As promised, and after an extensive use over the past week, I can now give you a personal review on my tripod+head gear. I will not give here specifics on height, maximum loads, and other things, you can easily find those on the web and I don’t like specifics in reviews. I like in-use impressions!
I used this very nice head+tripod combination during the night session but also while shooting at the studio and at the George Enescu Museum (post will follow after I’ll go through the ~400 shots). I find it light, easy to carry – whether you use the Giottos bag or not – and it doesn’t flap around when you carry it sideways on your back. The downturn to this couple is that I’m using a 3-way head with a bag that welcomes ball-heads. So I have to dismount the 3 “hands” each time I carry the whole thing. They give you a plastic support for that, so it’s nice, but still. I knew what I was getting into, I just don’t want a ball-head, that’s all.
With that in mind, the gear wasn’t too much of a nuisance in the museum, I was able to move around nice and quick, same thing in the studio, I could move around fast by just folding the legs together when I needed to go from spot to spot, and it’s extremely well built and solid, so at night, I could move it with everything extended without a problem. It stays really well on the ground (the way you test that is by twisting the legs to see if it “takes off”) so all my tripod shots are spot on.
Besides that, given the cold weather we’re having, it’s nice to have something to hold on to when you carry it around, it comes with nice foam around the main part of the legs, which means that your hands won’t freeze to death each time you touch the tripod.
The extension system is very well thought, you twist your wrist a little and you can extend everything, twist it again and it’s secured. I love how fast it goes. I still need to get used to it, I wasn’t really sure whether it was secured or not a couple of times or so, but other than that, it’s perfect.
The head is very solid, all metal, it runs smooth and does exactly what you expect it to do. You have two level-bubbles and degrees everywhere, allowing you to be really precise when you need to. I used my a450, a grip, and my 70-300 on it, in portrait mode, and it worked really great.
There’s nothing negative I can say on these two, besides the whole transportation bag thing – but once again, I knew that before I bought it. I’m giving it a 9.5/10 in the blink of an eye.