Really Right Stuff Tripod

RRS TVC-34L with BH-55
Last month, I was debating between purchasing a new carbon fiber tripod (Really Right Stuff TVC-33) or replacing the QR plate head on my Manfrotto aluminum tripod with something that could accept Arca Swiss.

I went a slightly different path. Instead of getting the TVC-33 tripod, I went with the TVC-34L. I decided on the new tripod because I didn’t like the center column on my Manfrotto. I tried not to extend the center column to make the tripod more stable but that resulted in me having to lean over to look through the viewfinder. I went with the 34L over the 33 because I can always shorten a tripod but I can’t extend one further.

I also picked up three of their spiked feet in preparation for a trip to Virginia Beach.

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Move to Arca Swiss

Lately, I’ve been wanting to move to Arca Swiss plates for my camera/tripod. Currently I have Manfrotto RC2 plates for my Manfrotto tripod and monopod. If I want to take a portrait orientation image right after taking a landscape orientation photo, I have to loosen the ballhead, move the camera, make sure it’s level, then tighten the ballhead. With Arca Swiss, I can use an L bracket to go from portrait to landscape and back without moving the ballhead.
I’m debating between spending $1,700 on a new Really Right Stuff tripod and ballhead and L Bracket, or swap out the mounting plate on the top of my current tripod. The benefit to going with the RRS tripod is I’ll have higher reach.  Right now, I have to lean over slightly to look through the viewfinder (I don’t like raising the center column on my tripod as it makes it less stable).

New Camera

Canon 7D Mark II
I picked up a refurbished Canon 7D Mark II today from the Canon store to replace my Rebel T3.  I wanted something that could handle a higher burst rate while taking photos at drag races.  The T3 was only capable of 3fps whereas the 7DII can do 10.  Earlier this year, I was thinking about buying a Canon 6D because I thought I needed to eventually move to a full frame sensor camera.  The 6D tops out at 4.5fps which isn’t much faster than the T3.  While both cameras have built-in GPS, I didn’t need the WiFi that the 6D comes with.  I also liked that the 7DII has a built-in flash, even though pop-up flash tends to make images look bad.  I liked that if I needed a flash and didn’t have a speedlight with me, I had the built-in flash as a backup.  Another plus for the 7DII is that it has 63 AF points where the 6D only has 11.  My T3 had 9 so 11 didn’t seem like much of an improvement.