At the end of February, I wrote about getting the Innorel RT85C tripod and the U44 ball head. At that time I mentioned that I will write a followup on how the tripod worked out and how it was to use it. And today is the day for this update.
Innorel RT85C tripod
I have very little to complain about the tripod. It’s stable and tall. The legs were a bit stiff to open in the beginning, but now I don’t notice that anymore. The rotating locks to extend the legs work with ease and are sturdy once locked. The leg locks are a bit harder to operate but still manageable.
The only issue I had, is when I try to go very low. While you can remove the middle column, I don’t like how it’s done. Firstly, you need tools to do so, as you will need to remove the ball head completely. You will not do this in the field.
Secondly, the way you attach the head back to the tripod is by using the two ends of the middle column, removing them from it and attaching them back to the tripod (better seen on the images above). This would work fine, but it does not. The bottom part nicely slits into the tripod and locks in place. The top part once screwed onto the bottom part is locked in place by the rotating lock that used to hold the middle column. So the only thing that holds it in place is friction. I don’t think this is a good solution, and I did not use it at all. I put it like this maybe twice, and the lock is already scratched on the top.
But as I mentioned, as long as I used the middle column, there were no issues with this tripod.
Innorel U44 ball head
I had similar experiences with the ball head. Overall it’s quite good. Stable, easy to use, like most other ball heads. I did run into one design issue though and one thing no longer works as it should. So what they were?
The design problem is the friction knob. This should be used to change the friction of the ball head, but it’s so easy to rotate, that you will move it accidentally all the time. And when that happens, you will lock your ball and be surprised why you can’t move it anymore. Though, once you know about it, it’s just one rotation of a knob to fix it.
The other problem happened to me with the lock mechanism on the top. There is a spring that opens the lock once you start loosening it. That spring no longer works properly on mine and will not open the lock sporadically. In those cases, I have to push on one side of it, and it will spring out. Not sure if the spring broke, or some dirt got inside, but either way it annoying.
Overall I’m mostly happy with this tripod. It works, it was cheap, it’s sturdy, it’s fine. The small issues are annoying but not a dealbreaker. Still, it’s a great value for the price.