At some stage, most landscape photographers will look to invest in a second tripod, something which is small, light and can be carried everywhere.
You can read more about my main tripod Here.
My history with mini tripods
I have owned loads of different tripods over the years, but have never found one which was small and light enough to always carry with me as a secondary tripod. I recently received the Sunwayfoto T1A20D-TII kit, and this review will explore this table top tripod and how it performs.
I previously only carried tabletop tripods on city breaks, as I found them great for setting up on the walls of bridges and along rivers. I generally use them as a secondary tripod to either shoot a timelapse, or to shoot a second focal length of my main image.
What’s in the box?
T1A20D table top tripod
XB28II Panoramic Ball head
Quick release plate
Wrenches, adapters and a lens cloth
The kit comes in some lovely laser cut foam protective packaging, meaning your product arrives safely! Just looking closely at the ball head and legs you notice the high level of craftsmanship and high quality materials.
The ballhead has some great little features, it is compact and comfortable to use, easy to operate the knobs and controls, and weighing in at just 242 grams. Both the arca swiss dove tail and the ball head itself are panoramic, meaning they can rotate freely once you loosen the control knob. This is a great addition to help fine tune your composition or shoot panoramas once you have levelled the head.
The legs are rigid and stiff and can be set to 2 angles (20 Degrees / 4 Degrees) and the legs are also extendable, increasing the height from 153mm upto 255mm. The legs are extremely lightweight at just 260 grams, but also very compact, with a closed length of just 175mm long.
This tripod is deceivingly sturdy. To put it to the ultimate test, I mounted my Nikon D810 Full frame body and my Nikon 300mm F4 lens, which together weigh just under 2.8kg!
Number of Leg Sections: 2 Sections
Maximum Diameter of leg tubes: 17.5mm
Minimum Diameter of leg tubes: 12mm
Maximum Height: 255mm
Minimum Height: 153mm
Length with legs closed: 240mm
Ballhead Load Capacity: 4.5Kg
Tripod Load Capacity: 10Kg
Using the T1A20D-TII
This tiny tripod takes a few seconds to setup. The tripod is sturdy and smooth to operate, these two points really indicate this product is well designed and made of high quality materials.
As with the other products I have owned from Sunwayfoto, the build quality is fantastic and being realistic, I couldn’t imagine it being built any better. The tripod head are capped with soft rubber which grips well into any surface, even smooth surfaces like tiles / marble. The tripod is beautifully finished in satin black and all the controls have a solid and reassuring feeling .
The controls on the ballhead and dove tail are all easy to use and don’t slip, even in wet weather. The latch to change the leg lock angle from 20 Degrees to 45 Degrees is a bit fidly, but still useable. I imagine this would be much more challenging in winter when using gloves though.
Things I love about it:
Super compact with a length of just 21cm
Ultra-lightweight at just 502 grams
Well built using high quality aluminium
Good controls for ballhead which include ratcheting function
Built in double panorama functionality
Stable and sturdy, even with a heavy setup
Ideal as a secondary tripod for timelapse / B roll footage
Things which could be improved:
The legs move very freely and would benefit from being more stiff as the legs effectively only stop at 20 and 45 degrees once the leg lock is engaged
The little slider toggle to adjust the leg angle would be tough to use with gloves in winter
If you are looking for a portable, well built, sturdy and lightweight tabletop tripod, then look no further! The T1A20D-TII is a professional quality product, it has been thoughtfully designed and is always worth keeping in your camera bag as a second tripod.
You can see all Sunwayfoto’s Products on their website here.
Please Note: This is not a paid review or product endorsement. I have used and tested the above tripod and the above review is my opinion about it.