PMA 08; Tripods, Monopods, And Heads Page 2

Giottos (HP Marketing) showed a full range of carbon-fiber tripods in prototype form. They feature magnesium castings (makes it nearly 1/3 lighter than aluminum), three- and four-leg sections, reversing or cantilevered center column, anti-twist legs, 1/4 and 3/8 adapter, and either flip lever locks or twist locks. The twist locks are gasketed and waterproof, making the legs fully immersible in water, requiring 1/8 turn to lock and unlock. Each comes with a padded case, tool kit, and strap.

Camlink TP-2800

Lenmar showcased its line of Camlink products. Most notable among these is an inexpensive, full-size tripod that appears to meet the needs for field photography with a compact SLR with modest-size lens attached. At $69 (MSRP) and made of aluminum, the TP-2800 offers three-section channel legs, three-way oil fluid pan head, quick-release plate with two levelers, quick-release leg locks and rubber feet (lacking only retractable spikes that are helpful when planting the tripod in dirt), carrying handle, and hang hook (use this to hang an accessory pouch and further stabilize the tripod in the wind). It stands at a maximum height of 64", folding down to slightly over 2 ft, and weighing in at just over 3 lbs, making it easy to transport.

SLIK DQ-20

From SLIK (THK Photo) we have two new ball heads (models SBH-100DQ/120DQ) weighing under 5 oz and capable of supporting loads of over 4 and 6 lbs, respectively, along with a quick-release shoe (model 6252) and quick-release adapters (models DQ-10/20).

SLIK SBH 120DQ

While not the first tripod with this feature, Sunpak's (ToCAD America) new addition is worthy of note, if for price alone. What's special about the Tri-Monopods (I know, sounds like something from a sci-fi movie) is a center column that converts to a fully functioning monopod. The top-of-the line 757TM ($112 street) is the only one in the group to reach a practical working height of 6 ft and down to 22" (monopod reaches to 64"), although weighing in at a hefty 6 lbs. It has oversized, ergonomically-designed flip lever leg locks, locking center column leg braces, and heavy-duty articulated rubber leg tips with retractable spikes--plus three-way fluid-effect pan head with tilt friction controls and quick-release plate. Folded tripod length is under 30".

Sunpak 757TM

If you're looking for light weight without compromising quality, look to carbon fiber, and Sunpak has new entries in the PRO Series, with tripods and a monopod. All leg sections are constructed of strong, durable, lightweight carbon fiber, whereas the aluminum chassis incorporates three-position leg angle adjusters that take you down almost to ground level. Other combined features include rubber-guarded twist lock legs, leg warmers, removable center column hook, reversible anti-rotation center column, second short reversible anti-rotation center column, and retractable rubber spiked feet. The PRO 523P, 623P, 624P, and 723P tripods include an aluminum three-way pan head with quick-release platform. The 723B comes with a heavy-duty ball head with dual adjustable tension settings and also incorporates a quick-release platform. All the PRO Series carbon-fiber tripods come with a padded case with neoprene shoulder strap and include a compartment for the second short reversible anti-rotation center column. Ranging in price from $199 (523P) to just over $300 (723B), most weigh in at about 5 lbs. The PRO 724M monopod is $74, weighs just over 1 lb, and reaches 58".

(Above): Sunpak PRO 723B. (Top): PRO 724M

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