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KF Concept SA254M1 camera tripod

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KF Concept SA254T1 tripod

Aluminium tripod with ball head and transverse bar

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Several of the K&F tripods Keith has looked at are quite large. This is fine for Keith’s normal commercial work, but what if you need something a little smaller.

K&F have a smaller tripod, the SA254M1 that’s more convenient to carry. It’s aluminium, which is a small bit heavier than carbon fibre, but a lot more economical.

More tripod details at the K&F website
Discount code: KF10US get 10% OFF

Amazon UK – £58.99 and free UK delivery
Discount code: YZAHM3GQ gets 5% OFF

centre-column-assembly

A smaller tripod

The magnesium/aluminium alloy SA254M1 only weighs 3.35lbs and folds down to 16.5″. It’s quite a bit smaller than I normally use but the sort of size I’d pop in the back of my car ‘just in case’.

SA254T1-tripod-and-bag

The tripod at it’s basic unextended height.

tripod-opened-up

The 1.1 inch ball head feels sturdy enough, with a nominal rated load of 10kg.

ball-head

The Arca style plate has it’s rubber grips as the lettering. I’ve found this helped with my EOS RP where having the material right across the plate made it more difficult to swing out the rear screen.

arca-plate for camera

The head itself has a firm clamp, with slide gradations and a usable level.

Note too the marks for rotating the whole head for panoramic work.

head-mount-and-level

The centre column

The column is actually in two parts.

centre-column-assembly

The triangular orange boss at the top of the legs allows the column to be raised.

centre-column-first-section

The tube lock then allows the secondary centre column part to be raised.

centre-column-second-section

A monopod too

I don’t have long enough lenses to make much use of a monopod, but if you need one, one leg can be detached.

You can see the hook at the bottom of the column here. Unscrew this, remove the centre column and attach the leg.

monopod-detachment

When changing any attachments like this take care that all screw sections are tightly attached. Looseness causes wear and damage over time.

The legs use a flip lever system to lock positions – keep these clean, since sand and the likes can cause wear.

leg-clamps

Leg angles

There are several locking positions for the legs

horizontal-legs

The (nearly) horizontal setting can give a very stable setting on soft ground.

horizontal-legs-on-floor

Here’s the full range of heights at different settings.

tripod heights

Quite high for a small tripod.

tripod-full-height

Reversing the tripod centre pole

The centre pole can be reversed for low angle shots.

invert-column

I know it’s obvious, but double check everything is tight when you use a camera like this.

Remember to check the direction for tightening locks – it’s easy to get things wrong when using equipment at unusual angles.

upside-down-camera

Choosing a tripod

A carbon fibre tripod may save me a bit of weight, but one like this is a nice size. The double height centre column will be more prone to vibration at full extension, so this isn’t a tripod I’d expect to use for long exposures at full height on a windy day. If I did that I’d likely get a far heftier one. Likewise if I regularly used longer and heavier. lenses or bigger cameras.

Whatever sort of tripod you choose, think about the sorts of photography you’re doing. For low down close working I know my back appreciates being able to position the camera for flexibly.

Now, I do have in my collection (mostly donations from relatives) some truly awful cheap tripods, where the plastic pan/tilt head squeaks and the head is raised by a rickety rack and pinion system. You need to move beyond this, but probably not too far ;-)

Note that I don’t do reviews of top end ‘big name’ tripods (I’ve been asked) since I genuinely don’t see the point for many photographers. There is a lot of pompous nonsense talked about tripods on forums, just take some of what you read with a big pinch of salt. Let me just observe that I’ve never seen any female photographers arguing over tripods…

I’ve looked at several different styles of tripod from K&F – all my articles are listed in the K&F category in the dropdown menu at the right

You can see their entire range on their website

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Site update: Thanks for everyone's support - work is still very sparse, but at least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please just let me know - Keith & Karen
...Get our Newsletter for new articles/reviews and why not visit Keith's YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available.

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