This is an aluminium alloy tripod with a centre column that extends, inverts and articulates to allow shots at angles that would otherwise be inaccessible. This is especially useful for macro photography. The centre column can also be removed entirely to allow the camera to be positioned low to the ground. The tripod can be extended to 191cm, folded to 62cm and has a load capacity of 12kg. One leg can be also be detached and converted into a monopod.
Tripod Centre Column Functionality
There appears to be a lot of functionality with this tripod as described above. The multi-functional centre column is a bit of an oversell though. There are two tubes one inside the other, allowing an extension of 34cm. But as photographers will be aware, any significant extension above the legs of a tripod causes instability and increases vibration. A bit like balancing a monopod on top of a tripod. This can all but eliminate the benefit of having a tripod, so centre column functionality is always bit limited. Nothing specific to this tripod though.
The articulation is also a bit overblown. The centre column has to be fully extended to articulate. At 90° the extended section can retract so it forms a T-shape with the main centre column section. You can see this is the graphic above, so the angle of articulation is limited to 0° or 90°. It can help with macro because you can get closer to your subject. Even if you cannot position the tripod any closer.
The main problem with any centre column though, is that it limits how low you can get to the ground. And I don’t do that much macro. So I take advantage of removing the centre column entirely. I replace it with a very short column supplied with the tripod.
Ball Head Functionality
The tripod is supplied with a ball head, which has an Arca-Swiss Quick Release compatible clamp. It has a plate provided with the standard ¼” screw for attaching to your camera. It has a bubble level and two locking knobs, one releases the ball to allow the camera to be positioned at the correct angle. The other allows panning to enable multi-image panoramic shots.
The head connects to the tripod using ⅜” fixings, but the connector supplied with the tripod allows a ¼” fixing as well. The whole ball head seems reasonably robust, but it does dip if a longer lens is used.
Tripod Legs Functionality
The legs are 25mm at their thickest, come in four sections with twist locks, but are sturdy in most circumstances. I have had some soft images in windy conditions. The legs articulate with the centre section on a simple hinge and are locked in place with a spring-loaded mechanism that seems simple and effective. The three options for the leg angle give a reasonable set of options and allow the camera to be supported very close to the ground (if you’ve removed the centre column).
One of the legs, which is also the leg that can be removed to convert to a monopod, has some insulating foam on it. This may seem odd to a new user, but try picking up and carrying a tripod that has been used to take pictures in very low temperatures, and you’ll soon be grateful for this simple, but thoughtful, adjustment.
The feet supplied are rubber – but can be removed and utilise a ¼” screw so replacement feet can be installed, although they are not provided. I use spikes on my tripod to improve the stability.
This is a relatively inexpensive tripod, that provides acceptable stability in most conditions and reasonable functionality. Some of the “functionality” is not well executed and unfortunately detracts from what is a good product at this price point. A good starter tripod.
- Acceptable Stability
- Removable Centre Column
- Can get very low to the ground
- Removable feet
- Less stable in wind – spikes recommended
- Extension utility is limited
- Centre column promises much but delivers little, and limits how close you can get to the ground.