The stiffness and damping performance of the MeFoto Roadtrip is poor. The stiffness is near the bottom of the list of tripods I have tested, despite it not being particularly small or light. This is the direct consequence of building a five section, small tube diameter, aluminum tripod with a narrow leg angle.
|Yaw Stiffness||178.5 +/- 1 Nm/rad|
|Yaw Damping||0.118 +/- 0.012 Js/rad|
|Pitch Stiffness||823 +/- 3 Nm/rad|
|Pitch Damping||0.29 +/- 0.029 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.
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. Under real world conditions, I wouldn’t use this tripod for anything much larger than a DSLR with a normal zoom, such as a 24-105mm. Under any sort of breezy conditions, it will be difficult to obtain sharp images with a telephoto.
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.
When we get a tripod with very little damping, we see the very sharp resonances as shown above. This is not a stiff tripod.
The stiffness and damping for the pitch axis are better, but still not great. Narrow leg angles tend to favor stiffness in the pitch direction at the expense of overall stability.