Just wanted to share my experience with a Bogen
- Manfrotto 728B tripod
that I purchased 5 years ago, have had out in the field less than 20 times and has broken twice. The plastic, upper quick-release assembly collar cracked in half on two different occasions while birding in winter. The most recent failure occurred this past January in approximately 30 degree weather. Both times, the upper assembly collars broke when I folded the legs in towards the central column. I'm very careful not to SLAM the legs either in or out nor SLAMMING the legs against the central column. It's obvious that plastic is brittle at cold temperatures but guess what? The first failure occurred in the same spot on a 50 degree day.
I contacted Bogen
/ Manfrotto repair department and ordered the replacement collar. While speaking to the gentlman in the repair department last month, I mentioned that this was the second time that the same upper quick-release assembly collar cracked in half. I also suggested that the plastic in the upper collar might need to be beefed up. He then related to me that "Tires on a car wear out and need to be replaced. They are a normal wear and tear item. Sometimes parts on tripods
The point of my post is not to air my grievance to hammer B-M. Here's my point: Quick-release, flip levers for leg locks are a really great convenience. BUT, check the material used in the construction and seriously consider how and where you use a tripod
and if the potential tripod
you are considering is up to the rigors of your intended use. Although I don't consider using a tripod
in 30 degree weather to be abusive, the temperature coupled with opening and closing my tripod
5-6 times proved too much for the thin plastic leg lock of the B-M 728B. Consider your use and if its rigorous, seriously weigh whether the convenience and durability of flip lever leg lock is really worth it. I have since switched to the "old style" screw type leg lock tripod
. It's not fun lugging around a tripod
that you can't use in the field.
Joanie, if my posting is inappropriate for this forum, I certainly understand if you need to delete it.