Designed for small and medium format cameras it is also equipped in this kit with the new and highly versatile 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect System. This medium size, light head with quick release is perfect for amateurs and professionals alike! It is essentially the same as the 486 head but is equipped with quick release 200PL camera plate system with a secondary safety catch. The camera plate has a 1/4'' male thread with head to tripod attachment 3/8'' female.
As an amateur photographer looking to find a good tripod sturdy enough for my Nikon D7000, I searched through many stores around Sydney for different tripods, from Inca to Benro to Velbon and Manfrotto. Gitzo was out of my reach since I was finding a good tripod for under $200, and this tripod caught my eyes immediately. Along with some good reviews by others about the brand and model, I immediately ordered it from Ted's.
When i first took it out of the box, I was already extremely satisfied with its build quality, but amazingly, it was not as heavy as I expected such good quality tripods would be! Also, with the hinges on the side, you can also hand weighty objects onto the tripod to make it more sturdy!
Even with the D7000 mounted, the tripod had no problems at all. Although my lens was definitely not one on the heavier side of lenses (500g), there was absolutely no way the tripod could not support my equipment. This may be because of the fact that the friction lock acts like one tightener, and the main lock to be another tightener, which ultimately creates a double lock of your camera. However, if you do have equipment you would mount on the tripod and ball head close to the limit of the kit (4.5KG), I would suggest going to Ted's and trying it out first, as you may want to buy the more upper class tripods.
However, some minor downsides of this tripod would be the maximum height (with the center column down) and the screw locking legs.
Since I am about 6' (180cm), and the tripod just going over 4' (120cm) with the center column down for maximum stability, I find that bending down to check the screen or look through the viewfinder a bit of a struggle, especially if you need to shoot for a while. As a result, if you plan to shoot long periods of time without a seat and you have a tall stature, I suggest going for the upper class Manfrottos.
Although only a minor dislike of this tripod, the screw locks tend to be a lot slower to set up than the twist or flip locks when you first use them. However, once you use these more often, setting the screw locks can be quite simple and quick. I have to say however, these locks have not caused any pinching whatsoever, which is good!
Overall this is an awesome tripod to get if you're an amateur photographer planning to shoot photos to be creative and have some fun but I don't suggest photographers shooting for a living to get this as this may not support your needs/equipment. Also, with Ted's awesome customer service (at least at Sydney CBD it is), you can take your equipment and go check out their whole range of tripods in store!
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