Leofoto LN404C Test Results

  1. Introduction & Specifications
  2. Design & Operation
  3. Test Results
  4. Head Choice
  5. Comparison & Conclusion

The performance data for the LN-404C is listed below.  The stiffness is very good, but not quite what I would have hoped for from a tripod of this weight and leg tube diameter.  We can see from the systematic tripod rankings page that there are tripods nearly as tall with the same stiffness and much lighter, thought at much greater cost.  The LN-404C isn’t without compromise.  You aren’t paying top dollar, but you aren’t getting top dollar performance either.  The damping numbers are excellent, and I have not qualms there.

Yaw Stiffness1295 +/- 6 Nm/rad
Yaw Damping0.516 +/- 0.052 Js/rad
Pitch Stiffness3454 +/- 16 Nm/rad
Pitch Damping1.18 +/- 0.12 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 included) down.

Bonus Data:

3/4 Height Stiffness and Damping.  The LN-404C will reach overhead for nearly everyone, and thus most people will use the tripod with only three of the four leg sections extended.  Here are the test results in that configuration:

Yaw Stiffness1820 +/- 3 Nm/rad
Yaw Damping0.45 +/- 0.045 Js/rad
Pitch Stiffness5249 +/- 12 Nm/rad
Pitch Damping0.824 +/- 0.082 Js/rad

The stiffness at 3/4 height is clearly much better, as expected.  If you intend to use the tripod with the camera at eye level, this is the more relevant data for you.  Then again, you probably shouldn’t be getting this tripod unless you intend to take advantage of its full height on occasion.  For consistency, the headline results in the rankings and specifications pages are always tested at full height, as this is where most tripods are used.

Recommended Gear Limit

In terms of typical photographic and video gear, there really is no limit to what I would consider appropriate for this tripod.  Feel free to throw your gimbal head and massive telephoto lens on here.

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.

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

No complaints from me on the quality of the data.  Stiffness and damping are acceptable, but perhaps not as high as expected for a tripod of this size.


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

The data here is kind of  a mess.  Between the two plots we can see that the correct resonance is being measured, but its certainly not as clean as is ideal.