Jul 2, 2014


Strength and weight benefits from carbon
By Beata Whitehead from Newport News on 7/2/2014

4out of 5
Describe Yourself: Pro Photographer
I am a professional photographer and I do a lot of nature photography in addition to weddings. I have always lugged my heavy tripod to my weddings and just figured that was the price I had to pay for great shots. However, I recently started a new project capturing the many waterfalls of Hamilton Ontario which requires a lot of hiking up and down mountainous hillsides. It was then I decided it was time to invest in newer light weight equipment. Since I would be carrying a camera backpack I needed something that was light and would fold small.
After extensive research I decided the 3Pod P4CFH tripod with the H2 ballhead was the best choice for me. It has strength and weight benefits from carbon fiber material and with some other nice features the price offers a lot of "bang for the buck". It has a nice design that allows it to fold flat and when I retract the legs fully it shrinks to 18 inches in length. The flat short design, which I was skeptical about at first, makes it so I can easily stack things on it in my carryon or slide it next to other items in my backpack. Brilliant!
The center leg unscrews to make a monopod. It comes with a strap and the center leg also has a soft foam rubber hand grip. These are nice, well thought out touches. Sometimes a monopod is all I need and the reduction of weight in my backpack is much appreciated. The center column which attaches to the ballhead unscrews easily which allows me to make the choice of height vs. weight. In many cases I choose in favor of the lower weight on long hikes and heavy loads.
I usually use the rubber pads on the feet but in some hillsides with turf or soft earth, I will take the pads off and use the built in spikes instead. The legs adjust easily with a slight twist to loosen and twist back to tighten.
The leg angle can also be extended. Recently in very rugged area I need stability on an oddly angled rock which stood waist high. I opened the leg ratchets and the tripod base was almost opened to a platform with the legs retracted.
The K2 Ballhead is made from lightweight aluminum and it moves smoothly a full 360 degrees for panoramic shots or panning videos which I also do. It also comes with a quick release plate with a bubble level which locks your camera tightly. My only concern is the piece that attaches to the camera requires frequent retightening. I will have to look into why it continues to loosen on its own. Last but not least it come with a nice compact carry case with a velvet bag for the ballhead.
Since my purchase I have photographed Bermuda extensively as well as, 20 of the 100 Hamilton waterfalls and I am very pleased with my choice of equipment.