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Giottos VGRN 9255 head
Giottos VGRN 9255 monopod
The Vitruvian 9255 is a compact tripod with a clever built in monopod. If the compact tripod seems like too much effort, then you can detach a leg, reattach it to the centre column and take a monopod with you, leaving the rest of the tripod in your car, or in its own neat carrying case. The update(s) to this tripod lie in the new MH5400-652 head, it features 2 spirit levels for landscape use and one smaller spirit level for portrait use. This is the aluminium version and you can read our review of the Carbon Fibre version here.
Giottos VGRN 9255 head detail
The tripod features legs that rotate 180 degrees, this is part of the reason why the tripod will compact to 40cm. The legs will open to two separate angles, with the silver catches helping lock them into position and then open the catch again to open all the way back up to 180 degrees. The centre column can be removed and reversed by unscrewing the bottom, where there is a spring loaded weight hook for additional stabilisation (simply hang your bag here to steady the tripod further).
Each leg has five sections, with twist locks. The quick release has a double lever system, this is designed to stop you accidentally releasing the camera mount from the tripod and to release it fully, you press both the front and back levers. With a load capacity of 6kg, the tripod is suitable for most DSLR and lenses. Aluminium legs give the tripod a solid yet quite lightweight feel. The built in monopod is a great feature to have and if most monopods are basically just a centre column with a leg attached, then it seems a little odd that there aren't more tripods with built in monopods.
- VGRN9255 weighs 1.55kg
- 40cm length when folded down
- Case included
- Fitted with compact ball + socket heads and are fitted with a quick release plates, spirit levels and pan locks
- 5 year warranty
Giottos VGRN 9255 top of legs
I found that the quick release lever would open fully, without necessarily having to press the smaller lever release button as well. The tripod doesn't take very long to setup, around 30 seconds, and if you're using the monopod, it's even quicker. When converting the tripod into a monopod, the ballast hook (weight hook), is removed so you'll need a secure pocket to keep this in or you can keep it in the tripod's bag. The legs use twist locks and it's possible by gripping all of the locks at once to unscrew them all at once, making deployment of the legs very quick. Locking them in their extended position is quite quick and you don't have to over-tighten them to get the legs secure either.
Giottos VGRN 9255 centre column
We tested this tripod with several cameras including a Pentax K-7, Olympus PEN EPL3 and a compact pocket zoom, the Leica V-LUX 30, and the tripod coped extremely well with all of these cameras. Panning video was smooth regardless of the weight of the camera in use.
Stability was good with the centre column up or down and with the legs fully extended. Additional stability is possible by keeping the centre column down, using a weight and not using the full length of the legs. The feet worked well to grip the ground on a number of surfaces and although the feet lack spikes, I found the rubber feet provided enough grip.
Performance with the camera used in the portrait position was good, although the smaller spirit level is not as precise as when using the camera in a landscape position. Using the tripod for ground shots with the centre column reversed, I found this worked best with cameras that have a swivel screen rather than a tilting or fixed screen.
Compacting the tripod, it manages to compact to a size that fits in a standard rucksack (with room for a 15 inch laptop) and this means it really is useful as a tripod that you can take with you when travelling "light". Alternatively just put two parts of it in your bag and you have a useful compact monopod.
Giottos VGRN 9255 bag
Value for Money - This tripod/monopod will be available for around £150 vs around £229 for the Carbon Fibre version. This offers good value for money for a high quality compact tripod with built in monopod. Although buying a separate tripod and monopod may work out cheaper if you go towards more entry level items, but then you would have two tripods to carry with you instead of one compact tripod.
|The Giottos Vitruvian VGRN 9255 is a solid, compact-sized tripod that has a built in monopod.|
Giottos Vitruvian VGRN 9255 Pros:Monopod built in
Small and light
Provided carry case
3 spirit levels in head
Giottos Vitruvian VGRN 9255 Cons:Double lock quick release plate quickly lost its second lock feature
Portrait / Vertical spirit level small
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Giottos Vitruvian VGRN 9255 Tripod with Monopod Specifications
|Maximum Weight Capacity||6kg|
|Number of Leg Sections||5|
|Head||Compact ball + socket head|
|Box Contents||Tripod, Case|