Comparison & Conclusion


The TVC-33 is as close to a perfect tripod as is made.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  Performance, build quality, design, all impeccable.  That said, I find it hard to get excited about this set of legs.  It does everything incredibly well, but isn’t the best for any particular application.  There are larger and stiffer tripods available, and ones more suited for portability and travel.  As I finish up this review, I am sad to see this tripod leave my collection, but I have not found myself picking this one up.  If I were only limiting to owning one tripod however, it would probably be this one.


  • Performance
  • Excellent Machining and Anodization
  • Comparatively Low Weight
  • Versatility and Customization with Accessories


  • Price
  • Cost of Accessories

Compared To:

For a more complete list, see the systematic tripods ranking page.

RRS TVC-33RRS TVC-34LRRS TVC-23ProMediaGear TR343LGitzo GT3533LS Sytematic
Stiffness Nm/rad2184.01656.01941.01783.02147.0
Damping Js/rad0.230.360.330.460.54
Weight lbs (kg)4.303 (1.952)4.53 (2.055)3.38 (1.533)4.12 (1.869)4.586 (2.08)
Height in (cm)58.4 (148.3)67.8 (172.2)51.9 (131.8)59.3 (150.6)59.7 (151.6)

RRS-TVC-34L – The TVC-34L is simply a taller version of the TVC-33 due to another leg section.  Folded, these tripods are very similar in size.  While the stiffness of the 34L version is less, this is primarily due to the extra height.  When measured at the same height, the stiffness of the two tripods is almost identical.  The tradeoff between the two tripods is only between weight and height.  If you sometimes need to get the camera overhead, get the 34L version.

RRS-TVC-23 – The smaller 2 series tripod has similar stiffness at max height, but is shorter than the TVC-33.  It is significantly more compact than the 33 and weighs less, making it a much more portable option.  The smaller top plate of the 2-series tripod is less suitable for using full sized heads.

ProMediaGear TR343L –  The narrower leg angle of the PMG prevents it from achieving quite the same performance of the RRS.  It is slightly lighter and more compact though.  Many of the differences are simply a matter of personal preference.

Gitzo GT3533LS – The performance of the Gitzo is also excellent but the tripod is a little bit heavier than the RRS.  The Gitzo uses cast magnesium for the larger metal parts, which is not as good as the machined aluminum in the RRS.  Overall I prefer the RRS, but if the Gitzo is significantly cheaper in your region then it is still an excellent option.

Who is it for?

If you want one tripod of the highest possible quality that can do everything (except perhaps travel) then this is it.  You will of course pay handsomely for that right though.

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