Kickstarter: Peak Design Unveils The Next Generation of Camera Tripods

May 30, 2019
5
1
Hooray to you for buying an inexpensive, heavy tripod with a relatively low load capacity that is way to large for air travel. Perhaps you’d be happy putting a load of ~17 lbs on it (just a couple pounds shy of it’s rated capacity), I certainly would not. I make careful, well-informed buying decisions, and I’m fortunate enough to have a personal income that allows cost to be at or near the bottom of my priority list, although I recognize that’s certainly not the case for everyone.

I’m a fan of using the right tool for the job, and a strong, light, short-collapsed-length tripod with a good ball head that doesn’t drift (e.g. the RRS BH-30 LR) is the right tool for my travels. The most it needs to hold is a 1D X and something up to a 70-300L, and with some weight on the hook it’s very stable. However, it’s not robust enough for routine use with my 600/4L IS II – for that, I have an RRS TVC-33 (yet another >$1000 tripod) and a gimbal head.

Not that it matters, but I don’t find this new PD tripod particularly appealing.
You, my friend, are the exception to the rule. You know what you're doing you are an experienced, informed consumer. Most are not, I can tell you. The sales pitch put on beginners is just awful. They don't know what they're buying. I hear "...but the sales guy said it would work..." all the time.

I put a Pentax 645Z w/ the 28-45mm f/4.5 on there as well as my Canon 5D MKIII w/ the 150-600mm Sigma f/5.6 and it works perfect. I haven't weighed what that load is, but it doesn't drift and my 50mp 645Z images are tack sharp. So maybe you're correct on the load oimits, but I've been using this tripod for over 10 years and it just keeps on ticking. I haven't overloaded it yet. And it isn't too large for air travel. I go to Europe all the time and it fits perfect in my checked luggage. It is heavier than other choices I could make, but FOR THE MONEY I get one hell of a value. Good choice on the ballhead; I take my BH 55 in my carry-on camera bag when I travel.
 

johnf3f

Canon 1Dx
Oct 25, 2012
925
18
Wales
That is correct. As opposed to $1,000, $1,500 or $1,600. Less cost than a Peak Design and is the proper height, more stable and center-of-gravity does not change.
Sorry about the picture quality!
Please see my lighter and slightly cheaper setup below. The head is a Triopo RS3 - holds anything Canon up to my 800mm F5.6. The 3 Series Gitzo Systematic has now been replaced with an even cheaper 4 series Systematic. The cost of the current setup (at today's exchange rates) is $524, all bought brand new.
I don't normally use 600-800mm lenses with this head but it is fully up to the job - I bought it as a lightweight travel head!

I fully agree people spend far too much on tripods and heads, imagine spending nearly $600 on an aluminium tripod and an overweight head when stuff like this can be had for less.................
 

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neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,178
1,450
How many 'pods have most of us (and bags as well) purchased until we found the type which works for us in all or most circumstances?
For me, one tripod and one monopod. I started with a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4, later added a Manfrotto 694CX when I started shooting birds with a 100-400L. Those two lasted me from my Rebel T1i + EF-S 17-55 through its replacement by a 7D, an added 5DII, and the replacement of both by a 1D X and also a bunch of L lenses...until I got the 600/4 II. I replaced the monopod with an RRS MC-34 and added the TVC-33, BH-55 LR and PG-02 gimbal. I kept the 190CX for travel, until I started doing more short trips and grew tired of removing the ballhead so it would fit in a carryon, at which point I replaced it with the RRS TQC-14 w/ BH30-LR.

Now...bags are a different story. There is no one perfect bag that will hold some number of lenses between one and 6-7, of varying sizes, with or without a flash, with or without a laptop, with or without personal items...and with little to no wasted space. Thus, I have more camera bags than my wife has purses. :p
 
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knight427

EOS T7i
Aug 27, 2018
86
98
That is correct. As opposed to $1,000, $1,500 or $1,600. Less cost than a Peak Design and is the proper height, more stable and center-of-gravity does not change.
$590 is also less than $1,700, $1,800, $2,345 and lots more numbers!!! I'm not really sure how that is relevant though.

Also, I see now that you are relying on L-brackets to avoid a changing CoG (a solution that is perfectly compatible with the PD tripods btw). If your L-bracket is RRS, then your solution is over $700.

Thanks for the money saving tips on an aluminum tripod that is annoyingly large to travel, hike and bike with. But I already have one of those solutions. I suspect my $290 PD tripod will provide sufficiently stable performance for my needs, but if not I'm guessing I'll be able to get all of my money back out of it and try something else.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,178
1,450
You, my friend, are the exception to the rule. You know what you're doing you are an experienced, informed consumer. Most are not, I can tell you. The sales pitch put on beginners is just awful. They don't know what they're buying. I hear "...but the sales guy said it would work..." all the time.

I put a Pentax 645Z w/ the 28-45mm f/4.5 on there as well as my Canon 5D MKIII w/ the 150-600mm Sigma f/5.6 and it works perfect. I haven't weighed what that load is, but it doesn't drift and my 50mp 645Z images are tack sharp. So maybe you're correct on the load oimits, but I've been using this tripod for over 10 years and it just keeps on ticking. I haven't overloaded it yet. And it isn't too large for air travel. I go to Europe all the time and it fits perfect in my checked luggage. It is heavier than other choices I could make, but FOR THE MONEY I get one hell of a value. Good choice on the ballhead; I take my BH 55 in my carry-on camera bag when I travel.
Agreed that many people get suckered, which is sad. I’d rather do research and buy right the first time if possible. Thus, when considering getting back into photography in 2009, after a long P&S hiatus from the times I shot a film SLR and developed/printed myself, I set a $2500 budget and got a T1i body only, EF-S 17-55/2.8, 85/1.8 and the 190CX legs with a hydrostatic head. The only part of that initial setup I ended up regretting was the Manfrotto RC-2 plate/clamp system (I ended up going Arca-Swiss after a couple of years, fortunately the ballhead had a replaceable clamp, unlike some Manfrotto models).

A bigger tripod is ok if one is checking luggage. I replaced the Manfrotto tripod after I started doing more short trips where there would be urban photo ops (mainly business overnights where I’d be free at blue hour), and I would not want to check a suitcase solely because of a too-long tripod.

For your needs, the Slik 700 sounds like a great value! The BH-55 is a good head, I swap it out for the gimbal for local use when not using the 600mm (I have a leveling base on the platform, which is great with a gimbal to avoid futsing around to level it with the leg lengths, and the base has an integrated LR clamp with dovetails on the bottoms of both heads for a quick swap).
 

Kit.

EOS 6D MK II
Apr 25, 2011
1,009
473
"It's easy to carry!" or "I can hike with it!" or "It fits in my suitcase" is the refrain I hear all the time. Folks, buy a tripod for the first reason; as a stable platform to hold your camera still. All other considerations are secondary. You like to hike? Schlepp it up. If it's heavy you'll get a better workout on your hike as well as get better pics.
If you need some extra weight to carry on your hike, you can always pack more lenses.

I bought a Feisol Tournament tripod when I found out that while I can carry 100-400 and Manfrotto 055 together on a mountain hike, I don't really enjoy that.
 
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johnf3f

Canon 1Dx
Oct 25, 2012
925
18
Wales
If you need some extra weight to carry on your hike, you can always pack more lenses.

I bought a Feisol Tournament tripod when I found out that while I can carry 100-400 and Manfrotto 055 together on a mountain hike, I don't really enjoy that.
Two of my friends have the Feisol Tournament tripods (one 3 section and one 4 section). For their size and weight (or lack of it) they are a really nice design and work very well.
 
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privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,467
499
119
A bigger tripod is ok if one is checking luggage. I replaced the Manfrotto tripod after I started doing more short trips where there would be urban photo ops (mainly business overnights where I’d be free at blue hour), and I would not want to check a suitcase solely because of a too-long tripod.
I fly regularly and have never had an issue carrying a Manfrotto 055 on with me, normally strapped to the side of either my carry on or my ‘personal item’ though when I only have one carry on item i’ll carry it by itself.
 

scottsworld

Canon EOS IX
Jun 5, 2019
8
3
Brisbane, Australia
Um, er, a "tripod for professionals and first-time tripod owners alike" ?
holy cr4p, Batman. I don't know too many first-timers who would blow US$350 (A$503) to US$600 (A$860!) on a tripod. :eek:
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,178
1,450
Um, er, a "tripod for professionals and first-time tripod owners alike" ?
holy cr4p, Batman. I don't know too many first-timers who would blow US$350 (A$503) to US$600 (A$860!) on a tripod. :eek:
When I bought my first tripod, I spent ~US$450 on a Manfrotto CF tripod and head. Better to do your research, and buy once.

Or twice, in my case — at the time, I didn’t foresee I’d eventually get a 600/4 and need more robust support.
 
Reactions: scottsworld

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
1,057
224
I've supported Peak Design on a few of their bags and while they have some very nice design features I haven't found their bags practical for photography. I tend to use my Lowepro and Tamrac bags. They are perhaps slightly less design advanced than Peak Design but they produce bags that work and are comfortable to use fully loaded with gear. This is the biggest problem I find with Peak Design bags. They are fine for light loads.
What I will give Peak Design credit for is they will deliver the project and communicate really well (unllike alot of Kickstarter projects I've backed which are either rubbish end product or not delivered at all - buyer beware on other projects).

Peak design this time have decided to take on tripods. It's an earnest effort but personally I'll stick with companies who've been making tripods for years.
I teach alot of beginners and a common mistake it to buy a cheap tripod that doesn't work really well.
Very few beginners are in the privileged position that cost won't be a factor.
Fortunately there are alot of well made reasonably priced tripods available. Sirui , Benro, Manfrotto , Slik and many others to make good reasonably priced tripods that will do service for many years.

I used a Gitzo Traveller for my travelling. I remove the Arcatech ballhead and I can fit it in my travel bag. For sure expensive but well used by me. Very convenient size and weight and no problems with a full frame and up to a 300 2.8.
For heavy duty I have an Induro CF tripod and the RRS BH-55 with a lever.
Like many other things in life its a pity there are so many tripod head styles.
I've settled on Swiss Arca as a format.
It's not a perfect system but its good to be down to one format.
I use Fusion Gear Arca plates on the bottom of the camera as I can screw a black rapid into it and unscrew to place the camera on the tripod quickly.
On rare occasions I've thought the Arca plate is connected to the tripod head correct but its actually slight off and the camera has tumbled off the tripod.
I've been lucky and unlucky what's its fallen on. I've got into the habit of giving it a good check.
I use a Wimberly Gimbal for the 600 F4 II. That's very important to be slotted on 100% correctly. I also need to be careful taking it off.

My simple advice would be the get the best solid tripod you can afford. Use if because it really improves photography It's a good investment.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,178
1,450
I use Fusion Gear Arca plates on the bottom of the camera as I can screw a black rapid into it and unscrew to place the camera on the tripod quickly.
Not a fan of screwing/unscrewing the BR lug. My two lugs (one for a regular BR strap, one for the left-handed strap I use with my 600 II) are each Loc-tite attached to a Kirk 1” clamp. Makes it easy to move the attachment point from body to lens (e.g. when I attach the 70-200/2.8) or remove it for use on a tripod.
 

Hector1970

EOS 6D MK II
Mar 22, 2012
1,057
224
Not a fan of screwing/unscrewing the BR lug. My two lugs (one for a regular BR strap, one for the left-handed strap I use with my 600 II) are each Loc-tite attached to a Kirk 1” clamp. Makes it easy to move the attachment point from body to lens (e.g. when I attach the 70-200/2.8) or remove it for use on a tripod.
The Fusion Gear Plates have a pull out loop that you can connect the carabiner from a Black Rapid Strap to.
It makes it a very secure option as long as you have the plate attached tightly.
It's quite a clever option. There may be others do that but its the only plate I've seen with that option.
I just screw it in and am used to making sure its tight. There is potential it can become lose but I've not had an incident yet.
If I have a 70-200 or 100-400 I move the strap to the foot of the lens as it balances easier for carrying.