Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Started Apr 22, 2019 | Discussions
Bobby Handal
Bobby Handal Veteran Member • Posts: 5,777
Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Hello all, I am about to buy a Leofoto tripod, they look quite good built, I was wondering if someone here has experience with this brand. Is the rating they say conservative or on the money? or bull ?

Please help. Thanks.

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Fazal Majid
Fazal Majid Senior Member • Posts: 2,195
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

I bought a small tabletop tripod of theirs (clearly a knock-off of the RRS TFA-01). I ketp the ballhead, attached it to a FLM CP-10 leg set, and am quite happy with it. The legs themselves were so-so at best and I ditched them.

I have no idea what that means for their full-size tripods.

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Doug Greenberg Contributing Member • Posts: 944
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?
3

I have the very large 404c model, which I use to support very long, heavy telephoto lenses. I have been very happy with it. It is solid and seems sturdily built. I have had it a couple of years now and it has been quite reliable.

But I am NOT a professional photographer using the tripod under exteme conditions on a daily basis. Were I a pro, I would have purchased a Gitzo 5 series tripod instead, spending over twice as much money but very likely feeling it was worth the investment.

Doug Greenberg, Berkeley, CA

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ZodiacPhoto
ZodiacPhoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,083
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?
1

I have Leofoto LS-223C and 224C, both share EB-36 ball head. Both tripods perform admirably, no problems. The 224C is, IMHO, the best lightweight tripod right now. The EB-36 head is low profile, with very strong clamping and top and bottom panoramas.

I also use Leofoto NB-34 ball head with my Gitzo Traveler Series 1 tripod, a great head, very smooth, also with top and bottom panoramas. Narrow profile lets Traveler's legs fold fully in reverse position.

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Melcox Regular Member • Posts: 194
I'm happy with mine and highly recommend them.
3

I'll start off by saying that their products are "inspired" by (blatant rip-off of?) Really Right Stuff tripods and heads and I'm not encouraging buying Chinese knock-off's, however, I've spent a hell of a lot of money on RRS products so the Leofoto stuff I have, compliments my RRS equipment.

My journey into Leofotoland started with my purchase of the Leofoto MT-03 tabletop tripod. It's a knock-off of my RRS TFA-01 table top. The quality, build and finish is just as good but the Leofoto has a couple things the RRS doesn't have. It has leg extensions that fold out (not extend from) the legs. It's a really neat way of nearly doubling the height of the tripod. These legs can also be extended out to any distance of up to 180 degrees to offer even more flexibility. In addition, each outer leg has 5, 1/4 inch tapped holes to accept arms, clamps, etc. Not sure that I'd ever need it but it's a brilliant addition and could come in handy for mounting small speedlights for macro work. The MT-03 also came with their LH-25 ball head. Again, a knock-off of the RRS BH-25 but, for my purposes, just as good for a fraction of the cost. This combo has replaced my RRS TFA-01 as my travel tabletop / tiny tripod.

I then purchased a Leofoto LS-223C to replace my larger Reged Table top / small tripod. The LS-223C is just as sturdy but with a smaller top circumference. Extremely high quality for the money and it also came with the Leofoto LH-25 ball head.

My main tripod is a RRS TVC-33 and I love it but it’s a pain to carry around for a long distance. I’ve been using a Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, a great tripod but I’ve had mine for a number of years so I convinced myself I needed to replace it. I looked at the newer 055X but the higher additional cost gave me pause. Enter the Leofoto LS-324C. Well constructed, high quality, light weight and just as stable. A smaller, lighter version of my RRS TVC-33. I carry this one around If I have to walk longer distances. It came with their LH-40 ball head……….again, a close resemblance to a smaller RRS BH-55. Great combo, quality construction at a fraction of the cost.

In my search for the above Leofoto tripods, I stumbled upon the Leofoto LS-284CVL. I convinced myself that I needed it because it has the ability to convert the center column to a horizontal arm, like my Manfrotto 055CXPRO3. The Leofoto LS-284CVL is comparable in size to my RRS TQC-14.

All in all, I’m happy with my Leofoto purchases, both tripods and heads. The tripods are high quality and low cost. Each one comes with a really nice, padded tripod bag and a little packet which contains a combination tool with allen wrenches and a trio of small spikes. The heads come with a cloth drawstring bag with a firm leather bottom.

I’m not a pro and I don’t beat my equipment up so I can’t speak for the durability but it appears well built.

I do not work for, nor am I affiliated with Leofoto in any way. I just like their tipods and heads.

Too many cameras. Too many lenses. Too many bags and cases. And now, too many tripods!

Mel

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Bobby Handal
OP Bobby Handal Veteran Member • Posts: 5,777
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

wow, thanks all of you for your input.  Well, first I purchased a Leofoto Monopod (MP326C) for under $100 a few days ago, and its awesome.  I just ordered a tripod the LS-324C and it just came in right this moment, I unpacked it and it looks fantastic.

Very high quality .

Now I am looking at another model, with a center column...  SICK SICK .

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Sabrosa New Member • Posts: 2
Re: I'm happy with mine and highly recommend them.

Mel,

I was wondering if you had any other information about the Leofoto LS-284CVL you could share. I’m considering buying either the Leofoto LS-284CVL or a Benro model (possibly the GC257T) which has a similar tilting arm from a company I’ve had good luck with.

- Is the “Quick Shift System” arm made of metal?

- Any thoughts on stability with and without the arm deployed?

- Any experience with warranty or customer service?

- I’d be using this for real estate and architecture photography. I think the adjustable arm seems perfect for awkward angle detail and macro shots. Not sure if I’d be better off with a tilting column tripod like the Leofoto LS-284CVL, Benro GC257T, or a “normal” tripod with a detachable macro/boom arm.

There’s very little information to be found online about the Leofoto LS-284CVL so anything you could share about it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

ZodiacPhoto
ZodiacPhoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,083
I am happy, but...
5

I have Leofoto LS=223C, 224C, and 225C. Great tripods for the price.

Design closely resembles scaled-down RRS tripods. Same about some Leofoto ball heads.

However, Leofoto just released two mini - ballheads:

Besides small difference in ball diameters, compare them to RRS:

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/BPC-16

and

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/bc-18

Copied to the color of the knob! This lack of respect for intellectual property, either patented / trademarked, or not, discourages me from recommending their products wholeheartedly.

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Melcox Regular Member • Posts: 194
Re: I'm happy with mine and highly recommend them.

Sabrosa wrote:

Mel,

I was wondering if you had any other information about the Leofoto LS-284CVL you could share. I’m considering buying either the Leofoto LS-284CVL or a Benro model (possibly the GC257T) which has a similar tilting arm from a company I’ve had good luck with.

- Is the “Quick Shift System” arm made of metal?

Yes, it is metal.

- Any thoughts on stability with and without the arm deployed?

Stability is good for a tripod with its leg diameters and weight. The connections are solid.

Obviously, when using an extendable arm, you have to careful with the overall balance and center of gravity.

It's as sturdy or more than any comparable Benro or Surui that I remember using.

- Any experience with warranty or customer service?

No warranty or customer service issues so far.

- I’d be using this for real estate and architecture photography. I think the adjustable arm seems perfect for awkward angle detail and macro shots. Not sure if I’d be better off with a tilting column tripod like the Leofoto LS-284CVL, Benro GC257T, or a “normal” tripod with a detachable macro/boom arm.

No opinion on this.

There’s very little information to be found online about the Leofoto LS-284CVL so anything you could share about it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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Sabrosa New Member • Posts: 2
Re: I'm happy with mine and highly recommend them.

Thanks for the info. I wound up buying a LS-284CVL. I like it so much I bought a LS-283CM.

Kim Are Gabrielsen Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: I am happy, but...
1

ZodiacPhoto wrote:

I have Leofoto LS=223C, 224C, and 225C. Great tripods for the price.

Design closely resembles scaled-down RRS tripods. Same about some Leofoto ball heads.

However, Leofoto just released two mini - ballheads:

Besides small difference in ball diameters, compare them to RRS:

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/BPC-16

and

https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/bc-18

Copied to the color of the knob! This lack of respect for intellectual property, either patented / trademarked, or not, discourages me from recommending their products wholeheartedly.

And now Leofoto themself seem to have a knock-off

Andoer TS-223C seems very much like LS-223C. And BH-36 like EB-36.

Jeremy23 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Hoping to revive this old post. Would you mind elaborating on the differences between the NB-34 and EB-36? I'm looking for a travel tripod & head. Planning on getting the LS-284c and looking for a matching head that is a little larger than the LH-30 and has tension control.  I was thinking the NB-34 looked good, but note that you are using this on your Gitzo and not the Leofoto.   I haven't been able to find any reviews of the NB-34 so any information would be much appreciated!

ZodiacPhoto
ZodiacPhoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,083
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Jeremy23 wrote:

Hoping to revive this old post. Would you mind elaborating on the differences between the NB-34 and EB-36? I'm looking for a travel tripod & head. Planning on getting the LS-284c and looking for a matching head that is a little larger than the LH-30 and has tension control. I was thinking the NB-34 looked good, but note that you are using this on your Gitzo and not the Leofoto. I haven't been able to find any reviews of the NB-34 so any information would be much appreciated!

I sold that particular Gitzo with NB34 head, but until then, it was working just fine, no problems.

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DanRN
DanRN Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?
1

I’ve used a Leophoto 324c for a bit over a year now, and I’m very satisfied. The tripod and the LH-40 ballhead that came with it are definite RRS copies, but they work well for my applications. While the biggest load I’ve put on it is a Nikon D810 and Sigma 60-600 Sport, and I had no trouble, but I tend to use the Sport with a gimbal head on my old Gitzo.

The only thing I’d warn is the QR clamp on the ballhead releases the plate with only a slight turn of the knob. I’ve kept a close eye on it and make it really tight.

For good reviews of Leophoto tripods, check out:

https://thecentercolumn.com

Patrick Lowe Regular Member • Posts: 176
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

I have also used the Leofoto 324C with the LH40 ball head for few months and recently I added its leveling base LB 60. It is a perfect match so I don't need to adjust the leg to level it. Although it seems large but it is OK to carry it everywhere. I am happy about the purchase.

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DanRN
DanRN Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

I've looked at the leveling base as I retired at the beginning of the year and planned to do more panos.  With travel limited, the best I’ve done is dial in certain lenses with a pano head and nodal slide.  My area is great for hiking and camping, a bit short on scenics.

Soon.

Michel89 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

DanRN wrote:

I've looked at the leveling base as I retired at the beginning of the year and planned to do more panos. With travel limited, the best I’ve done is dial in certain lenses with a pano head and nodal slide. My area is great for hiking and camping, a bit short on scenics.

Soon.

What setup do you have now? I am also interested in Leofoto tripods and heads but I am not sure what suits me best. I was thinking about the Leofoto LS-324C with leveling base and LH40.

Best regards,

Michel

DanRN
DanRN Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Michel89 wrote:

DanRN wrote:

I've looked at the leveling base as I retired at the beginning of the year and planned to do more panos. With travel limited, the best I’ve done is dial in certain lenses with a pano head and nodal slide. My area is great for hiking and camping, a bit short on scenics.

Soon.

What setup do you have now? I am also interested in Leofoto tripods and heads but I am not sure what suits me best. I was thinking about the Leofoto LS-324C with leveling base and LH40.

Best regards,

Michel

I have a LS-324c and LH-40 without the leveling base (I got a massive deal on it at the time). I have a panning clamp atop the LH-40 that I added after the tripod purchase. And I have a 200mm nodal rail.

I’m pretty satisfied with the setup. The tripod is great. It’s on the borderline for me, I’m 6’2”. I mainly use it for the panos and macro. I have an old Gitzo I use with a gimbal head.

bokesan
bokesan Regular Member • Posts: 405
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Michel89 wrote:

DanRN wrote:

I've looked at the leveling base as I retired at the beginning of the year and planned to do more panos. With travel limited, the best I’ve done is dial in certain lenses with a pano head and nodal slide. My area is great for hiking and camping, a bit short on scenics.

Soon.

What setup do you have now? I am also interested in Leofoto tripods and heads but I am not sure what suits me best. I was thinking about the Leofoto LS-324C with leveling base and LH40.

I have the LS-284CEX with the G2 leveling head. That gives me only ±25° but that's enough for what I do. I couldn't be happier, but that comes with a big caveat: due to the pandemic, I've not used the combo that much. I hope that'll change soon. I already know that I like the geared head _much_ better than a ball head.

jbear Contributing Member • Posts: 803
Re: Leofoto tripods... are you happy? do you recommend?

Had an LH-55 (their largest head), which was made very well and super-stable when locked down (largest rig is a D850/grip + Sigma 500 f4 OS Sport + tc's + Sidekick), but is wasn't super smooth when tensioned.  Now having an RRS BH-55...it's quite a different experience.  The RRS head is night-and-day smoother, and the tension adjustment is significantly more sensitive and effective.  I'm using a lever on the RRS.  The Leo had a  knob and the clamp would loosen on it's own after a while and had I not noticed, I could have had some disastrous results.  I used to use a Markins Q20, and that was also much smoother.  I like the Markins and RRS equally, but the Leofoto head, while capable, was lacking.  I don't know about the durability as I didn't have it long enough.  I also think for a lot of people, it would be perfectly fine.  Mine may also have had issues that others don't.  I'd try one of their tripods or smaller heads if I had the need.

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