Sad News – May 2020: RRS have confirmed that they are discontinuing the TFA-32G because material costs have made it too hard to keep the necessary margins on this product. This is a HUGE shame, but B&H Photo still has some stock of the tripod at the time I’m adding this note. If you think you might want this tripod now or in the future, you’d better buy one before they are gone forever. Check HERE to see if they still have some in stock.
Update – Late 2022 – Although RRS no longer sells this tripod, B&H still has some stock! That’s a bit odd if it has been discontinued for some time, but we shouldn’t complain. Just get it before it’s gone!
Browsing the Really Right Stuff website today, I noticed that their Ground-Level Tripod, previously called the TP-243, has been slightly updated and renamed to the TFA-32G.
This new naming scheme reflects the rest of their support lineup.
- T – It’s a tripod (as opposed to a monopod)
- F – It has a fixed apex
- A – It’s made from aluminum
- 3 – It’s considered to support weight in the 3-series territory (50lbs)
- 2 – It has 2 leg sections
- G – It’s a ground-level tripod designed for low-level work
There don’t appear to be significant differences to the original version, and at first, I wondered if they had re-named it. But a closer look and comparison of the specifications show that the minimum height has reduced a little, as has the weight of the tripod, which has decreased by a not-insignificant 200g.
|Specification||TP-243 (old model)||TFA-32G (new model)|
|Load Capacity||50 lb / 23kg||50 lb / 23kg|
|Max Height||17.7″ / 450mm||17.7″ / 450mm|
|Min Height||1.9″ / 48mm||1.62″ / 41mm|
|Folded Length||12.4″ / 314mm||12.4″ / 314mm|
|Weight||2.6 lb / 1147g||2.17 lb / 985g|
This tripod is popular with macro and wildlife photographers due to the two distinct advantages of the design. Firstly, instead of the threaded cylindrical leg locks found on all other RRS tripods, which can get easily gummed up with sand and dirt, this tripod has an extending aluminum leg that can be pulled entirely from the tripod to facilitate easy cleaning under a tap. Shooting birds in the marshes or on the beach? This is the perfect solution for getting low.
The second benefit of the design is how low it enables you to get. As you can see from the images, the whole tripod flattens out much more than a regular tripod, meaning the top plate is a mere 1.6 inches off the ground.