The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

The New Tripod

Posted by Exile on May 12, 2020

I needed it..

See, my old tripod couldn’t take the weight of a Sigma 150-600 mm lens. No matter how much I tried to tighten the head it drooped ever so slowly downward and became very irritating. It had to go..

The internet is my friend and if I couldn’t go out to investigate the possibilities then I could sit here and explore. I went to my “go to” camera supplier. They had a huge selection. I was looking for something that would hold the 4½ Kg that the big zoom lens weighs and yet still could be brought up to a good working height. I’m a six-footer and I hate having to bend over too far to see what I’m shooting at. The camera has a screen on the back, fully articulated too, but I do like to use the viewfinder where possible.

I found two or three possible candidates.

Let’s be clear here, We are in a crisis situation thanks to some vile disease brought to us by our Chinese chums. Again. They gave us SARS, bird flu, MERS and more bloody bird flu. Apparently they weren’t happy with the result of letting that lot go, so they let Corona Virus loose on us, finally getting a world wide response. Talk about attention seeking. Now, the world’s enconomies are shot to bits they can cheaply buy up half the industry on the planet at bargain prices. Sneaky, eh? Guess what. I’ve given up buying Chinese goods. I don’t care if it is cheap. I won’t buy it any more.

Unfortunately almost everything you can buy these days is made in China. I needed to do some weeding then. And my candidate list withered away very quickly. Finally, the one that stood out was Italian made. Italy needs our help now. They suffered badly with Corona. I decided to go with that.

Manfrotto-Element-Traveller-Big-with-Ball-HeadIt’s a Manfrotto. The Big Element Traveller. Not ideal for those who shoot video but I don’t shoot video. I do stills. The thing can hold up to 8 Kg. It comes with a ball head. The legs will fold out to three different angles. One can invert the centre column, hanging the camera under the tripod and inverting it. One leg will screw off and, with the ball head, it becomes a monopod. There are 4 different colours of decoration on the jointy bits. I went with grey. Red, blue and yellow aren’t that prominent in nature as a rule.
The ball head will also tilt 90° allowing the man behind the camera to shift from portrait to landscape format. There are four different fixed heights according to normal leg adjustment but in reality, the adjustment is infinitely variable according to terrain. It’s light enough to be carried easily and really compact when folded up. Only 42 cm long. It stands solidly.
It has spirit levels in two different orientations on the ball head. Exchangeable feet, rubber or pointy pins. A carrying bag. And adjustment tools to maintain the thing. I couldn’t ask for more. Price? Reasonable. Less than £100,00.

Can’t wait to try it out. My living room isn’t the ideal place… Maybe in the garden!

Bugger China.

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