Filter set, two cameras, two lenses, a set of SD cards and charged batteries. To be honest, I'm a bit excited, because against the packed bag leans a brand new tripod. Namely a Leofoto Ranger LS-365C with LH-40 ballhead. I already know exactly where, how and what I want to photograph.
When I look outside in the afternoon, the weather forecast seems to be coming true. After two grey and wet days, the ‘hourly forecast’ at 17:00 shows a little pictogram of the sun appearing from behind the cloud. The camera bag is already prepared for departure.
Choosing the right tripod
Actually, I always use the Leofoto Ranger LS-254C travel tripod. I am very satisfied with it, especially the ease of use of the tripod. Nevertheless, I notice that in some circumstances, it doesn’t quite meet my specific wishes. Choosing the right photography material actually always goes hand in hand with making compromises. This is also the case when using a tripod.
If you don't want to compromise on quality and solidity, you go for a sturdy and stable tripod. Do weight and ease of use also play a role? Then you would probably benefit more from a more compact and lighter model. Today, however, weight is not an issue. The place I have in mind is only a few hundred metres away from the parking lot
The LS-365C - A big boy
The legs of the Ranger LS-365C are robust. A single tripod leg consists of 5 different elements that can be slid in and out by means of large rubber swivel handles. And that is wonderfully smooth. At the top of the tripod are hinges that can be adjusted and locked in 3 positions. The last position offers the possibility to place the legs completely horizontally on the ground. The feet of the tripod are rubber pins that you can unscrew. If you are working on uneven or slippery surfaces, you can easily switch to the included spikes.
The Leofoto LH-40 ballhead
Without a good ballhead, a good tripod is worthless. A ballhead must be easy to use, have a good load-bearing capacity and above all be securely locked in any position. On the LH-40 ballhead, all quick-release plates can be fitted with the common Arca-Swiss dimensions. This happens smoothly with the quick-release rotary knob.
Tip! - With the Ranger LS-365C tripod, you can choose a ballhead that matches your camera kit yourself. Leofoto ballheads with different diameters are available separately.
Just like the tripod, the LH-40 also has a rock solid appearance. The three existing rotary knobs have a matt chrome look and are provided with the necessary notches for better grip. Besides the pan button that you use for a horizontal shift (especially convenient when taking panorama photos), there is also a large tilt button that allows you to move the camera a full 360 degrees.
Finally, there is a button that completely locks the ballhead. A subtle spirit level is integrated at the top, as well as a graduated scale at the bottom so you can position the tripod very precisely. The two recesses in the design allow the camera to be easily adjusted by 90 degrees so you can switch from landscape to portrait composition at lightning speed.
The baptism of fire
I’ve decided that my new tripod will get a baptism of fire on one of the most beautiful photography spots I know. Right on the German border, the river Dinkel meanders through the Twente landscape. A typical sight of the Dinkel are the steep sand banks created by centuries of erosion. For Dutch standards, it is a fairly unique place and a candy store for landscape photographers.
There is a strong wind blowing the rain clouds over the land. To assess how firm and stable the Ranger LS-365C really is, I'm going to do a time lapse. This was something I did before with my other tripod, the much lighter LS-254C, which is also from the Leofoto Ranger series. With the light tripod it is noticeable that, especially in slightly rougher weather conditions, there can be slight movement, especially when I shoot with a heavy telephoto lens.
The Leofoto Ranger LS-365C carbon tripod is a keeper. With 1.77 kg, I still find the weight reasonably acceptable, so this tripod will probably be preferable for hikes that are not too long. All materials feel as rock solid, as I have come to expect from Leofoto.
The ballhead has a load-bearing capacity of 20 kg and, as far as I am concerned, leaves nothing to be desired. What I find especially convenient is how I can move and fix the camera completely vertically so that I don't need my L-bracket anymore. I'm going to enjoy this tripod for a long time to come!
The Leofoto Ranger LS-365C carbon tripod is a keeper.
Leofoto: The best price-quality
Leofoto is a brand by Zhongshan Laitu photographic Equipment Co. Ltd, based in Guangdong. The company was founded in 2014 and has grown to be one of the leading manufacturers in photographic equipment in China. The company supplies high-quality aluminium and carbon tripods, together with tripod accessories like ballheads, quick release clamps and L-plates, all for a very competitive price. Innovation and quality are Leofoto's pillars. The factories and test centers are equipped with motivated employees who use their experience and enthusiasm to transform Leofoto tripods and accessories into the best equipment you can get.