My workhorse tripod has long been the Really Right Stuff TVC-24L. It has served me for many years on my hikes up mountains and over boulder fields and across creeks. Aside from a few part getting sticky or loosening slightly, it has been bulletproof and never let me down. I’ve had it serviced by Really Right Stuff once or twice over those years for these minor issues and glitches, but they never stopped me from getting my work done.
To add context: probably my TVC-24L has gotten more of a beating than 99% of those out there—it never gets put into a case, and I use it for a hiking staff in some cases, so it has gotten hundreds of hours of minor impacts just from hiking/climbing around. It has stood the test of time. I am not certain but I have been using it at least 7 years (since 2011).
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To be clear, I prefer the TVC-34L for shooting most of the time because it is beefier and offers more height, but with a big “but”: I am not willing to carry it for my field work because its weight passes a comfort threshold that my arm can tolerate (I almost always hand carry my tripod, by necessity). So most of the time I use the TVC-24L. OTOH when near the car, the 34L model is preferred, particularly for larger and heavier lenses.
Now Really Right Stuff has moved the product line over to the Really Right Stuff Mark II tripod lineup, which makes a number of improvements. Continues below.
Below, the full height of the Really Right Stuff TVC-24L is just perfect for my need ( base plate height stands (about 5.5 ft / 1.68m). The green gaffer’s tape secures some padding for a improved diameter for my hand as well as insulation for work in the cold.
New Mark II tripods
I’m looking forward to the new Really Right Stuff TFC-24L Mark II which RRS should be sending my way soon. The TFC model is distinguished from the TVC model by not offering a center column option and by a more compact girth and being slightly more rigid at the apex. As I do not need or want a center column, the TFC model is the right choice for me.
The TFC-24L Mk2 Tripod includes most of the features from the TVC-24L Mk2 but swaps out the versa apex for a fixed apex. The fixed apex cannot use accessories like a quick-column but packs down considerably smaller in diameter.
Rajan P writes:
I got my TVC-24 Mk2 yesterday. Already the original versions were great but this iteration is even better. At least it feels that way.
DIGLLOYD: sounds good.
Glenn K writes:
I am really curious to hear your take on the RRS Series 2 Fixed Apex. While I like the sound of a more rigid, lighter weight and smaller tripod, it appears that I would lose the ability to attach the QD strap or to have a weight hook underneath and the platform diameter is smaller than the base of my B40 ball head, so I might stick with the Versa apex.
DIGLLOYD: I inquired with Really Right Stuff, and this is the response:
The Fixed apex tripods have a removable hand strap on the bottom that hooks into a removable pin at the bottom. The user could easily put a carabiner in order to hang a weight.
For the QD strap system, we sell an accessory that can attach to the fixed apex tripods and it gives the user the ability to attach a QD strap. We’ll have to update the listings with more photos when we get our studio back! http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/Apex-QD-Mount-TFC-14-Tripod
The “get our studio back” comment: as of early August 2018, Really Right Stuff has moved to Utah and doesn’t have a fully functional office setup for product imagery, with construction still underway in some areas.