Conspicuous tripod new star

2012-03-08 17:43:54 admin 218

As we all know, in the field of the tripod, the Gitzo has the most top quality, and expensive price. Especially for the carbon fiber material, Gitzo is the lightest and strongest, The price of GT2541 leg pipe which diameter28 mm is more than RMB: 5000 . So often have friends who are into photography ask me: my equipment is not so advanced, and Im also not so rich. Can you recommend the carbon fiber tripod which price is less than RMB:2000 with good quality? Facing products with low quality and also be lack of characteristic in the domestic market, I can only answer "regret".

Now here comes the opportunity.
Recently I have got a domestic (zhongshan) COMAN carbon fiber tripod suit by chance, Its model is TM C 286C, After a rough seen, I become interested in it , I can't stop taking the comprehensive test. The result is: this is a worth buying carbon fiber tripod with 2000yuan.
Here are the results of the evaluation detailed reports:

Firstly, The appearance and basic parameters of Coman TM - 286 C carbon fiber tripod

The tripod can be put in a leg pipe bag (all dental line, side door) with per cet workmanship. The size is less than Gitzo 1128. I cannot help doubting :Is this a tripod with diameter28 mm? Why its bag is small so much than Gitzo 1128and 2541? (As show in chart 1 shows the comparison between the three tripod kit)



After comparison, the shape of Coman  TM - 286 - C tripod bag is 11.5 x 12.5 x 50 cm; And the size of GITZO 1128 original "0 # bag" (GE - 10 p)  is 12.5 x 14 x 55 cm, Its really small so much  than Gitzo . After weighing, the overall weight of this model COMAN carbon fiber tripod is 2.37 kg; But the GITZO 1128(within 0#bag) is 2.58 kg (although they are all  4 section, the biggest diameter of Gitzo is only24 mm, can raise only 117 cm long, but it weighs more than ComanTM-286-C).Open the pocket from the side, It is really a piece of tripod with28 mm 


This is the most commonly specification tripod used by photographer. The Metal part is forging alloy material, (The TN series share the same shape with it , but TN is made of Die-casting magnesium alloys material. )  The Leg pipe are made of carbon fiber materials. The legs are made by 8X Multilayer weaving Technique with low cost.) The actual diameter of the 4 section feet were 29.3, 25.5, 22, 18.5 mm. Due to the thin pipe wall ,not only the weight reduces, but also the difference between each section diameter reduces from the common 4mm to 3.5mm.The benefits of this is: the diameter of the last section pipes, from the usual 16mm increased to 18.5 mm --As we all know, tripod overall strength, largely depends on the thickness of the last section leg pipe -- the diameter of last feet pipe approach the common 3 section tripod, it also improves the overall strength of the tripod.


This overall measured data of Coman TM - 286 c + CN - 1 tripod suit is:


  1. Tripod bag size: 11.5 x 12.5 x 50 cm;

  2. Overall weight: 2.37 kg; (the Gitzo 1128:12.5 x 14x 55 cm, weight 2.58 kg)

  3. 8 x carbon fiber leg pipes diameter: 29.3/25.5/22/18.5 mm;

  4. axial: diameter 29 mm, 345 mm long; diameter of the Axial roof is 44 mm;

  5. the overall parameters of tripod suit: It is 46cm when it has been folded; weight 1.87 kg;



This is the stainless steel spiked feet for replacement ,Allen wrench and manual, certificate of quality in the tripod bag.



The following is the parameters of TM - 286 -C tripod (without ballhead).these are all the actual test results (except the load-bearing ) --

Its folded length: 52 cm; reflexed length : 46 cm;
The raise length: 132 cm;
The highest height: 159 cm;
, the lowest height ( remove axis) : 17 cm;
Weight: (without ballhead) 1.43 kg; (without center column): 1.35 kg;
The normal load-bearing: 14 kg;

This is the comparision graph of COMAN TM - 286 CC tripod and GITZO GT2541.




The COMAN TM-286C is 52cm when it has been folded. It can be seen that it is shorter than GITZO 2541 in the length of 56cm. So the volume of contraction is smaller, but when it is expanded, the roof of the central axis is slightly higher than GITZO.If the central axis rises up ,it will be further higher. So for my height of 1.80 meters, the tripod is enough for me to be in straight spine, in the case of facing viewfinder

Secondly, the test of strength and stability of COMAN TM-286C
The first thing to do in the following is to check on the soundness of tripod.
From the consumer's point of view, although there is no professional testing equipment, but according to the accumulation of their experience, "amateur means" still can be able to test and check whether the tripod is good or bad. The means are as follows:
The first step is to check the compressive capabilities.
On the ordinary floor which is not too smooth, raise the tripod, do not raise the central axis, entering the normal operating state, then press the center flange downward and increase pressure gradually , the three legs can not vibrate, jitter, not to say sharp bends and outward.
The flange of COMAN TM-286C belongs to the excellent standard without the slightest downward displacement feeling;
The second step is to check the resistance to kinking.
Hold the center flange with appropriate force turning left and right, under torsional torque flange can not have any "can turn" feeling, if there is little activity, the life of tripod is not long, this step can filter and eliminate most low-grade unqualified tripods.
-- Rotation of the  flange of COMAN TM-286C is slightly less than 2 mm,  though can not keep up with Gitzo 2541 and Manfrotto 055, but has already exceed some domestic famous brands, so it should belong to the outstanding class.
e third step is to check the anti-lateral force capacity of tripod legs .
Next, hold down the flange with left hand , use the right hand to hold the middle of the leg, shake it horizontaly back and forth with a little harder force. At this time the main purpose is to test the connection of the tripod lock knob and the fixed locking ability. Tripod (eg :Gitzo G lock button tripod) with the external force is only slightly bent, shaking amplitude is less than 3 mm. The majority of ordinary low-grade tripods will bend more than 20 mm or 40 mm .
The sloshing amplitude of COMAN TM-286C is 6 to 8mm.Its also of good quality.

The fourth step, check the ability of anti Cresonance.
 .
Anti Cresonance is the ability when tripod face the external vibration, dissolve vibration and then Do not produce resonance, soon return static. The amateur testing method is very simple: Raise the tripod,hold  the center part of one leg virtually , touch another leg with left hand index finger. Then the right hand will feel virbration, from strong to the weak, finally return stasis.
The length of the time of the whole process reflect the anti- resistance ability of the tripod. The longer the time is ,the stronger the impact is .
The reason why the right hand "virtual grip," is that if you hold "real", the leg pipe can not vibration. So cannot simulate the actual state of studio. Its better to use stopwatch to measure accurately, but I think its not necessary for amateur act "scientific quantitative" when buying, "not afraid of dont know the goods, afraid the goods is worse than others". Through Comparison, the most outstanding one is manfrotto 055 tripod, The time delay is only 0.2 seconds. And the Gitzo GT2540, 2330, 2541 are generally 0.5 seconds.

The resonance time for Coman TM-286C is a bit long. Its about a second. But its better than domestic well-known brand.(The time of the best model of many famous Chinese brand is 2 seconds.)
So COMAN has passed the exam.

However, when using,If hung the heavy object such as backpack, the resonance constant will be change.and the time will be shorten.So the interference for the practical application is weak. COMAN still belongs to the outstanding class.
The fifth step, check whether the design is reasonable. Its the basic qualified condition.through the operation such as Open, collapse, raise, lock, steering, pitching and so on, observe whether the screw and the handle interfere with each other. Especially the "flip button" eccentric locking wrench, Its easy to damage when operate. The switch angle should have adequate room."Tail type" screw locking system should have "check out" measures, Quick release screw should not fall off and so on;
There is no such problems with Coman TM - 286 C C in these aspects.
Step 6, observe the individual differences. General speaking, the processing technology level of some domestic equipment is not so good, jargon called "is dispersed". That is to say,there is obvious difference between the same product.This is the basic qualified condition,The product which cannot reach the standard should not be promised to enter the market. So we should choose a few samples and compared during purchaseing.Through compare with each other,we can easy to seewhich is better among the Different brands, different specifications and different individuals.Its advised to know the return policy before you decide to buy.
-----There is no obviously differences between the different individuals of TM-286-C.

Its advised for amateur photographer to master the above simple procedure, especially the first four steps.
The whole strength of the tripod, especially the third step, the anti-lateral force capacity depends  most on the leg pipe locking structure. The strength of Coman TM - 286 C C is  good, owning to its lock design. Below is the locking mechanism of Coman and the disassemble contrast diagram of Gitzo 2541 G lock button:



As the diagram shows, the lock ring of Coman is similar to Gitzo.They are all wide ring. It has obvious effect to sustain the stiffness of two leg pipe.
However, many of our domestic tripod,the internal part of the locking mechanism is mainly composed of three lock ring composition (the first wide white plastic part is localizer  which prevent leg pipe rotational, not lock ring), obviously the strength is far away from the stangard. As the lock ring material is bad, Its easy to be broken in such a narrow size , lead to pin natural emerge. As diagram shows below:



Conclusion : Coman TM - 286 - c tripod perform well. Although the ability of the resistance to kinking  is less a bit than Gitzo, So as the ability of anti Cresonance.But It  belongs to the outstanding class in domestic tripod.
Especially when taking its carbon fiber material and the price (which is RMB:1500 without ballhead) into consideration, Its also "fill the tripod market price space blank".

Third,the special functions of COMMAN TM-286C tripod
In addition to the basic intensity, COMMAN TM-286C tripod has another two special functions.
1. One leg can be removed to install on the top plate of the central axis to become a fully independent monopod. The measured parameters of this monopod (plus top plate, no PTZ) are: closing length 43cm, uphold length 134cm, weight 0.35kg. It is light, handy and convenient.
See the figure below:



2. The axis hook adopts the similar design with GITZO. It is able to connect to the top plate of the central axis directly, then the ballhead can be used without the central axis:



In doing this the COMMAN TM-286C tripod is able to obtain a minimum height of 17 cm and a lighter carry weight.



Without central axis, the COMMAN TM-286C tripod is also able to stabilize the tripod system through hanging weight on the hook.



3. The distinctive matching PTZ CN-1

The PTZ kits of the COMMAN TM-286C tripod is COMMAN CN-1 PTZ that can  traces Kangrinpoche apparently. Whether locking way, or quick shoe and irregular sphere (can increase the resistance when the roof dumping) are all the same with Gangrenboqi, even the trademark and the model are somewhat similar:



The measured parameters of CN-1 PTZ (nominal load excluded) are as following


  • Ball diameter: 36mm;

  • PTZ body diameter: 46mm;

  • PTZ Base diameter: 50.2mm;

  • PTZ height: 93.2mm; adding the quick shoe:98.8mm;

  • Quick shoe seat flute length: 50mm;

  • PTZ Weight: without quick shoe 0.44kg, with quick shoe 0.41kg;

  • Nominal load: 25kg;

  • parameters of quick shoe BM-60: length 60mm; width 39mm; height:10mm; weight 35g; dovetail groove width: 32.50mm (this size is the same with Kangrinpoche quick shoe, they are the most interchangeability common size)



In practice, this PTZ is capable of the 70-200/2.8 lens level equipment installation, there is no "nod" "shake" phenomenon, the horizontal rotation locking is also " power enough".
The most critical is its said the its price is only :RMB800.

Fourth, the actual operation, placing high hopes
The following is actual operation figure of the COMMAN TM-286C tripod, respectively have Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 17-35/2.8D IF-ED, SB-800 flash; another lens is Nikkor AF-S 70-200 / 2.8G IF-ED VR II. Tripod without central axis




In order to test the reliability of the tripod system, we specifically increase the difficulty in field practice: adding AF-S TC-20E III balow lens to Nikkor AF-S 70-200/2.8G IF-ED VR II lens. The overall focal length can reach 600 mm, which can test the stability of the tripod system.

Shooting parameters are: Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 70-200/2.8G IF-ED VR II lens and AF-S TC-20E III balow lens, focal length of 600 mm, ISO200, aperture f11, shutter 1/40 sec, scene modes: standard.

Shooting distance is about 150 meters, only crop the picture appropriately, without other adjustments.



As can be seen, the effect is still very good. Although mainly owing to bamboo cannon II generation and high-quality, high-priced balow lens 20E III, but we can also say that the COMMAN TM-286C tripod play the role of "escorting".
After all, the COMMAN TM-286C tripod kit gave me a good impression. Of course, it is also not perfect. e.g.:


  • the gap between the legs is a little bit, the next leg has the tendency to "swap out" after unlock button ;

  • Stiffness of the anti-lateral force is not strong enough;

  • anti-resonance ability "Better than some, worse than others." ,overall,it is quite a long time;



But for its price of $ 1,460+580, it seems that we can not blame it doesnt reach Gitzo standard?

For photography fans who want to buy a set of carbon fiber tripod in 2 thousand dollars, I finally have a worthy recommended object.

About the future development of COMAN, my only hope is that it can remember the lesson of Tanner at the beginning of 2002:

The product completely copied Manfrotto 190 tripod, at beginning its texture feels very sturdy. It has two models : 623 and 633 of the size. Its only RMB:200 price.,It is really special in the era of domination by foreign brands. Since its launch, it once became popular hot demand in the industry, touted by photography fans.

However, since be welcomed, the products was in short supply, its quality began to plummet and the price soared up, once a time the price increased three times in a week, finally the price is more than Manfrotto 190, and the quality is really poor, almost no one is perfect. Finally nobody cares, and now disappears - this is the problem a lot of domestic manufacturers have:  seeking quick success

I hope that COMAN would not enter this "vicious circle", and continue to improve and enhance the quality so that I can confidently recommended it to my friends after 10 years