GEAR: Feisol CT-3471 Rapid

Coming from Manfrotto 055XPROB and an old Gitzo traveler,  I was looking for a more sturdy tripod,
especially for landscape photography and long time exposures some kind of mandatory.
After reading reviews and recommendations,  I read about FEISOL tripods.
With some comparison and budget decision(!) the FEISOL Classic Large Tripod CT-3471 Rapid was my choice.
Ordering and shipping was quite easy and fast done from the FEISOL website and the tripod arrived within 2 days,…and that a week before Xmas.
Unpacking the tripod I was very impressed, well packed, it came with a padded tripod bag, all tools and the maintenance instructions. Actually it’s easy to dismantle for cleaning if necessary.
I was a bit worried first, not to have overdone, as due to the larger tubing 37mm (1.46″) it appears quite big. Well it is a heavy duty style tripod, made for high loads up to 12 kg, so it would suit (D)SLR with large telephoto lenses or even medium or large format photography.
With an optional levelling base it would be suitable for larger video cameras.
But then the CT-3471 (2.3kg) is not lightweight, has less than the Manfrotto 055XPROB (2.4kg) I had before BUT it is by far a more stable unit.
The 4 Section, Carbon Fibre Platform Tripod was meant to be attached to a backpack,
which with the 56 cm (22.05″) folded length is possible, actually its shorter then the 055XPROB with 65.5 cm (25.8″).
I didn’t go for the optional center column as the height of 154cm or 60.63″ without tripod head, was enough for me.
With the Sirui Ballhead K-40X and the 5D M II on top of the lot, in some set ups I need to be on toe tips despite I am 6 ft tall.
The head base on the bigger Feisol ‘Classic Rapid’ series is screwed with three M6 countersink screws to the tripod and can be removed and replaced with an optional levelling platform or the center column.
It has preset leg angles at 25,75 and 90 degrees and angle locks are easy to use.
The twist locks at the legs featuring FEISOL’s Rapid system so you need only one hand to adjust it.

 

For me it checks all boxes,
– lightweight but sturdy
– luggage and backpack size
– height and variable the angles
– Carbon Fibre and water resistant
– budget wise its not as expensive as a comparable Gitzo
All in all, I can highly recommended the Feisol Classic Large CT-3471 Rapid.

Gear: Ball Head Sirui K-40X

The Sirui K-40X is a serious heavy ball head.
With a weight of 0.7 kg (1.54lb) and a height of 125mm (4.9″) its a bit heavier than the Manfrotto 498 RC2 but the load capacity of the K-40X is 35kg (77.2lb) rather than the 8kg (17.64lb) of the 498 RC2.
I own(ed) both but can say for me the K-40X is better to operate.
The ball head is made from aluminum materials, feels very smooth and easy in its move.
Sirui has its own locking mechanism, a little twist on the locking knob and the camera is locked as it would rest in concrete.
In the beginning I had to get used to it, as the 486RC2 was not locking that intense.
The locking head has a build in friction knob and there is seperate control knob for panning as well.
The quick release is Arca-Swiss compatible and has two bubble level build in.
I use the Sirui K-40X on the Feisol Classic Large CT-3471 Rapid tripod (my review here) and for me it is a working set.
The only downside is the one curb which makes handling difficult when need to shoot wide up,
as the locking knob moves then to the right side of the head and I need to adjust the camera with the left hand.
But this is more me, than a construction issue.
I could have bought the smaller version for 20 Euro less but I am not regretting to pay more.
All in All , I tried a lot of different Ball Heads in regards of handling, needless to say that I am very picky,  I owned a lot of different heads with different mount systems.
 SiruiK40X
But going back to Arca-Swiss compatible and finding this Sirui K-40X will keep me quiet for a while, I am happy as it is.