Customer Reviews: Ravelli Professional 65-inch Carbon Fiber 3 Axis Ball Head Camera Video Photo Tripod with Quick Release Plate and Carry Bag
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on July 29, 2011
I received the tripod today from and I think it's great! I will first address the negative reviews I read about this product because they almost scared me off from buying it.

#Bryon (statesville, nc)
1. There is nothing wrong with the twist tight locks; they work smoothly, and I find them to be better than the lever ones on my other tripod.
2. "The mechanism to keep leg parts from detaching is made of EXTREMELY cheap plastic"
To clarify, the legs are not attached by plastic. There is a plastic button that allows you to move the legs in and out of position. There is a little tab that locks it in place, once the button is released. The button is a bit sticky, but it is easy to tell when the tab has locked the leg into place - or not.

"They are not even precision cut." Who precision cuts plastic? It's all molded. I see nothing wrong with this at all.

#Lobol "lobol" (or)
1. You are supposed to be reviewing the product. If you didn't like the seller, comment on the seller feedback. (Check my pictures to see how mine came packaged and how it looks.)

2. Missing manual? Seriously, it's a tripod, why do you need a manual?

Now, just a smattering addressing other cons I have read in reviews that made me question buying the tripod.

1. The bag is not "total crap," and it's far better than a plastic bag.
2. The legs are not tough to pull in and out but may be sticky, if you don't twist the twist lock loose all the way.
3. The head does scratch easily; I suspect they didn't use hard anodization.
4. I agree that the level is pretty much useless.
5. You can only twist the twist locks the wrong way if you don't remember left is loose and right is tight, but the opposite is true when the tripod is right side up.
6. The free tripod is cool if you don't want to carry a tripod, but might need one for a quick shot (it is almost small enough to fit in a pocket, but stands approximately 48in tall). I put my Nikon D3100 with the kit lens on it. I wouldn't leave my camera on the tripod without someone's hands near it, but it will do in a pinch. Only bad thing really is the less than smooth metal peg on it (I hate scratches).
7. Loose part on the ball head? Do you mean the screw clamp that holds the head plate in place? I haven't found a loose part on the head.
8. Thumb screw falls in recess? I pushed my thumb screw in and still couldn't get it to go in the recess. You must be missing the retaining part, and you could just jiggle it and turn it upside down to have it fall out, but I still don't see how yours got stuck in the recess without a piece missing or damaged.

Now for my review of the product, I will keep it short and sweet since most things have already been addressed.
I like the tripod for three major reasons:

1. Ball head
2. Height
3. Cost

Based on these factors and how it feels with my camera on it, I think I did good choosing this product over a similar Sunpack or Benro. The added benefit is the bag and the EXTRA mounting plate that no one really mentions (stashed in outer pocket of bag). The free tripod, though flimsy, when fully extended is rather nifty and can be of use when in a pinch. I would recommend this product to a friend and in fact, my friend also bought this same product and likes it (he has prime and he bought both at the same time). If you want a good, light-weight tripod for a reasonable price, I would recommend this one. Check out pictures of this product that I posted. I hope this answers some questions you might have had after reading other reviews, because these are the concerns I had, as I was waiting for the tripod to come in.

(*Update: We loved this tripod and dragged it from the beaches to the mountains here in California. Sad to say that while walking around Central Park in NY, or through the MET, we lost the main screw for the ball head(the one that allows you to lock the ball in place.) It was the one time I didn't check to make sure all the knobs were tight and strapped it to my camera pack instead of leaving it in the case. We didn't even notice till we got to the top of the Rock at night and needed a steady tripod :'(. I hope the rest of you remember to tighten the knobs because I can't find a replacement one for the life of me.)

(*Update 2: Thanks to my local hardware store I was able to replace the main screw with a M6 with a plastic knob. The tripod is alive again!)
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on February 9, 2012
This is my quick-look review of the Ravelli carbon fiber tripod. As a photographer and video producer I know that the right tripods improve my shots and save my back when I'm hauling lots of gear. The Ravelli fits the bill for lightweight, full size and compact folding tripods. It offers some excellent features for the price. While it might not suit every camera and lens combo, it's a smart choice for a large number of shooters. Hopefully my short video review will help you make an informed decision.Ravelli Professional 65" Carbon Fiber 3 Axis Ball Head Camera Video Photo Tripod with Quick Release Plate and Carry Bag
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on July 13, 2011
Well, I have bought this tripod after the first buyer gave the tripod 4 stars. I was not buying one, but two, one for me and one for my brother. I have bought Ravelli APGL4 New Professional Tripod before, still using it, lost one of its plastic cover down in the leg (it's impossible to find spare parts!) I thought I have a deal of the century when a carbon fiber tripod is so cheap, but turned out I was wrong, WYPIWYG !
Everyone write about the good, the cheap; but I will write about the bad, and the ugly parts. I still give the seller the best rating with all possible star that I can give, since I receive the tripod very fast in the next day!

Here we come, the bad and the ugly:
1. The ball head is small, and the part attached to the head is loosed, you can move it from left to right about 0.1 - 0.3mm, for me, someone in the QC department needs to be fired; maybe the company has no QA department, just build, and sales. I don't use anything to tighten them; I just keep in my mind that was the first "strange" impression.
2. The plate is small with small metal twist which make you feel cheap, your camera will not falling down since it has a safety knob which will help to keep the camera on; but, you will have to take it out to tighten the plate every now and then, because it's loosing after a while under normal use. For me, this is bad, because we use tripod to keep the camera stable, to get the sharpest picture, but this tripod will not help much. I use the pistol head from Ravelli APGL4 (it fits perfectly) so the head is not bother me at all, however, my brother's hand got burn because he has to twist the plate so hard, so many time, to keep the camera stable (poor him). We use D40 and D90 for the photography class, just the basic ones, but the ball head is failed to keep the cameras stable for a period of times.
3. The tripod can hold my camera (D90 + 70-300mm) without falling, it's good but not stable enough, it got vibration (a little, but for taking picture, a little is a lot!) I don't use the bubble level, but it's not very well build and thought. The company can buy an expensive tripod, take it out a part, then learn to make something better, cheaper, that's a good way to go.
4. After we went to Victoria beach to take picture of the tower (we were standing still at 1 place, since that was a small spot, cannot moving much!), one of the tripod was bad, one of the legs could not expand any more, I think it got sand in somewhere between the plastic knob and the legs; one of the knob to tighten the plate on the ball head was failing too.
5. I have tried all the reason to keep the tripods, I don't want to buy something, try it, then return, because it waste my time, it's also make the seller feels bad somehow; but I could not find a reason, to be honest. Now I have to use the Ravelli APGL4 again, it's heavy when I go on to a field trip, but it will not fail on me.

Suggestion for buyer:
1. This is one of the cheapest carbon fiber tripods, if your main point is for travel, and save a little money, then this tripod is for you. Don't ever bring it to the beach (put the tripod down to sand), because it may fail on you if the sand somehow goes into the knob.
2. If you are looking for a tripod which can withstand a "heavy" use in any place and situation (beach, snow, portrait, etc..), or you want to take the perfect pictures without blurring them because of vibration from the head, from the legs; then you may have to look somewhere else (I currently do!).

Suggestion for the manufacture:
1. Instead of giving out the free aluminum tripod (it's a joke, and it costs you a lot of money), build a better ball head and throw in an extra plate. Redesign the metal twist under the plate so it's will attached to the bottom of the camera longer, harder (or until the user is twisting to release it). You have the engineers, they will know much more than me how to change it.
2. Build the spike for the legs, so user can twist out the plastic, and put in the spikes. I know you need to keep the price low, but build something that may last for a longtime, better build, for your company reputation. In the long run, you will get back all the little effort that you put in it.
3. Make replacement parts! You may sale cheap tripod, but you will get more profit when providing parts for the users.

Thank you for reading, and hope you have found something you need to know about this particular tripod. It may good for you, but not really for me.
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on June 15, 2011
Ravelli tripods are popular on Amazon for a reason, their unbeatable value.

If you buy this tripod you are essentially receiving this relatively well-regarded Opteka but paying less and receiving a mini-aluminum tripod on top of it.
Opteka CFT80 65" 8x Carbon Fiber Tripod with TH60 Quick Release Ball Head (18.75" folded)

A few screws are different colors,the carbon fiber is exposed(cool!), and two legs on the Ravelli are padded, but other than that these things are identical, ignore that the CFT80 shows 5 sections it actually has 4 just like this one.

So first the Pros:
-Very sturdy and stable (I leaned at least 20 pounds of my weight on it and it didn't complain).
-Has a spring loaded hook for hanging a weight
-Ball head is strong enough to hold my Sony DSLR, a Minolta 70-210 f/4, and a 5400hs flash without even a hint of slippage; it is also notched for portrait orientation.
-Looks and feels much more expensive than it is, I shopped at a few big box stores and was appalled at what was offered for the same money as this tripod.
-Decent case that is lined with soft padding, but I plan to carry it strapped to my camera bag.

-Center post is not CF
-You have to pull pretty hard to lock the legs all the way out, if you don't the center column will not be plumb.
-My leg pivot locks needed adjustment to operate smoothly.
-Only one mostly useless level
-The thumbscrew on the quick release plate will fall into a recess in the ball head if a camera is not attached, and then it is a chore to get the plate off. I fixed this with a piece of electrical tape over the recess.
-I prefer lever locks to twist, but I knew what I was buying.
-Questionable availability of replacement quick release plates.
-The mini-tripod that is included for free is junk, but it was an upgrade for my son who makes stop-motion Lego Youtube videos.

I'm not giving this Tripod 5 stars because I think it is as good as a Manfrotto or that it will last me a lifetime, but because for a lightweight, quality tripod I could not find a better value anywhere.
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on May 26, 2011
I was originally going to buy the Ravelli APGL4 due to the great feedback on Amazon. The Tripod is so popular that it was sold out, and I needed to replace a broken one quickly. This listing Amazon listing is light on details, so I called CheatahMounts (the supplier) to get more information. They put me through to their photographer who evaluates the equipment and he was extremely helpful.

The Ball Head

The ball head is firm. It holds a D300, battery grip, and 70-200 F/2.8 VR just fine without slipping. (I believe the company said it was rated for 20+ lbs.)
The ball head has good range of motion.
There is a 'portrait position' slot to allow you to put the camera in a vertical orientation.
The ball head has a separate panning control for perfect panoramas.

The quick release plate is a two step process. It is rock solid and won't slip, but it isn't as quick as more expensive brands.
There is only one bubble level. It is practically worthless. There should be a minimum of three. If you need a level I recommend one that fits in the hotshoe of your camera.

The Legs

They are close 72" tall fully extended.
The Tripod is pretty stable for this type. With the D300/grip/70-200 F/2.8 it might need some weight hanging on the hook, so just hook your camera bag to it to make it rock solid.
The legs have two positions.. regular and wide.
The center column is reversible. With the column reversed and the legs wide, you could easily have your camera 1" off of the ground.
The thing is very light, and fits into the supplied bag with room to spare.
It folds up very small.

With all 4 sections extended, there is some slight instability. This is common though with this class of tripod. Adding weight to the hook is a requirement with a heavy camera.
The feet are only rubber, there is no ground spike.

This tripod is perfect for someone looking for a stable but lightweight portable tripod. This will be the tripod strapped to the side of my camera bag. You especially can't beat this tripod for the cost. The ball head alone is worth the cost of the entire kit. This tripod is by far better than anything similar in it's price range. The only thing preventing me from giving 5 star feedback is the lack of usable bubble levels.

Note: The included desktop pan/tilt tripod is worthless. It does come in a little bag though that i will find a use for.
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on December 24, 2012
Photography is a hobby for me. I got this to use with a Nikon D7000 and D80. I know lots of photography people say to get quality when it comes to tripods (which means upwards of $500). If you are like me and have more sense than money, this is a deal. I rarely use a tripod but wanted one for the times that I do. Carbon fiber has always been out of my range until this showed up.
- easy to adjust legs.
- comes with bonus mini tripod.
- seems very stable.
- comes with two quick release plates.

- quick release plate screw.
This is my MAJOR issue. Maybe I got a bad one. My camera was on the tripod, I went to loosen the ball head and the camera fell off. Luckily, I caught it by the strap as it was going down. The culprit: the screw that goes in to the quick release plate (and into the bottom of your camera) completely sheered off. It was like someone sawed it in two. This is really bad. It did come with two plates but now I am scared to leave a camera on it. I have never seen anything like this before.
All that being said, I still think the tripod itself is nice. It suites my needs. But man, that screw is screwy. I am going to TRY to replace it. It is uniquely made so not sure I can find equivelent in a hardware store. I have no idea how to contact Ravelli (didn't see it on quick google anyone?). I do think this company is filling a nice nitch and I will buy more of their equipment. I will give them the benefit of the doubt on this incident...just be warned.
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on August 8, 2011
Several reviewers have already talked about how good this tripod is. They are right, but I will concentrate on some of the disagreements I have with other reviewers.

#1: Some have maligned the fact that there is a two step process to remove the quick connect plate. This is true, but is a good thing not a bad thing as it means you do not have to worry about the camera falling off the head if something bumps the release or you didn't tighten it enough. So this is a good thing.

#2: The only negative I have with the head is that one of the knobs is directly beside the quick release. This means that access to this knob is complicated as the camera gets in the way.

#3: I had no issues with loose hardware, I wonder if those issues weren't from a single bad batch.

#4: Several have commented that the freebie tripod is useless. This is true if you want to use it to hold your camera, but that is what the primary tripod is for. The smaller one is fabulous as a mount for an off-camera flash.

That's my two cents.
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on January 4, 2012
After owning several aluminum tripods,I finally decided to try a carbon fiber one.I read all the reviews on this one and decided to give it a try.For only 60 dollars I figured that if I didn't like it I could always give it to my son in law.I love it!!At first I wasn't sure about a tripod without the extended handle that is common on most tripods.I quickly discovered that it is better without it.There is nothing protruding to stick in your shoulder or neck as you put your eye to the eyepiece.I especially like the leg features that no one has mentioned in other reviews.The extendable leg sections are non rotating which means you do not have to hold a section to loosen or tighten the locking ring.Just grab the ring and turn it.This is accomplished by a small groove on the inside of each leg which keeps it from spinning around.The leg sections are snugly fitted into each other,which I also think is a plus.When loosened the leg sections do not fall all the way to their maximum extended position which is a common feature in all aluminum tripods I have used.After loosening the sections you must gently pull the leg sections to the desired extension and then tighten.As many have mentioned there is a provision to invert the center column for close to the ground work and the legs also have separate locking angles.(normal and wide)The center column has a spring loaded hook on the bottom for attaching a counter weight if you so desire.I made one out of a one pound piece of brass and small lamp chain just to have.Probably will never use it unless it is really windy.Included in the zipper compartment is an extra mounting plate for a second camera.The small tripod that is included is pretty much something for the kids to use for a point and shoot or to use not extended as a table top tripod(it is all aluminum)I would rather they spent the amount that it cost for the extra tripod on a couple of nice levels attached to the carbon fiber tripod.All in all I am very pleased with the quality of the product and do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wants to get into the carbon fiber world of tripods at a very reasonable price.
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on January 27, 2012
First, I would recommend this to a friend. It sets up very quickly. I can unfold it to full extension of 65" in under 30 seconds thanks to the excellent twist lock leg design. Setup is 5 seconds for full extension per leg, 2 seconds for the center riser and 3 seconds to unfold each leg. Collapsing it back and ready to put back in the carrying bag is about the same and boy does it look small when folded. Very compact. Good for carry on baggage or for hanging off of a backpack. As for the freebie tripod, I use them for flash stands, they're perfect for my EX 580s and 430s flash slaves mounted with Fong diffusers. The bubble level is a joke. For me, this lightweight stand is awesome as it will replace my 10 pound 70" Tiltall. I found it beneficial to spend 10 minutes break in the 3 pivot brackets on the legs to make it easy to open and fold. This is not a craftsman's machine perfect tripod but it's small imperfections are overshadowed by it's excellent value.
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on June 21, 2011
i had been looking for a professional tripod for about a month going to stores, watching reviews, everything. but then i saw the ravelli tripod.

i was mostly looking for a tripod which would have a low angle shooting stance (spread the feet wider). the ravelli is a carbon fiber 4 section tripod. 2 foam grips that are nice but not neccesary. the legs lock but a twist lock, and the legs do have a stopper so they don't pop out, and the twist locks are all metal, and are very quick to secure, maybe only a half a turn on the teist locks. the last sections are a little flexible, but put a bag on the supplied hook and presto... you're in buissness. the feet are rubber, which are durable and grip on anything. i thought that everything that was not carbon fiber would be plastic at the price but no, it's a lightwieght magnisium ans steel build, could be a hair lighter but it is very sturdy. the center shaft is reversible for ultra-low angle or macro shots, it does not swivel like the manfrottos. the ball and socket head is amazingly secure, with my canon 550D and a 300mm lens it is still holding tight. you can swap heads anytime with any basic threaded head, like the pistol grip, and the center shaft does extend up to eye level at about 5' 11". my only beef with the head or tripod is that the spirt level (the only level) is on the head and it is a one way only (horizontal).

the supplied bag is nice for storage that's about it. and the "free tripod" is pathetic, but it's free, who cares.
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