yes, i'm going to talk about tripods
The thing with photography as a hobby is that there is more gear out there than even a gear-o-phile like myself cares about. I am talking, in this instance, about tripods. I don’t find tripods exciting or sexy or noteworthy. My opinion towards tripods is completely utilitarian (how non gearhead photographers claim to be towards cameras).
Back when i went “serious” I went down to my [un]friendly neighborhood camera store and worked with the salesperson to get the tripod that was right “for me”. According to them, the tripod that’s right “for me” was the one that included all sorts of bells and whistles which are irrelevant and only look good on the showroom floor.
I am talking about features like having an extendable monopod in the middle of the tripod. And then that monopod having a button which allows it to fold out at weird angles. Really, I am complaining about this one thing only. It was terrible: it made the tripod heavier and bulkier than it needed to be, which meant I rarely used the tripod.
Also, I purchased a pistol grip head, which was kind of neat, but didn’t last. The grip is somehow magical, and neither holds nor releases when you want it to. How Manfrotto pulled that off, I’ll never know.
So I replaced it.
I sold the old battleship and got a sleek and sexy corvette. This analogy sucks. Whatever. I got some carbon fiber Feisol legs (a brand I have never heard of before) with a flat base for the tripod head to rest on, and I pulled out my old ball head (hah!) and stuck it on top. Check it out (new tripod on the left):
The new guy is smaller, lighter, better. And this means I will use it more often. Good riddance to bad rubbish.