Landscape and travel photographers quickly realize that the tripod is just as important as the camera. Nevertheless, the needs of the individual photographers differ: A travel photographer will hardly be persuaded to carry around a heavy three-legged aluminum tripod.
Just a few years ago there was hardly a professional solution for this special need, but the market now offers numerous options.
We will test one of them, the new one Carbon travel tripod Compact Traveler No.1 Carbon by Rollei. This tripod fits perfectly into the landscape and travel photography market niche as it is easy to carry without sacrificing quality (no, there will never be a review of plastic tripods from Hama or similar in my blog).
The packaging already gives an idea of the properties that the product data sheet reveals:
• Weight: 0.98kg
• Pack size: 33 cm
• Maximum height: 142 cm
• Minimum height: 34 cm
• Maximum load capacity: 8 kg
The equipment is lavish. In addition to the tripod and the operating instructions, you will find:
• ball head
• transport bag
• shoulder strap
• tools and spare parts
Anyone who uses Manfrotto like me will be pleasantly surprised by this.
As can be seen in the image above, not only are the tools necessary to completely disassemble the tripod, but there are also spare rubber feet which, as you know, are invaluable!
Let's see thatCompact Traveler No. 1 carbon now in more detail.
After opening the tripod, we note some interesting features:
1.That travel tripod consists of four segments. This shows why the pack size is so compact, and that with a maximum working height of 142 cm.
2. All segments are made of carbon fiber, all connecting elements are made of magnesium, whose low density and high specific strength ensure the light weight.
3. The segments can be reduced by quick-release fasteners, a small turn on the latch and the leg sinks to the desired height, another turn in the opposite direction locks the position. I'm particularly fond of this closure, we'll see why later.
4. The angle of the legs can be adjusted by press-release, that is, you only need to press a certain plate, then the leg is freely adjustable. As with most professional tripods, there are three positions of use ranging from 50 to 180.80°.
5. The center column does not reach the floor. This is excellent because it increases the maximum working height without restricting the opening angle of the legs, which can reach a 180 angle..
6. On the frame oftripod, to which the legs are connected, there is a hook to hang your backpack (or a weight) on. This quality is often underestimated, but when you put the tripod on a cliff in strong winds, things are quite different!
7. On the frame oftripod, to which the legs are connected, there is a hook to hang your backpack (or a weight) on. This quality is often underestimated, but when you put the tripod on a cliff in strong winds, things are quite different!
8. The ball head is Arca Swiss compatible, which means it's compatible with virtually an infinite number of adapter plates if for some reason you don't like the accessory plate (which is excellent). There is a spirit level on the head; great thing for people like me who can't get a straight horizon without help!
9. And the biggest surprise: one of the three legs can be detached and attached directly to the ball head to turn the tripod into a monopod!
The carbon travel tripod is beautiful and well made.
Now let's take a closer look…
One of the most important (and most underrated) qualities of atripod is its maintainability.
One thing I particularly like about this tripod is the ease with which it can be taken apart. The leg segments in particular are quick to remove and clean (unlike Manfrotto tripods which take time, patience, more time and photo instructions to put all the pieces back together without forgetting anything).
After removing a leg, an amazing feature comes to light: in addition to the Teflon bushing, which enables the guidance and adjustment between the individual legs, there are three seals here! These prevent sand or other solid particles from entering the upper leg segment and thus scratching and pinching the leg! Given the circumstances of how and where I use my tripods, this dust cover alone justifies the purchase!
Already in the first examCarbon travel tripod excellently cropped; in practice, the tripod really proves its advantages. The tripod easily fits in a normal backpack or trolley case
(exactly: perfect for Easyjet and Ryanair!), with the shoulder strap it becomes really comfortable. Outdoors, the tripod's four segments adapt to any surface: from rocks to narrow footprints, I've never encountered a situation that didn't have a solution..
Anyone who thinks that such a small and light tripod is nothing for their SLR camera is wrong: I would like to remind you again that the maximum load capacity is 8 kg, which means that the tripod can easily carry a SLR camera with a medium telephoto lens.
I carried out my tests with a Nikon D810 and Zeiss Distagon T* 2.8 / 21. With this configuration that has changedCompact Traveler No. 1 carbon proved to be much more stable than expected. This (probably not very scientific) recording of vibration impulses (with a finger on a leg) on the tripod is the proof: After less than 1.5 seconds the vibration is completely reabsorbed!
Since there is a reasonable doubt about the tripod's behavior at low temperatures, I carried out another (completely unscientific) test: 48 hours in my freezer!
The result is interesting because it sheds light on the quality of the material used: the tripod can be used even when completely frozen, since each part can be moved normally. The Teflon guides allow the legs to slide smoothly, and the magnesium leg position selector is not blocked! Even the ball head works and slides smoothly.
ThatCompact Traveler No. 1 carbon by Rollei is a surprise in every respect. Light, compact and reliable: these three words describe the product perfectly. Of course, it does not replace the usual work tripod for the landscape or nature photographer, but I can hardly imagine a more suitable product as a backup or travel tripod!