3 Legged Things Tripod

BB70Chevelle

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Looking at purchasing one of their tripods and just curious what other who own them think about the product or if you'd recommend something else? Was planning to go with their travis model and L bracket. Together both pieces come in at $250 which is the top of my budget. It will mainly be used outdoors when we are doing mini sessions of families and kids and some occasional indoor work. Only plan to use it a handful of times a year but when I do use it I want something thats quality.
 
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I try not to buy anything new — especially something I don't use very often.

I got the Benbo #1. They were also marketed under the name "UniLoc." This is my heavy tripod of choice; they also made a lighter one called the "Trekker."

These are unique tripods, in that they are set up with a single bent bolt system. You can put the three legs and column any where! I'd call it the #1 tripod for macro, because of its infinite position ability.

EDIT: one other brilliant thing they did was that the lower leg sections are larger than the upper legs, which slide within. This is the opposite of other tripods, but it lowers the centre of gravity, but more importantly, it allows the bottom half of the leg to be immersed in water, without getting water inside when you close it up.

Some say it's like "wrestling with an octopus," but I've grown used to it, and can get it set up and shooting while others are still fooling with their leg locks.

Another nice thing is that, once you have it locked down, you can move it without re-setting it — the legs don't go all floppy when you pick it up.

Not for everyone. I just have a keen appreciation for the weird and unusual, I guess.
 
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oldracer

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I think the best values are Gitzo aluminum tripods bought on eBay. For your use case, the weight savings of carbon is probably not worth the extra money it will cost.

The two Gitzo lines that are IMO the best choice for our cameras are the 2-series "Reporter" line (G220, for example) and the 3-series "Studex" line (G320 for example.) "Performance" models feature multiple leg angles. "Compact" models feature four leg sections instead of three, so they are shorter when folded. Put a decent ball head on any of these and you'll have a tripod you won't ever need to "upgrade" unless you change use cases and become concerned about ultimate light weight.

This one would be an excellent choice: https://www.ebay.com/itm/GITZO-came...nce-2-TRIPOD-HEAD-MADE-IN-FRANCE/303349346858 Just throw away the head or have the seller keep it and reduce the shipping charge.

A little patience, watching and waiting, should get you a very cost-effective tool. I see no reason to be afraid of used tripods; it is trivially easy to verify their proper operation upon receipt.
 

Bidkev

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I try not to buy anything new — especially something I don't use very often.

I got the Benbo #1. They were also marketed under the name "UniLoc." This is my heavy tripod of choice; they also made a lighter one called the "Trekker."

These are unique tripods, in that they are set up with a single bent bolt system. You can put the three legs and column any where! I'd call it the #1 tripod for macro, because of its infinite position ability.

Some say it's like "wrestling with an octopus," but I've grown used to it, and can get it set up and shooting while others are still fooling with their leg locks.

Another nice thing is that, once you have it locked down, you can move it without re-setting it — the legs don't go all floppy when you pick it up.

Not for everyone. I just have a keen appreciation for the weird and unusual, I guess.

I had my Benbo 2 for 30 yrs but sold it when I switched to m43. Built like a tank and weighing as much :) it was unique at the time not only because of it's many configurations but also because it extended to 3 metres. I always carried a pair of small step ladders in the car with it and used to get some wonderful perspectives from the pair. Even today I would still recommend one over other tripods and seeing the prices of some tripods, consider them value for money. I'm surprised to find that not many folk have heard about them, especially those who do a lot of macro

http://www.patersonphotographic.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Paterson-Benbo-brochure-002.pdf
 
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Also considering this one since its on sale currently for less than the 3 legged things model, any thoughts on it?

https://www.adorama.com/veo2264cb.html
I have this. Not the sturdiest in the world nor very stable either. It is quite light for what it is and the center, pivoting column is gimmicky. It can NOT hold the weight of the camera and lens (even the lightest) at any other angle apart from 90 degrees straight or inverse, between the legs. The advertisement material shows you can position that column at any angle but it is misleading.

The ballhead is ok and the clamp is kinda small, I did not have any mishaps on it (my tripod usage is *very* low, so take this with a pinch) but I had twitchy feeling putting any lens with large plate on it. Matter of fact, every lens foot that I have is much lengthier than the clamp. It would be a good idea to replace that ballhead with something bigger and sturdier.

Another pain, and I vouch not to buy this again, are the twist to deploy tripod feet. Those twisty things on 2 of the 3 feet in my case are really bad - they have a tendency of getting tightened midway through rotation making you believe that you have fully loosened/tightened the feet but you don't in reality. On numerous occasion one the feet collapsed because I thought I had fully tightened the ring but I hadn't. The solution is to just keep rotating even after you have hit the tight spot, its really weird. Never again, I will go for clamps every time.

All in all, nothing memorable apart from smalli-ish size and light weight. Just about ok and just about enough for m43, too weak for FF gear. The PITA legs and tiny ballhead are the major downfall.
 
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Bidkev

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Doh! I've love to have one of those! Three metres could be useful for 360°x180° panoramas.
I think Benro were being a bit shifty when they chose to market their tripods under that name. That said, I now have a benro monopod and tripod and they're excellent for the price, albeit without the height that the benbo can achieve
 

Holoholo55

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I think Benro were being a bit shifty when they chose to market their tripods under that name. That said, I now have a benro monopod and tripod and they're excellent for the price, albeit without the height that the benbo can achieve
Hehehe... I doubt that Benro copied Benbo when they chose their name. Benbo is a bit too obscure to provide any boost to Benro. I happened to learn about it a while ago, but did not have any inkling of it before I happened upon someone mentioning it. It's certainly not a tripod you see in most camera stores. I was surprised to find it on eBay, but it's available only from UK sellers. Definitely unique. :)
 

Holoholo55

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For an educated choice, best go check this site : https://thecentercolumn.com/
The best relatively low priced tripods are Leofoto's and Feisol's.
https://thecentercolumn.com/rankings/
Thanks for the link to that site. Very interesting, with a different style of testing. I note that they consider the capacity ratings that 3LT gives their tripods grossly inflated. I kinda wondered how their tripods could support such enormous weights. Worth reading their reviews.
 

Sammyboy

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.... I also have a Benbo #1 with 2 center columns that screw together. it's rock solid and sturdy even when using both columns, love that tripod, but a tad heavy to carry around.
 

mnhoj

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The Travis is actually very smooth and well made imo.
I sold it carelessly because I wasn't using it as much as my mini.

Now that I need something taller I regret it.
Oh well.
 

Holoholo55

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I think the Slik tripods are worth considering. I bought a Silk Pro 700 DX AMT set of legs last year when they were on sale for only $79. Their regular price is only $99. It's heavy, with legs alone weighing 5.5 lb, but its very sturdy and stiff, and gets high enough for me without extending the center column. I put a leveling base and a Manfrotto fluid head on it, but one could use any desired head. It's also available with a variety of heads too. I use it when I need something strong and unlikely to fall over in a breeze. You don't need to hang weights on it to get it to sit firmly.
https://slikusa.com/collections/tripod/products/pro-700-dx-black-amt-leg-set-only

I bought it to replace a Bogen 3020 and it's built better, sturdier, and it's more precise. Strong enough to support my Celestron telescope too.
 

Richard_M

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I have at least half a dozen tripods, the majority being Sirui and also carbon fibre.

However, I do have one 3 legged thing tripod. I purchased it when it was on special. I use it most weekends and I constantly reverse the centre stem as I use it for close-up/macro photography. It doesn't get looked after too well, it has been drenched plenty of times, and after a couple of seasons of heavy use it hasn't missed a beat. It is still sturdy, and showing little signs of wear. I'm quite impressed with how it has performed.
 

Bushboy

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I have 4 tripods, 2 of them vanguards. Both excellent, one is a compact travel tripod, the other a big solid job. They make some excellent stuff, don’t be put off by that one mentioned previously with the stupid twist locking legs, don’t get that one...
I think you should go to a big camera store and choose what you want/need. That way you can be sure. Nothing wrong with buying new, a good one will last a lifetime.
 

Dinobe

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I'm owning a 3 legged thing Brian (2nd generation)
I don't use it as much as thought I would. I purchased it years ago when I was still shooting with my DSLR. I chose 3LT because of it's flexibility. You can get modify it in many different ways, from really low to the ground to over 2 meters and use it as a strobe stand.

But in real life I never used it as a strobe stand, and hardly used it with the reverse column.
Looking back at it now, I "misjudged" how I would use my tripod and I would probably go with a cheaper, even smaller model from Sirui with flip locks instead of friction locks.

I have no problems with stability nor the build quality and their customer service is excellent.
 

The Grumpy Snapper

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As someone who used to know Ken Brett, one of the people behind Benbo and later Uni-Loc I should point out that while very similar they are different and were made by different companies.

I say were as I don't know if the Uni-Loc models are still being made. I contacted the company some time ago wanting a tilt platform to replace the centre column but after an initial response I never heard from them again.
 
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I have the Travis tripod, purchased it a few months ago to replace a too small manfroto travel tripod. The Travis is larger and heavier than I anticipated, but so far I like it. If I didn't have intentions of hiking it around in a backpack, but only using it out of the car or whatever, it would be about perfect. The leg locks twist, a feature someone earlier decried, but they're solid and easy to operate, not the cheapo kind. I'm not that comfortable yet with the way it folds up on itself, and it does seem to want to tighten and loosen the legs when folded and unfolded. I haven't used it for long enough to make any real judgement on long-term durability, but if it is truly quality, I think it'll probably get better the more it gets used. If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.
 
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