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Vista Voyager Tripod with W/FZ10 Head
|Price:||£61.83 + £10.50 UK Delivery|
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- Ultra-light aluminum grounder tripod is perfect for photo, digital and video
- Airline carry-on and backpack ready
- 3 position, 26.5mm independent leg adjustments
- Tripod and head have bubble levels for accurate leveling
- Directional compass set in tripod base
- Adjustable 4-section snap leg locks
- Rubber feet add extra stability
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There's a few points about this tripod worth adding;
The tripod is guaranteed for 10 years. Pretty good (although Davis/Tiffen is an American company and the return address on the guarantee is in the USA!).
To move between absolute minimum height and absolute maximum height, you have to unscrew/screw the two portions of the centre-post (the bit with the hook at the end, some people call it the stock) to vary its length. The screw thread is aluminium, so it is clearly not designed for you to do this often (aluminium threads tend to loosen as aluminium is quite a soft metal). Not a problem for me (I need minimum height a lot as I do a lot of macro, but not bothered too much about maximum height, so leave the bottom centre-post section unscrewed; this loses me about 20cm off the max height), but this may be an issue for some. The aluminium thread is the only weak mechanical point in the whole tripod that looks like it may not last the 10 years. The rest of the tripod is a *very* good mechanical build.
The legs are aluminium painted black. Again, because aluminium is relatively soft, I find that the paint comes off worse against sharp stones and the like.
There is no option to use spikes on the legs instead of rubber pads. Spikes can add stability especially on thick grass.
The head is really nice, 100% metal, with smooth movement throughout (making it good as a cheap video tripod) and there is a one click quick camera release so you can remove/add your camera in a hurry.
The design and look of the Voyager is very good. It looks much more expensive than it actually is.
Overall, recommended. Much better quality that the cheap 30-40 pound tripods. Although it is a very sturdy and usable tripod, some price/quality trade-offs have been made in its construction (mainly use of aluminium). This is of course totally forgivable given the price. The alternative is 200 quid for functionally the same tripod but with a manfrotto/giotto label and carbon fibre legs and centre-post. No thanks!
Even attached a clamp mount to one of the legs and now use it as a camera dolly slider/rail. You can't beat that!!!
Easily light enough for a backpack and folds down to an easily manageable size. With a quality feel to whole product, I don't think you'll get better at three times the price.
First impressions of this tripod are excellent. It is satisfyingly heavy and requires a little assembly which is something I personally find enjoyable. Assembly simply involves screwing in control handles for tilt and roll, respectively. Once assembled, use quickly reveals it's budget origins. Movement for pan, tilt and roll is smooth but slightly cloying. An overly thick grease (which can be seen and heard in use) lubricates the movement. However the respective joints can be loosened to the user's preference with the provided allen-key, and whilst it never feels sweetly smooth, it's acceptable. Update: The grease seeps out and if you're not careful when you pick the tripod up, you get a good smear of grease on your hands. Great(!) Seriously, do NOT underestimate what a problem it is to be outdoors with an interchangable lens camera, and find your tripod has given you greasy hands. Grrr!
A well-sized, butterfly-headed bolt tightens the panning movement and a winged plastic collar tightens the central column from vertical movement. I found that the tripod head was slightly loose, so ensuring that there was no pan movement involved tightening the winged collar, butterfly bolt AND rotating the head to make sure that it was fully tightened. A bit too much faffing about for my liking.
As I bought the tripod for very low-level work, my next job was to unscrew the lower part of the central column to allow the tripod to get right down. Unscrewing the lower stem was a slightly graunchy process which revealed the threads to have been crudely machined with excessive tolerances. It's nice enough when assembled, but I have the feeling it's like old self-assembly furniture: Not going to survive being taken apart and re-assembled repeatedly. Once unscrewed, the removed stem doesn't fit into the side pocket of the carry bag and either has to rattle about in the main compartment, where it would scratch the legs of the tripod, or be stored elsewhere. I unscrewed the hook end of the removed stem to fit into the hole left in the shortened central column, but it has another crudely machined, but rather smaller thread, and in my case partially stripped due to cross threading. I tightened it back up and stored away the removed stem. I will put some duct tape over the offending hole.
At the top joint of each leg is a well-designed series of three steps. A stop is fitted at the top of each leg which is pulled out to clear the present step and thus allow the leg to open wider. The stop is pushed back in to lock against the next step. At the widest setting, the legs are almost horizontal which gets the head down nice and low. It's a nice design, well-implemented.
The roll-axis movement initially felt a bit awkward as there is no stop for default horizontal, but there is a bubble-level provided which works well to show when the head is level, and in use is actually better than having an end-stop for horizontal. There's a bubble-ring on the top of the leg assembly to show when the legs are presenting the central column vertically, but in practice I can't imagine using it much. For some reason there is also a pathetic little compass set into the top of the leg assembly. Mine moves, but doesn't indicate orientation with ANY degree of accuracy. Pointless.
The budget feel of the tripod continues when the legs are extended. The leg locks are not nice, and whilst the legs are well-finished, being in four sections, the bottom leg sections are a little feeble and when fully extended on the first stop, the tripod feels a little top-heavy, even without a camera on it. That weight hook is there for a good reason and I'd suggest you put some weights on it if you're going to use the tripod fully extended. In fairness, it IS nice and rigid, but it doesn't feel anything like as reassuring as my old Slik 88. Update: One of my leg catches has developed a loud "click" in use. I thought I'd broken the thing when it first happened, but it still seems to work okay. For now!
Anyway, once the tripod is up, it's time to add a camera. There's a quick-release plate which is nicely implemented. There's a cushioning pad on the plate that looks a little like cork, but is a rubbery-plastic material. The release lever is the type which locks open until the plate is fitted at which point a locking pin is depressed and the lever springs closed to lock the plate to the tripod. Nice! There's even a second locking pin which can be engaged to inhibit the locking lever from unlocking, which is not something I've encountered before and is a nice touch.
I bought this tripod as a low-level macro tripod. In that role it's pretty fine. It's far from the unbelievable OMG bargain that some reviewers have claimed, but due to that great leg design, I can see this getting a lot of use, as it is excellent for getting down VERY low. I have a tabletop tripod Camlink TP330 Tripod - Tabletop and the Voyager gets my camera about 60mm lower and a million times more stable than that. For low-level macro work, this is a peach. For use at height, it's average at best.
Update: I had need of a low-level desktop tripod and my Voyager was a little too large for the job. So I had to dust off my little Camlink and try and make do with that. Following a little modification (photos uploaded to the Camlink TP330 page if you're interested) the Camlink has been transformed into a very useful little tripod. The Voyager has now been consigned to a corner to be used....actually I'm not sure when I will use the thing. I might strip it down, then clean and lube it carefully with something that won't seep out onto my hands every time I use it.
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Most recent customer reviews
sturdy and with an average head. If you have a small or medium DSLR and don't put too much weight on it then it's a very...Read more