Review by Adrian Lee:
The question on which tripod to buy appears regularly on here and people offer all sorts of opinions. To me, the best value for money tripods available are the Redsnapper ones and here is the reason why.
This is a review of the Redsnapper I bought over a year ago, nearer two in fairness ,it has been used in all weathers,all situations and has had some serious abuse. I bought the RS-283 after a conversation with Joe about weight handling ability ,this tripod was rated at 10 kgs. I was going to use it with a gripped D300 ,a Sigma 300-800 and a Manfrotto 393 head,that is a combined weight of 8.6 kgs on its own. My applying pressure on the lens for stability more than likely takes it up to 10 Kgs. This is not an instant review, but one that I have put together over some time, as such, I think it carries a lot of weight. Pardon the pun!
The weight issue between carbon and aluminium does not concern me too much, I accept that for some it is a factor, for me it isn`t. I prefer the cost saving instead. When I first got the tripod I left the long centre column on, though after a short while I swapped it for the supplied shorter one. If I needed to use the long centre column after having adjusted the legs to full height, then the weight made for a slight bit of wobble, but the majority of tripods are the same, so that is no great sin. I have a Manfrotto 475B for such occasions, but by hell is it a big heavy beast compared to the Redsnapper. I prefered the ability to get down very low with the shorter column. It hasn`t been changed since. The legs have plenty of adjustment for all types of terrain, wether I have been knelt in a ditch with the camera peeking over the top, been in the rushes by the river or been high on the fells taking peregrine shots whilst hiding amongst the crags, I have always been able to set the legs to get a good solid foundation. I was never a lover of twist locks, but have got used to them now .My other tripods are lever locks, I have no real preference now, adjusting to either is simple enough. I like the simple adjustment between the rubber feet or the spikes, I always use the spikes on riverbanks and it is a simple matter of screwing the rubber feet up or down to hide or project the spikes, I like this feature a lot. The legs are quick and easy to adjust either for length or angle, that speed can be vital at times. The stability with the legs only at full stretch has always been fine.
I have used this tripod to its max, more or less since I got it, though I have done a small amount of lightweight stuff with it, it has never let me down, never slipped or brought my gear down to earth with a bang. It even survived an encounter with a full slurry tanker that destroyed my 393 head, don`t ask. It has been in mud, rivers, streams, sand and squashed down a cattle grid. I have used it as a monopod at times, a walking stick at others and even a wading stick.
The best thing about it? It was £50 and came with a carry bag, I do wish all tripods did. It has had some serious abuse ,serious weight on it and serious use and it still lives to tell the tale. The twist locks are a bit worn now, that is acceptable to me after the pain it has had, and I can probably sort it when I take it apart. All in all, I firmly believe that it is the best value for money tripod available on the market today. Bear in mind that the majority, wildlife photographers excluded of course, would never put anywhere near this weight on a tripod or subject it to the abuse that I have heaped on it. So yes, look at all the other more expensive tripods, but don`t forget about this gem from Joe.
Big thumbs up from me.