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3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod Review

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod Review - John Riley reviews the new Brian Tripod from 3 Legged Thing, the smallest tripod in the Rock Legend range.

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Category : Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports
Product : 3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod
Price : £300
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Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

When we visit the website, cue the New York video and watch various prominent photographers clutching their “3 Legged Thing” we can see that the company behind this new series of carbon fiber tripods is both lively and serious about promoting their new product. The first step to good marketing has to be getting noticed, but having reached that point, does the product do the job and do it well? Lets find out...

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod: Features
The smallest in the Rock Legend range is Brian, weighing in at a very modest 1570g including the substantial anodised Magnesium alloy ball head. The 5 section legs are locked by rotating collars and allow operational heights between 170mm and a massive 1930mm, made possible by the innovative triple section central column. Brian also has a built in monopod that detaches from one of the legs and the connectivity to take a camera directly, or to mount the ballhead on. Maximum load capacity is 8kg, sufficient for most DSLRs with all but the most exotic lenses.

The folded height is a compact 400mm (including the head) and the whole tripod is accommodated in a very small zipped bag with a sturdy zip closure, making it ideal as a travel tripod.

The anodised magnesium alloy head is very stable and has controls for rotation, locking and the amount of tension on the ball head.

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod key features: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod ball head   3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod leg clamps
The anodised Magnesium alloy ballhead is beautifully engineered.   The 5 section legs are clamped by rotating collars that lock the sections positively.
 
  (Left) Brian has a built in monopod that detaches from one of the legs and the connectivity to take a camera directly, or to mount the ballhead on.

(Above) At a compact 400mm (including the head) the tripod fits in to a very small zipped bag making it ideal as a travel tripod.

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod: Performance
Apart from obvious applications such as studio and macro work, tripods can be quite limiting in the field. Heavy, bulky and time consuming and not my best friend.

We set out to see if Brian could become a best friend and the first impression is that here is a tripod that we might actually carry long distances. The carbon fiber construction means the whole package is incredibly light, whilst being manufactured from a material as strong as steel.

The ball head is brilliant – really well made and totally solid when locked. There is nothing quite as maneuverable as a ballhead and whether landscape or portrait format is required finding the desired framing is no problem. When shooting wildlife it is possible to leave the ballhead unlocked and with just enough tension to make it possible to track subjects whilst retaining the benefit of a solid support.

The quick release plate requires a coin to tighten it onto the base of the camera, but thereafter is unobtrusive, quick enough in use and again beautifully engineered.

The tripod also adapts very well to low level use and in fact it excels in this area. The choice is between splaying the legs wide to lower the whole unit, or reversing the centre column. In the latter case it is possible to get virtually to ground level and in conjunction with Live View this makes ultra-low-level shots very practical. The end of the centre column has to be unscrewed before the column can be reversed, which takes a little time, but for static subjects this is very acceptable.You can also remove the central column completely and mount the camera or ballhead directly to the tripod giving you an ultra-low, right-way-up working height of 170mm.

In general use bringing the tripod into action and grabbing a fleeting shot was a practical proposition. This is one of the fastest tripods I have used, very much in keeping with its Rock Legend aspirations.

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod performance: Click on the thumbnails for larger images.
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod compact   3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod extended
Brian is a very compact tripod when closed down.   The 5 section legs produce a full height tripod that remains stable.
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod low level   3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod ground level
The tripod legs can be splayed to allow low shooting.   Reversing the column makes ground level shots possible.

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod: Verdict
We have here a sturdy, very well made product that does the required job. It is a solid support in a remarkably compact package that will tempt owners to actually take it with them and use it. It will be suitable for all the smaller DSLRs. It is worth remembering that even smaller cameras are the most susceptible to camera shake so I would not hesitate to put a compact camera on Brian, even if it might get a few strange looks.

Brian is an effective and slickly operating tripod that is well worthy of consideration, especially for those working out in the field, and could easily become your best friend.

I am reliably informed that Brian’s little brother, an alloy version called Adrian, will be available from March at just £159 for those of you with tighter budgets.

Beautifully engineered, quick in use, light and it's an effective and slickly operating tripod.
3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod: Pros

3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod Compact
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod Light
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod Stable camera platform
Built in Monopod
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod Very low operating capability
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod High quality construction

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod: Cons
3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod Higher cost of carbon fiber

FEATURES 3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod
PERFORMANCE 3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod
HANDLING
VALUE FOR MONEY 3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod
OVERALL 3 Legged Thing X2 Brian Tripod

3 Legged Thing X1 Brian Tripod: Specification
Price £299.99
Contact www.3leggedthing.com
Kit Weight 1575g
Tripod Weight 1105g
Ballhead Weight 470g
Monopod Weight 222g
Min Height 170mm
Max Height 1930mm
Folded Height 400mm
Maximum Load 8Kg
Ballhead Control Pan, lock and clutch

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Comments


ballz 4 United States
16 Dec 2010 5:50AM
What is the difference between this and the Benro Travel Angel, besides the color of the head?

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DannyLenihan 6 213 19 England
16 Dec 2010 12:59PM
The Benro only holds 6kg, and only extends to to 1550mm, The X1 has a triple section central column, is engineered to a whole different level AND comes with a 5 Year Warranty, with FREE repair and Service for LIFE, as opposed to the 12 month warranty Benro provide.
28 May 2011 8:40AM
In the article you mention that it's good to use with a small camera. How about it's stability with big lenses? I would like to use it for that.

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