Some of you — you know who you are — really need stability. When you perch your heavy, expensive gear on a tripod six feet off the ground, you need to know that it’s going to stay there. And you need to know that it’s not going to move or vibrate. However, you’re also on a budget.
Do Robus tripods fill this need?
Robus is new on the market and may be unfamiliar to you. They seem to make quality gear designed for strength and stability but priced quite well given the quality. That certainly is the case with the Robus RC-5570 Vantage Series tripod.
Juggling cost, weight and stability
Often, some photographers will put more time into researching tripods than cameras. Typically, we wrestle with cost, weight and stability.
Robus seems to address this by having extremely reasonable prices coupled with incredible stability and load capacity. Their Vantage line of tripods seem built for heavy loads, video work, and any sort of work which requires height. But, of course, they’re a little heavy.
Goes high, goes low
The Robus tripod has a maximum height of 70.1 inches. I am 6’1″ tall. At that height, the viewfinder of my camera is probably about at least nine inches higher than my eyes. But the Robus will also go low. If you splay out all the legs, it also has a minimum height of 4 inches.
I have a stable, heavyweight tripod already. I’ll occasionally compare the Robus to the Feisol CT-3372 tripod that I have used since 2013. The Feisol has a maximum load of 66 pounds and weighs 3.8 pounds. Its maximum height is 58.3 inches.
The Robus RC-5570 tripod is made of 10 carbon fiber tubes.
I generally prefer carbon fiber for their lightness and stiffness and general resistance to vibration. Also, during the winter, carrying the tripod is not nearly as cold as carrying an aluminum tripod.
However, I am not anti-aluminum by any stretch. A night photographer can make a strong case for having a heavier aluminum tripod. They are cheaper, may dent but not break, and are heavier. Why might heavier sometimes be better? Some of the places we photograph have gusts of wind in excess of 40 miles per hour. While I prefer not to be out when it’s that windy, sometimes, these winds can come out of nowhere.
Top plate and video bowl
The Robus comes with a removable machined aluminum top plate and the usual 3/8″-16 thread size for fitting your ball head. Just about any ball head will fit this.
There is a hook underneath the top plate. Some use this for stabilizing the tripod by adding weight, such as a camera bag or tying it down. I don’t use these. I find that hanging even heavy camera bags can sway and introduce vibration. And I feel that if conditions are so bad that I need to tie down a beefy tripod such as this, I might want to head back to the car anyway. But regardless, if I were to use the hook, I’d probably tie it to something large and heavy that’s resting on the ground so it’s genuinely tied down.
The tripod also comes with a 75mm video bowl. This allows you to use bowl base video heads or fluid heads to your tripod. And certainly, this tripod is beefy enough to hold a video setup easily.
The tripod uses a ratchet-style lock lever to tighten or loosen the top plate or video bowl. As a night photographer, I truly appreciate features like this. This is one less tool I have to find in the dark. I would think videographers, wedding photographers, and other photographers would also find this handy as well. Also, the Robus uses a platform lock and an additional platform release button for an extra degree of security for your camera and lens.
The Robus tripod locks at the angles of 25, 55 and 85 degrees, and non-locking angles can be used if conditions permit. These angles are fairly standard.
Robus comes with contoured rubber feet. They also include spikes and wide rubber feet, which increases the value of this tripod. Many manufacturers sell different feet as accessories.
Standing tall and firm
I extended the legs to their full height of 70.1 inches and locked everything down tight. Needing some weight, I mounted a Pentax K-1 with 15-30mm f/2.8 lens (approximately 4.5 pounds). Then, while looking through the viewfinder, which I had to do by standing on a stool, I pushed or tapped the camera. However, it never vibrated and simply held its ground.
Most tripods cannot achieve this height. If they do, it’s with a center column. A center column is convenient. However, it reduces stability, particularly during long exposures or video work, and have far more likelihood of vibrating or even wobbling slightly.
Comparing two sturdy tripods
The Feisol CT-3372 is currently my primary choice when I need an extremely sturdy tripod. I have used it for many years in the desert and ocean, and it has always performed admirably.
The Robus’ widest leg diameter is 1.28 inches, which is a little thinner to the Feisol at 1.5 inches. This likely accounts in part for Feisol’s larger maximum capacity. The Robus has a maximum load capacity of 55 pounds, which is lighter than the Feisol, which is rated at 66 pounds. The Robus is noticeably heavier at 5.6 pounds than the Feisol, which is 3.8 pounds.
The maximum height of the RC-5570 is tall enough that most people would not be able to look through the viewfinder of a camera at its fullest height. It was probably about six inches above my eyes, and I’m 6′ 1″ tall. The Feisol is about a foot less at 58.3 inches. However, their minimum height is almost the same.
One notable difference is that the Robus is a four-section leg while the Feisol’s legs are three sections. The extra section accounts for the Robus’ considerably taller maximum height, although the Feisol is able to have slightly thicker diameter.
The legs of the Robus were able to deploy very easily. One of the aspects I love about twist-lock legs is the ability to loosen all sections simultaneously and lengthen the legs very quickly. The Robus also has knurled rubber grips, making this even easier. I preferred their grips over the Feisol. Unlocking and locking the Robus felt precise. I also liked the rubber feet, which were quite large. Also, when I tugged at the rubber feet, they felt like they would stay on.
I was able to deploy and contract the legs of the Robus a bit smoother than the Feisol. To be fair, though, I have done sick things to the Feisol, photographing in desert and coastal areas and traveling many thousands of miles with it since 2013. Consequently, I have one section that requires more effort to deploy and contract than the others. I’ll need to take it apart and apply some marine grease to it later!
In addition to the rubber feet, the tripod comes with wide feet and spikes. Along with the included video bowl, this makes the Robus even more of a great value. Also, the carrying bag is a high quality padded bag. As a bonus, the bag is large enough to fit the tripod while having the Robus RTH-1050 ball head attached.
The Robus RC-5570 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod has the fantastic combination of high quality, rock solid stability, and low price. It is made for photographers who need extra stability and height, and value the added bonus of being able to use a Robus 75mm Leveling Adapter (sold separately) when using its included video bowl.
Robus RC-5570 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod
When your career depends on that next shot, you need a tripod that’s much more than just three legs to stand on. Meeting and succeeding that need, we have the RC-5570 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod, one of a series of tripods from Robus that delivers performance to satiate the most demanding image-makers, regardless of the conditions or terrain in the field. the 10x carbon fiber legs feature wide, stable leg tube diameters. Even at a maximum extension 70.1″, these substantial cylinders combine with the tripod’s anodized CNC-machined spider to support video or still camera rigs weighing up to 55 lb.