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Customer Review

226 of 230 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good tripod for the right price, August 22, 2011
This review is from: Ravelli APGL5 Professional 65" Ball Head Camera Video Photo Tripod with Quick Release Plate and Carry Bag (Accessory)
I bought this tripod as a replacement for my Dolica Proline Ballhead that served me well for few years, so for simplicity, I'll just compare these two side by side.

Dolica - somewhat flimsy, takes few months for black paint to wear out before it becomes more or less smooth. Camera plate is unique and should be ordered from Dolica only. Hard to adjust, has a tendency to drift from locked position. Quick release works so-so. Has a bubble level that is somewhat useful.

Ravelli - nice smooth head, easy to adjust, stays put once locked. No bubble level. Camera plate seems unique. Still have to figure out where to get extra plates. Quick release works pretty well.

Dolica - very easy to unfold and adjust, has both rubber and steel points on each leg, can be lowered down to almost ground level. Locking is reliable, but the tripod itself is not very stable. Once folded, fits into 21" carry-on (on a diagonal). Having rubber grips on each leg is nice, especially in a cold weather. Also, has a build-in small compass and level. Compass is somewhat useful, level is not.

Ravelli - folding and unfolding is somewhat tricky, as well as adjusting the height - or may be it takes time for me to re-learn from Dolica type mount. More stable than Dolica. Can be lowered down to almost ground level. Has only rubber points, so gripping to icy surfaces can be a challenge. No compass or level. Rubber grips on two legs only (why?) Packs to a compact 18", however, big bag makes it look bulky.

Dolica - very well made, nice looking and convenient bag with zipped internal pocket. Easy to carry.

Ravelli - not as slick as Dolica's. Zips only on a top, so taking the tripod out or packing it in takes longer time. There is one external zipped pocket.

Both are in a close price range, however, with Ravelli, you are getting an extra smaller tripod which is quite usable and well made, too (BTW, legs look like mini-Dolica). With Ravelli, extra camera plate is included, which is not the case with Dolica.

Ravelli's carbon fiber version looks, feels and weights exactly the same as aluminum.

Overall, Ravelli seems to be better than Dolica both in quality and value.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 26, 2011 2:10:26 PM PDT
J. Smith says:
I had both tripods in my wishlist.
Thank you so much for your comparison review!

I am going to buy the Ravelli today.

Thanks again.

Posted on Sep 23, 2011 6:15:07 AM PDT
aaanouel says:
Thanks a lot Alex.
I had just purchased the Dolica, but kept on reading reviews until found yours (this).
I really liked Dolica, it is a Hi Quality material, well finished and beautiful designed piece (of art may I say), I just loved it!, and Ravelli seems to be simpler and uglier... while much more practical.

You didn't tell: You can reverse central column upside down without taking it out nor unscrewing the hook: just folding the legs upwards!.
I finally took the decision when you said "more stable" and mentioned the second little one, added to the excellent price: Noway!

Cancelled Dolica order and purchased this Ravelli, I think it is the best value of all.
So I'm just waiting for it (them) to get home.

Posted on Dec 30, 2012 8:42:36 PM PST
CJC says:
Great review Alex. I bought the Ravelli myself and it's a decent tripod. You get what you pay for though. I've noticed that it drifts from the locked position as well, with my 5D Mk II and kit lens on. The hook (to add more weight for stability) has come off and no clue where it is.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2012 4:55:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2012 7:14:21 AM PST
aaanouel says:
I did exactly the same comparison and made exactly the same decision, Alex and we did right!
Yes CIC, compared with renown brands, it's much more than you pay for. Mine doesn't drift (or does the same as any other good tripod) but to avoid this tendency because of using big/heavy lenses, I use a FotoMate focusing/balancing rail, displacing the camera/lens gravity center back on the tripod head until stable. Sorry you missed the hook CIC.

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 2:19:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 13, 2014 10:11:46 PM PDT
Stoney says:
Thanks for your review.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2014 2:26:08 PM PDT
aaanouel says:
You're welcome Stoney, I'm glad of being helpful.

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 10:11:28 PM PDT
Stoney says:
Thanks for your review.

However, a little more detail would be helpful. The photos show the Dolica to have three leg positions (plus closed), but the Ravelli only 1. You imply the Ravelli has 2. Is that right?

To reverse the center poles, do you have to take them out and reinstall them?---or do the legs flip around? For the Dolica? For the Ravelli?

What is the minimum height of each (with the center pole in the normal location)?


In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2014 6:20:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2014 7:34:57 AM PDT
aaanouel says:
That's correct Stoney, it has two positions: normal and opened legs (aprox. 30º to ground).

You don't have to take the pole out to reverse it because the legs flip* 180º, that's the main advantage of this Ravelli over Dolica and my main reason for buying it (shooting with the camera at ground level without disassembling it, which I didn't very often finally, Ha!), but it doesn't have any leg locking position if being upside down, it just stands on the position you fit the legs to the ground, my only concern is that leg bolts (to tripod core) need to be tighten periodically.

The minimum height for the camera is the same as the center pole length: about 17" (unless flipping legs upside down).

To tell you the truth, I wasn't sure (and still am not) about which one is better, but for shooting ground level I finally prefer to use a good mini-tripod. If asking me now, I'd tell you that I'd probably chose Dolica/Targus** duo... just because Dolica looks prettier, ha!, although Ravelli is still better for setting the camera at really unusual positions and it seems to be a bit steadier.

I hope this helps.

* Legs have to be flipped upwards for packing it back (also the pole) or it won't fit in its case.
** Targus aluminum mini-tripod is good and cheap, but the head bolt is too small and it's difficult to be tighten (there may be better ones).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2014 8:17:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2014 8:18:56 AM PDT
Stoney says:

I think for me, the three leg angles of the Dolica might be the tie breaker. I want a reasonably inexpensive tripod I can use for closeup photography (what most people call macro---as a professional, I did real macro, and that's something entirely different)---without hanging the camera below the tripod. The "mid-wide" position will probably get me lower, with better stability than the super-wide position. I may have to shorten the center pole, but that's easy with a pipe-cutter (meant for galvanized electrical conduit), and not a show-stopper for me.

Thanks again, Stoney

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 14, 2014 8:44:00 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2014 8:46:37 AM PDT
aaanouel says:
I think it's a good choice! and don't forget the mini-tripod option too, it's cheap, fits in your case and/or tripod case pocket, and it's pretty easy to use when you don't want to deal with the "big" one or having no space to extend it.
Do you have a Flickr account for watching your shots? mine is aaanouel.
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