As knowledgeable journey photographer, I’ve used lots of journey tripods through the years, together with fashions from Manfrotto and Vanguard.
At present, I’m going to be reviewing Peak Design’s journey tripod, which I’ve been utilizing within the discipline for the previous a number of months to see the way it compares to different journey tripods.
I’ve really been a fan of Peak Design’s merchandise for a very long time. They make a variety of pictures equipment, and I significantly like their carry strap system which I’ve been utilizing for years on my cameras. In addition they have a variety of common luggage.
My expertise so far with their merchandise has been very constructive, they’re properly made and backed by a superb guarantee and assist program. Let’s see if that high quality has prolonged to their journey tripod. I’ll share my ideas on utilizing one among their journey tripods for the primary time.
Peak Design Journey Tripod Evaluation
Peak Design launched their journey tripod (by way of Kickstarter) in 2019, with common availability coming in 2020. This was their first and is at present solely tripod.
It’s now been available on the market for a while, and I believed it was about time I gave it take a look at and evaluation. Let’s begin with the specs.
Peak Design Journey Tripod Specs
There are two variants of the Peak Design journey tripod available on the market in the mean time, an aluminum mannequin and a carbon fiber mannequin.
The one distinction between the 2 is the fabric in use, which impacts the burden (and value!). All the opposite specs are the identical. Right here’s a fast overview of the principle specs.
Load capability – 20lbs (9.1kg)
Max peak middle column raised – 60″ (152.2cm)
Max peak middle column down – 51.25″ (130.2cm)
Weight aluminum mannequin 3.44lbs (1.56kg)
Weight carbon fiber mannequin 2.81lbs (1.29kg)
Packed peak: 15.4″ (39.1cm)
Packed diameter 3.125″ (39.1cm)
The retail value of the aluminum mannequin is $379.95, and the carbon fiber mannequin is $599.95. You evaluate the most recent costs and purchase it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Photograph right here.
This tripod definitely suits what we search for in a journey tripod, which is a mix of portability and load capability.
In addition to the uncooked numbers, there are a couple of further options of the Peak Design journey tripod I wished to spotlight.
First, the tripod is designed from the bottom as much as be tremendous transportable. The primary method that is achieved is with the pinnacle design, which could be very compact. The ball head mainly suits flush into the tripod when packed away and takes up barely any area.
The flip locks, triangular leg design, and small middle column additionally all contribute to permitting this tripod to fold down actually small.
I’ve used lots of journey tripods through the years, and this one is certainly top-of-the-line designs I’ve used by way of the way it packs away to take up a minimal quantity of area.
The ball head can also be fairly good. There’s an built-in bubble degree to make sure your digital camera is flat, and the flip lock design makes attaching and eradicating your digital camera very simple. You can even lock your digital camera into place with the flip of a toggle, which provides nice peace of thoughts.
One other neat function is the mixing of a cellphone head mount. This lives inside the middle column, and has a quick-release mechanism for simple set up.
It then attaches on to the tripod mounting plate and means that you can use your tripod along with your smartphone. This could work with just about any smartphone available on the market at the moment.
It’s a pleasant worth add and can also be properly designed and durable.
One very last thing I wished to spotlight is the carrying case. That is typically an afterthought with tripods, should you even get one in any respect.
Nicely, Peak Design is understood for his or her luggage and their tripod case is beautiful. It appears to be like nice, the tripod suits inside securely, and it’s each padded and weatherproof. It’s lacking a strap, however there are add-ons to make it suitable with the Peak Design carry system.
Okay, so these are the principle options. What is that this tripod like to truly use in the actual world? Let’s discover out.
Peak Design Journey Tripod – Ideas on Actual World Use
I desire to do a evaluation primarily based on actual world expertise, so I traveled with the Peak Design journey tripod as my predominant tripod for a number of months to see the way it carried out within the discipline.
As it is a journey tripod, I count on it to be one thing I can carry with me when climbing, so I took it with me on a lot of hikes up varied Welsh mountains in addition to different barely much less strenuous strolls. It has additionally been on extra leisurely journeys within the UK, France, and the USA.
Once I’m testing a journey tripod, there are some things I’m serious about. First, it needs to be light-weight, as a result of nobody needs to hold greater than they should.
This tripod undoubtedly meets that requirement, even the aluminum model is gentle sufficient that I don’t should suppose twice about including it to my gear for a visit.
The subsequent factor I search for is how simple the tripod is to arrange and put away. Once I’m climbing, I don’t wish to have to spend so much of time placing a tripod up and down at any time when I see a chance for a shot.
The Peak Design journey tripod undoubtedly works in that regard as properly. I’m usually not an enormous fan of flip-lock legs as they will catch on my digital camera bag when organising and placing away.
Nonetheless, on this case they’re properly designed in order that doesn’t occur, and so they make arrange and put down a breeze.
The way in which the digital camera attaches to the pinnacle additionally works properly. That is one thing that different tripods don’t all the time do as properly at, particularly when utilizing the Peak Design carry system which has the carry strap hooked up to the tripod plate.
The Peak Design carry strap hooks on the digital camera base plate can generally get in the way in which of simple attachment to the tripod head. Clearly, this being a Peak Design tripod, that subject has been thought via, and the digital camera simply attaches to the tripod head even with the strap nonetheless hooked up.
There’s additionally a useful locking mechanism on the tripod head that makes it simple to make sure the digital camera is correctly hooked up to the tripod head.
In fact, any tripod is barely price its salt if it really offers a secure platform for capturing from.
I’ve used it with a full-frame mirrorless digital camera paired with a heavy 100-400mm lens, and it carried out very properly. I additionally used it with my extra regular panorama wide-angle lens, and even with the smartphone adaptor.
Throughout, this tripod carried out very properly and let me get the pictures I wished, even the lengthy publicity pictures the place the tiniest motion can damage every little thing.
The ultimate factor I want in a journey tripod, or any tripod for that matter, is ease of operation.
Now this one was a little bit of a studying curve for me. The design of the Peak Design tripod head is that it slots down into the legs. Nonetheless, it’s important to partially lengthen the central column (round an inch), to get full motion.
Earlier than I bought used to the tripod, I’d attempt to transfer the pinnacle to the place I wished, however not be capable to as a result of the pinnacle solely has full freedom of motion as soon as the central column has been partially prolonged.
Extending the central column isn’t laborious, however it’s a further step to recollect to do.
As soon as the pinnacle is prolonged, adjusting the pinnacle is straightforward. It’s a ball-style design, and to regulate the angle of the pinnacle you loosen the management ring, transfer the tripod head to the angle you need, after which tighten the management ring.
That is all very simple and intuitive when you get used to it. That is actually vital, particularly should you plan on doing any astrophotography or Northern Lights pictures, as you would possibly must function the tripod in very darkish circumstances the place you might be working by really feel.
So that’s lots of constructive issues. Are there are points I encountered? Nicely, sure.
The primary draw back I found, which is the principle adverse of this tripod, is a scarcity of separate pan and tilt controls.
While you loosen the management ring to regulate the pinnacle, you’ll be able to transfer the digital camera up, down, left, and proper. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to’t pan or tilt individually.
So, for instance, in case you have your shot framed virtually completely, however wish to shift the view a couple of levels to the left, it’s important to watch out to not tilt the digital camera up or down on the similar time.
This additionally makes duties like capturing panoramas much more difficult. Many tripod heads, together with many ball heads, provide separate pan and tilt controls, so you’ll be able to pan independently of the lean management.
Now, actually, whether or not or not it is a huge deal will rely so much on the pictures you wish to take. If you happen to take lots of panoramas, then this can doubtless be an even bigger subject.
The excellent news is that the management ring additionally controls the friction, which means you’ll be able to loosen it solely slightly after which simply watch out as you progress the digital camera, with friction in your facet to forestall undesirable actions on the improper axis.
Nonetheless, with a heavy digital camera setup it may be difficult to solely transfer in a single course.
The opposite factor to remember is that over time the flip locks on the tripod leg sections can change into unfastened, which means that the legs don’t keep prolonged. That is simply an general subject with all flip lock legs on tripods I’ve used.
This may occur with any tripod, however Peak Design have thought forward and included each a device to regulate the leg flip lock tightness, in addition to a useful clip which lets you connect the adjustment device to a tripod leg.
You simply wish to bear in mind to deliver this with you once you journey, in case a leg wants tightening up once you’re within the discipline.
Lastly, while the addition of the bubble degree is appreciated, the sunshine coloration and method it’s positioned implies that my digital camera covers most of it up, making it troublesome to see and never very helpful as soon as my digital camera is about up.
Truthfully, most cameras and smartphones today have a built-in degree function anyway, so I not often use the bubble degree on a tripod, however I wished to say it in case it was vital to you.
Total, I undoubtedly loved utilizing this tripod within the discipline, and it has earned a spot in my pictures bag for positive.
Peak Design Journey Tripod Execs and Cons
Having coated my expertise utilizing the Peak Design journey tripod within the discipline I wished to share a fast rundown of what I felt to be the principle execs and cons of this tripod from a journey pictures perspective.
Light-weight, even the aluminum model
Folds down very small
Works properly with the Peak Design clip system
Very nice tripod bag
Can convert to tabletop tripod
Constructed-in smartphone holder
Costly, particularly for carbon fiber mannequin
No simple panning management
Some constraint on portrait orientation shot
Total,l I undoubtedly suppose it’s journey tripod. The primary draw back is the price is fairly excessive, particularly if you’re contemplating the carbon fiber mannequin, which prices much more however solely gives a modest lower in weight.
I believe most individuals could be proud of the aluminum mannequin because the options are the identical.
Peak Design Journey Tripod Options
While you begin researching tripods, you’re going to shortly be taught that there are an important many tripods available on the market, and actually, it may be laborious to inform them aside.
The primary selections will come right down to how a lot you wish to spend and the way vital specs like most load capability, most peak, minimal peak, folded peak and so forth. are to you.
Most tripods mess around with these specs, so it’s best to be capable to discover the proper tripod for you. I wished to spotlight a couple of choices to think about, and you’ll see extra choices in our information to the perfect journey tripods.
Gitzo Traveler Collection
Any comparability of tripods, particularly high-end tripods, goes to incorporate point out of Gitzo. These are usually considered a number of the finest tripods available on the market, though they have an inclination to return with a reasonably eye-watering price ticket.
Nonetheless, the Peak Design carbon fiber tripod isn’t precisely a price range mannequin, so I really feel it’s honest to match it in opposition to a tripod of this caliber.
There are fairly a couple of tripods within the Gitzo Traveler collection. I’d say probably the most comparable mannequin could be the Gitzo Traveler, collection 1, 5 part tripod.
This carbon fiber tripod has a most peak of 58.46″, a folded measurement of 13.98″, a weight of three.13lbs and a max load capability of 22lbs. It has a retail value of $719.99.
So in comparison with the Peak Design carbon fiber mannequin, the Gitzo has a barely smaller folded peak, weighs barely extra, and has a barely decrease most peak.
Vanguard VEO 3 GO 235CB or 265HCB
A fast word, I’m a Vanguard Ambassador and have been since 2014, and I’ve used lots of their gear through the years, lots of which I’ve additionally reviewed.
I believe their merchandise provide so much, and I’ve been very proud of their gear in use all over the world.
The 2 predominant tripods I believe they at present produce which you would possibly think about as an alternative of the Peak Design Journey Tripod could be from the Vanguard VEO 3 Go vary, and particularly the 235CB or 265HCB fashions.
These are each carbon fiber tripods, however with a retail value round half that of the carbon fiber Peak Design Journey Tripod mannequin.
The 235CB is the smaller tripod, with a most measurement of 53.5″, a folded measurement of 13″, a weight of two.3lbs, and a max load capability of 8.8lbs. It has a retail value of $269.99.
The carbon fiber variant of the Peak Design tripod has a a lot greater load score and the next most peak, but in addition weighs extra and doesn’t fold up as small. It’s additionally greater than twice as costly. One to think about in case you have a smaller setup that gained’t problem the utmost load score.
The 265HCB is the taller tripod, with a most measurement of 65.5″, a folded measurement of 16.1″, a weight of three.1lbs and a max load capability of 22lbs. It has a retail value of $339.99.
The carbon fiber variant of the Peak Design tripod has the same load score and a decrease most peak, however weighs much less and folds up a bit smaller. It’s practically twice as costly.
Each Vanguard tripods additionally convert to monopods and include a smartphone adaptor and Bluetooth distant shutter set off. They’re additionally obtainable in aluminum, at a lower cost level and the next weight.
The aluminum VEO 3 Go 235AB retails for $219.99, and the aluminum VEO 3 Go 265HAB retails for $269.99. Typically the simplest method to economize on a journey tripod is to decide on an aluminum mannequin over a carbon fiber one.
If you happen to’re on this product, or any of the opposite Vanguard merchandise, it can save you cash utilizing our unique Vanguard low cost code. This offers you 20% off every little thing within the Vanguard retailer.
Simply use the code FindingTheUniverse in your low cost! This Vanguard low cost code works within the Vanguard USA, UK, Australia, Spain, and Germany shops.
Do you have to Purchase the Peak Design Journey Tripod?
Truthfully, solely you’ll be able to reply this query! Nonetheless, having used it for a lot of months I can undoubtedly say that it’s a well-made tripod. It really works very properly and has sufficient intelligent design options to make it stand out in a really crowded market.
While you add up all of the little additional issues like the good bag, smartphone holder, and compatibility with different Peak Design merchandise, it finally ends up as a extremely well-rounded product.
In fact, there are lots of different tripods available on the market at different value factors, however I don’t suppose you can be dissatisfied should you determine to go for it.
You should purchase it direct from Peak Design right here, on Amazon right here, and from B&H Photograph right here.
That’s it for my evaluation of the Peak Design journey tripod – I hope you discovered it useful. Earlier than you go, I wished to share a few of our different content material which we predict one can find helpful.
Our evaluation of the Vanguard VEO 2 265CB tripod after three years of normal use.
A evaluation of the Vanguard VEO 2Go 265HCBM, the VEO 3+ 263AB and the VEO 3T+ 264CB.
Now we have a information to why you want a tripod, a information to selecting a journey tripod, and a round-up of our favorite journey tripods
Now we have a information to the right way to use a compact digital camera, the right way to use a DSLR digital camera, and the right way to use a mirrorless digital camera. We even have a information to how a DSLR works
Realizing the right way to compose an important photograph is a key pictures talent. See our information to composition in pictures for plenty of tips about this topic
Now we have a information to what depth of discipline is and once you would wish to use it.
We’re huge followers of getting probably the most out of your digital photograph information, and do to that you’ll want to shoot in RAW. See our information to RAW in pictures to grasp what RAW is, and why it’s best to swap to RAW as quickly as you’ll be able to in case your digital camera helps it.
You’re going to want one thing to run your photograph enhancing software program on. See our information to the perfect laptops for photograph enhancing for some tips about what to search for.
If you happen to’re searching for extra recommendation on particular ideas for various eventualities, we additionally have you ever coated. See our information to Northern Lights pictures, lengthy publicity pictures, fireworks pictures, ideas for taking pictures of stars, and chilly climate pictures.
If you happen to’re searching for an important present for a pictures loving pal or member of the family (or your self!), check out our pictures present information,
If you happen to’re out there for a brand new digital camera, we’ve got an in depth information to the finest journey cameras, in addition to particular guides for the finest cameras for climbing and backpacking, the finest compact digital camera, finest mirrorless digital camera and finest DSLR digital camera. We even have a information to the finest digital camera lenses.
If you’d like a digital camera or lens, however the costs are a bit excessive, see our information to the place to purchase used cameras and digital camera gear for some price range financial savings choices.
Trying to Enhance Your Images?
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It’s obtainable for an incredible one-off value for lifetime entry, and I believe it’s best to test it out. Which you are able to do by clicking right here.
Be aware: We have been despatched this product free of charge to see how we favored it. I selected to put in writing this evaluation primarily based alone private opinion of the tripod after utilizing it for some time. All opinions are our personal.