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In-depth tripod overview: Actually Proper Stuff Versa TVC-34 Mk.2: Digital Pictures Evaluate

Actually Proper Stuff’s Versa TVC-34 within the area with a 500mm lens, 50MP digicam, and a suitably giant and succesful gimbal.

Actually Proper Stuff Versa TVC-34 Mk.2 | $1100

What units Actually Proper Stuff other than most different manufacturers is their consideration to element and give attention to high quality over amount. This US-based producer of digicam help programs and equipment has persistently set the tempo with high-end, custom-designed options for demanding photographers. Their latest ultra-compact journey tripod is an instance of this dedication to innovation for individuals who want it, and might afford it.

In 2018, the corporate relocated from California’s central coast to Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah. This introduced their whole manufacturing facility, and most of their workers, to each a extra inexpensive area of the nation, and nearer to the distribution entry of a significant metropolis. Prior to now, RRS merchandise have been solely obtainable direct from the producer, however now they’re additionally bought within the US by Amazon, B&H, and Adorama, together with varied European and Asian shops. Whereas they’re nonetheless proudly ‘100% made within the USA’ they’re simply obtainable everywhere in the world.

Specs and what’s included

  • Most top of 148 cm (58.2″)
  • Minimal top of 9 cm (3.5″)
  • Folds to 53 cm (20.8″) with 14 cm (5.5″) diameter
  • Weighs 1.93 kg (4.25 lbs) with flat platform
  • 39kg (85 lbs) load restrict
  • Three leg angles (26° / 53° / 86°)
  • 4 leg sections (36.7mm prime leg diameter/ 33 / 28.5 / 24.7mm)
  • 70mm platform secured with three hex bolts
  • Giant weight hook beneath platform
  • Bubble degree included on apex
  • Detachable 42mm mushroom ft on customary 3/8″ thread
  • Consists of detailed directions

Actually Proper Stuff up to date their Versa sequence of ‘systematic’ tripods just a few years in the past, with improved supplies, ergonomics, and the addition of some requested options like sealed leg locks, threaded accent ports, and a everlasting weight hook on the flat platform. This up to date lineup contains Versa tripods with three or 4 part legs, in ‘common’ and ‘lengthy’ variations for additional top, and extends to the smaller ‘Sequence 2’ tripods, and upwards to bigger ‘Sequence 4.’ With these sequence names for every dimension, RRS is borrowing a Gitzo nomenclature, however there are important variations as we will see.

Within the RRS tripod catalog, the identical legs discovered on the Sequence 3 Versa TVC-34 might be ordered on the compact apex of their ‘Ultralight’ sequence, which forgoes the modular apex and insertable extras for a slimmer and lighter bundle. The Ultralight vary contains Sequence 1 and a couple of leg widths, in addition to the Sequence 3 being reviewed right here. The 2 totally different apex types are additionally obtainable by themselves, permitting present homeowners of Versa Sequence 2 or 3 tripods to swap their legs onto a minimized apex, or Ultralight homeowners of the identical dimension to commerce as much as a modular apex.

RRS TVC-34 ‘Versa’ on the left, and TFC-34 ‘Ultralight’ on the suitable. The leg tubes are the identical.
(Picture offered by Actually Proper Stuff)

In comparison with others

This tripod was examined and in contrast with its modular apex friends. Left to proper; ProMediaGear TR344, Actually Proper Stuff TVC-34, Sirui SR-3204, FLM CP34-L4 II, Leofoto LM-364C, Gitzo GT3543LS.

The RRS TVC-34 was examined and in contrast alongside tripods in the identical class of ‘Sequence 3′ (33-36mm prime leg tube diameter) “Systematic’ (modular apex with detachable platform) sort, when it comes to dimension and utility, together with merchandise from Gitzo, ProMediaGear, SIrui, Leofoto and FLM.

All of those tripods have been utilized in 4 seasons of sand, snow, mud, rain, and salt water; arrange within the bog-like Atlantic salt marshes and the wind-swept Appalachian mountains. They’ve been loaded with gimbal heads, ball heads, geared and pano-heads, and as much as 4kg (8.8lb) lenses connected to cameras starting from APS-C to medium-format, capturing something from long-exposure landscapes to excessive telephoto birds-in-flight. The one check they didn’t undergo was being rough-handled on the airport, because of pandemic journey restrictions.

Peak comparability

Beneath is a relative top comparability between the Actually Proper Stuff TVC-34 and a 6 foot (1.83m) photographer.

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First impressions

The extensive stance and thick legs of the Actually Proper Stuff TVC-34 of their pure habitat.

The 36.7mm width of the highest tubes, and the ensuing bigger diameter of the three nested leg tubes beneath, present the RRS TVC-34 with essentially the most substantial legs of tripods within the Sequence 3 dimension. This tube diameter is extra in step with what different producers name their ‘Sequence 4’ tripods, however RRS goes even bigger for their very own next-size-up tripods. This overbuilt design, whereas conserving the burden at, or beneath, their ‘Sequence 3’ rivals, is a part of what makes Actually Proper Stuff merchandise stand out from the group.

One other hallmark of RRS gear is the exact construct and meeting of each half and floor. Nowhere is that this extra obvious than within the shiny aluminum leg angle locks, that are rounded and recessed to keep away from catching on straps or different materials, however nonetheless have simply sufficient carved out on the edges to be pulled out when altering the angle. In fact, they’re much simpler to push from behind with only a finger when greedy the leg, because of an indent on the again, and so they ratchet down with a satisfying, spring-loaded click on. (Additionally seen are the 1/4″ accent attachment factors.)

The included Versa platform is a thick disk of well-machined aluminum, secured by three hex bolts across the sides of the apex (‘SureGrip™’). A really giant weight hook beneath the platform is a brand new addition to those Mark 2 tripods, however the lack of a set screw to safe a head is stunning. As well as, any head connected can be resting metal-on-metal, in contrast to the plastic lined disks on the opposite tripods on this class. Which means frequent head adjustments might lead to some scuffing on each surfaces, and extra vibrations could also be transmitted.

With such thick legs, the highest of the tripod seems nearly small, regardless of its beneficiant diameter, and having the choice to swap this out for an much more compact (however not modular) apex pushes the comparability even additional. The lead to both case is a handful of a help system, which is broadly applauded by adventurous professionals as sturdy and reliable. There’s nothing within the preliminary impressions that may put any of that fame doubtful.

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Use within the area

The TVC-34 is secure even as much as its leg locks in swamp water; and whereas considerably sealed, no leg is impenetrable when absolutely immersed. The vented leg clevis permits for straightforward draining afterward.

The general packed dimension of the TVC-34 is on the bigger finish of this class of tripod, however is minimized because of the easily machined aluminum apex, with the legs stowed beneath the rounded and unobtrusive leg angle locks. The overall weight is much like different modular apex tripods of this class, which remains to be a somewhat hefty 1.93 kg (4.25 lbs), however with 36.7mm leg tube diameters, the TVC-34 is among the many lightest and most compact tripods of a ‘Sequence 4’ dimension, even when RRS themselves name this tripod a ‘Sequence 3.’ The thick carbon-fiber legs, rubber wrapped leg locks, and mushroom-style ft all match properly beneath the Versa apex, making this massive tripod eminently transportable, even when stowed in baggage or strapped to a climbing pack.

The rubber O-rings within the leg locks and really exact match of every carbon fiber leg tube to the one beneath makes locking the sections collectively fairly stable, but additionally requires extra pressure to drag them out to full extension. This resistance would possibly work itself out over a lifetime of use, however initially it signifies that unpacking the tripod and adjusting every particular person leg, to degree the tripod, is much harder than every other tripod on this class. Whereas most tripod legs might simply have the highest lock turned after which a slight push to easily alter a single leg size, the RRS tubes stubbornly stick collectively, requiring extra focus and downward pressure (which might be worrisome with heavy, costly gear on prime). If ever there was a purpose so as to add a leveling machine to the highest, this can be a good one.

The extensive stance of the RRS Versa sequence is clear when in comparison with a few of the different tripods of this kind and dimension, regardless that that is often a distinction of just a few levels (26° vs 24°) on the leg angle lock. This offers extra stability for heavier masses, and solely sacrifices just a few centimeters in total top. The unfold additionally makes working subsequent to the splayed legs just a little bit simpler, till area on the bottom will get tight, which admittedly can be an issue for any giant or tall tripod. Curiously sufficient, if the bolts holding the legs to the TVC-34 apex are tightened a bit, the legs will retain extra acute angles in tighter areas with out a dramatic drop in stability (however requires cautious use).


Upkeep for TVC-34 is detailed within the included directions booklet and in on-line movies, and the two-piece shims and rubber and aluminum leg locks are straightforward to take away and clear. Every thing matches collectively tightly, as anticipated from RRS, and the rubber gaskets might be felt (however not simply seen, as they’re black on black metallic) sealing the leg lock from extreme intrusion. It is just the two-piece shims that make cleansing a bit extra bothersome, though they’re very thick and constructed to final.

Spare elements and further shims and gaskets can be found from RRS distributors and the corporate web site, although a bit exhausting to seek out generally.

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Take a look at outcomes

Vibrations could make even the sharpest lens end up mushy, blurred images, and might spoil lengthy exposures. Within the typical use circumstances for this class of tripod, decreasing the consequences of vibration turns into extraordinarily vital, since longer focal lengths and better resolutions enlarge the consequences of any motion, and environmental vibrations like wind and water could have an growing impact on bigger legs and kit. Digital camera vibration might be mechanically minimized with mirror lockup, digital shutters, and a distant shutter launch, whereas including weight to the underside of the tripod (with the burden hook or a tripod stone bag) will help stabilize the entire setup. Nonetheless, not all sources of vibration might be eradicated, so we examined whether or not the tripod will dampen them or transmit and replicate them to the digicam.

The tripod legs have been absolutely prolonged, and our vibration analyzer for heavy-duty tripods (an iPad on a 3.2 kg (7 lb) cantilevered weight) was mounted on to the flat platform’s 3/8″ threaded bolt with a protracted lens plate. An industrial solenoid valve with a plastic hammer was used as a supply of vibration (a knock to the underside of 1 leg). The ensuing graph of all three accelerometers exhibits each the resistance of the tripod to the preliminary shock, in addition to the speed of decay for residual vibration inside the tripod.

Actually Proper Stuff TVC34 vibration resistance check outcomes – click on for bigger graph

*Notice that this graph is relative solely to this class of tripods. The load and check gear was adjusted to offer a conclusive outcome for this dimension of tripod.

With the thickest leg tubes of a Sequence 3 tripod and really stiff building, the RRS TVC34 resisted the preliminary shock of the vibration check greater than different tripods on this class, and shortly dampened any remaining movement throughout the legs. This wonderful result’s the perfect of comparable tripods which have been examined, simply barely edging out the Sequence 3 Gitzo and forward of the equally thick-legged Leofoto, proving that leg tube diameter and stable building might be counted on to reduce vibrations.

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Relating to help gear, Actually Proper Stuff is sort of all the time thought of the ‘ne-plus-ultra’ when it comes to design, innovation, and excessive value. In different phrases, nice stuff for those who can afford it. The RRS ‘Versa’ TVC-34 tripod, nonetheless, just isn’t way more costly than just a few different 3-series systematic tripods of excessive renown, however delivers almost bomb-proof stability together with eminent portability in a really refined bundle. The reluctant leg extension, easy aluminum platform, and lack of any extras are the one points to be discovered if one is procuring at this value level. Relating to the competitors at this dimension, RRS has merely gone past them, and appears nearly equally comfortable in tough use, demanding situations, or being in comparison with 5 comparable tripods.

What we like

  • Astounding construct high quality (as anticipated from RRS)
  • Finest-in-class vibration resistance
  • ‘Sequence 4’ leg tubes at ‘Sequence 3’ weight
  • Swappable compact apex obtainable
  • Spare elements & repairs obtainable from USA

What we do not like

  • All-metal platform with no head retention
  • No included spikes, bag, or extras
  • Premium checklist value

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