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Hahnel Triad 30 Lite Professional Aluminium Alloy 4-Section Tripod with 360º Quick Release Ball Head and Free Carrying Case
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- Professional Aluminium Alloy 4-section legs
- Quick Release Ball Head 360º orientation groove
- Mount camera on top or below for macro shooting
- Max height: 1425mm, Bubble level, Max load: 4 kg
- Free Carrying Case
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Size Name: Triad 30
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Hähnel have designed the Triad 30 Lite with the new generation of SLR’s in mind.
Camera models such as the Panasonic G1 and the Olympus E-450 are now more compact and lightweight and therefore require a robust tripod with a stable construction.
The Triad 30 Lite is a professional aluminium alloy, 4-section tripod which is both lightweight and sturdy. The quick-lock, fully adjustable legs are extendable at 3 different angles and legs fold down allowing the tripod to easily fit into the carrying case supplied making this tripod extremely portable.
The Triad 30 Lite is also supplied with a quick release ball head, +90º / -90º orientation groove.
Top customer reviews
For me, this tripod has proved to be good value for money. It's a definite step up from the cheap "budget" tripods that are out there. It's well constructed and feels very sturdy. It's quick to set up and the fluid-damped pan head allows for very smooth panning shots. It's taken the weight of my Nikon D90 & flash gun without any problems. I'd say once it's fully extended, the viewfinder on my camera and camcorder is at an approximate height of 6ft. I'm 5ft 9 so it's more than enough for me. It's mainly all constructed from aluminium but the locking clips on the tripod legs are plastic. However unlike some other reviewers, I don't see this as a problem. They're well made, not flimsy and unless you're the sort of person who applies brute force to the simple action of unlocking/locking the clips, I can't see why they should fall apart. It also comes with it's own carrying case, which has an adjustable shoulder strap. The only minor criticism I have of it, is that it seems to have picked up scuff marks mainly on the tripod legs but these are only noticeable if you look at it close up.
I class myself as an amateur who dabbles in photography. So far I've used this tripod for portraits and once for landscapes. I can see mine lasting for years to come, which isn't bad considering the price. I would say it's heavier than the expensive carbon fibre tripods, so it may not be the right one for you if you're going to be carrying it about over extended periods of time.
For anyone else, who's looking for a quality tripod on a budget, which is only going to be used occasionally, I don't think you'll go wrong with this one.
A quick visit to my local camera shop and I decided upon the Hahnel Triad C4. It weighs half as much as my Manfrotto, feels "secure enough" when fully extended, and had some nice features that add to its versatility. Below is a breakdown of the features, how good they are, and the downsides to the tripod, which sadly there are. It is true that you get what you pay for, with this tripod not being "cheap" but certainly not being as solidly built as more expensive 'pods.
Weighing at just over a kilo, it's noticeably lighter than my slightly more expensive Manfrotto. I'd seriously consider taking this over the Manfrotto on longer walking trips. There are lighter tripods out there, but they compromise either in size and/or stability (Or cost significantly more!).
One very neat feature of the tripod is that when closed up, you can invert the legs around the central column, making the tripod very compact in size. In comparison to the Manfotto, it is half as long when closed. When fully extended however, it is only a little shorter in height.
The legs are extended by twisting the rubber parts on each section. It doesn't take much of a twist to loosen or tighten the legs.
The legs each have a clip at the top that is meant to allow you to adjust the angle of each leg independently. In reality there are only a few positions to choose, and I have found that the more "shallow" angles don't really work...as the clips pop out of the lock position, causing the camera to slowly sink to the ground. They're also a little fiddly as they aren't spring loaded, so you have to pull each clip out, adjust the leg, and then push the clips back in to place.
I found the tripod to be slightly less stable that the Manfrotto. However for all but very heavy lenses, and extreme conditions, I think it's fine. If you have heavy and expensive equipment, you might have the budget for a most expensive but robust tripod.
QUICK RELEASE BALL HEAD
I found this part of the tripod the least impressive. Sure it features a quick release plate, but I found the method of attaching the plate (slide into the head and then twist a rubber knob to secure) a lot more fiddly than the plates used by Manfrotto. The ball head offers good movement, but I had some issue with the friction knob, in that the rubber grip on it moved as I was trying to tighten it. Probably solvable with some glue, but something to be aware of.
The main let-down on the tripod are the "rubber" parts. They don't seem to have been attached to the metal very well. Examples would be the rubber feet popping off of the end of the tripod when trying to extend a leg, and the twist-knob rubber sliding around the knobs when attempting to tighten them. One other bad point about the legs is that if you're a little overzealous when extending them, it's quite easy to pull the leg sections right out of the tube. It's easy to fix in the field, but not great!
It's worth noting I think these points can be permanently fixed. A decent epoxy glue or putty could be used to bond the rubber feet and knob pieces. The leg sections are held into the tube sections by small pieces of plastic that slot into a small hole in the end of each section, when you pull a tube too far, this plastic hits the inside of the screw thread and prevents it being pulled out. Sometimes this plastic becomes dislodged, and you can pull the tube all the way out. Again, some epoxy could be used to easily secure the plastic in place, making the leg sections much more difficult to pull completely out.
Despite some weak points (rubber parts being a bit loose, ability to pull the legs completely off(all fixable with glue etc)), I do actually quite like this tripod. It's very compact and light, and offers a good amount of stability. Price wise I've not come across much that is cheaper that offers the features that this tripod does, without being much poorer quality. I'd honestly expect to pay maybe 50-75% extra to get a tripod that offers the same features but without the (fixable) issues.
Also note that the tripod comes with a nice small canvas carry bag, which helps for transporting it around.
I purchased this tripod and the first couple of times I used it I noticed that the Quick Release was loose as noted in some other reviews. It did however cause problems last week after I carried it for 3 hours on a photo walk and then it was not secure enough to allow me to use it for long exposure twilight photos.
I then scanned the reviews here and could not understand how so many users were happy with this quick release although there are a small number of reviewers with similar concerns to me.
BUT I have a solution. In my case, there is a cross-head screw at the pivot point of the lever that locks the quick release mechanism. I have tightened this screw and there is now no movement when it is locked in place.
I am now happy with the tripod, it now does what I need at a good price.
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