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mrk    203

Posting this review on another photo forum as well but here goes.

Several weeks ago I decided it was time to buy a second tripod, one that was half the weight of my Red Snapper RS324+RSH12 ball head (cost ?150 new). I do Urban Exploration so carrying a few KGs of tripod on your person is no easy task when navigating tunnels, fences or ducking and diving AND you have another few KGs of camera gear...

I searched around for several days before jumping on eBay and finding these. After doing some more research I made the purchase.

Expecting it to take weeks to arrive from HK I was greeted with a long package a few days later with the sender's address some industrial place in Manchester (!).

I've left this review a few weeks because I wanted to be sure the tripod was up to the task and didn't fall apart after a few Urbexes.

Build quality wise it's not tough feeling as the Red Snapper but it is rigid and holds my 5D3 with Sigma 50 1.4 and 17-40 without problem.

By default the centre column is long so I chopped it in half with a hacksaw (surprisingly easy cutting CF :p) so now it spider legs much closer to the ground, like the Red Snapper with short centre column.

The twist lock grips are rubber so when spider legging really low on glossy surfaces (car bonnet etc) it won't damage the surface.

The feet don't unscrew to reveal spiked feet like the Red Snapper, these are all no frills rubber.

One of the legs unscrews to become a monopod, a monopod handle and mount is included in the whole package.

The bundled carry case is padded but the shoulder strap is not, the Red Snapper strap is larger and has padded shoulder strap with a zipped pocket inside.

The ball head is quite good. the finishing texture is more course than the Red Snapper but it feels tough and everything is metal. There's a compass on the QR plate adjustment knob but mine didn't come with a spirit level anywhere like shown in the ebay advert, not that I'm complaining about that.

The QR plate itself is the same size and type as the RS one so I just use one QR plate when switching tripods. The ball head threads are the same as well so swapping heads is no problem.

Fully extended there is some vibration as the legs are thinner than the RS but I can't remember the last time I used a tripod fully extended so this wasn't part of my spec list of wants.

While it doesn't feel as professional as the RS, it definitely does a great job of doing what it's meant to do and it does look smart as well. It's a mile and a half better feeling than any cheap high street tripod or any other non CF ebay tripod for this kind of money.

If I were to give it marks out of 10 then I'd give it a solid 8 with consideration given for its selling price + features and accessories provided. I don't think it can be beaten at this price, not unless you get a good used deal on a Manfrotto + ball head or something.





Centre column sawn + new capability:



And a shot using it:


For ref, the weight difference between my RS and this carbon one:

Beike CF Tripod + ball head: 1.7kg

Red Snapper RS324 tripod: 2.39kg

Red Snapper RSH-12 ball head: 670g

Total: 3.06kg (!)

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