Wow! The Really Right Stuff TQC-14 Series 1 Compact Tripod is going to get a lot of use whenever I want to carry a smaller and lighter tripod that is still sturdy.
The TQC-14 has the right combination of size and weight and looks to be a superlative travel tripod (airplane in particular), or just the one I’ll prefer to take for longer hikes for easy of carry.
It’s also one of the few tripods with a center column that feels sturdy enough to allow me to overlook my usual distaste for center columns. It’s still a good idea to use a remote release or self time with mirror lockup to avoid any vibration, with or without a center column.
I find it difficult get a sense of which size tripod is appropriate from web pictures or specifications. The image shows the size and bulk differences.
Shown below are the Really Right Stuff TVC-34L, the TVC24L and the TQC-14 (in general, I prefer the “L” models for their extra height, which is really useful on steep slopes, one long leg into a creek, etc).
I use the TVC-24L the most, due to its terrific blend of size/weight and height, but it is larger than I’d prefer to carry sometimes. The TVC-34L is even heavier and beefier, and is therefore my “car tripod”; it is wonderful to shoot with, even beefier than the TVC-24L, but it passes my size/weight threshold for any kind of hiking or backpack stowage.
Along comes the TQC-14. It does not offer the height I’d prefer, but with the ultra sturdy center column and a remote release, I’m already thinking it will be the ideal model when I hike or bike with my photo gear, along with one of the smaller RRS ballheads to keep the weight down. My older Gitzo 1228 has long been decrepit, and the TQC-14 will now replace it.
For more on Really Right Stuff tripods, see my Really Right Stuff coverage in DAP.