When I say "full size" I mean what I think most people consider a standard tripod: not something like a gorillapod or super-specialized for portability.
I expect the non-compact models will offer greater quality. I honestly am not sure how much I will notice the difference though, but being able to be at a better working height (I'm ~6 ft tall) without the need for a center column seems desirable. However, I'm not sure 4 sections vs 3 sections makes that much of a difference with tripods of this quality. For the forseeable future I don't plan on using anything bigger than a 70-200mm f/2.8 on a full frame body. I plan to use this for long exposures and bracketing for hdr.
While I'd like to hear about any pros/cons and personal experience with this stuff, I'm really asking this question to find out what the logistical pros and cons are of actually traveling with a full size tripod.
- Are you typically able to carry them on a plane? I know of people that have brought the tvc-33 (folds to 26'' without a head!) on planes and not had problem. But both the tvc-24L and tvc-33 are greater than 22'' folded and therefore should not fit in carry-on bags and could be problem. (I do like to carry on all luggage when possible, and I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to have to start getting comfortable with checking luggage if I want to bring a tripod).
- Have you ever been asked to check the tripod after you're already on the plane or after you've already checked bags? If so, how do you check the tripod? Would you be worried about it getting damaged? (I'd probably feel uneasy about just slapping a tag on it and letting it drop onto the carousel at the destination :-/)
- Should I be concerned with how the tripod is handled when it's checked (i.e. - is the quality compromised from being knocked around)? What's the best way to check the tripod? In a standalone bag? With clothing?
I think understanding how to travel with the tripod will help me decide if I'm willing to compromise certain aspects for a more compact model. All I know is that right now my current tripod is way too bulky and the ball head is terrible too and slumps/moves when I don't want it to. All of these tripods I'm looking at seem like they would be a significant improvement but I want to get the right one on the first try.