Tripods and mono-pods can be essential accessories for many types of photography, in particular for those shooting with natural and/or in low light.
After about three months of welcoming X2 Eddie to the family, I figured it was time to blog about him; my dream tripod has finally come true…
I will be honest with you, until now I have never been happy with a tripod or monopod system I have owned. I used a Manfrotto for years and I didn’t like it too much, but it wasn’t cheap so it took me a while to put it back in the cupboard. I also owned an extremely expensive but beautiful Ballsalt monopod from Gitzo, but unfortunately it’s locking system was terrible and after not being able to make it work for me properly on a couple of important jobs, I decided to trade it in and cut my losses. Eddie above on location
The X2 Eddie, named after rock legend Eddie Van Halen and fitted with the titanium (one of five colour options) B3S head.
Eddie is one of three carbon-fibre models in the Rock Legend range and sits between the smaller X1 Brian (May) and X3 Jimmy (Hendrix). His size makes him ideal for general use but he’s particularly suited for outdoor use, thanks to his lightweight carbon-fibre construction. His legs feel solid and even when fully extended, provide a sturdy platform. Pull out the shoulder collars and it’s possible to splay the legs for very low-level usage.
There are three controls on the B3S head; one for controlling the locking mechanism, one for rotation of the whole and a tension control. This last control makes it possible to apply a degree of tension that allows tracking of moving subjects whilst retaining the solid support of the tripod. This is a very useful technique, especially with me doing more and more video.
My first impression of Eddie was that he is beautifully made. The extension is smooth and the ball head is a wonderful delight of precision manufacturing. He arrived in a very small zipped bag making him compact and convenient to carry. At only 440mm (including the head) makes him ideal as a travel tripod.
Eddie is amazingly light at 1935g, including the splendidly solid anodised Magnesium alloy head. A low operating height of 170mm is possible, up to a maximum of 1660mm, via the sturdy 5 section legs. These legs use a tube diameter of 28mm, there maximum load is up to 12kg, more than enough for most general requirements.
Carbon fiber is strong and very light, grip-locks allow 5 the leg sections to be quickly extended or closed they are clamped securely by rotating collars making them fast and easy to use. However, they can be unscrewed completely, leading to a leg section being easily removed accidentally, which is somewhat of a shortcoming in the design. I loaned Eddie out during one of my workshops and that’s when I discovered this shortcoming. I was also unfortunate enough to lose an important elemental part.
On the upside, Eddie has a five year warranty and customer service is great at 3 legged Thing so they sent me the replacement part overnight and I was good to go.
One of the features that i like the most is the ability to unscrew one of the legs, allowing it to be used as a monopod. The built in monopod feels and looks much more substantial – and is quick and simple to remove from the main tripod. This really adds to the tripod’s value, but also reduces my gear load. A foam grip identifies this ‘monopod’ leg from the standard legs.
Tripod only: £230; with B3S head: £280
Maximum height (extended): 130.5cm
Maximum height (Legs + column): 166cm
Stored length: 44cm
number of leg sections: Five
leg construction: Carbon-fibre
load capacity: 12kg
Supplied Accessory: Carry case
Warranty: Five years