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Slik Master Deluxe Tripod

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Old March 25th 05, 01:55 AM
Matt Clara
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Default Slik Master Deluxe Tripod

I know, Slik doesn't have the best reputation today, but I must say, of all
the equipment I was given by my father, all of which he bought in Japan in
1964-68, that tripod gets the most use, and a well built piece of kit it is.
Mostly aluminum, with 3 sectioned legs that need to be screwed down instead
of the locking levers you see today. Geared center column and strut
supports. It's light, rock solid, tall enough that I need to stand on tip
toes to see through the viewfinder when the column is fully extended, and
built well enough that it's withstood two photographers and nearly 40 years
worth of use.

Compared to my Bogen 3021BPro legs and 3029 head, I'd say the Slik was the
better built of the two. The Slik head has one drawback, it won't tilt side
to side, only front and back, necessitating leg length changes to level your
camera. But the screw down legs are better than those clamps, which have to
be set pretty tight, or else you can't trust them, so that they're stiff and
difficult to use. I've had the slik in rivers, on beaches, wherever I go,
and if I get sand or grit in the mechanisms, I just work them back and forth
gently until the grit comes out. Takes a few minutes, and hasn't failed me
in over a decade of use. I had my bogen on the beach once last summer, and
it still has sand in it. The Bogen's nice because you can get low to the
ground--that's really why I wanted it. But it turns out that you have to
remove the center column and use some plastic gadget from the end of it to
mount the head. The plastic thing is gripped by the part through which the
column slid. It doesn't really seem to belong there, and the mount is never
really secure, prone to swinging left and right on you if you exert any
pressure accordingly. God forbid you use a heavy camera, like my RB67 or
Shen-Hao (whatever it's call sign) on it. Don't get me wrong, the Bogen is
a workable tripod, but emphasis on the "work" in workable, 'cause I always
feel like I'm tricking it out to get it to do its job. The Bogen is much
taller than the slick, though, but also not as compact.

A few nights ago, I got to thinking about what a great tripod the slik's
been for me, and I did a quick Google search for slik master deluxe tripod,
and the first link returned was for a woman selling one here in Lansing, MI,
for $10.

Now I've got two! :-p

Matt Clara

ps. I can't vouch for modern Slik equipment, but if you get a chance to
pick up one of the mid to late 60's models, at a reasonable price, by all
means, do.


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