September 17, 2015

Sunwayfoto T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Preview

Sunwayfoto T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod at the beach
Further to the release of the Sunwayfoto T1C40T Carbon Fiber Traveller Tripod posted a few days ago, the second in line was the final T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod presented here.
Various iterations of the T2C40C were been presented in China P&E Shows and Photokina last year.
However, a few final touches were made until the tripod was announced for release past August.

The T2C40C is a classic folding, medium sized (Series 2), still lightweight tripod made from Carbon Fibre with a 28 mm top leg diameter.
As with its smaller sibling, it is also targeted to the high end market segment with a quite competitive price, compared to the competition at this level.

Nonetheless, this segment is very competitive with long established brands like Gitzo® and RRS® making it more difficult to get recognition for ones own merits other than price.

The Tripod
Manufacturer Specification:
Model:T2C40C
Materials:Carbon Fiber / Aluminium
Number of Leg Sections:4
Leg Tube Diameters:28, 24,  20, 16 mm
Maximum Height Center Column Extended:159 cm
Maximum Height Center Column Retracted:133 cm
Minimum Height:12 cm
Folded Length:58 cm
Mounting screw thread:1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 UNC
Weight:1.65 Kgr
Leg Angles:23°, 60°, 85°
Level:Standard
Center Column Type:Rapid
Load Capacity:12 Kgr

In this respect, though, as I have mentioned in the T1C40T announcement, I have been involved with the pre production evaluation processes of the new Sunwayfoto Carbon Fiber tripods, therefore I can confirm that Sunwayfoto engineers pay attention to detail and have avoided any cut-offs in the production processes in order to present innovative features yet maintaining high quality standards.

Features and Innovations

Single Block Top Leg Hub / Spider
Since Sunwayfoto is mainly involved with high precision CNC machining they follow the same path for all their tripods making them unique. The leg hub (spider) of the T2C40C is a single piece of solid metal.
Made out of a single block of Aircraft grade T6 Aluminium improving rigidity and then type III hard anodized, offering high abrasion and corrosion resistance.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C single block top spider

Patented Leg Joints
Innovation encounter with the smaller model, continues with this one too, with the Patented mechanism for the leg joints, which promises an once set then maintenance free unfolding and folding of the legs.
Two screws passing from both sides on a rotating shaft are usually found on most tripod leg joints. Either screw after a while loosens up due to friction between the parts inside the hinge on the spider. Therefore, after some use the readjustment of the screw tightness is unavoidable.

The Sunwayfoto patent involves a rotating shaft with a couple of slots on its end cap which coincide with two anti-twist bosses on the upper leg joint.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C patented leg joints drawing part I

Sunwayfoto T2C40C patented leg joints drawing part II

CNC Machined Leg Angle Locks
Another advanced advertised feature of all new Sunwayfoto tripods are the CNC machined Leg Angle Locks. Meaning both the push-pull lock Latches and the Steps on the leg-hub (spider).
This technique, due to the latches and the steps being at right angle ensures a larger contact area between them further enhancing the leg stability.
In comparison, other brands use lathe to form the steps in order to minimize machining time, aiming at lower production cost, resulting in a rounded shape of the steps with minimal contact area with the lock latches.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C leg angle locks
The leg hub is short with a short wing nut bringing the center of gravity lower and closer the pyramid apex formed by the legs for enhanced stability.
Sunwayfoto T2C40C three leg angles
Push - pull Latches allow adjustment of the angles of each leg individually, at the standard up-right 23° position, the intermediate 60° position which offers a larger base and the ground level position at 85° with legs spayed out completely.

Improved Leg Section Flex Resistance
Among the features of a tripod that usually passes unnoticed are the Teflon or Nylon inserts between the successive leg section tubes, which are responsible for the air-tightness, anti-twist function and smooth retraction and extension of the sections.
Sunwayfoto has decided to sacrifice some cost in return for enhanced leg stability when the legs are fully expanded, by using 40 mm long inserts or "friction tubes" as they call them.

Sunwayfoto T1C40T leg section locks drawing
Sunwayfoto T1C40T leg section locks drawing
For comparison, the usual length found in other brands is 30 mm or less which results in less tube remaining in each upper section of each leg, when fully extended. The economy of saving 10 mm or more of leg CF or Alu material per section, results in greater flex around the twist lock joints, affecting stability.



Other Features

Secure Top Mounting Plate
The large diameter and thick, all-metal, top mounting plate of the tripod is equipped with two hex socket screws. The one closer to the center fixes the plate on either the long or short center columns from top and the one close to the perimeter is intended to immobilize any head attached on it from below.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C top mounting plate detail

Titanium Alloy Top Mounting Stud
The top plate mounting stud is of dual thread, 1/4"-20 on one side and 3/8"-16 on the other while it is made of Titanium alloy for extended durability.

High Strength Spring Hook 
Sunwayfoto has equipped the T2C40C's center column with a Stainless Steel, rotating, spring loaded, hook assembly, rated for weights up to 15 kg.

Dust / Weather Proof Smooth Twist Locks
All rubber twist locks on the T2C40C have a smooth texture for more convenient handling, while maintaining a very secure grip.
Further to that, the lower two sections feature weather proof twist locks, equipped with a rubber ring between the cap and the lower leg section and a rubber O-Ring on the top section, which insulate the joints from dust and the elements. More details in the upcoming review.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C weather proof twist locks

Titanium Alloy Leg Spikes
Metal spikes are now common on many tripods but Sunwayfoto decided to equip the T2C40C with Titanium alloy spikes, being lighter, more resistant to corrosion and able to withstand extreme temperatures.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C Titanium alloy leg spikes detail
The T2C40C spikes are permanently attached on the leg ends and when not needed are covered by large screw-on rubber caps to protect sensitive surfaces. 

Padded Carrying bag and tools included
The tripod is accompanied by a convenient soft padded bag, as well as long and short center columns with their accessories and all of the appropriately sized Torx and Allen wrenches.

Sunwayfoto T2C40C accessories, carrying bag and tools

Using the Tripod
Sunwayfoto T2C40C w/ short column, Sunwayfoto FB-44II and Nikon Camera
The Sunwayfoto T2C40C with Short Center Column and legs completely splayed out for ground level shooting. It is matched with the Sunwayfoto FB-44II ball head holding easily the Nikon D600 DSLR camera with a quite heavy lens.

I shall repeat myself by mentioning that the Sunwayfoto Marketing team paid much attention in the preparation of the web pages of the new tripods. They are extensive, whereas aside of the common characteristics there is a thoroughly illustrated presentation of features and full description of all tripod functions. It's rather like a full featured on-line manual than a simple product page. The translated English needs some improvement though. Nevertheless it is comprehensible.
For more information you may visit the T2C40C Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod page at Sunwayfoto's website.

Same as with T1C40T, one of the final production samples is in my hands. So stay tuned for an in depth review sometime soon. In that review we shall see together step by step how the design elements and features mentioned above stand in real conditions.

I hope you found the information useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos by courtesy of Sunwayfoto ©2015

Price & Availability:
Recommended Retail price for the T2C40C CF Classic Tripod is US$ 399.00 and is already available from Amazon.com or from eBay.

If you are interested in the product please consider using above link(s) to make your purchase and help support this site.

Referenced Articles:
Sunwayfoto T1C40T Carbon Fiber Traveller Tripod Preview

Relevant Articles:
Sunwayfoto T1A20 Aluminium Ground Level Tripod Preview

2 comments :

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Hello,

    Can you advise when the extensive review will be carried out an be posted?

    ReplyDelete

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