Test Results

Test Results

The stiffness seen in the CP38-L4 is excellent, both overall and for the height and weight.  This results in one of the best scoring tripods that I have tested.  Taller tripods tend to be at a disadvantage in the rankings due to the extra weight in leg tubing they need to carry around to achieve that additional height.  So the fact that it ranks as high as it does is a testament to its build quality.

Harmonic Mean Stiffness2223.7
Yaw Stiffness1476.2 +/- 2.1 Nm/rad
Pitch Stiffness4505.1 +/- 42.5 Nm/rad
Yaw Damping0.196 +/- 0.02 Js/rad
Pitch Damping2.11 +/- 0.21 Js/rad

The stiffness and damping data are the averages of 10 trials for each measurement.  The reported error is the standard error, except in the case of the damping data. I have set the error in the damping at 10% as the standard error metric does not appropriately capture the error in fitting to the data.  All of the reported specifications are measured, with the exception of the weight rating. The tripod is measured at full height, with the center column (if applicable) down.

Bonus Data:

Recommended Gear Limit

The exact gear limit is highly dependent on the external conditions such as wind, and technique, such as the use of a cable release.  Under perfectly still conditions using perfect technique, sharp images can be obtained using any tripod. Developing a consistent and broadly applicable set of guidelines for what kind of gear a given tripod can reasonably support is still a work in progress on this site.

Example Test Data

The following data is example raw data from the stiffness and damping measurements.  The relevant information with regards to the tripod performance is entirely contained within the stiffness and damping figures presented above.  The plots below are solely present so that the tested stiffness and damping figures are believed. Each plot and the corresponding Fourier frequency space plot correspond to one of the ten trials done on each axis to obtain the test results.  For a more in depth discussion on the meaning of these graphs, see the methodology section and the “understanding the test results” page.


Very clean data.  Excellent stiffness.  Damping not so great.  Note here that I am using more MOI to test the tripod than typical.  This is simply to lower the resonant frequency into a range that is easier to measure, and does not affect the accuracy of the final stiffness and damping results.


Very clean data.  Monster amount of damping.  I have no idea why we see such a big difference here between the yaw and pitch damping values.