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Naming tripods could be a tricky thing, but, dispelling images created by Douglas Adams of a box declaring, “Hi, I'm Eddie, your onboard computer...” may I introduce you to Eddie, the second model in the new carbon fiber 3 Legged Thing range. Having seen the New York video on the manufacturer's website I am clearly getting into the spirit of things with this Rock Legend series of tripods. The first hurdle is passed – the marketing has made the product interesting – so now we find out if it lives up to its more serious expectations.
3 Legged Thing X2 Eddie Tripod: Features
Eddie is a heavier prospect than the previously tested Brian, but still amazingly light at 1935g, including the splendidly solid anodised Magnesium alloy head. A low operating height of 170mm is possible, up to a maximum of 1660mm, via the sturdy 5 section legs. These legs use a wider tube diameter of 28mm, compared to Brian's 24mm, and therefore the maximum load is now increased up to 12kg, more than enough for most general requirements.
The same compact bag that housed Brian is used for Eddie, making it just as compact and convenient to carry, the only difference being a slight increase in weight.
3 Legged Thing X2 Eddie Tripod: Performance
The first impression of Eddie is that it is beautifully made. The locking collars on the legs work positively, the extension is smooth and the ball head is a delight of precision manufacture. The added weight and bulk compared to Brian are useful in increasing stability for heavier camera/lens combinations, but to be fair this is a matter of degree. Given that both products are highly effective the choice will depend upon the photographer's actual kit and willingness to carry weight, although the built in monopod feels and looks much more substantial - and is quick and simple to remove from the main tripod.
Carbon fiber is strong and very light, so users used to metal tripods will find these very unobtrusive to carry. Having reached a location Eddie unpacks easily and by using the quick release plate provided it can be called into action very quickly indeed. It is of course a matter of practice but after just an hour or so the use of the tripod becomes second nature.
One of the strengths of this design is the ability to work at very low levels. This can be accomplished by splaying the legs and this is the quickest method. Alternatively, the centre column can be removed and reversed and those unusual ground level shots can be achieved. Combined with Live View this makes shots of fungi and similar subjects much easier. You can also remove the central column completely, and mount the camera or ballhead directly to the tripod furniture, giving you an ultra-low, right-way-up working height of 170mm.
The ballhead is a delightful piece of engineering, resplendent in the anodised colour of your choice. Working with more than one tripod from the range, this colour was actually quite useful as it made identifying which one was in use much easier. There are three controls on the ballhead, controlling the locking mechanism, one for rotation of the whole and a tension control. This last control makes it possible to apply a degree of tension that allows tracking of wildlife subjects whilst retaining the solid support of the tripod. This is a very useful technique.
3 Legged Thing X2 Eddie Tripod: Verdict
All the benefits of Brian are present in Eddie. At no increase in cost we have a tripod that operates as effectively, is just as compact when folded down (only 440mm) but which allows for a stable platform with the more bulky DSLR/lens combinations. Eddie can be brought into use quickly and does not present much of a problem in terms of weight or bulk. We have a tripod and monopod that will actually be used rather than left in the car, and one that will definitely do the required job effectively.
My name is John, and Eddie could well become my 3 Legged Thing...
|"Beautifully made, easy to use and it does its job effectively."|
Stable camera platform
Built In Monopod
Very low operating capability
High quality construction
3 Legged Thing X2 Eddie Tripod: Cons
Higher cost of carbon fiber
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
3 Legged Thing X2 Eddie Tripod: Specification
|Carbon Fiber Tube Diameter||28mm|
|Locking Mechanism||Friction Dial|
|Ballhead Control||Pan, lock and clutch|