The Leofoto LN-404C makes a strong case in terms of value. No other tripod is this strong, at this height, at this price. You can pay more money to get a lighter tripod, and you can pay more to get a stiffer tripod, but if those aren’t in your budget, the LN-404C is your best choice. The build quality is excellent. The parts are all machined aluminum and have a nice feel. When you take this out of the box, you aren’t going to be disappointed with how it operates and feels in your hands. Do not overlook its bulk and weight however. This is a big tripod that you will not want to have to carry very far.
- Build Quality
- Not terribly stiff for the weight
- Very heavy
For a more complete list, see the systematic tripods ranking page.
|Leofoto LN-404C||RRS TVC-34L||Gitzo GT5533LS||Feisol Elite CT-3472 M2|
|Weight lbs (kg)||7.78 (3.529)||4.53 (2.055)||6.016 (2.729)||3.88 (1.76)|
|Height in (cm)||71.2 (180.8)||67.8 (172.2)||56.6 (143.8)||58.3 (148.1)|
Note that this comparison is limited to tripods that I have actually tested.
RRS TVC-34L: The RRS tripod is nearly as stiff, nearly as tall, and three pounds lighter. The design, construction, and materials of the RRS are clearly superior, but that comes at significant premium in cost. This is the only tripod I have tested in the same class and height range, and the differences are stark. If cost isn’t an issue, get the RRS. If weight isn’t an issue, get the Leofoto.
Gitzo GT5533LS: This is the only ‘five series’ style tripod that I have tested and it is better than the Leofoto in every way except for price. The Gitzo is simply on another level in terms of performance, but again, it comes at a cost.
Feisol Elite CT-3472 M2: I included this tripod as it is the best tripod available at the same price point. The Feisol is about half the weight and roughly the same stiffness as the Leofoto, though is shorter. If you need the height of the Leofoto, or its better damping characteristics for larger telephoto lenses, it is the better choice. If you need to carry the tripod around much though, the Feisol has a clear advantage.
Who is it for?
The Leofoto LN-404C should be at the top of your list if you are looking to get a tall, stiff systematic style tripod on a budget, and aren’t concerned about the weight. If you are concerned about the weight, and also need a tall stiff tripod, you have no choice but to shell out the money for a Really Right Stuff, Gitzo, or ProMediaGear tripod. If you do decide that the LN-404C is for you, it can be found at the following retailers.
***Note: The availability and support for Leofoto tripods varies wildly. These tripods are well built and claim to have a 10yr warranty. However, using that warranty likely would require sending the tripod back to china, which means it is effectively worthless. The round trip shipping cost and time is impractical.
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