Feisol CT-3442 Test Results

The Feisol CT-3442 Tournament is an intriguing tripod.  It breaks the typical mold of tripods in this height and weight class by not having a center column, and by having an unusually narrow leg opening angle of only 20 deg.  The result is that thetripod is incredibly lightweight for its maximum height.  However, the narrow leg opening angle causes the tripod’s axial stiffness (horizontal camera movement) to be quite poor for a carbon fiber tripod.  Conversely, the radial stability (vertical camera movement) is very good.  However, no amount of radial stiffness can make up for the lack of axial stiffness.  I find this design decision somewhat mystifying.  If they had simply made the leg angle the standard 25 deg., The tripod would only have been two inches shorter.

NameFeisol CT-3442 Tournament
Stiffness About Vertical Axis360 +/- 3 Nm/rad
Damping About Vertical Axis0.248 +/- 0.025 Js/rad
Stiffness About Radial Axis2027 +/- 4 Nm/rad
Damping About Radial Axis0.789 +/- 0.079 Js/rad
Retail Price$420
Weight2.54 lbs (1.152 kgs)
Manufacturer weight rating88 lbs
Maximum Height55.7 in (141.5 cm)
Minimum Height6.8 in (17.3 cm)
Center ColumnNo
Base Diameter2.64 in (6.7 cm)
Folded Length19.0 in (48.3 cm)
Folded Circumference14.7 in (37.3 cm)
Folded Volume327.0 cu. in. (5.4 liters)
Leg MaterialCarbon Fiber
Leg Sections4
Primary Leg Angle20 deg
Leg LocksTwist
Top Tube Diameter28.0 mm
Second Tube Diameter24.9 mm
Third Tube Diameter22.0 mm
Fourth Tube Diameter18.9 mm
Exchangeable FeetNo
Foot TypeRubber
Bottom HookYes

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.


Example data for oscillations about the vertical axis of the tripod:

There are a couple unexplained blips visible from the accelerometer.  Not sure exactly what is going on there, but it doesn’t negatively impact the fit.

Beautifully clean data.  Low stiffness and damping tend to produce this kind of result.


Example data for oscillations about the radial axis of the tripod:

The oscillations are at a high enough frequency that it is difficult to see the exact fit on the webpage, but the peaks of the fitted curve and actual data do line up nicely.