If I say Brian May, Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Adrian Smith, Kirk Hammett and Eric Clapton, most of you will quickly make the connection that they are all rock legends. But what if these celebrities had something else in common? Well they do. 3 Legged Thing, a fairly new British tripod manufacturer, decided to name each and everyone of its offerings after the artist whose music was playing in their design room when the product concept was first put to paper.
Today, I’m having a look at Brian, the carbon-fibre travel tripod of the family. Lightweight and compact, it makes good use of a concept developed by Gitzo with its 180° counter-folding leg mechanism where the legs envelop the center column to minimise the folded length.
Don’t be fooled by its compact folded size; it extends up to 2.04 m! Granted, at this height, it can become a bit unstable, but it’s nonetheless ideal to accommodate an off-camera flash. At regular heights, the tripods is really stable, thanks to its 8-core carbon fibre constructed legs and 10-core carbon fibre reversible centre column. Need even more stability? The column can be completely removed to allow the head to be mounted directly to the tripod collar. With this configuration and the legs fully opened, you can go as low as 4.7” from the ground.
It is also worth mentioning that one of the tripod legs is removable and transforms into a monopod when you attach the mounting plate to it. A 4” column extension is also included for the monopod to extend to a full 51.5”.
The construction and finish are on par with what you should expect from a tripod in that price range. It comes with a soft case and strap that show the same dedication to quality.
At first, you might find the tripod color choice a bit unusual, but 3LT hilariously explains the reasons behind this in the following clip:
The included ball head features two knobs, one to allow for 360° panning, and the other for all-direction control. It tilts 90° and has built-in bubble levels. The quick release plate is Arca-Swiss compatible, but when used with 3LT’s own plates, you benefit from a safety lock that prevents the camera from sliding off the head. That’s neat, but I’d also have appreciated a lever that could retract this safety pin so one also have to option to move smoothly the camera off the head instead of having to completely unscrew the locking mechanism.
Brian has a lot to offer for the photographer on the go. Add in 3 Legged Thing’s fondness for B-series movies (They Came From Stagsden!) and their Monty Python-esque humour and it’s difficult not to fall under their spell. 3LT says that they were surprised by the success they have received to date. I dare say that they had it all planned from their Ultra Secret Laboratory, and that they probably conspire to take over the world.