If you missed part 1, you can get there here
Remember that I initially ignored the instruction that stated that I needed to tighten the screw on the ball head. Well, it turns out that this is rather important. I quickly found out that if this isn’t tightened, then the head can drift to the left or right – especially if the camera isn’t perfectly level. Another side effect is that when rotating the head counterclockwise, it can come loose.
After admonishing myself for a bit (but not too much), I tightened the screw as directed. These problems immediately went away.
At this point, I figured I would share some images I took with my cellphone of the tripod in selected states. They aren’t even close to tack-sharp but serve this article well enough, I think.
Views of the Fotopro C40i
First off, this is how nicely it folds up for storage. Notice that the length does not exceed the length of the fully collapsed legs.
The tripod has three different locking positions for the legs. I’m using my own terminology here because I don’t know what else to call the different positions. First we have the basic ‘normal’ stance.
We also have a wide stance. Notice that I unscrewed the centre column so that it could go down this far. Centre column is shown to the right on the floor.
Finally, we have the flat stance. The legs are spread out wide and the centre bar almost touches the floor. This can be especially useful for very low POV.
As soon as I got things tightened as per above, I then proceeded to try it out.
My Old Tripod
On my old pan head tripod, I would have to loosen one knob to change vertical orientation and an other to change horizontal orientation. I also had a third that could allow me to angle the camera. Depending on the position I wanted to control, I was using a lever, or a handle, or a knob, or the camera itself for movement. The steps were loosen, position and then loosen another, position. Then remembering to tighten everything I just loosened was always on my mind.. One was with the left hand and the other with the right, while switching hands on the camera to keep it in position. This is what I was used to.
My New C40i
It didn’t take long to get used to handling this little gem. Now on the new tripod, I can position my camera by loosening the one tightening knob and positioning the camera to whatever position was required. The only separate on was for height adjustment, which is only used if the tripod is too short for what I need at the time. I think I’m good. 🙂
There are three spirit levels on the ball head for making certain that the camera is level in most positions you may find it in. This is a great feature that I started to take advantage of right away. They are small but do a great job of helping you to ensure that your shots are level.
Weight and Stability
This aluminum tripod is so much lighter than my old plastic and metal one. It feels great carrying it around without the extra weight and is less bulky as well. The old one had a handle attached to it, presumably to help with handling.
I found the old tripod stable and that’s one of the reasons I stuck with it for so long. Even though it lighter and feels smaller, the new one is no less stable. If there is wind, we have the option of adding a weight to the hook a the bottom of the centre column. I know that it can handle my old Tamron 70-300mm attached to my D90 with no difficulty.
I love this tripod. It handles well and is actually a lot of fun to use. And besides, it looks great! If anyone is looking for a tripod that won’t break the bank that is easy and fun to use, this is the I would go for. That is, however, my personal opinion based on limited knowledge of the tripods that are out there.
The C40i is now my primary tripod and is serving me very well. I am so happy to have moved to a ball head.
Note: I found the plate for the old tripod a couple of weeks ago when cleaning the car trunk. It had slipped down into the well where the spare tire is kept. I didn’t think of looking there when I had originally searched. I will keep the old one as a spare and perhaps use it for my Speedlight when appropriate.