RRS TFCT-34 MK2 SOAR® SERIES 3 TRIPOD WITH ANVIL 30 BALLHEAD
It’s easy to think your tripod is good enough… until you actually try one that is. RRS makes the best in my opinion. I can mount a 20 pound PRS rifle on this tripod and it’s unbelievably stable. You’ve never seen you optics so clear as when they’re absolutely rock solid – even the mighty BTX 95 or the ATX 95 cranked to 70 can be used in substantial wind with little or no vibration. If it’s really howling you’ll still be able to glass when most guys would have to pack it up and hike over the ridge to glass the other direction, where the animals aren’t.
But wait… no center column!?!! Oh no? Trust me here. Losing that crutch (center column) is the best thing that ever happened to the stability of a tripod. Any pro photographer that shoots with telephoto lenses can tell you that raising the center column is going to degrade image quality unless you speed up shutter speed and crank up the ISO to reduce blur. It might take you one extra adjustment on the leg height to get it to the perfect height for glassing, but it’s worth it. Not having the center column sticking down to bump with your leg is nice too. I kind of sit inside the tripod legs now because there’s plenty of room. The trade off is that the collapsed length is longer for the same maximum height. They have to use a longer main tube.
I was never been a fan of using ball-heads for glassing – until now. The Anvil-30 head goes from just enough tension to full lock up in about 1/8 of the lever throw. This provides the resolution and feel you need to repeatably set tension for smooth panning up/down, or side to side and lockup with minimal movement of the lever with very little, if any scope sag. The tension stays consistent while panning and you never get the dreaded flop that happens with cheaper heads when you hit a loose spot. The lever is very intuitive and easy to use. Everyone that I’ve had try the head for glassing has been very impressed. Even us die-hard pan/tilt head lovers get along with it well.
The clamp will attach to an ARCA rail (1.5″ dovetail), or a picatinny style rail with it’s dual jaws. Our rifles all have an ARCA tripod plate so you can clamp right into the center near the balance point. Or if you needed a super long bipod, you could remove the bipod and clamp on the picatinny bipod rail. The tripod also makes an excellent rear-rest. Check out the brief video I did showing some of these options. The anvil head will also clamp directly on the bottom of most Swarovski branded spotting scopes and binocular/tripod adapters, eliminating the need for a tripod plate.
Having a tripod that doubles as the most versatile rifle rest out there is a tremendous asset to have in your pack. One of the most difficult aspects of making a shot is being able to build a stable position in steep terrain. A tripod with a huge range of adjustment is an absolute game changer. If you can see over the brush, you can get solid. After just a little dry-fire practice to get familiar with using it, most shooters can consistently hammer 10″ steel targets well beyond 500 yards in good conditions.
The RRS TFC-34 weighs a bit more than your typical backpacking tripod, but it’s amazingly light given its size and uncanny stability. If you want to make the most of your glassing efforts and have a huge advantage when it comes time to make the shot, this tripod gets my highest recommendation.
- Leg Material: Carbon Fiber
- Number of Leg Sections: 4
- Load Capacity 1st Position Fully Extended: 85lbs/ 39kg
- Load Capacity 2nd Position Fully Extended: 50lbs/ 23kg
- Load Capacity 3rd Position Fully Collapsed: 70lbs/ 32kg
- 1st Position Maximum Height: 60.8″/ 155cm
- 1st Position Minimum Height: 21.8″/ 55cm
- 1st Position 3/4 Segments Extended: 46.7″/ 119cm
- 2nd Position Maximum Height: 42.7″/ 109cm
- 2nd Position Minimum Height: 16.3″/ 41cm
- 3rd Position Minimum Height: 6.4″/ 16cm
- Folded Length: 23.6″/ 60cm
- Folded Diameter: 4.1″/ 10cm
- (Heights & weights include the Anvil-30 Ball head attached)
- Weight: 4.79lbs/ 2173g
TFCT-34 Tripod Legs
Arca/RRS 1.5″ Dovetail Adapter Plate and 1/4-20 Screw
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