I've been looking at carbon fiber tripods for use with my soon to be purchased D800E.
I'm trying to stay under $500.00 and have been comparing Gitzo, Manfrotto, RRS etc. I stumbled on to the 3LT and found many reviews on the web but no mention of them here.
I do mostly landscape work and some macro and from the videos and reviews I've seen the 3LT appears to have the functionality I need at a reasonable price point.
Any opinion on these tripods one way or another?
#1. "RE: 3 Legged Thing 3LT" | In response to Reply # 0jrp Charter MemberThu 04-Oct-12 03:23 AM
We've seen them. However just the illustration of them, with the center column extended tells us much -on the negative side.
The company is a UK firm, but seems like a purely commerce entity.
The products are likely made in China at the plant where all other Chinese tripods are made.
How it may serve the needs of our members on a budget is hard to tell at this time.
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#2. "RE: 3 Legged Thing 3LT" | In response to Reply # 1Thu 04-Oct-12 03:06 PM
Thanks for the reply, actually one of the reasons I was looking at these tripods is their ability to be used with or without the center column.
Yes they are made in China from the UK company's specs.
Either way I did purchase one along with my D800e so I will post my thoughts after running it through some paces.
Per UPS should have both by Friday afternoon
Can't wait, will be a busy weekend.
>We've seen them. However just the illustration of them, with
>the center column extended tells us much -on the negative
>The company is a UK firm, but seems like a purely commerce
>The products are likely made in China at the plant where all
>other Chinese tripods are made.
>How it may serve the needs of our members on a budget is hard
>to tell at this time.
#3. "RE: 3 Legged Thing 3LT" | In response to Reply # 2petterf Nikonian since 27th Nov 2008Thu 04-Oct-12 08:15 PM
Please post some pictures and a review of it.
A mate at work have been looking for them with low cost in mind but reviews of them have been sparse.
-Ever wondered where gadgets go when they die?
#4. "RE: 3 Legged Thing 3LT" | In response to Reply # 3Thu 04-Oct-12 09:15 PM
Copy that, If all goes as planned and the big brown truck arrives tomorrow as promised, I'll give it a workout this weekend.
The company does have a 30 min. demo on youtube that shows a lot of the functionality.
I purchased the Eric model which is a bit beefier than their other models.
#5. "RE: 3 Legged Thing 3LT" | In response to Reply # 4Mon 08-Oct-12 07:37 PM | edited Sun 19-Jan-14 04:39 PM by jrp
So my new D800E and tripod arrived as promised on Friday.
Here are the specs of the Eric model from the 3LT website:
Head Type Magnesium ball head
Quick Release - Arca-type clamp with plate included
Ball Sphere Diameter - 1.71" (43.5mm)
Tension Control - Yes
Separate Panning Lock - Yes
Base Diameter - 2.2" (5.5 cm)
Legs Material - 8x carbon fiber
Head Attachment Fitting - 1/4"-20 & 3/8"-16 reversible screw
Leg Stages/Sections - 3/4
Diameter (Top Leg Section) - 1.02" (26mm)
Leg Lock Type - Twist lock
Independent Leg Spread - Yes
Spiked/Retractable Feet - No/no, but feet are removable
Center Brace - No
Center Column Type - Rapid, reversible
Center Column Sections - 2 (also includes single-section short 3.9" center column)
Bubble Level - Yes, 1 on chassis and 2 on head
Load Capacity - 16.7 lb (7.6 kg)
Maximum Height - 85.0" (216.0 cm)
Monopod: - 56.7" (144.0 cm)
Max Ht. w/o Column Extended - 60.2" (153.0 cm)
Minimum Height - 9.2" (23.4 cm)
Folded Length - 19.7" (50.0 cm)
Weight - 3.88 lb (1.745 kg)
Monopod: - 0.54 lb (0.247 kg)
My overall impression of the tripod is positive but there are a few negatives as well. I'll cover those first.
There are 3 stops for each leg that set the leg spread. The 1st stop I feel is too tall leading to instability but the next stop spreads the legs too far which would cause issues in tight spaces. I would have preferred something in between those settings.
The leg twist locks are plastic. Would have preferred aluminum or other light metal. (Although they do seem to function well with minimal effort.)
Two of the 3 screws holding the ball head together had rounded out phillips heads. Shows a lack of skilled assembly and quality control.
Now to the positives;
As light as it is, I still feel it has the stability to hold the D800 and 24-70 2.8. But this is my first carbon fiber tripod so I really have nothing to compare it to. If I was working in the studio I would probably still use my old aluminum Manfrotto just because it is heavy and solid but I bought the 3LT strictly for field work and for that I feel it fits the bill. I did order a 3rd party stone bag to help add more stability.
I will probably leave the center column detached and in my bag 90% of the time as the tripod is much more stable without it but for close to the ground macro work the ability to reverse the center column, spread the legs and attach the camera upside down is a big plus.
Ball head appears solid and serviceable. For the price I really can't complain.
Again, twist locks work smoothly and are secure.
Folds up to a mere 20 inches and includes a nice case complete with 3 allen wrenches to make field repairs easier.
Quick release works well and will accept a Black Rapid FastenR-T1 for use with their or another's strap systems.
Includes 3 bubble levels one on the sticks and two on the head.
Though I will probably never use it, one leg can detach and coverts to a mono pod.
I still need to get it out in the field to fully test but so far I'm happy with the purchase. Very glad it was on sale when I pulled the trigger. Total price was $429.00, $60.00 less than the usual price.
#6. "RE: 3 Legged Thing 3LT" | In response to Reply # 0
I selected Manfrotto. I like the idea of releasing a lever or flipping a lever to tighten/untighten the legs as opposed to screwing or unscrewing a grip ring to tighten or untighten the legs.
If you do a lot of close-up work the center column can be used horizontally. Otherwise a center column is of no value.
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