Q666C carbon Fibre Tripod/Monopod
Working on the basis that the best tripod is the one you have with you, as opposed to the one left behind because of weight or size constraints, I've been pursuing the idea of finding a small, lightweight tripod that I should be able to carry with my aging body.
To that end I've come across a couple of tripods in my short list, the smallest one is the Q666C with ball head and so far my hot favourite. The second one, is the Pro-Master XC528C with ball head it is taller but also packs longer and is marginally heavier, well as far as I can ascertain that is.
Pricing is interesting to say the least. I can purchase the Pro-Master XC5258C via the states (ebay or amazon) and have it landed here (Australia) for about $550 AUD. I can purchase it locally in a camera store in Melbourne for $449 AUD, Interestingly, this is the first time I can remember that a photographic item is priced cheaper in this country.
The Q666C is quite a different proposition, it is only available from the net worldwide, as far as I can tell, but it is quite favourably priced at $176 AUD delivered to my door. A difference of $273 AUD. It would also mean I could purchase two of the Q666 units and still have $97 AUD left over.
I realise that there are some build differences, 8 layers of carbon fibre in the Q666C as opposed to 9 layers in the XC528C. The ability to have spiked feet in the XC528C is another difference, but not a game changer. I have spiked feet in a few of my tripods and to be really honest, I can count on one hand the number of times I have used them and know of only once I needed to use them, and that was with the tripod in a muddy creek.
My usage is for a Nikon F3 35mm body and a lens only, with the biggest lens being my 105 Nikkor. The weight of those together is 1.27Kg according to my kitchen scales. This weight to my mind, is very much the ball park weight either of these tripods could take. Speaking of weight, both of these tripods have different weights offered in specifications on different websites flogging them. I think the real weight they are designed to carry is around 5kg or under. I have seen more than a few advertising 15kg as their weight capacity, I believe that that is the capacity of the tripod heads supplied with the tripods; just one of the things one has to be aware of when interpreting advertising language in English from a source that does not have English as a mother tongue.
I'm wondering if there are any members out there with either of these tripods, especially the Q666C tripod? If so, what are your thoughts?
This is the Q666C http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/171592793...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
This is the XC528C http://www.promaster.com/products.asp?product=3494
Slightly broadening the scope of your question (hope you don't mind): did you consider the Sirui T025X, half the weight of the Q666C, and not much more expensive; I recently bought this one, because my previous 3-lb tripod often was left behind. I do know the Sirui is no match for a 6-lb tripod for heavy cameras or in windy conditions, but it's much better than no tripod, and it fits inside my backpack.
I'm going to play the devil's advocate here and ask, do you really need a tripod for that setup when you're out and about? Might not an inexpensive collapsible monopod work? I was looking through your gallery here (love the look of the portraits w/ the 85 lens. Not a big fan of the 105, but some of yours were fine) and noticed that often you were using 400 ISO film w/ shutter speeds that should work w/o one, or at least be in the range of a mono. Or possibly use a lighter lens if you want to carry a small tripod? I had an 85 2 that was wonderful for portraits and sharp as a tack stopped down. In low interior lighting it was hard to tell the difference between it and my beloved Leica R 90 2.8 Elmarit for portraits. In more light the Leica won out.
Just throwing some stuff out here. I don't use a tripod except inside in the studio, so carrying one isn't an issue for me. The prices of the lighter tripods like you mentioned are......well, I could buy a lot of film & paper w/ that sort of money, or a different kit.
Last edited by momus; 02-09-2015 at 03:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Oooh, never heard of that one. Did a search, read some reviews, found it is available ex stock in Melbourne for $259 AUD (201.66 USD) might go and have a look.
Originally Posted by bernard_L
It is though, a bit on the small side, height wise, and, yes, I know I'm looking for something quite small, but that is starting to look a bit too small. But I'll check it out with an open mind in a week or so when the weather cools down and a train trip to the city won't stifle me.
I thought you were having me on when you stated it was about half the weight, but it is almost half the weight of the Q666C.
This could be a very tempting little piece of carbon.
Momus, a very good reply/question.
Originally Posted by momus
It is certainly possible to normally use a fast enough shutter speed in reasonable and sometimes not so reasonable light. I sparingly use a tripod for portrait work, preferring to attach a drive to a body and have the ability to press, move slightly, press move slightly, and so on, if that is how a session is going. On the other hand I would never consider a light travel tripod for shooting models, unless maybe we all walked up a really big hill or a long way to a beach to shoot, I've done both by the way.
When traveling, one is often in quite interesting light, which sometimes means not much light at all, so a tripod is a great help. I know you can often use a bean bag, and we have one that is Australian made, quite expensive but really works. There is another issue, age is not making these arms and hands any less shaky, plus the other half who is also an avid shooter, does have a fine motor control shaking issue, which we know is going to become more pronounced. So a tripod is really helpful in many situations.
Many thanks for your comments on my gallery. I have not uploaded anything for years, this is because my super cheap Aldi scanner eventually died. With regard to the 85 f/1.4 versus the 105 f/2.5 difference, they are quite different and also not different, both can do wonderful portraits, with each having its own signature. Essentially the 105 will isolate and compress just that slight bit extra over the 85 but there isn't much in it.
The 85 is brilliantly bright in the viewfinder, the 105 is easier to critically focus though.
Many thanks for your input.
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You wont regret going lighter Mick. Last year, I replaced my well-travelled Manfrotto 190 with the carbon fibre version of same (and at the same time replaced the 300mm f/5.6 lens with the f/9 version of same) and I was surprised I REALLY NOTICED the difference. A light tripod is a joy to carry around (even with a heavy Arca Swiss head) - I wouldn't have thought 500g of weight savings would bring me so much joy :-) I can't rabbit on about it enough. It's less bitey to hold in chilly weather too