At work, I constantly need to photograph a subject, some kind of device. And if at first it was just a desire to “make the photo brighter”, now I want to make these photos meaningfully, coming up with some ideas. Thus, in the last couple of years at Media, I began to rediscover my passion for photography.
In the conditions of shooting, which I usually do, it is already difficult to get by with just a camera. Periodically, you need to freeze tightly so that the photos are not blurry. Tripods come in handy here. We have a few in the studio, but they are either busy or too massive for portable photography.
Now there will be your favorite part: the Bag & Wallet store came to our rescue. They sell backpacks, wallets, business card holders, regular gloves, driver’s gloves, computer mats and tripods. You can see the assortment on the store website… The guys suggested that I try Peak Design Travel Tripod… I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and I can tell you a thing or two about this thing.
They gave me an aluminum tripod for the test, but there is also a carbon one. The differences between them are only in the materials used, as well as in weight. The tripod came in a box like this:
Mine is made of 6061-T6 alloy. It weighs 1.56 kg. The more expensive version is made of Carbon Fiber Multilayer 3K. The weight of this version is 1.27 kg.
Less weight, of course, is nice, but you have to pay extra for it. And the amount is significant – the difference will be more than 20 thousand rubles.
The main advantage of a tripod, besides weight, is its size. There are many lightweight tripods out there, but I’ve never seen such a compact tripod. The fact is that tripods, produced, for example, by Manfrotto and other companies, have a big problem – the free space between the components, even when folded.
The folded dimensions of the Peak Design Travel Tripod are really small: 39.4 cm long and 8.3 cm in diameter.In this form, it fits into a nice case with a small handle:
The case itself fits the tripod very tightly:
The Peak Design Travel Tripod has a very tight folded structure. Because of this, it fits easily into the bottle pocket of a backpack:
If the tripod is extended, the height will vary between 130.2 and 152.4 cm depending on how high the tripod head is. The lowest head position is fixed at 14.2 cm:
Another important feature: The Peak Design Travel Tripod is capable of carrying up to 9 kg of payload. If you are looking for a compact tripod, the maximum you can find is 4 kg. So there is no need to worry about leg and camera deflection if you travel using medium format with some kind of huge zoom lens.
By the way, many compact tripods use four-section legs, while Peak Design uses five-section legs.
Like many tripods, the Peak Design Travel Tripod can shoot downward:
In order to turn your head over like this, you need to pull the hook out of the central column:
The tripod head is anything but ordinary. First, you may notice that there is no rotary knob here. And here it is worth mentioning the most important design flaw of the Peak Design Travel Tripod – it does not have the ability to pan. That is, it is not suitable for shooting video.
The head is fixed using a relief ring. Twist it counterclockwise – the head begins to move freely along all possible axes. Counterclockwise – the head will lock in the selected position.
There is also a lever on the head. It will stop the pad lock travel. The logic is the same: counterclockwise – free play, clockwise – fix.
The spherical base of the head allows you to fix the camera in a vertical position without any problems:
The platform itself is fixed to the camera using a hexagon.
It’s pretty compact:
The key attaches directly to one of the legs:
With this key, I would mention another drawback: it is easy to lose it. But here a regular 4 mm hexagon is used, so you can easily find a replacement for it at your nearest hardware or hardware store.
To fold the tripod out to its lowest position, you will need to disassemble it. And here again you have to work with a hexagon. To do this, you need to pull the central column out of the tripod and unscrew the bolt from its spherical base:
This will allow the central column to be split into two parts, the upper of which can be installed in the legs as wide apart as possible.
By the way, the upper part of the central column can be replaced with another one. For example, at the Peak Design Universal Head Adapter. It has a universal 3/8 ” thread that you can attach a video head to:
There is such an adapter 2810 rubles… You can also buy it from Bag & Wallet.
On the bottom of the center column there is a hook on which you can hang a small backpack.
But that’s not all. Twist this hook a little and you will find a phone holder. It is fixed to the tripod head.
So the Peak Design Travel Tripod isn’t just for professional cameras.
We are looking for competitors
The aluminum Peak Design Travel Tripod is worth over thirty thousand. And the high price is another drawback of this tripod. But let’s try to find an alternative.
One of the competitors is Sirui ET-1004. It comes with a variety of heads, but you need an E-10 ball head to build an equivalent Peak Design tripod. The price in Russia is from 11 to 13 thousand. Significant price variation. It looks like this:
The tripods weigh the same. But in the folded version, Sirui is much more massive due to the free space between the legs, as well as the removable head. This tripod measures 42x15cm, while Peak Design’s is 39x8cm.Maximum load is 8kg and Peak Design’s is 9kg.
Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO costs 26 thousand rubles. And this is already a tripod from the “big league”. Its weight is 1.76 kg, and its length is 43 cm.The diameter in the folded version is not indicated, since it is very large:
The tripod can hold up to 9 kg and can be folded out with the legs turning 180 °. After that, the head is screwed to it. That is, the assembly is not very convenient, and the tripod itself is not very compact.
Of course, the Peak Design Travel Tripod doesn’t exist in a vacuum. And its price is high – 30 thousand for the aluminum and almost 51 thousand for the carbon version. However, it was the Travel Tripod that I calmly fit in my carry-on suitcase when I traveled to Kaliningrad last week, and then threw it into my backpack on my return to Moscow to cycle to work. Would this work with Sirui and Manfrotto? Considering their design, it is unlikely.
Our friends Bag & Wallet, with whose support this text was written, Peak Design Travel Tripod sold for 30,710 rubles in an aluminum case and for 50,840 in a carbon one. When using the promo code WYLSA, there will be an additional 8% discount on this and other products.