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Velbon GEO N840 4-Section Carbon Fiber / Basalt Tripod

B&H # VEGEON840 Mfr # GEO N840
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You Pay: $579.95
Product Highlights
  • 79.1" Maximum Height
  • Lightweight Carbon Fiber / Basalt Legs
  • Rapid Two-Section Center Column
  • Minimum Operating Height of 13.8"
  • 30.1 lb Load Capacity

The Velbon GEO N8400 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod is a heavy-duty support for a DSLR, point & shoot, or camcorder that features an innovative center-column design. With its four-section legs and two-section center column fully extended, the tripod reaches a very tall maximum height of 79.1". The tripod bears heavy loads up to 30.1 lb.

One section of the center column splits off from the main section to facilitate low-angle shooting, for macro photography and other uses. For the GEO N840, Velbon has designed a locking flip lever for releasing the center column quickly and easily.

The tripod's legs are made of a composite of basalt and carbon fiber, to contribute to the relatively light – considering its very tall extension – weight (7.3 lb) of the GEO N630. The spiral-etched surfaces help facilitate the legs' fast extension, which is enabled via twist locks.

The GEO N840 tripod comes with a multi-purpose leg pochette, which doubles as a stone bag and as a shoulder strap for the folded tripod. To use as a stone bag, just attach it to the included center column hook and load it with weight, for added stability in windy conditions. The rubber feet retract to reveal spikes, which enhance the tripod's stability on softer surfaces.

General
Load Capacity 30.9 lb (14 kg)
Maximum Height 79.1" (201 cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended 70.9" (180 cm)
Minimum Height 13.8" (35 cm)
Folded Length 27" (68.5 cm)
Weight 7.3 lb (3.32 kg)
Material Carbon fiber/basalt composite
Head Attachment Fitting 3/8"-16
Leg Stages/Sections 3/4
Leg Lock Type Twist lock
Diameter (Top Leg Section) 1.1" (28mm)
Independent Leg Spread Yes
Spiked/Retractable Feet Yes/yes
Center Brace No
Center Column
Center Column Type Rapid (flip lever)
Center Column Sections 2
Velbon GEO N840 4-Section Carbon Fiber / Basalt Tripod
  • Multi-Purpose Pochette
  • Center Column Hook
  • 5 Year Limited Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    VelbonGEO N840 4-Section Carbon Fiber / Basalt Tripod
     
    4.0

    (based on 2 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

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      (2)

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    Reviewed by 2 customers

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    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Size matters; tripod massif.

    By Canadian Chris

    from Ontario, Canada

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Stability

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Shots
    • Video
    • Wildlife

    Comments about Velbon GEO N840 4-Section Carbon Fiber / Basalt Tripod:

    I bought this tripod after my usual considerable research phase. I use a Canon 7D with a variety of lenses. My current tripod is a Gitzo 1542 Traveler, with a Really Right Stuff BH-30 ball head. That combo was chosen for lightweight, maximum portability for long distance treks and when travelling, but it's a wee bit on the edge for support given what I shoot with. So, I wanted something with more mass, stability and height (I'm 6'3" in my stocking feet). I get *very* tired of stooping to see through the viewfinder of a camera on a tripod that's got the center column fully extended (its most unstable position) in order for me not to be bent over. I had come across a review of this model recently, and was impressed with the massive size of it; this tripod offers the height with the retracted center column height I wanted. I researched the Velbon company as best as I could, read reviews here on B&H concerning other Velbon tripods, read about this model, determined that the company produces a decent quality product and decided that the Geo N840 should suit my needs. Well, after receiving the GEO N840, I can say that this thing is a behemoth. I mean, knowing the specs before buying, and then setting this thing in the flesh are two very different things. Its huge. Comic book outlandish huge. Which is what I wanted. Now, the pros and cons as I see them (your mileage may vary):The pros: The carbon fiber and basalt legs are massively wide diameter (high strength to weight ratio), with clear white markings to allow for even deployment of the legs. Spiraled texture makes for very smooth opening and closing. The rubber leg releases are massive and easily gripped with gloves (about 4 months of the year here can be quite cold). The upper portion of all three legs are clad in foam for hot/cold weather (I had read a review online which criticized this foam as being cheap, but it seems thick and solid enough as any I've seen on several other tripod brands by comparison). The feet are well-designed rubber teardrops, which recess to reveal stainless teeth for use outdoors. The feet can't accidentally unscrew right off, so I'm not concerned about loosing them. Fully extended, the max height (column not extended) is just over 70", 79" with the column extended. Fully open this is a thing of frightening beauty the way an aircraft carrier or a B-52 up close is a thing of beauty. The center column is aluminum, not carbon fiber (my Gitzo's center column is CF), but this because the center column has gear tracks cut into it (you can't cut carbon fiber without weakening it, so it has to be metal). It is beautifully geared, so the raising and lowering is very precise. The handle that operates the column appears to be polished cast magnesium, and retracts.There's also a tightening wheel that sits below the mounting plate. It controls the center column raise-and-lower feel, from completely loose to rock-tight full stop. This adjustment wheel also allows you to lock the extended column to be absolutely solid once you've made your adjustment, so there is no discernible vibration once the center column is extended. I have shot with the center column extended to try and see if I could detect any movement or vibration, but unlike any tripod I've used in the past, this center column locking wheel is the bee's knees; once tightened, the center column refuses to wobble. Untightened, the center column will rattle, so once you hit the position you want, lock down the column and you're all set.This adjustment wheel is plastic. I'm not a knee-jerk plastic-phobe, but I suppose I would have preferred to see cast magnesium or anodized aluminum here for the price. I hope there are no issues with the plastic construction in cold weather but, speaking of cold weather, the adjustment lugs on this wheel are very large and can be operated while wearing winter gloves.The tripod comes with a heavy-duty, thick nylon black fabric carry bag which doubles as a rock bag. The bag itself isn't padded, but the base is. The carry bag covers the lower third of the closed/folded tripod, and an attached shoulder strap (with nice sticky-rubber, unpadded shoulder strap) clicks into a strap attachment that's located at the apex of the tripod, so the folded/closed tripod can be shoulder carried in this neat and clever design. The carry bag has three good-quality zippers, which when opened, allow you to attach the bag to the legs with included good quality adjustable shock cords. You then fill the rock bag with rocks or other weight, and hang it from the included huge hook that screws on the bottom of the center column (the hook is also huge, looks like something that Captain Hook would wear).Since the rock bag is attached by shock cords to all three legs, there is stability, with no swinging bag/knapsack. Nice design. And it does work so much better than a swinging bag, which acts like a pendulum in a windstorm. My only beef here is that the hook doesn't retract into the center column like it does on my Gitzo.The tripod comes with a set of tools (wrench, Allen key and spare bolts) which I keep in the storage pouch of the excellent Hakuba PSTC 200 bag that this tripods lives in.The cons: The mounting plate is a plastic molded disc over a piece of white metal or aluminum. I would rather that this plate was all metal, like my Gitzo's is.The lever that operates the geared column is just a wee bit awkward to recess out of play if you want it out of the way for travel, etc. It is a metal handle, which is good, and it operates very well, I'd just like to see a slightly slicker recessing method to stow it once its not needed. A minor gripe.My biggest issue; the metal that forms the apex where the legs attach at the top of the tripod is cast magnesium, which is powder-coated with black paint. When I was initially playing with the leg angles, some of the black paint chipped off. At [$], I would either want polished cast magnesium like my Gitzo, or anodized, CNC-aluminum like Really Right Stuff tripods use. Black powder-coated paint that chips off just seems cheap to me. Not a deal-breaker and the reason for 4 stars and not five; the metal of the apex may quickly show its age through scratches and chips. In counterbalance to this is the fact that the apex is massively constructed, giving loads of solid support which is the key.Conclusion:From the ground up, the feet are solid and adjustable. The CF legs are huge diameter tubes that are very rigid and stable. The legs have a spiral surface texture that allows them to extend and retract really well. The clear white numerical markings allow for easy and consistent extending to a preferred height. The rubber twist locks are huge, easy to grab and use, and work well. The legs can adjust to different angles easily through an adjustment mechanism at the apex, and the geared center column is butter-smooth and absolutely rock-solid stable once locked down with a few twists of the locking wheel. The height and stability are fantastic given the reasonable weight of this tripod. It is rated to handle 19 lbs but the manufacturer states that its *maximum* load is 30 lbs. So, its a big, tall, stable tripod which is what I want when I'm not travelling or trekking super long distances. The downside includes the plastic covered mounting base, and the painted, not anodized cast magnesium apex. I wanted a really tall, weighty, solid tripod and thing is just huge. I actually stood my opened Gitzo 1542 under the inside of the opened N840 with room to spare.If you're tall, and want a monster tripod that can handle a 20lb-plus load and which is very solidly made for use in the outdoors (insulated upper elements, glove-friendly controls), consider this beast. No more stooping over! It's a solid piece of kit. Shooting with this, I have found it to be more stable, rigid and secure than any other realistically portable tripod I have used. It is also a pleasure to use; adjustment wheels and twist locks are oversize, comfortable to use and result in absolutely solid adjustments. Everything about this tripod when you're using it feels like a pro, studio tripod, but its carbon fiber construction makes it much more portable. I have lugged this thing on the trails and it fires on all cylinders in the mud and snow. Love it.If you're a sub-six footer, and don't need sky-scraping height or heavy load capacity, this would be too much tripod. As indicated above, I carry this in a padded Hakuba PSTC 200 bag, which takes this tripod with an Acratech GV2 ball head. This tripod paired with the Acratech GV2 are for me, a match made in heaven. Amazing functionality all 'round.This tripod is not my first choice for long treks or travelling, my Gitzo is because its lighter and smaller. However, if I'm spending the day going from spot to spot taking shots where I need a tripod, but I'm not too far from the car, then this is the beast I prefer to have. If you're on the fence, let me say: I would prefer to shoot with this tripod at all times because of its massive height and because of the bedrock stable platform it offers. It is too heavy for me for the long hikes, but I knew that going in. I chose this for maximum height sand stability, knowing it was heavy and would be restricted to car day trips and close-to-scene shoots, not for treks in Nepal.A big, solid tripod with excellent quality legs, geared center column, feet and carry bag. Falls down somewhat on the powder-coated painted cast magnesium apex, but the overall, it is a solid quality professional grade tool, with clever performance designs. Its a tripod I would buy again.

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    An solid behemoth; the B-52 of tripods.

    By Canadian Chris

    from Ontario, Canada

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easy to Use

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Velbon GEO N840 4-Section Carbon Fiber / Basalt Tripod:

      I bought this tripod after my usual considerable research phase. I use this for outdoors work to be an exceedingly stable platform for landscapes and nature, where long treks are not part of the program.I use a Canon 7D with a variety of lenses, including up to a 100-400. My current tripod is a Gitzo 1542 Traveler, with a Really Right Stuff BH-30 ball head. That combo was chosen for lightweight, maximum portability for long distance treks and when travelling, but it's quite obviously on the edge for support and stability where my setup is concerned.So, I wanted something with more mass, stability and height (I am 6'3" in my stocking feet). I get *very* tired of stooping to see through the viewfinder of a camera on a tripod that's got the center column fully extended (its most unstable position) in order for me not to be bent over. I had come across a review of this model recently, and was impressed with the massive size of it. I researched the Velbon company, read reviews here on B&H concerning other Velbon tripods, read about this model on the 'net, and determined that the company produces a decent quality product and that the Geo N840 should suit my needs. I considered many other tripods but did not find one that had the unextended height of the N840.Well, after receiving the GEO N840 (three section, not four as the description on this site says), I can say that this thing is a behemoth. I mean, knowing the specs before buying, and then seeing this thing in the flesh are two very different things. Its huge. Andre the Giant huge. Which is what I wanted. Now, the good and the bad:The Good: The carbon fiber (CF) and basalt legs are wide diameter, with clear white markings to allow for even deployment of the legs. Spiraled texture makes for very smooth opening and closing. The textured rubber leg releases are massive and easily gripped with gloves (6 months of the year here is cold), and lock securely. The leg angles are managed by click-angle adjustment at the apex. Three-section tripod, which is more stable than four-section (its three section despite that the site describes it as four section).The upper portion of all three legs are clad in foam for hot/cold weather (I had read a review online which criticized this foam as being cheap, but it seems as thick and solid as any I've seen on Manfrotto tripods by comparison). The feet are well-designed rubber teardrops, which recess to reveal stainless teeth for use outdoors. The feet can't accidentally unscrew right off, so I'm not concerned about loosing them. Fully extended, the max height (column not extended) is just over 70", 79" with the column extended. Fully open this is a thing of frightening beauty the way an aircraft carrier or a B-52 up close is a thing of beauty. The center column is aluminum, not CF (my Gitzo's center column is CF), but this because the center column has gear tracks cut into it (you can't cut CF without weakening it, so it has to be metal). It is beautifully geared, so the raising and lowering is very precise. The handle that operates the column is stainless steel, and retracts. I *love* geared center columns, as I associate them with older studio tripods and their solid accuracy and quality.There's also a tightening plate that sits below the mounting plate, which controls the center column raise-and-lower feel, from completely loose to rock-tight full stop. This adjustment plate is plastic. It seems like a decent high impact plastic similar to that found on modern firearms where strength is essential. I'm not a knee-jerk plastic-phobe, but I do hope there are no issues in cold weather. The adjustment lugs, however, are very large and can be operated with gloves on.The tripod comes with a heavy-duty, thick nylon black fabric carry bag which doubles as a rock bag to be hung from the bottom of the center column for additional stability in wind. The bag itself isn't padded, but the base is. The carry bag covers the lower third of the closed/folded tripod, and an attached shoulder strap (with nice sticky-rubber, unpadded shoulder strap) clicks into a strap attachment that's located at the apex of the tripod, so the folded/closed tripod can be shoulder carried in this neat and clever design. The carry bag has three good-quality zippers, which when opened, allow you to attach the bag to the legs with included high-quality adjustable shock cords. You then fill the rock bag with rocks or other weight, and hang it from the included huge hook that screws on the bottom of the center column.Since the rock bag is attached by shock cords to all three legs, there is stability, with no swinging bag/knapsack. Nice design; it works so much better than just hooking a camera bag onto the hook with no attachment to the legs, which causes a bag to becomes a pendulum in a windstorm. My only beef here is that the hook doesn't retract into the center column like it does on my Gitzo.The bad: The mounting plate is a plastic molded disc over a piece of white metal or aluminum. I would rather that this plate was all metal, like my Gitzo's is.The lever that operates the geared column is just a wee bit awkward to recess out of play if you want it out of the way for travel, etc. It is a metal handle, which is good, and it operates very well, I'd just like to see a slicker recessing method to stow it once its not needed.My biggest gripe; the metal that forms the apex where the legs attach at the top of the tripod is some sort of metal, which is powder-coated with black paint. When I was initially playing with the leg angles, some of the black paint chipped off. At [$], I would want cast magnesium like my Gitzo. At this price, I don't expect anodized, CNC-aluminum like Really Right Stuff, but black powder-coated paint that chips off just seems a bit cheap to me. Not a deal-breaker, but this apex will likely shed paint in time, and look more worn than it should.Conclusion:The height and stability are fantastic with this tripod. It is rated to handle 19 lbs but the manufacturer states that its *maximum* load is 30 lbs. Its a big, tall, stable tripod, which is what I want when I'm not travelling or trekking super long distances. The downside for me is the painted--not cast magnesium--apex metal. I know that generally, full-sized, heavy-load tripods that do have CNC anodized 6061 aluminum or cast magnesium parts often cost $1000 or well over. This tripod is much less expensive by comparison, but still I'd have liked to see the apex made of cast magnesium. If it was, this would have been a 5-star review.In the end, I wanted a really tall, weighty solid tripod and thing does fit the bill. I actually stood this tripod, when opened up, over my opened Gitzo 1542 with room to spare, to give you an idea of its size. It looks like that Guinness World Book of Records photo of the world's tallest man in the cowboy hat towering over a regular mortal.If you're tall, and want a monster tripod that can handle a 20-30 lb-plus load, and which appears to be very solidly made for use in the outdoors (insulated upper elements, glove-friendly controls), consider this beast. It's a solid piece of kit. If you're a sub-six footer, and don't need sky-scraping height or heavy load capacity, this would be too much tripod. I put a Vanguard SBH 250 ball head on this tripod. A very beefy combination.My overall impression in use is of solid quality with clever performance designs.

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