For the last few years I've been using a travel size Manfrotto aluminium tripod. I'm not a heavy user, but I've been toying with the idea of getting into time lapse photography. Unfortunately, my little frotto isn't up to this kind of work. So I've been looking around for something bigger and better, and after much head scratching I've plumped for the K&F Concept TC3134. Yeah, I hadn't heard of K&F either, but I've seen some good reports about them, and so here we are.
Inside the cardboard box you will find a heavy duty padded canvas carry case. Inside that is the tripod, a shoulder strap for the carry case and a connection tube that you'll need to convert it to a monopod. More about that later. One nice little touch is that the head comes with a felt cover.
The build quality seems good, everything feels nice in the hand. The carbon fiber legs have 4 sections which extend via the metal twist locks and have three different angles. The thumb latches feel well made but I would have liked for them to be spring loaded. As they are, you have to push them back into position whenever you change angle. Not a huge problem but I'm sure I'll forget to do that at some stage.
The centre column goes up and down smoothly, and is locked into place by a large shiny magnesium aluminium alloy twist lock. You can even invert the centre column to allow you to get extremely close to the ground.
The tripod comes fitted with a decent sized ball head. Now, I'm new to ball heads but it feels very sturdy and appears easy enough to operate. The head is topped off by a quick release plate with two built-in bubble spirit levels.
One of the key features of most of the K&F range is that the tripod can be converted to a monopod. To do this, you simply unscrew one of the legs of the K&F Concept TC3134, fit the supplied adaptor and attach the centre column. Now I'm not sure if I'll ever use a monopod, or whether having a ball head is appropriate, but the option is there if you want it.
My camera and biggest lens don't come anywhere near the maximum load capacity of 12kg, and they feel rock solid. I know carbon fiber is more susceptible to damage if knocked, but the whole tripod has a very durable feel to it. I'm sure I'm going to get some good use from it. Keep your eyes open for when I take the K&F Concept TC3134 for a spin and shoot my first time lapse.
The usual Amazon price is €315 (US$390) but I picked it up for €189 (US$235)
Brand: K&F Concept TC3134
Leg Sections: 4
Material: 8x layers of Carbon fiber
Net Weight: 4.41lbs (include ball head)
Head Type: Ball Head
Features: Can be detached to be monopod
Head Material: Die-casting metal
Locking type: Locking knob
Locking material: Magnesium aluminum alloy
Applicable Brand: Nikon/Sony/Pentax/Canon
Applicable Model: Camera with 1/4”screw
Max Tube Diameter: 1.22”
Max Height: 61.22”
Min Height: 13.39”
Folded length: 20.08”
Load Capacity: 12KG (26.46lbs)