Best carbon fibre tripod: 03 3 Legged Thing 3LT X2 Eddie + Airhead 2 head
Price: £429 (tripod £339, head £179)
Buy it: www.3leggedthing.com
It’s named after rocker Eddie Van Halen, but marketing gimmickry aside, this is a feature-rich tripod.
It weighs just 1.47kg and folds to a travel-friendly 42.5cm, thanks to five-section legs that flip round by 180 degrees, completely encasing the centre column and head.
Despite the number of leg sections, it’s very sturdy as the topmost leg is a thick 29mm in diameter, so the bottom leg isn’t too spindly – in fact the Eddie has an impressive 12kg load rating.
The legs have three shooting angles, and an included short replacement centre column allows low-level shooting at just 12cm. Unscrew a leg and it even transforms into a monopod.
It’s available as a kit with the Airhead 2 (this is far cheaper than buying the tripod and head separately), which is a supremely well engineered ball head with a huge 40kg load rating.
A single control sets the amount of force necessary to move the head, and there’s a separate panning control.
It’s the most compact when stowed, the ability to transform into a monopod would be handy for taking the weight while shooting surfing shots, and while some of the other tripods’ legs can be splayed low, this is the only one that actually comes with a replacement short column.
The ball head is really well made, and we liked the simplicity of a single control for both friction and tension – plus the ‘lock’ and ‘rock’ settings raised a wry smile!
In all, it feels really well designed and thought through, and you even get a durable carry bag thrown in.
Pros: Compact when folded; light and strong; comes with extras; converts to monopod; looks cool!
Cons: No pivoting centre column; five-section legs take time to secure; not the tallest at 153cm extended
PAGE 1 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 01 Manfrotto 290 MT294C3
PAGE 2 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 02 Giottos Silk Road YTL8354
PAGE 3 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 03 3 Legged Thing 3LT X2 Eddie
PAGE 4 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 04 Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH
PAGE 5 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 05 FLM CP30-M4S Centerpod
PAGE 6 – Which carbon fibre tripod was best?
PAGE 7 – Things to consider when buying a carbon fibre tripod
Best camera focus techniques: 10 surefire ways to get sharp photos
Full frame sensor size explained: how to exploit its advantages and cool effects
How to focus your camera for any subject or scene: free photography cheat sheet
DSLR Tips: the best settings for preserving detail in any situation