Ranger RF-324C – My ideal tripod to take with me on mountain trips
The field report
Taking really good and vibration-free photos is only possible with a tripod. As a frequent traveller, you should look for an ideal travel tripod. The most important characteristics of an ideal tripod are that it is light and compact, so that you can easily transport it. At the same time, it is nice if it is stable, because that is what you are taking it for. In addition, it should be reliable and safe, as you are securing your expensive camera on it. There is only one way to achieve these requirements: a carbon tripod. My choice is a carbon tripod with a reasonable working height and a very sturdy ball head.
Review by Robert Bilos
Robert is a landscape photographer from Germany. His passion for photography takes him on adventures to different countries and places with natural backgrounds. See also Robert's Instagram.
After collecting all my necessary camera gear and packing my camera bag, my trip to the Dolomites in Italy can begin. I have been to the Dolomites a few times before, but this is the first time I am taking my brand new Leofoto tripod with me. I have a Ranger RF-324C tripod with LH-40 ball head, which is well packed in the supplied bag. I will test the tripod in practice during my work, will this tripod meet my requirements?
For my work, I most of the time go to the mountains. Even though the terrain can be rough and the weather can change at any time, this is my favourite area to work. When you go to the mountains, it is important to put together your photographic equipment carefully. When choosing a tripod, weight always plays a big role, but also stability and ease of use. It is difficult to find a tripod that excels in all three areas. So, as with the rest of your photographic equipment, your choice is usually a matter of compromise. I prefer compact and lighter models, so I chose the Ranger RF-324C tripod. But I don't have to make any compromises at all with this tripod.
The first impression of the tripod is immediately positive: the adjusting knobs are solid and the carbon has this high-quality look and feel, which is just very pleasant. The legs of the Ranger RF-324C are very robust. Each leg of this tripod consists of 4 sections that can be extended by unscrewing the large rubber turning handles. The extension is wonderfully smooth and fast, which is useful if a photo opportunity suddenly presents itself and you need to adjust your tripod quickly.
In addition to the quick leg adjustment system, the tripod also has a hinge that allows you to adjust the tilt angle in 23°, 55° and 85°. At the largest tilt angle, you can lay the tripod legs almost flat on the ground, allowing you to get really close to the ground with your camera. Photographers and filmmakers will really appreciate it because it allows you to take pictures from a different perspective and you can easily adjust the tripod, which is not so easy with many tripods.
The Leofoto tripods are excellent quality and can be used for many years. That is the reason that every Leofoto tripod includes no less than 10 years of warranty.
You can register your Leofoto product here.
The Leofoto Ranger RF-324C tripod comes standard with rubber feet on the tripod. These rubber feet can be unscrewed and exchanged with the stainless steel spikes. This is useful in uneven mountainous terrain and in meadows with slippery high grass. It gives the tripod more grip on the ground, which makes it easier to work with. This way, you do not have to worry about your tripod with camera falling over. The metal spikes also provide more stability in winter on frozen mountain lakes.
The tripod is made of lightweight carbon, which makes it super sturdy but can feel cold in the winter. Although this aspect is already less with carbon than with aluminium, the Ranger RF-324C has a grey rubber grip around one leg that makes the chance of cold hands a little smaller.
The platform of the tripod has a thread for mounting practical accessories. This can be, for example, a Magic Arm with a smartphone mount, but also a Magic Arm with a multifunctional clamp. Weighing 1390 grams, this is a super-lightweight tripod, but its stability does not suffer.
What is just as important as the tripod is the ball head that you place on the tripod. It must be easy to use, have sufficient load-bearing capacity and above all it must be possible to fix the ball head in any position you want. The LH-40 ball head is exceptionally reliable and easy to use. You can attach any Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release plate, L-Bracket or lens plate to the head. I personally use a L-plate to mount my Sony A7 Mk III on the head. Because of the panorama base with a 360-degree scale, the double notches under the ball, I can align my camera exactly as I want it. It also makes switching between horizontal and vertical photography very easy. The friction of the ball works very well. It offers a lot of control and I can accurately apply small changes. The ball head is designed for a maximum load of 15 kilograms and weighs 540 grams. This means that the ball head will do its job very well with large cameras with long lenses.
The Leofoto Ranger RF-324C carbon tripod is very robust and absolutely stable. This is a professional and high quality tripod that I can rely on during my trips in the mountains. I find that at 1.39 kg, it is quite lightweight, which makes this tripod preferable to heavier models in almost all situations. During stormy weather conditions in the Dolomites, it withstood every gust of wind. In addition, it is easy to transport and, above all, very practical to use.
"The Leofoto Ranger RF-324C carbon tripod is a high-quality all-rounder that you can rely on."
The ball head has a load capacity of 15 kg and leaves nothing to be desired. It is light, not too big and very quick to make various adjustments. Finally, I have a tripod and ball head that has convinced me on all levels and I will certainly enjoy it for a long time to come!