It's been a long time, I know, and i'm very sorry. I've had a busy few months and have plenty of things that I need to share and round up. But, first comes first, here is my first product review of the year!
A few weeks ago, the wonderful people at Rollei released a tripod to rival all travel tripods! The Carbon Compact Traveler Tripod is the smallest tripod I have used, and my current travel tripod is small in comparison to most. Weighing just 980g, measuring 33cm when folded, and with a 360 degrees panoramic ball head, the Compact Traveler really does measure up well in the travel tripod category.
I spend a lot of my time travelling for work, whether it be across town to the studio for a shoot, or across Europe while on tour with Arcane Roots, so my kit needs to be minimal in size, but maximum in efficiency. I have my studio and travel kit packing down to a fine art these days, but what both of those needs is a tripod that is sturdy, reliable and moveable - For static, precise studio work I will be investing in a heavy duty tripod that does not need to be moved so much, but for now a travel tripod is the most versatile for my work.
As well as being sturdy and small, Rollei's Compact Traveler is full of in-genius features that make my job a lot easier. Its' legs are quickly and easily extended and shortened due to the twist-lock system, the tripod can be weighted down further via a central hook, the feets' caps can be removed to reveal spikes to secure your tripod into the ground that little bit more, and the tripod becomes a monopod via a handy built attachment - must I also not forget the handy carry strap and drawstring bag that comes with it?! All wins, right!
Instead of taking the tripod out for a series of long exposures, I decided to use it so I could experiment with my new glass prism. I'm always looking for new ways of adding to my work, and I recently invested in adding a large mirrored prism and a glass prism to my kit. Just like studying light refraction at school with a prism, you apply the same rules to using one in photography. As using a prism is quite experimental due to the light conditions and surrounding area, it is very handy to be able to mount my camera to a tripod and have my hands free to play with the tripod in front of the lens.
Texture, open space and colours are the best conditions for prism playing, so I headed for a walk around the serene environment of Silent Pool near Dorking with my husband, for some fresh air and tripod/prism testing. Silent Pool is a part of the beautiful North Downs of Surrey, and is an area of woodland full of wildlife, trees and the spring-fed lakes of Silent Pool and Sherbourne Pond. Here are some of the results...
Primarily tripods are used for keeping cameras still and taking the weight off your hands (literally) when carrying heavy equipment, but they can also allow you to experiment more with how you shoot and where you can shoot. Going from 33cm to 142cm when fully opened, being able to hold up to 8kg, AND being the most sturdy and versatile tripod I have ever used, really does make this tripod at the top of my love list for gear at the moment. A tripod needs to be able to do more than just hold a camera, it needs to be your partner, and Rollei delivered that fully when they created their Carbon Compact Traveler tripod.
You can purchase the tripod from Rollei's website HERE, and if you have it, i'd love to hear how you've found it. Huge thank you to Rollei for letting me test out the tripod, and I am going to have to add it permanently to my travel kit very very soon!