip...rapid-p-38.html

As recommended, I would like to have the possibility to work without the centercolumn - on the ohter hand I don't want to get down on my knees. Feisol informs that the height is 128 cm without the center column - adding a ball head will probably make the height just fine to work with for me .. I'm not tall. But if the legs needs to be angled much wider to get the tripod stable it could become too low. Has any of you experience with this Feisol tripod without the center column and have any opinions regarding it's stability, optimal leg angle, load etc.?  

I will use the tripod for nature/landscape/architecture and expect to use a pano-head like the Pano-MAXX - this will probably require some kind of leveling base. Maybe a good ball head can do the leveling job. On top of that, of course, a camera+lense .. I'm expecting my next camera to be a Nikon D90 sized camera. I'm not using heavy lenses.

Regards
Lars
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Ken Bennett

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 04:05:53 pm »

The 3441S is designed as a travel tripod -- it folds "inside out" so it can fit in luggage, for example. Great little tripod, but if it were me I would use it only when size and space considerations forced me to do so. Otherwise I find it's not really large enough for a medium digital kit (40D, which is pretty similar in size to the D90.) I have a similar tripod from Bogen -- the 190CX series -- and it's terrific for travel when I have to worry about space and weight. It'll support my 40D and a 70-200 reasonably well, too. But any time I have the room for a full size tripod, that's my preference.

Of course, this means one really needs two tripods -- a big main tripod and a smaller travel tripod. So the 3441S is still a decent purchase.
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stever

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 08:42:24 pm »

i use the 3441s mostly with the short column as a travel tripod and for macro (always using a remote release or timer for macro)

the legs fold back for travel making a very compact package -- without ballhead - any reasonable size ballhead will prevent the legs from folding compactly

i use a 4th Generation Designs Mongoose 2.3 gimbal almost entirely instead of a ball head (for lenses without feet this requires an L-bracket preferably with a rail to get the camera and lens balanced) as i find the gimbal useful for macro, wildlife, and panoramas.  the gimbal provides a bit of height which makes the short column useable and also allows the camera/ lens combination to be well balanced and i find the combination quite satisfactory with a 100-400 and have used it with a 400DO which i think is about the limit.

the one problem i've had is failure of the glue joint between the long column and mounting plate.  it looks like a manufacturing problem resulting from the inside of the carbon fiber tube not being abraded for a better bond to the epoxy.  not hard to fix, but not nice if it happens in the field.  i'm sure i've aggrated the problem by fairly frequent removal and installation of heads -- but as i've mentioned you have to remove and replace the head when packing the tripod for travel.  have not had a problem with the short column.

the longer column can be useful and is probably adequately rigid so long as you don't extend the second stage of the column.  i really only use it when i need to adjust the camera to an exact height to shoot a test target

i think the tripod is adequately rigid and stable with the normal leg angle.  Feisol provides a hook so you can hang some weight from the column which is always helpful.

a leveling head would be nice, but i've resisted adding another piece of gear to carry and gotten somewhat accustomed to adjusting the legs for level

i've become addicted to liveview and Canon's infrared remote release for anything that's not moving - i think this makes lightweight tripods much more practical

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Ken Bennett

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 09:07:26 pm »

Huh, I may need to re-evaluate my travel tripod if you're using a 400/DO on the Feisol. Interesting. I wouldn't put a 400 on my Bogen. Thanks for the info.
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LarsHansen

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2010, 06:11:55 am »

Quote from: k bennett
The 3441S is designed as a travel tripod -- it folds "inside out" so it can fit in luggage, for example. Great little tripod, but if it were me I would use it only when size and space considerations forced me to do so. Otherwise I find it's not really large enough for a medium digital kit (40D, which is pretty similar in size to the D90.) I have a similar tripod from Bogen -- the 190CX series -- and it's terrific for travel when I have to worry about space and weight. It'll support my 40D and a 70-200 reasonably well, too. But any time I have the room for a full size tripod, that's my preference.

Of course, this means one really needs two tripods -- a big main tripod and a smaller travel tripod. So the 3441S is still a decent purchase.

Thanks Bennett.
Yes, it's the usual dilemma regarding size and weight. I have a 20 years old aluminium Velbon I often leave at home due to the size and weight which I regularly regret. I mostly get around on a bike and/or hiking. I've been looking at the Velbon Sherpa PRO 635 and the GEO 830 but I find both too large to carry around. I know it's not optimal but my hope is that people who use the 3441S find rigid and stable enough for practical use in the field despite it's small size and low weight. I get the impression that the 3441S is not too flimsy when it support 10 kg load, but I might be wrong - might decide to go for a larger tripod if I recieve too many warnings here. I also looked at the Feisol Tournament - also large like the Velbons I mentioned.
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LarsHansen

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2010, 07:29:28 am »

Quote from: stever
i use the 3441s mostly with the short column as a travel tripod and for macro (always using a remote release or timer for macro)

the legs fold back for travel making a very compact package -- without ballhead - any reasonable size ballhead will prevent the legs from folding compactly

i use a 4th Generation Designs Mongoose 2.3 gimbal almost entirely instead of a ball head (for lenses without feet this requires an L-bracket preferably with a rail to get the camera and lens balanced) as i find the gimbal useful for macro, wildlife, and panoramas.  the gimbal provides a bit of height which makes the short column useable and also allows the camera/ lens combination to be well balanced and i find the combination quite satisfactory with a 100-400 and have used it with a 400DO which i think is about the limit.

the one problem i've had is failure of the glue joint between the long column and mounting plate.  it looks like a manufacturing problem resulting from the inside of the carbon fiber tube not being abraded for a better bond to the epoxy.  not hard to fix, but not nice if it happens in the field.  i'm sure i've aggrated the problem by fairly frequent removal and installation of heads -- but as i've mentioned you have to remove and replace the head when packing the tripod for travel.  have not had a problem with the short column.

the longer column can be useful and is probably adequately rigid so long as you don't extend the second stage of the column.  i really only use it when i need to adjust the camera to an exact height to shoot a test target

i think the tripod is adequately rigid and stable with the normal leg angle.  Feisol provides a hook so you can hang some weight from the column which is always helpful.

a leveling head would be nice, but i've resisted adding another piece of gear to carry and gotten somewhat accustomed to adjusting the legs for level

i've become addicted to liveview and Canon's infrared remote release for anything that's not moving - i think this makes lightweight tripods much more practical

Thanks Stever
I also use a remote when shooting on a tripod - it's a good habit. I consider using a leveling base because I wan't to shoot wide/panorama by stitching multiple images - but for a start I'll see how far I can get without the extra leveling base. I noticed that I can use the hook for extra weight - I expect it can be used to make the setup more sturdy and compensate for the light weight of the tripod.

I've looked at the Acratech GP ballhead because it's also a gimbal and if you turn it upside down it can be used as a leveling base. Unfortunately it becomes too pricey in Denmark where I live due to customs etc.

Thanks for the warning regarding the glue issue - it's not a big concern. I know the Feisol isn't the most expensive tripods .. but even the expensive ones have their issues.

As I read your answer you also consider the 3441S a bit "light" (i.e. mostly for travel and macro), but still it can support a larger setup if needed - c.f. your own setup with 100-400 and 400DO .. but thats probably partly due to the gimbal as I understand.

Hmmm... maybe I'll reconsider and buy a larger backpack that can hold a larger tripod  
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Ken Bennett

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2010, 08:41:49 am »

Hey, Lars,

If you're mostly hiking and biking with the tripod, then one of the smaller travel tripods makes a lot more sense. Good luck finding what you need.

--Ken
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stever

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2010, 09:39:21 am »

for pans, an upside down ball head is good (in fact, i think it's good for most everything) and some standard ball heads can be turned upside down.

 i wouldn't recommend the Acratech gimbal for a tripod as light as the 3441 as the weight of camera and lens is not centered on the tripod.  with weight centered on the tripod it can probably handle 4 or 5 kg

in regard to the DO, i'd say that it's probably the upper limit and would only use it with a gimbal
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LarsHansen

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2010, 05:14:43 am »

Ken and Stever - thanks for your time and valuable input!

Regards
Lars
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Greg D

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 03:13:34 pm »

Quote from: LarsHansen
Hi,

I've been reading some great posts here regarding what to consider when choosing a tripod. I've noted some recommendations from many of you:

- avoid raising the center column because it can make the tripod more unstable - only use it for fine adjustment if needed
- be aware that the informed max. height of a tripod can be based on the legs set in a narrow and unstable angle  
- save money by buying good equipment .. read the recommendations by Thom Hogan. I did..

I've concluded that the Feisol CT-3441S could be the right one for me - it seems to support the weight of the gear I expect to use and it's possible to buy a short center column or maybe even with a fixed plate:
http://www.feisol.net/feisol-traveler-trip...rapid-p-38.html

As recommended, I would like to have the possibility to work without the centercolumn - on the ohter hand I don't want to get down on my knees. Feisol informs that the height is 128 cm without the center column - adding a ball head will probably make the height just fine to work with for me .. I'm not tall. But if the legs needs to be angled much wider to get the tripod stable it could become too low. Has any of you experience with this Feisol tripod without the center column and have any opinions regarding it's stability, optimal leg angle, load etc.?  

I will use the tripod for nature/landscape/architecture and expect to use a pano-head like the Pano-MAXX - this will probably require some kind of leveling base. Maybe a good ball head can do the leveling job. On top of that, of course, a camera+lense .. I'm expecting my next camera to be a Nikon D90 sized camera. I'm not using heavy lenses.

Regards
Lars


My 2 cents:  I use the CT-3441S, with light-to-medium weight camera gear (Canon 40D or 450D, usually with 17-40 or 24-105).  I use the RRS BH-25 head and use a rail to center the weight (and help with panos).  The rail is what lets me get away with the small head.  I got  the short column and have never used the standard one.  The leg angle on the tripod is just too steep to make extending the column reasonable - it would just be too tippy.  That's my only complaint - I would rather have a slightly lower leg angle and give up a few inches of height.  That said, it's fine with the short column.  I wouldn't buy the pod for its "inside-out" folding feature - that works only if your using the long column (and a very small head).  I got it because I had to have something light for hiking, with a height of 48 inches or more.  The only real contenders of acceptable sturdiness were this and the Gitzo 1541T.  The Gitzo seemed a little better, but was roughly twice the price.  All this considered, I'm very happy with it.

FWIW,
Greg
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250swb

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 05:11:40 pm »

I love my Feisol 3441SB (with the Feisol head). It certainly punches well above its weight for rigidity and extended height, and it is very nicely machined and clever in the way it folds.

I use mine for my Leica M9 and m4/3 cameras, and the Feisol head is beautifully smooth and easy to use. But I wouldn't use it for a full blown DSLR if the weather is going to get windy unless you are able to hang something off the bottom of the centre column (I tend to default to a heavier tripod). But it really is a joy to pick up and think 'this little thing is able to handle eight tenths of whatever I throw at it'. Its  plenty good enough for a hiking trip where you are making compromises on gear you need to carry anyway.

Steve

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Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 07:35:40 am »

Lars, if you're still looking, I've got a review of the Feisol on my blog.  The only problem I've had in a couple years of use is one of the plastic end caps on one of the legs came off recently.
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LarsHansen

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Re: Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2010, 02:58:38 pm »

Steve, Bob and Greg

sorry for the late reply.

Thanks a lot for the input. Yes, I'm still looking but also considering one of the larger (non travel) Feisol pods - based on what I've read it seems that Feisol in general is good value.

As mentioned in my first post I'm expecting to use a pano head - like this:
http://www.panorama-hardware.de/cgi-bin/framestore.cgi?action=link&sku=PM&lang=com

The pano head is 0,7 kg. Add Nikon D90 sized camera and probably a leveling base. The pano head is slightly of center so the weight won't be balanced and the rotation of the pano head might need the pod to be extra stable. I'm beginning to doubt that the 3441S is a good choice for this kind of load/work.

Lars
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stever

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Re: Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2010, 09:22:30 pm »

that's an interesting, low-cost (compared to RRS) pano head which i've not seen advertised in the US.  assuming it's reasonably rigid (which it probably is, the RRS stuff is over-designed for standard SLR) it looks like a good alternative.

and probably not that un-balanced.  my guess is that it would work on the 3441, but if you don't really need such a light, compact tripod - heavier is better
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Ben Harris

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Re: Feisol CT-3441S tripod experience?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2015, 02:20:06 pm »

ok - just got a Feisol CT3441s so will share my initial response after a couple of days.

build quality is ok - , and i mean ok  - not amazing and not awful . for the record I've worked in film for many years so have a fairly high expectation of gear.
 With my D800 - ok (ish). legs are ok - it of movement perhaps acceptable  with carbons fibre. double riser not that good - I'll replace with short centre column. With a Hasselblad 500 c/m and Contax 645 - would treat the same as my D800. It is ok for mirror less,

legs are ok - little bit of flex. centre column - don't do it!  the locks are much less than the Gitzo and that's IMPORTANT> for the price you'll have to decide. it's VERY light - good for travel not amazing for photos - always a trade off. If you want the best - the Gitzo ail be slightly better which can be the difference. 
 If I had to buy again - I would would buy the Gitzo. the stability is the main point of a prior - the Feisol doesn't quite have it over the Gtizo - despite the specs of being slightly higher. the locking system is better with Gitzo. enough to make you say- - wish i bought the Gitzo. Most matters might be happy but if you have high standards like me - the Gitzo is that much better.

very light , ok build , but not the top notch. there it is ...
MHO .
 
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