For travelers and hikers who love shooting panoramas, the leveling Ranger series tripods are as good as it gets. These models have a levelling half-ball built into the apex of the tripod which allows quick and easy leveling of your shooting platform on uneven terrain. Leveling systems have traditionally only been available in very large tripod systems and manufacturers have been scratching their heads about how to offer it in more travel-friendly models. The only solution over the last few years has been to buy a modular leveling base, which is installed between the apex and the head, but these are heavy and tall, making the tripod dangerously top-heavy and just heavy, full stop.
- Padded Storage and Travel Bag
- 3x Spiked Feet
- Carabiner and Attachment Screw
- Material - Carbon Fiber
- Leg Sections - 4
- Maximum Height - 152.6cm
- Minimum Height - 10cm
- Closed Length - 56cm
- Weight - 1610g
- Load Capacity - 15kg
Incorporating the leveling ball into the apex offers several advantages -
- The 1st is a weight saving – by using the apex as the cup for the half-ball, these tripods can be made lighter than their standard versions with a modular leveling base like the LB-60 added.
- The second is a lower camera and head position – keeping the center of gravity lower, which helps with overall stiffness and safety in windy conditions. The built-in half ball protrudes just 20mm above the apex, compared to the 50mm height of the LB-60.
- The 3rd is improved stiffness due to a simpler design – as the leveling half-ball connects directly to the apex, instead of being screwed on via more connections and layers.
So, if you are a panorama addict and you don’t want to lug a 2.5kg systematic tripod and modular in-apex leveling base around, then these tripods are the ultimate support system. These models weigh almost exactly as much as their Summit range counterparts before adding a leveling base.
As seen in image #4, a large lever control on the side locks and unlocks the levelling half-ball. This lever has a spring-loaded shifting function, which ensures easy use if anything blocks it. The mounting platform features a large spirit-level on a protruding flange for accurate leveling. The leveling half-ball features a large +15/-15 degree range of motion.
*Tip – this tripod can also be used as a compact video setup if paired with a small video head.
Everything else is exactly the same a standard ranger series tripod.
The Ranger series tripods offer a strong, rigid camera support system in a package that is lightweight, compact and easy to use and maintain. Read the detailed description here to find out more about this tripod range.
What is the culmination of all these features? One of the world’s best tripod ranges at a fraction of the price of the competition. As they say, the proof is in the pudding, well here is the pudding. Thecentercolumn.com is the DXO labs of tripods – they do a lot of controlled rigidity and other testing and combine it with a ton of other metrics like price, weight and extras to give tripods an overall score. On the travel tripod rankings, the Leofoto Rangers hold 3 of the top 10 spots alongside Gitzo and RRS, but if you look at the price of the competition, your jaw will drop. The Leofoto options cost between 25-50% of the other tripods on the top 10 list.
Emil Von Maltitz of Nature's Light Photography, made a video comparing the LS-324C and the LS-324CEX tripods. To purchase any Landscapegear product from Emil, follow this link. Emil is based in Kloof, Durban.