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Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Tripod Kit Review

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Tripod Kit Review - The Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Tripod Kit is a compact aluminium tripod, offering competitive value for money. Find out how it performs in our review.

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Category : Tripods, Monopods and Other Supports
Product : Nest Pioneer NT234AK Tripod Kit
Price : £59
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (2)

The Nest Pioneer NT-234AK is a compact aluminium tripod that compacts to 33cm in length and comes provided with a head and padded bag making it appear very good value for money priced at £59 from Nest-Style. We find out how it performs in our review.

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Features

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (9)

The Nest Pioneer NT-234AK is a compact aluminium tripod, using CNC machining to provide improved strength and stability compared to traditional tripods, and gives a maximum load capacity of 5kg. The tripod compacts to 330mm when folded, and weighs 1.135kg including the provided aluminium ball head. The legs feature reinforced nylon clip locks, and at the top a patented easy flip lock for two position leg angle adjustment. The tripod features a blue anodised finish, making the tripod stand out from other tripods. The ball head is manufactured from aluminium alloy with a load capacity of up to 5kg. 

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (6)

The tripod is aimed at the traveller, or someone who would like a compact tripod but still requires a solid aluminium tripod, and is just 33cm long when closed and comes with a padded bag with strap. The bagged tripod will easily fit into a normal sized backpack making it easy to take with you when travelling. The tripod is made almost entirely out of metal, with the quick release plate being metal, the tripod head is metal, with just the levers being plastic. 

Key Features

  • Aluminium Alloy ball-head with pan
  • Built in spirit level
  • Quick release plate
  • Aluminium Legs with clip locks
  • Rubber feet
  • 5 year warranty
  • 33cm when closed
  • Max Load: 5kg

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Handling

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (1)

The bag provided includes a short adjustable strap and an internal pocket to keep the provided instructions and allen keys. The strap is suitable for carrying the tripod over your shoulder, and as the tripod doesn't weigh a huge amount it does not seem overly heavy, although for longer journeys the tripod and bag will fit neatly into a backpack, with the compact size helping here. The bag is well padded all over, with the only exception being the zip, which is not padded. 

With three leg sections it is quick and easy to release all three leg locks, as they are located close to each other, and setup the tripod in under a minute. The legs have two positions in addition to the closed position, and the amount they spread out is controlled by the top locks, with 22 and 75 degrees being the angles available.

The tripod is rated up to 5kg, which is some fairly serious kit, and we used it with the fairly compact Olympus OM-D E-M5 mirrorless camera and the tripod coped well with this weight. We also tested with a mid-sized Olympus E-30 and 50-20mm SWD lens which did not phase the tripod (655g body, 995g lens), although we may not want to risk heavier items without first testing or using the middle hook to add more weight to the tripod. 

Nest Pioneer NT 234AT (1)

The hook at the bottom of the centre column can be unscrewed and this then lets you reverse the centre column for really low down shots, and this will let you put the camera directly on the ground if you so wish. Alternatively you can unscrew the top centre column plate, remove the centre column and screw it onto the lower hook as shown below for steady low-angle shooting. 

Nest Pioneer NT 234AT (2)

The tripod is more stable when only the lower part of the tripod centre column is extended, and even more stable when not extended at all. However, as you can see below, the centre column can be extended to give additional height when needed, and helps the tripod give a good height whilst still being compact.

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (8)

The rubber feet should provide adequate for the majority of shooting situations. Apart from the plastic leg release locks, shown below left, the tripod feels very well build thanks to the aluminium construction and the anodised aluminium coating should mean that the tripod lasts well. 

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (7) Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (3)

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Performance

The leg locks can be quickly released with one hand and they provide a solid grip when closed. While they are made of plastic, they appear to be well made and strong enough that they should last well. 

The tripod gives a reasonably steady platform for mirrorless, bridge cameras, or mid-sized Digital SLRs, although once you go past the weight of the tripod (around 1.1kg), you would most likely want to use the provided hook with an additional weight to provide additional stability, so as to avoid the tripod being top heavy. As expected the tripod is the most stable when the centre column is not extended, however the tripod still performs well when fully extended.

For the most steady platform possible, you can remove the extending centre column, and avoid using the full length of the legs. For low down work, using the wider 75 degree leg angles will also give a very steady base for your camera. 

For those wanting a tripod that puts the camera at the same height as your head, if you are 5 foot 5 or above, this tripod will not be suitable, however it is much higher than a number of the compact tripod competition, with just the more expensive tripods offering additional height. 

Nest Prioneer NT 234AK Tripod (5)

There is a little bit of play in the ball head, so that, not only does it move from portrait to landscape orientation as expected, it also moves slightly on the other axis, which means you need to pay additional attention to correctly lining up the camera. However, you would most likely be doing this anyway, and without this additional movement it could be difficult to get a completely level camera if the tripod is on an uneven floor. 

Nest Pioneer NT 234AT (3)

When pushed to the limits, or when putting additional weight onto the tripod, there is a little bit of flex in the thinnest leg sections, although this is fairly common on travel tripods like this. With a circular centre column it's fairly easy to rotate even when these are locked which isn't generally the case with tripods with shaped or triangular shaped centre columns. The quick release plate is quite small, but well built, but could be concerning for those used to larger quick release plates, or for those using larger, more expensive equipment. 

Value For Money

The Nest Pioneer NT-234AK is available for £59 which makes it good value for money, and is up against the following tripods, shown below:

Tripod Max height Min height Closed height Max load Tripod Weight Price
Cullman Nanomax 230T 103cm 23cm 30cm 3kg 0.79kg £40
Nest Pioneer NT-234AK 137cm 23cm 33cm 5kg 1.135kg £60
Slik Sprint Mini II GM 109cm 15cm 35cm 2kg 0.78kg £60
Vanguard Nivelo 204 161cm 0cm 37cm 3kg 1.14kg £100
Velbon Ultra Rexi L 153cm 9.5cm 36cm 4kg 1.3kg £105

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Verdict

The extending centre column means it can be compact when closed, and then extend to a good height for a compact tripod, and the mix of twist locks for the centre column and clip locks for the legs makes it quite unique for an entry level tripod. Without wanting to spend a massive amount of money, but wanting a step up from entry level tripods, the Nest Pioneer NT-234AK could be a good choice, particularly if you want a compact tripod that is capable of holding more weight than other tripods, with a stylish blue colour and good build quality. 


 
  The Nest Pioneer NT-234AK provides a stylish well built tripod with good value for money.

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Pros

Compact and light-weight
5 year warranty when registered
Soft rubber feet
Spirit level on top plate
Good build quality
Light blue colour
Padded bag

Nest Pioneer NT-234AK Cons

No sleeve on legs - cold in winter
Lower centre column not dampened
Centre column can be rotated accidentally
Limited head movement

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Nest Pioneer NT-234AK is available from Nest-Style.

Nest Pioneer NT234AK Tripod Kit Specifications

ManufacturerNest
Tripods
ConstructionAluminium
Maximum Height137cm
Minimum Height23cm
Maximum Weight Capacity5kg
Number of Leg Sections4
HeadBallhead
Box Contents
Box ContentsBag, Ballhead, Allen Keys, Instructions, Tripod
Dimensions
Weight1135g
Width85mm
Height330mm

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Comments


16 Jan 2014 11:21AM
Thanks for this excellent review, Joshua. The comparison table at the end of this review and macro shots have helped me to decide that this is a suitable choice for my purposes as a travel tripod.
Fred263

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joshwa e2
3 596 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2014 3:02PM
Thanks for the comment, feel free to share your thoughts when you have it, cheers, Josh
16 Jan 2014 5:37PM
This review is excellent and as a beginner who is looking for a lightweight portable tripod it will help me decide. My Canon 1100D sounds the perfect match for this new tripod. Hope it will help me learn new skills....I could do with them!Smile
28 Feb 2014 9:05AM
Hi Josh,
Just a quick update . It's still not available as stated on Nest's website. Pity, I really liked the look of this travel tripod but decided to go for the Hama Traveller Compact Pro Tripod (40 v 60 for the Nest). It may not be as good as the Nest but needed to have it sooner.
Cheers,
Fred

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