Matthews M25 Tripod at

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Old September 20th, 2010, 08:35 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: England
Posts: 116
Matthews M25 Tripod

Item number: 180415013557
This is NOT mine

Can I ask, is this a good budget tripod?

I'm wanting a libec ls38 or a manfrotto 503, but I cant find one cheap enough in the UK.

I'm also wanting a budget tripod for locked off shots (as above)

Any guidance or opinions welcomed. As my mind is frazzled from looking at items

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Old September 27th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: North Bay, ON
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Cross-post from C5D thread on MAttherws M-25

Same thread cropped of over the summer on the C5D forums. Here's what I wrote:
I have a Matthews M25 - here are my impressions, maybe they'll help.

In order to get smooth pans/tilts out of the M25, you need to load up the head with some weight.
I use a T2i, and the weight of the HDSLR is not enough by itself to prevent jerky starts and movements in the head, or keep the legs planted. As soon as you add a rig, a FF, a mic, etc. to the head it becomes very smooth, and the legs stay where you put them. In a pinch, I can execute a pan by holding the base of the head (just above the ball) and lightly bearing down while I turn it - this isn't ideal, but it gets the job done.

The head is mostly a solid piece of metal - it's weighty and pretty well built, so it feels like it'd take a good bash without crapping out (I've never tested this, and have no intentions to do so). The ability to level the head independent of the leg position is worth the price alone. I've used a "slightly-better-than-base-model" Manfrotto for local stuff, and a pair or anonymous sticks on a feature film production. The Manfrotto's levelling felt more "catchy" than the M25 - it was more of a chore to get the bubble dead centre. The anon sticks were massive, as was the head, but due to their size (i.e. they easily supported a fully equipped Red One) getting the head to move from it's current position was a chore. All in all, I like the M25s levelling action better then the Manfrotto or the "professional" head on the set.

My first head leaked fluid. It welled up in the tilt joints, and that fluid slooowly drips down to the bottom of the head. I found a number of other users indicating they had the same issue, so it seems like a problem with the M25. I had my head sent to Matthews in CA, they returned a new one to me, and there was still leaking fluid. There hasn't been any difference to performance (that I notice), so now I just wipe it off with some baby wipes and go on with my day.

The legs look disappointing when you first open up the box - I swear I internalized "My God, it's just a repackaged Dynex!" upon first glance, but my misgivings were quickly overcome once I got it out and set it up. The legs are tubular aluminum in a crutch configuration, and they extend far enough that the viewfinder sits at about ~6' - too tall for me to even see into. The leg locks are plastic, and I would suspect they would be the first parts to go. They feel pretty good now, but I wouldn't be surprised if 5 years from now one of them is slipping.

The case is for containment only - not protection. It's a lightly lined nylon bag that allows you to tote the tripod, but it won't do a thing in the trunk of your car to keep the tripod out of harms way, and I wouldn't even bring it near an airport, let alone check it on a flight. Again, if you're careful with your gear it'll do fine, but if you have grips unloading this from the truck this case will be turned into a rag before the weeks out.

So, all in all, for $180 (CDN) it's an OK piece of gear. If I get 5 solid years out of it I'll be pretty happy.

Hope that helps.
B.J. Szabicot is offline   Reply

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