Friday, 21 August 2015

featherweight tripod to the rescue

Amongst the Edinburgh Fringe stuff has been a small amount of video activity. Mainly recording a couple of shows as a sort of 'Archive'.

Practicalities for this Edinburgh trip means that I've been using a budget Velbon tripod which is mostly made from plastic. It's something that fits into a carry-on holdall that can go in an overhead locker. I did have a lightweight Manfrotto that I'd originally planned to use, but curiously about 5 of the leg clips on it had mysteriously fractured.

This stand-in tripod does have a small amount of metal in its leg construction, but the head, clamp, leg braces, winding mechanism and centre column are all plastic with a few lightweight bolts to hold it all together. Consequently it weighs almost nothing and takes up less space and weight than even my Giottos Monopod, which looks quite brutish by comparison.

I've treated it with great care (I like to think I also did with the disintegrating Manfrotto*) and with this one there do seem to be a number of obvious points that could break or bend rather easily.

The lightweight plastic head has a sort of swivel control and various other plastic taps to turn to adjust tilt. The trick is to turn everything very slowly.

Surprisingly, it has worked fairly well for basic video gathering. Admittedly I was using a fairly lightweight camera without too much attached to it, which probably helped. And it was mainly pointed and locked pointing in one direction.

Considering it was a free gift with a magazine subscription, I'll declare victory.

* My theory with the small Manfrotto tripod was that I left it in the car during all weathers and the changing temperatures caused the clips to crack.

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