For certain types of photography, a tripod becomes one of the most essential pieces of gear. Landscape, architectural and food photographers use a tripod on 95 per cent of the images taken. Since the introduction of carbon fibre material in tripod manufacturing, it has become the material of choice for most photographers. Build quality, features and usefulness separate the best carbon fibre tripods from the rest.
Induro uses the most recent generation of eight-layered carbon fibre material to make its tripods. The company claims a 60 per cent increase in strength with its carbon fibre over conventional carbon fibre. The Induro C414 features a grooved and reversible centre column to prevent unwanted rotation, reversible tripod head mounting screw, a spring loaded weight hook, non-rotating leg sections to prevent dust and moisture from seeping in, adjustable angle leg locks, and a built-in bubble level. The C414 has a maximum load of 12 Kilogram and a maximum height (with centre extended) of 77.2 inches. The C414 weighs 2.81 Kilogram and when folded measures 25.2 inches. The C414 comes with a carry bag, strap and tool kit. Induro offers a two-year standard warranty plus three additional years if purchased online. The C414's retail price ranges from $669 to $690, as of January 2010.
Gitzo's tripod legacy goes back 93 years to France. The Gitzo GT2541EX does not break from the Gitzo tradition of quality. The GT2541EX uses six layers of carbon fibre for added strength. This tripod measures 21.26 inches when folded and 64.57 inches when fully extended with the centre column. The GT2541EX carries a maximum load of 1200 Kilogram and weighs 184 Kilogram. The Gitzo GT2541EX also features Anti-Leg Rotation (ALR). ALR makes opening the tripod legs quicker. It allows the user to simultaneously unlock all of the legs instead of unlocking them individually. This allows the user to open the tripod in 15 seconds. The GT2541 also offers 90-degree leg-angle positioning. The Gitzo GT2541EX's retail price ranges from $675 to $705, as of January 2010.
The Manfrotto (previously Bogen Imaging) 055CXPRO3 tripod features carbon fibre legs with an aluminium column and magnesium and aluminium castings. The tripod has three preset independent leg angles--47 degrees, 66 degrees and 89 degrees. The tripod features a maximum height (within centre column extended) of 69.68 inches, a minimum height of 22.44 inches and weighs 178 Kilogram. The 05CXPRO3 comes equipped with a three-faceted (not round) centre column, plus the column features a rapid-release mechanism. The legs come in three-section round tubes. The tripod has a maximum load bearing of 800 Kilogram. The Manfrotto 05CXPRO3 has an average selling price of £274, as of January 2010.
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