The MeFoto Travel Tripod Kit is an excellent choice for the serious photographer. It is lightweight (50% lighter than the Manfrotto BeFree), yet it can easily accommodate a camera weighing up to 8 pounds. This device comes with a number of attractive features. The tripod itself is a thing of beauty. The swivels that control the position of the legs along with the head and pan lock at the top come in eight colors: blue, red, gold, orange, green, purple, titanium and black. No matter which color you choose, the result is the same – the MeFoto is a high quality, well-built product. It is an ideal choice for the backpacker.
The ball head features a quick release plate. A bubble level in the ball head ensures even pans and head movements. Graduated head and pan locks allow you to secure your camera at whatever level you desire and it is possible to pan a full 360 degrees. The head mount threads are the standard 3/8″-16 size. A 3.5 mm headphone jack and hot shoe has been integrated into the head and both miniphone and PC cables are included in the package.
Each leg consists of five telescoping segments. The twist-lock legs feature rubberized locking grips for ease in set up. The locking grips are also weather resistant. Depending upon how far you extend the legs, you can set this tripod to any height from 16″ to 51″. When the legs are not extended they can be folded back, in which case the overall length of the device is only 12.6″, making it compact to store and easy to carry. Each leg angle can be secured in one of two angles. This enables the tripod to be set up in cramped quarters or on extremely uneven terrain.
The MeFoto comes with a carrying case, and it comes with a 5-year warranty. A number of optional accessories are available.
- It is small, but nicely put together and is quite sturdy. Attaching the camera in either a landscape or a portrait orientation is easy, and adjusting it to an in-between orientation is not difficult.
- Although it is not prominently advertised, it has a hook from which more weight can be added if you’re looking for added stability, although you will find that it is stable enough for most purposes.
- The ability to fold to a length of just over a foot allows it to fit easily in carry-on luggage or in a backpack.
- Pan and head tilt are controlled by separate knobs. The graduations on the head allow precise adjustment.
- If it is set at or near its maximum height, it can be lacking in stability in high winds.
- There are no instructions provided to explain the meaning or use of the graduated dial at the top. The purpose of the graduations, while to some degree self-evident, may not be self-evident to everyone.
This tripod lives up to its promise of being lightweight, stable (for smaller cameras) and quite compact for carrying or stowing. It sets up easily on uneven ground and you can angle the legs to enable set ups in cramped quarters or on very rough terrain. The twist-lock grips do not hold as tightly as clamp locks but for most purposes are sufficiently secure. If the release mechanism is kept in the direction the camera lens is pointing, accidental release should not be a problem. This is an excellent tripod for the money.