How do our Leofoto tripods function in real life? We asked photographer Vincent Croce for his detailed opinion about the Ranger LS-254C! The LS-254C is part of Leofoto's Ranger Series; a series known for its versatility and ease of use. The Ranger tripods are very suitable for traveling!
Photo Trips to Beautiful Destinations
"In recent years I have been fortunate enough to be able to go on several photo trips to beautiful destinations. In the past year, for example, photo trips to Switzerland, Norway, Cyprus, France and Wales were on the agenda. As a self-confident gear-geek, you can be very busy putting together the right photography equipment and accessories for the destination in question. This task began to take shape after my switch from the Canon 5d Mk3 to the Fujifilm X-H1 last spring. Due to the considerable difference in size and weight, I simply had more space and therefore more options in my photo bag. This weight loss translated in practice into less hustle and bustle, making it a lot more pleasant on some trips to get to places that are relatively difficult to reach. Which I think will eventually result in better photos."
Looking for a Compact Travel Tripod
"The contents of my photo bag almost looked like I had in mind. However, I was still looking for a good and affordable alternative that could replace my slightly oversized Gitzo tripod. The Gitzo was reliable and in terms of weight still reasonably acceptable (total weight with ball head about 4.5 kilos), but it was actually too big and therefore awkward to haul during a longer hike. That's why I was very happy with the opportunity to use the promising Leofoto Ranger travel tripod, the LS-254C, during my last trip to the Black Forest (southern Germany). Would this lightweight carbon tripod, together with the LH-30 tripod head, make me forget my Gitzo?"
The Leofoto Ranger LS-254C Appearance
"What immediately catches the eye when you open the box is how small the tripod really is. The exact folded length is only 44 cm! The tripod legs are equipped with relatively large rubber rings that make sure you can easily extend and retract the legs. At the base of the legs there are the tripod feet, also made of rubber and also quite large. The twist-lock system also looks neat. These handles on the top of the legs are easy to grasp and pull out. This allows the legs to be fixed in 3 angles. The whole thing looks very solid."
The Leofoto LH-30 Ball Head
"Then the tripod head. Finished in matte black and metallic, this is a beauty. The design is well copied from top brand RRS (Really Right Stuff) and there is nothing wrong with that. The tripod head has a cut-out that gives you the opportunity to tilt the head completely horizontally, which is useful for photography in portrait orientation. Just as useful are the subtly integrated spirit level and the degree scale. The tripod head has 3 metallic coloured buttons, the upper one for attaching the camera's quick release plate. The largest knob gives you the possibility to move both horizontally and vertically, and with the smaller one you can pan horizontally; handy for shooting a panorama photo for example."
Detachable Center Column
"The tripod’s center column is removable and offers an additional 30 cm tripod height when attached. On the bottom side there is a screw mount as well, which makes it possible to attach a counterweight. With such a lightweight tripod that certainly is not a superfluous luxury! Also included is a neat set of Allen keys and a flathead screwdriver. I attach these to the tripod anyway. What I have not tested so far are the stainless steel spikes that you can use instead of the rubber feet. Handy for uneven surfaces! (At least I believe this right away)".
Lightweight and Easy to Use, Pleasant while Walking!
"It's actually a pleasure to walk around with such a lightweight and compact tripod when you're used to a bigger and heavier one. I noticed that I pick it up much more quickly to change the composition. This seems to have been an invisible threshold for the Gitzo after all... I am also very pleased with the twist-lock system. This works more smoothly than with the Gitzo. Moreover, it is safer! They don't fire back with as a result getting your finger skin in the hinge, but stay in place until you push them back yourself. The rubber feet are stable and don't loosen easily. I have experienced different in the past: somewhere on the Salland Ridge there are still a number of rubber Manfrotto feet to be found."
How Stable is the Ball Head?
"When attaching the camera's base plate, I noticed you have to be very careful that it gets entirely into the rail before you tighten it. Because it all just fits. The ball head seems stable with the use of a wide-angle lens. During a 2 second self-timer shot, the tripod has time to balance the minimal vibrations that occur when pressing the shutter release button and you can take a razor-sharp picture with a small aperture. And then for the more exciting work: a telephoto lens. With my 55-200 mm lens I immediately noticed that at 200 mm I had trouble locking the head in the desired position. It kept dropping down about 1/3th of the frame. At 100 mm I hardly had any problems with that. Partly because this lens is the smallest and least heavy telephoto lens from the Fujifilm stable, I think this is a small downside."
Leofoto Ranger 254C review, Conclusion
"Nevertheless, I was able to take good photos with a longer focal length. That is why I am generally very satisfied with the LS-254C. When traveling, it just makes a big difference if you have to carry less weight. However, I will continue to use a heavier and firmer tripod for my daily shoots. Especially considering the value for money, the LS-254C is a welcome addition to my photography equipment and I am sure that it will also be a companion on future trips."