For years, I used the Really Right Stuff Ground Pod and it served me well until it was damaged beyond repair during a move. Still stings so I don’t talk about it too much :). Kidding … It was totally my fault and when in search of the replacement, much to my dismay, they have discontinued this model. That is a shame as it was perfect for aviation photography for me which was the primary use. In my search I looked at the newer version of RRS ground pod. They have now made it out of carbon fiber but the price also tripled. Now I have RRS gear and it is an industry best, but I could not get past the price tag as I only shoot 3-4 shows a year. I would like to do more but life, cost and other things seem to get in the way. So back to my search, I seriously considered the Gitzo ground pod until I discovered the Leofoto LM-402C Summit Series Systematic 100mm Bowl 2 Section Tripod.
This is carbon fiber and weighs 3.5 pounds. It has a 100mm bowl for video if needed or a flat 3.8″ spider plate for still photography if needed. It also has a carrying case and shoulder strap for ease of carrying. Collapsed it is 10 inches tall and fully opened it is 17 inches tall. It can also spread out flat for really low level shots.
With and upcoming airshow pending, I pulled the trigger on this and it worked out just fine. It is really light to carry, opens easy and locks quickly and firmly with breakdown just as easy.
The platform is very versatile shifting from still photography to video by allowing you to change to an included video bowl if needed. This is unique in ground pounds as others will charge separate fees for this accessory or do not offer it at all.
I cannot argue with the results during the airshow. It worked as advertised and held my Nikon Z6II rock steady and without fail. At a reasonable $399 USD as of this post, it came in all other contenders and has worked great. It is now a staple of my aiviation gear.
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