Hi Folks, this seems like a question that comes up regularly in any discussion about tripods, so once and for all, let's see if there is a preference amongst the forum members one way or another. Tripod flip locks or twist locks?
Is the purpose of a forum not to share thoughts and discuss things? It's a common question, and most people have a preference, it's a fun poll to see if there is a bias one way or the other, that's all. Everyone has a preference or thoughts on the kit that they choose.
I started with flip locks on a Benbo and had to frequently adjust them so they would stay tight. One day a leg section slipped and my rig bit the dust. That convinced me to switch to the twist locks on Gitzo, and in 15 years of use, never had a leg slip. Other may have different results.
Started with flips on a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 tripod and 694CX monopod. Switched to twists when I moved to RRS. I far prefer twists – faster to open, can be loosened only slightly to gently lower a load (very useful with a big white on a monopod), easier to disassemble and clean after using in sand/salt/mud/etc.
I'm in the minority, but I find flip locks much easier to handle, especially in the cold.
I find twist locks much easier to handle in the cold, too. However, extreme cold does have a benefit when using flip locks...well, not the cold per se, but the fact that cold usually means wearing gloves, and gloves mean less damage to your finger when you pinch it in a flip lock.
Seems to me that lower end tripods tend to use more flip (Velbon), while high end (Gitzo, RRS) use twist. May be there's a message here.
And there are also screw locks on woodies like Ries. They have a following in LF community, though I never went for it.
Flip. I'm in the TV/Production world, not stills. I shoot on Sachtler Speedlock and Speedlock HD CF legs. Twist-locks are the work of the devil. There's not a set of twist-lock sticks in the world that can be adjusted faster than my Speedlocks. Gitzo-type legs may be more versatile, height-wise, since they get down to hi-hat level, but where it counts for me, being able to adjust the height QUICKLY, they suck. And every pair of Gitzo's I've ever seen that really get used in the field have F'd up leg locks, so it usually takes at least two to three times longer than it would have anyway with them to adjust them.
I like the positive action twist locks on my Sirui, but:
- its easier to see if flip locks are actually locked than with the twist locks
- the flip locks on my Black Diamond walking poles are easy to adjust
On the upper legs the Manfotto 058 has neither flip or twist but a kind of latch which can allow all three legs to move at once if you wish, or you can just adjust them independently. Very fast for setting up and adjusting height. However it does have twist on the bottom legs which I don't care for.
Have both types (Manfrotto and Gitzo legs) and on balance I prefer the twists as I find them faster to set-up, and I too have also lost the odd drop of blood on cold flips pitching the flesh on closure :
I do think the newer type flips (such as Manfrotto's "Quick Power Lock') are much better than the older types though, so not something that would be a major differentiator for me.