A really impressive tripod. Strong, stable, and loads of professional level features.
This is an amazingly good tripod for the price. It has a lot of features that you normally only find on more expensive tripods like a weight hook, and a smooth rotating base under the ball head to make panoramic photos easier and more level.The tripod has a good weight to it, but isn't too heavy. It's perfect for an amateur photographer to carry around, especially since it comes with a really high quality case. Even the case has a couple of different carrying options. There's a two piece handle that can be attached together to keep the case shut, and there's also a shoulder strap that can be easily removed. In order to add weight for stability, there's a hook on the bottom of the main bar that extends when weight is attached to it. If you're going out to do outdoor shooting, you could just bring a bag with you, load it with a few rocks when you get to your location, and just like that you can add 20-30 pounds to your tripod. Anyone who's used a light tripod understands how frustrating it can be in the wind, and a bit of extra weight in the right location can make a world of difference.The legs fold out to any angle, but they have three different locking positions to keep them from folding back up on you. These locks are very strong, and are completely made of metal. To release them, you just have to take the weight off, pull back on the textured portion, and fold the legs up. If for any reason you need to remove the legs completely, the allen key that you need is included with the tripod. One of the legs has a long foam pad on it, which helps for carrying and adjustment, especially in the cold. There's also a strap attached to the center of the tripod for carrying it without the case if you need to.The center bar has a large, rubber-coated locking ring to keep it from moving. It's really quick and easy to use, and makes on the fly adjustments painless. To use the upside down mount for macro shooting, you just have to unscrew the weight hook, loosen the locking ring, and slide the pole all the way out. Then you can put it in from the other end, and tighten it back down. It only takes a few seconds to do, and gives you a really stable way to shoot either macros, or just get photos/videos from unique angles.The ball mount is a joy to use. So many ball mounts keep flopping around after you've tightened them, but this one locks right where you're holding it. The knob to lock it in place is very large and turns smoothly. It doesn't take a ton of force to lock it in place, and you can lock it just enough to allow it to keep moving with a bit of force if you need to.The tripod uses an Arca Swiss plate to mount your camera, which is great since they're available everywhere. The plate doesn't budge once it's tightened down, and it doesn't take a lot of effort to lock it in place. If something happens that you lose your plate and need to mount your camera before you can get your hands on another plate, you can remove the panoramic adapter and ball plate, flip the mounting screw around, and now you have a standard 1/4" tripod screw to attach your camera to. Of course, you won't have the flexibility that the ball mount gave you, but it's definitely better than nothing.The legs are expandable in three sections, and are held in place by three plastic locks. The locks are fairly strong, but some of them do squeak a bit while opening or closing them. The bottoms of all three legs have non-slip rubber feet on them that work really well, and don't move around on any surface that I've tried them on.This tripod feels like it should cost twice the price being asked for it. I'm sure that there's a big difference between this and a $400 tripod, such as the height or the materials, but for most photographers, this would be an excellent choice. My wife does wedding photography, with me as her assistant, and we plan on getting a lot of use out of this tripod. If anything changes over the course of our usage, I'll update my review right away.I received this tripod at no cost in exchange for an honest review. No guarantee of a positive review was provided, and everything I've written is my genuine opinion.