Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2018
For less than $25, I got a decent tripod that's reasonably stable, with several nice features. Each leg has two extensions that will lock at any point along their lengths. Having used it only twice at the range, I can't say if the leg locks will continue to hold firm, but for now, the friction is good and the platform is quite stable at any height I can conceive of needing. As Range Safety Officer, while watching things pretty close, I can also spot for several shooters at a time, sometimes for five hours at a stretch, and I need to stay comfortable. My spotting scope has an angled eyepiece, so I look down into it -- the tripod can be shorter than I'd need for a straight eyepiece. I'm 5'10", and with the legs fully extended I only need to crank up the height adjustment two or three inches to be able to use the scope without bending over at all. This tripod would be equally comfortable for a person who was 6'5" or more.

In addition to the usual crank-up height adjustment, There are three "attitude" adjustments: a protruding handle lets you swing the scope (or camera) vertically; a knob lets you pan the scope/camera horizontally; and a small "wing-nut" lets you tilt the scope/camera 90°, but ONLY TO THE RIGHT. That seemed like a problem at first -- when shooting at a bench, I like the scope to be to the right of the bench, with the angled eyepiece tilted LEFT toward me. If you'll check my photos, you'll see that I just reversed the scope (it'll mount either way), and tilted it left.

There are two levels built into the tripod, one to let you ensure that the platform is level, the other to ensure that the vertical adjustment is level. For a spotting scope, this isn't much of an advantage, but for a camera, it would be nice to have fewer photos with a drunken horizon listing 15° to starboard [...and I KNOW I ain't the only one who takes FUBAR photos like tipsy Uncle Gargle.]

The rubber-clad feet are plastic ball-sockets that fit onto balls at the ends of the legs...they swivel around easily, giving the tripod secure footing, even when the ground is uneven.

I thought the handle was an unnecessary add-on (never had one on a tripod before, so didn't figure I needed one). Plus, it seemed to be in the wrong place. But it ain't. With the scope (or a heavy camera) mounted, you can give the center-lock a quick twist, raise it to pull in the legs, and securely carry the tripod and scope from one end of a busy firing-line to the other, then set it back up in just a second. Sweet.

Those are all the good things. What about bad and/or ugly? Well, the ball at the end of one of the feet on my tripod had snapped off during transit, and was loose in the bag with its rubber-coated socket-foot. I needed the tripod that weekend, so no time to exchange. Fortunately, the plastic spindle at the end of the foot (which ends in the ball) is NOT solid plastic, but a tube. I took a bamboo chopstick, whittled/scraped the end until it fit tightly into the tube, cut off a 1/2-inch piece to form a plug, doused one end with super glue, rammed it into the leg, doused the other end with super-glue and rammed it into the ball. Waited five minutes. Now I can't tell which leg I fixed. Damn I'm good.

So is there anything really wrong with this tripod? Nope. It is not a beefy piece of over-engineered Mercedes-Benz hardware. It is more like something off a Yugo. It's light-weight, it's Chinese, and you aren't going to be passing it down through the generations. But what the heck, it works, and I can afford to replace it, if it gets damaged.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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