Review Slik Sprint Mini II Tripod

Les McLean

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Les
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Maker/Provider: Slik

Product: Sprint Mini II tripod

Price: £54

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Overall Summary:

A good, small, relatively stable aluminium mini tripod that won't break the bank, although the tripod ball head is a bit femmer
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Detailed Review

I had two requirements before purchasing a small tripod, firstly the folded length had to be shorter than 420mm so it would fit in the top box of my scooter, secondly it had to carry a weight of around 2 kilo (1dS MKIII+17-40 F4L lens), a possible third requirement was that after years of traipsing around the dales, with all the camera gear + a Large Manfrotto tripod, the ability (and inclination) to carry such heavy gear diminishes, therefore was hoping to replace the heavy tripod with a smaller/lighter version for these situations.

After a bit of research, this Slik tripod seemed to fit the bill, at 350mm (folded length) it easily fit into my top box, is rated at 2 KG and weighs in at 780 grams.


On trying it out, while the ball head would be fine on a light camera body, I felt it just not sturdy enough for a brick like 1 series body.

So I swapped it around for a Manfrotto 484 RC2 head (4KG capacity), and was a lot more comfortable using it.



In Use

The tripod stands at full height at just over 1 metre, so just about comes up to my chest. And at full height, with the centre column extended, it doesn't feel very stable, and looks as though it could blow over (or knocked over) very easily. I prefer to use it with the legs at a wider angle.




The legs have independent three position adjustments, and with the centre column lower part removed, you can get down very low.

I have tried it out in the field, taking a number of long exposure shots(30 seconds), in a light breeze, the shots turned out sharp and clean, with no detected camera movement. I'd question the stability in a stronger wind though.

I did try the tripod with a 1 body and a heavier lens (85mm F1.2) and the bottom legs started to sag a little, therefore I reckon 2 Kg is the absolute max for the tripod.

This image should give you an indication of it's size, taken alongside a regular Manfrotto CF tripod.





Build Quality

Very good, all things look and feel solid enough, the legs don't stick, lock levers and leg angle adjustment locks work well, and click into place readily. The ball head works well, having tried it with a 7D and a small lens, remains stable, without any of the ball joint slip you sometimes see, even in the vertical position.

Strengths

Small, light, versatile, well made little tripod, and as long as you stay within it's limitations, works very well.

Weaknesses

As mentioned, using the ball head for gear around the 2Kg mark is not realistic, anything around the 1-1.5Kg mark and it would be fine, although the QR plate doesn't look like it would take much punishment.
I don't think it would be very stable in anything but a breeze.

Final thought

Considering the tripod (with it's head) costs around the same price as the manfrotto head I'm using with the tripod, it ain't a bad bit of kit.
 
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Tim
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I have one of those and think it's pretty good, all things considered, but I have binned the supplied head and stuck a Manfrotto number on top. That also keeps things simple when it comes to QR plates on my cameras and lenses. As for load capacity (once the head is upgraded), here it is with a 1D3, 70-200/2.8 IS lens and 580EX flash....

 
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Barnaby Jaco Skinner
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Had one of these for 6 months and must say it ticked most of my boxes, although I am dissapointed by the head... wish I'd read this review first lol!

I use mine with a D300 and 70-300 and it's great; no movement and pretty stable. I did try it with my Tokina 28-70 and the ball joint started slipping so I'll need to pick up a new head for it.

Nice review :)
 
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Les McLean

Les McLean

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Something I should have mentioned for anyone contemplating using a different head to the one supplied.

The slik tripod has a 1/4 inch thread for head mounting, a number of tripod heads (like manfrotto) have 3/8 inch threads, therefore you will need a tripod thread bush adaptor.

 
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