In our opinion, this is the world’s greatest tripod. It’s made by Really Right Stuff, weighs less than nothing, is phenomenally configurable, nearly indestructible and costs more than my first car. We love it. Love it. Love it.
That said, it suffers from the same three missing parts that every single tripod on the market suffers from. The good news is that you can add them to your tripod for less than the cost of a cup of coffee.
Mod 1: the D ring
If you’re lucky, your tripod has a little hook under the head where you can hang something heavy to stabilize it. Have you every tried to use it? It’s way too small and fiddly. It’s always way too small and fiddly. If you add a simple $1 ‘D’ ring, everything is made easier.
As a bonus tip, add one to the carry handle of your backpack and you’ll discover that two D’s mate beautifully.
Mod 2: the Velcro patch
If you’re like us you plug all sorts of extras in to your camera, and they just hang there swinging the breeze, destabilizing your images and stressing your connectors. Add a small self-sticking Velcro patch to a leg, and the other side to all your extras, and problem solved. Velcro will safely hold an intervelometer, a remote flash trigger, an external power supply, or a radio trigger. This one mod is probably the greatest add-on you’ll ever make to your gear and it’ll only cost you a dollar.
Mod 3: leg warmers
Tripods in the main are made of either metal, plastic or carbon, depending on how much you spent. Regardless of the material, they all get really freakin cold when you have to carry them across a mountain, in the snowy dark, for hours on end. So, like a bad 80’s fashion idea, your tripod needs leg-warmers. Your local hardware store will sell you a foam tube for a dollar. Plumbers use these to insulate your pipes against the winter cold. They work for tripods too.
Bonus modification for night shooters
Those of us that wander around in the dark are always either tripping over someone else’s tripod or loosing our own in the woods. The easiest way to address this is those little glow-in-dark wristbands that kids wear to parties. You get 20 of them for a dollar. If you’re alone you can use just one on the head, if you’re with other people we’d suggest you put one around the foot of every leg.
And there you go, $4 and your tripod has been improved beyond anything the manufacturer will dream of.
You’re welcome 🙂