November 22, 2014, 10:41:40 PM

Author Topic: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4  (Read 2946 times)

Morlin

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Hi.

Earlier I started a thread about what gear is needed when using a 600mm and it starts to come clear what to purchase. If all plans will go my way I will get my 600mm tonight so now I really want to buy a tripod quick as ...... =)

I have never even seen an RRS tripod in real life but heard so many good things about them and MANY prefer them instead of Gitzo.

First I had the Gitzo Systematic Series 3 GT3542XLS in mind but after playing around with it a couple of minutes I don´t think it´s as sturdy as I want. I then compared to the Gitzo Systematic Series 4 and that one was so much better.

So the choice is between the RRS TVC-34L or the Gitzo Systematic Series 4 GT4542LS.
The RRS looks to have all the advantages when it comes to size and weight but do you think it will be solid and sturdy enough? I really did not like the feeling of the Gitzo GT3542XLS so I hope the RRS is better than so.

Thanks in advance.

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neuroanatomist

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2014, 06:05:20 AM »
My TVC-33 is just fine with my 600 II.  Consider the sturdiness of their little travel tripod, the TQC-14, rated for 25 lbs.

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brad-man

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014, 06:46:04 AM »
Hi.

Earlier I started a thread about what gear is needed when using a 600mm and it starts to come clear what to purchase. If all plans will go my way I will get my 600mm tonight so now I really want to buy a tripod quick as ...... =)

I have never even seen an RRS tripod in real life but heard so many good things about them and MANY prefer them instead of Gitzo.

First I had the Gitzo Systematic Series 3 GT3542XLS in mind but after playing around with it a couple of minutes I don´t think it´s as sturdy as I want. I then compared to the Gitzo Systematic Series 4 and that one was so much better.

So the choice is between the RRS TVC-34L or the Gitzo Systematic Series 4 GT4542LS.
The RRS looks to have all the advantages when it comes to size and weight but do you think it will be solid and sturdy enough? I really did not like the feeling of the Gitzo GT3542XLS so I hope the RRS is better than so.

Thanks in advance.

Would you kindly explain what about the 3542XLS wasn't sturdy enough for you? Although, sadly, the largest lens I have used on mine is a 400mm, I have found it to be absolutely rock solid in every way. It is also very light weight. The only downside I could mention is that it only folds down to 28" (33' w/ballhead). Since it can extend to 79", I found that acceptable. And yes, I also have hung from mine like Neuro's favorite photo:)

Eldar

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2014, 06:57:10 AM »
I had the Gitzo GT3542LS and I now have the RRS TVC-34L. I use both with the 600mm f4L IS II, with extenders. I previously used the Wimberley Gimbal-II and I currently use the RRS PG-02.

Both tripod&head combinations works well with the 600mm. The RRS is slightly more stable, but it is close to academic. Because of the extra height, the RRS works as a three section tripod, but you can extend it the extra section above the Gitzo.

The GP-02 is a very cool head, but I believe I prefer the Winberley from a stability perspective.

Both tripods are very solid. You can do the same exercise with the Gitzo as Neuro showed with the RRS.
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Morlin

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2014, 07:46:32 AM »

Would you kindly explain what about the 3542XLS wasn't sturdy enough for you? Although, sadly, the largest lens I have used on mine is a 400mm, I have found it to be absolutely rock solid in every way. It is also very light weight. The only downside I could mention is that it only folds down to 28" (33' w/ballhead). Since it can extend to 79", I found that acceptable. And yes, I also have hung from mine like Neuro's favorite photo:)
[/quote]

I never tried it together with a big lens so maybe I was to quick to judge but comparing the 3542XLS with the GT4542LS really made the 3542XLS look week. Maybe it´s absolutely solid enough but the big difference between them having them side by side made the 3542XLS look and feel pretty week and when buying an expensive lens as the 600mm I don´t want to risk having any week links on the setup. I was really close to buy the 3542XLS because several people said that it was solid enough.
Nice to hear though that you find it solid enough for your lens. I do think that it might have done the work pretty well but I want the best there is.

Eldar

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2014, 07:56:06 AM »

Would you kindly explain what about the 3542XLS wasn't sturdy enough for you? Although, sadly, the largest lens I have used on mine is a 400mm, I have found it to be absolutely rock solid in every way. It is also very light weight. The only downside I could mention is that it only folds down to 28" (33' w/ballhead). Since it can extend to 79", I found that acceptable. And yes, I also have hung from mine like Neuro's favorite photo:)

I never tried it together with a big lens so maybe I was to quick to judge but comparing the 3542XLS with the GT4542LS really made the 3542XLS look week. Maybe it´s absolutely solid enough but the big difference between them having them side by side made the 3542XLS look and feel pretty week and when buying an expensive lens as the 600mm I don´t want to risk having any week links on the setup. I was really close to buy the 3542XLS because several people said that it was solid enough.
Nice to hear though that you find it solid enough for your lens. I do think that it might have done the work pretty well but I want the best there is.
[/quote]
The only reason for switching to the RRS was height. I never had any stability issues with the Gitzo. But the RRS gives the same height with only three sections and it has beefier legs. The head base of the Gitzo is slightly wider than RRS. The RRS is slightly longer, when collapsed. They can use the same base plates, level bases etc. Because of the wider head base on the Gitzo, it is marginally more cumbersome in transport.
You can live happily with both. But make sure you get a good leveling base.
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Morlin

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 08:14:22 AM »
The only reason for switching to the RRS was height. I never had any stability issues with the Gitzo. But the RRS gives the same height with only three sections and it has beefier legs. The head base of the Gitzo is slightly wider than RRS. The RRS is slightly longer, when collapsed. They can use the same base plates, level bases etc. Because of the wider head base on the Gitzo, it is marginally more cumbersome in transport.
You can live happily with both. But make sure you get a good leveling base.
[/quote]

The reasons why you choose RRS are the same as for me.
I think I will go with the RRS leveling base with hook. I know it will stop the tripod from getting as low as without the hook but I normally know when I leave home what I´m going to photograph. So if I want to have it very low for macro I will leave the the Gimbal head, leveling base and so on and have another plate for my ballhead for the macro lens instead. 

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 08:14:22 AM »

Eldar

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 08:18:33 AM »
The only reason for switching to the RRS was height. I never had any stability issues with the Gitzo. But the RRS gives the same height with only three sections and it has beefier legs. The head base of the Gitzo is slightly wider than RRS. The RRS is slightly longer, when collapsed. They can use the same base plates, level bases etc. Because of the wider head base on the Gitzo, it is marginally more cumbersome in transport.
You can live happily with both. But make sure you get a good leveling base.

The reasons why you choose RRS are the same as for me.
I think I will go with the RRS leveling base with hook. I know it will stop the tripod from getting as low as without the hook but I normally know when I leave home what I´m going to photograph. So if I want to have it very low for macro I will leave the the Gimbal head, leveling base and so on and have another plate for my ballhead for the macro lens instead.
[/quote]
Be aware that the Gitzo has a much more convenient base place release mechanism. With the RRS you need tools, whereas the Gitzo can be done without tools. According to Neuro you can buy both the handles for the leveling base ($35 each I believe). I have the short one, without hook, but will buy the longer with hook.
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Morlin

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 08:38:38 AM »

[/quote]
Be aware that the Gitzo has a much more convenient base place release mechanism. With the RRS you need tools, whereas the Gitzo can be done without tools. According to Neuro you can buy both the handles for the leveling base ($35 each I believe). I have the short one, without hook, but will buy the longer with hook.
[/quote]

Thank you for the advice. Yes I know about the solution that Gitzo has and that is something I would be glad to have but I think the other advantages on the RRS tripod comes before that. It will not be that often I change the setup. The main use for the tripod is for the big lens where the gimbal head will stay on together with the leveling base.

I have now been informed that all is ready and done at the store so tonight I will go in to Stockholm and get my 600mm, 1,4 converter and a Lowepro lens trekker bag =) I´m really longing for the woods now!

Eldar

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 08:40:54 AM »

Be aware that the Gitzo has a much more convenient base place release mechanism. With the RRS you need tools, whereas the Gitzo can be done without tools. According to Neuro you can buy both the handles for the leveling base ($35 each I believe). I have the short one, without hook, but will buy the longer with hook.
[/quote]

Thank you for the advice. Yes I know about the solution that Gitzo has and that is something I would be glad to have but I think the other advantages on the RRS tripod comes before that. It will not be that often I change the setup. The main use for the tripod is for the big lens where the gimbal head will stay on together with the leveling base.

I have now been informed that all is ready and done at the store so tonight I will go in to Stockholm and get my 600mm, 1,4 converter and a Lowepro lens trekker bag =) I´m really longing for the woods now!
[/quote]
Enjoy ;)
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InterMurph

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2014, 08:53:29 AM »
I have the RRS TVC-24L Versa Series 2 tripod for my Canon 200-400mm 1.4x lens, and it seems more than enough.

I use it with the PG-02 FG: PG-02 full gimbal head, and it works great.

neuroanatomist

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2014, 09:23:10 AM »
Be aware that the Gitzo has a much more convenient base place release mechanism. With the RRS you need tools, whereas the Gitzo can be done without tools. According to Neuro you can buy both the handles for the leveling base ($35 each I believe). I have the short one, without hook, but will buy the longer with hook.

The Gitzo feature of removing the platform without tools is nice, but not often required.  The only reason I can see for removing the leveling base would be to use a center column (although it can decrease stability, it comes in very handy in some specific situations, like a shooting headshot portraits of people in succession, where eye level is at different heights depending on the height of each individual).

For the leveling base, RRS also has a version with an integrated clamp.  I have that one, and dovetail plates on the bottom of my PG-02 gimbal and my BH-55 LR (they make one sized for the Wimberley II as well). Makes it really easy to swap out what's on the tripod.

The RRS short handle is $35, the long handle with hook is $70.  Getting the base that comes with the long handle and hook adds $30 to the cost of the short handled base, so you save a whopping $5 if you buy the base with the long handle and then get the short handle separately.  Either way, you'll save more on shipping if you just order both of the handles when you get the base.  To swap them, you simply unscrew the handle from the base.
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Morlin

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2014, 02:36:08 PM »
For the leveling base, RRS also has a version with an integrated clamp.  I have that one, and dovetail plates on the bottom of my PG-02 gimbal and my BH-55 LR (they make one sized for the Wimberley II as well). Makes it really easy to swap out what's on the tripod.


I have been thinking about the leveling base with clamp but I think that the handle that tighten the clamp seems a bit risky. Handling the tripod and lens carrying it over your shoulder when walking or when you are in hard terrain I am afraid of the risk of the handle getting caught on something and opening the clamp. Maybe there is no risk for that. I have only seen pictures of it so it´s hard to tell. Also It seems like it adds some height from the plate and I was also thinking that it might make the rig less solid than a Wimberley head attached directly to the lower construction of the leveling base. But as mention. These are just thoughts because I have never seen it live. I had a ballhead that got stuck in my back pack making the lens and camera fall to the ground. Never even felt it get stuck but will never forget the look of my gear falling to the ground  :-\

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2014, 02:36:08 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2014, 02:52:55 PM »
I haven't felt that there's any risk of the leveling base clamp opening inadvertently, although I do use a screw-knob clamp vs. a lever clamp on my monopod head for that reason.  But, the diamater of the legs just under the platform is significantly larger than the leveling base, so it's unlikely that anything would get in there to catch the handle.  Also, the RRS levers are two-position - they flip open to 90° which is enough to loosen the clamp and allow a plate to slide back and forth but not wide enough to lift the plate out, and there are safety stop screws on many plates (and on the dovetails that go under heads) to prevent the plate from sliding out of the clamp.  The lever needs to be flipped to 180° to fully open the clamp so a plate can be lifted out.
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Eldar

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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 03:46:38 PM »
The Gitzo feature of removing the platform without tools is nice, but not often required. 
I actually used the release mechanism on the Gitzo quite a bit, to swap between the gimbal head, with the leveling base and a ball head on a regular base plate (with hook). That way I could get the tripod all the way to the ground for macro etc. I have a pano clamp on the ball head so I don´t need a leveling base for that. But on the RRS tripod I always have the leveling base mounted. I use the screw to mount the heads and not the clamp. For me that works just fine.
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Re: RRS tvc-34l sturdy enough for 600mm or Gitzo Systematic Series 4
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 03:46:38 PM »