More Legs Than A Rockettes Kick Line - Promaster
The little one is the XC 522 - this may well be the answer for the perennial enquiry for a travel tripod that folds small enough to hide in a suitcase but stands up well to a heavy load.
Don't email me and tell me you've seen the shape before - you have, and so have I. But this evocation of it is remarkably well-built and has a couple of smart features. Assure yourself of the build quality by examining the finish on the yoke and the head. Note that the coupling for the head is a 3/8" thread but be aware that it is reversible - there is a 1/4" thread un the other end of the screw - but AHA! look at the fact that there is a screwdriver slot at the top of the thread - you can secure the thing against backing out as you change heads. Good thinking, 99...
Note that you can unscrew one of the legs - the one with the convenient rubber covering - and make a monopod of it. This means three-fold utility - Photographic travel tripod, sports-field monopod, and comfortable family whacker. Those of you with families will know what I mean.
The big tripod is actually a tripod system or kit - the Taskmaster UT 25. It comes in a nylon folding case that contains legs, head, two center columns, and a tilting macro bracket. Look at the pictures - you'll see it assembled in a number of modes. The flat-pack of the basic tripod is fabulous as it allows it to go into luggage with the minimal disturbance. The yoke is very sturdy but light, and the leg fit is precise.
Look at the workmanship and finish on the tilting macro bracket - the day of unfinished items is finished - these have the kind of paint and polish that would be expected from a good motor car.
Again, each screw interface is well thought out to provide sufficient metal to couple well. It is a tripod kit that can serve for all field work for the medium-sized or smaller DSLR.
As you will find out over the next few blog posts, I am becoming a fan of Promaster. So far the things I have seen in the delivery are really good quality. I shall report more.