With the ever increasing limitations and baggage costs introduced by the airlines, who else has gone through the discussion on whether to take the tripod. Even with our RV travels I have considered leaving the tripod, but in the RV the issue is not so much with the weight, it is more where to store something that big.
I may not use the tripod as often as I should, but I really like having it available as an option, especially for those low light shots. My problem being that my current Manfrotto Classic, a basic professional quality tripod is both heavy and definitely not compact. So I need to research the market for what is available.
In a replacement tripod I am looking for:
- Light weight, preferably < 4 lbs.
- Load capacity > 10 lbs.
- Compact, with folded length < 20″
- Cost, preference is < $300 CAN
The Manfrotto is the Rolls-Royce of tripods, but they had nothing meeting my specifications, at the price I was prepared to pay; therefore, research was required to find an alternative that didn’t break the bank. Fortunately in Metro Vancouver we have a great selection of camera stores, with a couple of local chains and also Photo Express, a small independent store in our town of Maple Ridge, which is part of the Foto Source marketing group. I’ve known the owner for many years and purchase all my photography stuff from them, especially as their pricing is as good and sometimes even better than the Future Shop and Best Buy.
Started the research on the Photo Express website, which is when I first learned of the ProMaster brand, which has been in business for 50 years and supplies photography equipment to specialty photography dealers. I almost immediately noted the XC525C, which easily met all my criteria:
- Weight < 3 lbs
- Folded length about 15″
- Payload about 14 lbs
- Material – carbon fibre
- Cost was < $300 CAN
Not believing everything I read on websites I stopped by the store yesterday to talk to them. They had a great selection of tripods from both Manfrotto and ProMaster, including the XC525C that I found online. The Manfrotto heads are better and the tripods definitely look sturdier, but I just can’t justify the more than double the price, so I happily opted for the ProMaster.
On previous trips I required camera bag, laptop bag and separate tripod, but with the new Lowepro ProTactic 450AW bag and ProMaster XC525C tripod, everything including the laptop fits into a single backpack.
Impressive. Looks very organized. I rarely use a tripod. I’m trying to use it more but find it getting in my way, but for some of those landscape shots with a slow shutter it’s a must.