Feisol CT-3442 – Review
Since upgrading from my first tripod to the incredibly sturdy and robust Feisol CT-3372 (see review here), I've often found that it can be a little overkill at times. Don't get me wrong, if I could only have ONE tripod, it would be that beast, but often times I find that something smaller and lighter would be more practical - especially with the amount of travel I've been doing lately. That's where Feisol's CT-3442 comes into play.
First, let me start by saying that this is NOT a paid endorsement, but Feisol did actually send this tripod to me for an honest review.
I like to think of the CT-3442 as the younger sibling to the CT-3372. It's lighter, shorter and skinnier - but don't let that fool you, it still holds it's own!
At this point in time, the Feisol CT-3442 is not available in Australia, but can be purchased from the US for $399 USD. I'd recommend purchasing directly from feisol.net, but if you'd prefer, they're also available at bhphotovideo.com.
A few important specs:
25kg load capacity
Total weight - 1.14kg total weight (2.51 pounds)
Maximum height of 140cm (more with optional centre column)
49cm folded (closed) length
4 leg sections
Aesthetics and Build Quality
Just like anything that comes out of the Feisol range, you can expect exceptional quality and design when it comes to tripod manufacturing. Made almost completely from carbon-fibre, the Feisol CT-3442 weighs a moderate 1.14kg - that's lighter than my Sony A7R + 16-35mm combo! Each lock, leg and lever are excellently machined and will last as long as you look after them and keep them serviced.
One thing I completely left out of my previous Feisol review, was their ease of cleaning. When shooting outdoors, whether that's in the mud, sand, saltwater or volcanic ash, your tripod is going to get crap inside it no matter what brand you shoot with. Something I love about the Feisol range is how easy that crap is to get out. This is one thing I HATED doing when I had my previous tripod, I won't mention their name here, but lets just say it rhymed with banmotto. With the Feisol, the leg sections simply unscrew one by one and a good rinsing is all you need (dish soap can be used if necessary as long you reapply some type of marine grease afterwards).
If you want to see how I clean my tripod, don't forget to check out THIS post when you're finished here :)
Just like the entire Feisol range, the CT-3442 uses the twist-lock approach to extend each leg section. There are 4 leg sections in total, which I find is the perfect compromise between stability and transportability. Let me explain... The fewer leg sections your tripod has, the less likely it is to flex or vibrate whilst fully extended. On the other hand, the more leg sections your tripod has, the shorter it is able to be folded. 3 leg sections equals strength and stability, 5 leg sections equals a very compact tripod. The CT-3442 finds itself smack bang in the middle!
One other feature that the majority of Feisol tripods possess is their ability to invert the legs 180º from their original position. This is especially handy when you travel with a ball head attached to the tripod. Flipping the legs over the ball head means that you save the extra height of the head (potentially another 10 or 12cm, depending on your head).
The Feisol CT-3442 has 3 preset leg angles of 25, 50, and 75 degrees. This comes in handy when you need a little bit of extra stability or you need to lower the height of the tripod without fiddling with the length of the leg sections.
Images taken with the Feisol CT-3442
Things I love:
It's lightweight and fits perfectly in either my suitcase or on my F-Stop pack.
Punching well above it's weight in terms of stability.
Easily taken apart for cleaning.
It's one sexy lookin' tripod.
Comes with tripod bag for protection.
Affordable (especially for the quality).
Things I don't love:
I usually like to find at least a couple of things to put under this heading, but after using this tripod for a few months now, I'm honestly having trouble finding anything I don't love about it. Maybe in another few months?
If you've read my review on the Feisol CT-3372, it will come as no surprise that I love this tripod, too! If I had to describe this tripod in once sentence it would be: 'The perfect combination of quality, stability and transportability in a more than affordable tripod.'
As always, if you have any questions about this tripod, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! I love responding to your questions and comments!