When it comes to tripods and camera support, the biggest issue that we as photographers face is Stability vs. Weight. There are a couple of other issues that factor into the equation like Durability and Usability too.
Noting the above, I’m going to review the SLIK 700DX Pro tripod and explain why I chose the 700DX over some of the other tripods out there. Keep in mind that I bought the “legs-only” version of the tripod which didn’t come with a head. I use a Manfrotto 486RC2 Ball Head that I’ll review later.
I looked at a lot of different tripods in my quest for the best camera support for my needs. I looked specifically at carbon fiber models as well as alloy models. It didn’t take me long to rule out carbon fiber because of the price. Gitzo makes some really great tripod legs, but I wasn’t going to shell out $600.00 for a tripod. Sorry, it’s just not my style.
The SLIK 700DX Pro caught my eye because of it’s price and it’s features. Here’s a few of the things that I love about my 700DX:
- Quick Release locks on the legs. This is pretty huge in my book. These snaps clamp the leg sections which makes it easy to lock each leg section in place when you have the length that you want.
- Foam padding on the top of the legs. This was a “must-have” feature for me. Why? Last year I was shooting landscapes in Maine in the middle of winter… at dawn. It didn’t take long for my old aluminum tripod to quickly cool off. My hands would ache terribly by the time I was done shooting. (I don’t wear gloves because they are too clunky when it comes to making adjustments to camera controls.)
- Solid support. The 700DX can support quite a bit of weight (15 lbs) which is really important if you want to throw a 70-200mm f2.8 or a 200-400mm f4 zoom on your camera. It is made of Aluminum-Magnesium-Titanium alloy (A.M.T.). Considering this baby only weighs 4.85 lbs, it does a great job of supporting my gear.
- Removable center column section. I can shorten my center column and get my tripod really low to the ground which helps me get a more interesting perspective. This is an important feature to a lot of pro landscape shooters. (By the way, you can’t do this tripods in which all the legs are attached to the center column at the bottom of the tripod.)
- Price. Hey, we’re all after a bargain and considering this tripod gave me all the features that I wanted for around $100.00 I couldn’t pass it up.
The tripod is made of etc, etc, etc.
As far as dislikes go, I really don’t have any. Even though it’s a little heavier than it’s carbon fiber counterparts, it doesn’t bother me to throw it on my Tamrac Expedition 7x backpack and walk around shooting for hours.
When it comes to tripods I’m definitely hooked on my SLIK and if I ever make enough money as a photographer to pony up the cash for a carbon fiber model, I’ll once again be calling on the dependability and durability that my SLIK 700DX Pro tripod has given me.