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48 Reviews
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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Just a Little Bit Lacking
My wife and I had bought another model Sunpak tripod and love the pistol grip ballhead so much we wanted one for our Manfroto monopod. The cost of just the ballhead was $39.00 and an extra mounting plate was $9.00. (That's a total of $48.00 for the mathematically impaired). So when I saw this tripod for $49.00 with free shipping, it was a no brainer. Not only did it come...
Published on October 16, 2011 by R. ODonnell

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I have to live with it...
It's a little more heavy than I expected and the center column (monopod) is quite loose that it slowly slides down when you raise it up that I had to add an additional thin film of masking tape around its base to hold it up when it's tightened. And the monopod when used separately doesn't lock up its sections that it also slides down to its original height. I'm guessing...
Published 22 months ago by Bamboo Martinez


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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, Just a Little Bit Lacking, October 16, 2011
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
My wife and I had bought another model Sunpak tripod and love the pistol grip ballhead so much we wanted one for our Manfroto monopod. The cost of just the ballhead was $39.00 and an extra mounting plate was $9.00. (That's a total of $48.00 for the mathematically impaired). So when I saw this tripod for $49.00 with free shipping, it was a no brainer. Not only did it come with the great ballhead, but also an extra quick release mounting plate.

The tripod is fairly lightweight at four pounds compared to the 423px carbon fiber tripod we already own at 3.4 pounds. However, the u4stm feels sturdier in use. Another advantage of the u4stm over the (much) more expensive 423px is the center brace that opens all the legs at once instead of struggling to open each leg independently. Of course, the disadvantage to this is that you can't extend the legs beyond the range imposed by the center brace (i.e. putting the legs out at a very large angle in order to lower the tripod to within inches of the ground). However, I find this to be a specialized type of shooting that will seldom be used by the majority of people this tripod is designed for.

This tripod is tall enough that I'm able to shoot at eye level easily (I'm 6'1"). The center column is friction locked, not geared, so hold onto your camera when you loosen the center column locking nut. This is not unusual for tripods in this or even higher price range. Even my $300.00 Bogen is friction locked.

The upper legs are covered in neoprene material that has a satisfying feel to it, but I think with rough usage, this could easily become an eyesore. The neoprene will help if you're carrying this tripod in cold weather (or hot if you live in the desert like I do!) There is a built in bubble level on the chassis as well as several on the ballhead. I've used the levels when shooting multiple shots for a panorama as I want the shots to be perfectly aligned. It would also be useful when shooting architecture, but again, may be beyond the scope of this tripods target audience.

Additional features of this tripod: flip lever leg locks, a (near useless) carrying handle, and a center column that converts to a monopod.

As for the monopod feature, to use, you simply loosen the center column lock and pull the center column out of the tripod chassis. Then twist the foot to loosen and pull it down. Repeat this with the other three sections. Twist in the opposite direction to lock the sections in place. While the thought of having a monopod in addition to the tripod is great in theory, in order to make the monopod fit inside the center column, it had to be made thin enough. In my opinion, the monopod is simply too thin and flimsy for anything other than occasional use. If you really need a monopod, you'll need to spend more money. That being said, the addition of the monopod feature is simply an extra to a good tripod.

But we bought this tripod for the pistol grip ballhead. My wife likes to shoot birds and wildlife and a traditional three-handled tripod was just too slow. Other ballheads use a thumbscrew to loosen the ball, but the pistol grip is so quick and easy that we fell in love with it the first time we used it. Keep in mind that this ballhead cannot compare to ballheads in the hundred-plus dollar range, but we've mounted a four pound pro zoom lens with a DSLR plus vertical grip and used it very well. Most really good tele lenses will have a tripod mount attached and when balanced with the DSLR, will sit nicely on this ballhead with great control and stability. One complaint I've heard of this ballhead is that you can't tilt it up or down very far except in the direction of a cutout on the side of the head. While that is true, you can simply squeeze the trigger and ROTATE the cutout to the area you need to tilt to. It takes less than a second and will let you EASILY tilt this ballhead to 90 degrees in any direction. The mounting plate did seem a little flimsy at first since I'm used to the Bogen mounting plates that are about three inches across. But once I started using it, my concerns diminished. Finally, there is a locking lever on the ballhead that lets you pan the mounted camera without loosening the ball. This will let you get smooth pans with video or straight level pans for panorama shots.

Make no mistake. This is not a tripod for serious professionals. But you aren't spending three or four hundred dollars, either. With the u4stm you actually get more than you pay for.

Pros:
monopod feature
neoprene covered upper legs
lightweight
fairly stable
flip lever leg releases
outstanding pistol grip ballhead
built in bubble levels
lock lever for level panning

Cons:
monopod is pretty flimsy
neoprene covered upper legs (yes, I listed that as a pro, but wait a year or two and I think they'll get pretty ugly)
not as sturdy as a pro tripod
useless handle (I listed this as a con only because, well, I think it's pretty useless)
friction lock center column (instead of geared)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well built and versatile, September 17, 2011
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
Bought this tripod a couple months ago, and it's been fantastic. It's rock solid, easily holds the weight of my Canon 60D. Also, the removable monopod is great to take on the go when I don't need the full tripod.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Versatile Tripod - With Monopod, June 15, 2011
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
I recently purchased this tripod and have just begun to use it. It is a good intermediate tripod with a high load rating of 11 lbs, but I only use it with a couple of pounds worth of DSLR camera. I love the pistol grip as it makes adjusting the camera an easy operation - no fiddling with multiple knobs. The monopod can be used when you do not want to carry the full tripod around - even at 4 ponds the tripod can get heavy. It is sturdy and made from aluminum and magnesium, and of course some plastic. The leg adjustment is done quickly with flip levels, and they hold securely. I would recommend this tripod as it is not super light and flimsy nor is it a ten pound monster.

I would have given it 5 starts if it was not for the vertical angle limit. I like to take night pictures of the sky and pointing the camera up is limited to around 45 degrees. There is a way around this as it has side notch that rotates the camera 90 degrees (great for verticals) and then you can rotate the camera 180 degrees- but it is still a vertical shot.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
I have no idea how you could create anything better for the money. This tripod is an amazing value. I've been looking for months now at different tripods considering Vanguard and Manfrotto some of them 200-300 dollars. This this tripod has all the same features for a fraction of the price. Since it's new I can't speak for how well it holds up, but as for now it seems very solid. I was expecting a plastic feeling tripod that was some what weak. This is nothing of the sort, it's very durable and has a solid feel. I put both my Nikon DSLR and Panasonic Camcorder on it, both work awesome. Another great feature I didn't even know about till after unboxing is the inner monopod. I had no idea it was in there till I started messing around. I got this tripod for photographing big game in the mountains. Space and weight are a big factor to me. For hiking and moving through the trees the monopod will be very beneficial. This pistol grip is also another nice feature and the main reason I purchased it to begin with.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I have to live with it..., December 13, 2012
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
It's a little more heavy than I expected and the center column (monopod) is quite loose that it slowly slides down when you raise it up that I had to add an additional thin film of masking tape around its base to hold it up when it's tightened. And the monopod when used separately doesn't lock up its sections that it also slides down to its original height. I'm guessing that's probably why they discontinued the model. I should have bought a straight up tripod instead of this so-called tri-monopod. Thank you!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sent it back-believe pistol grip was defective, July 10, 2011
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Senior Shutterbug (Tampa Bay, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
The actual tripod was fairly sturdy and the concept with the removable monopod was a good. However, the pistol grip didn't work well at all. When you squeezed the grip, it was free flowing, however, when you released it, it would not grab tight at all, with or without the camera attached to it, so weight of camera was not a factor. Supposed to hold up to 4.4 lbs.

Suppose I could have kept it and just changed the head but felt I had paid for the whole package.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but it does not work, April 7, 2013
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
Used this tripod on a Canon 50d with a 15-85 lens. Well under the listed weight. Maybe the one I got was defective but on leg wanted to slip. Would not support the weight of the gear for a very long period.

The monopod is not sturdy at all not useful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deceived, November 21, 2013
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
Good and sturdy but hear only cantors 30 degrees either side so if you need a tripod for portraiture not only landscape look elsewhere
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but traditional better, March 11, 2014
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
Bought this with the likes of having mono pod and tripod combo. Tripod is sturdy as well as all the rest of it. Where it falls short and I do mean short is the monopod. Was recently using the monopod to take some wild life photos I found myself bending over to look through viewfinder which make you uncomfortable and causes a little shake. Reminded me of the old camera where you got under the hood. I like it overall but it needs more height to the monopod. Got home and tested my other monopod and it came right to eye level and beyond and I am by no means tall. So think twice if you are buying it for the monopod it will fall real sort of your expectations. Best to buy separately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, October 27, 2013
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This review is from: Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod (Electronics)
This is exactly the combination I was looking for. Very functional and price couldn't be better! I highly recommend this product.
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Sunpak 620-U4STM-CPG Tripod
$129.99 $69.99
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