A travel tripod that weight less than 1 kg, that has a length of only 33 cm when folded and that can take up to 8kg in camera equipment, yes that kind of tripod do exists!!
I’m a happy user of Rollei’s Rock Solid Beta Carbon tripod however when shooting in a city and not near a cliff with extremely strong wind I prefer having a light tripod. Never in my wildest imagination I would believe a light such as Rollei’s Compact Traveler No 1 Carbon (only 1 kg!) tripod would exist. It has now been a few months I have been using the compact travel tripod in Paris and I feel that it is the time to share my thoughts based on my personal experience.
Before continuing with the technical details I wish to point out the requirements I personally have of a travel tripod. It’ a tripod that should replace your regular tripod but be much lighter in weight, smaller when it’s folded, have the preferable height when extended and still be a sturdy in the field while shooting. The material of the tripod legs are also very important, I prefer carbon fiber as I believe it’s superior other material, not only it’s much lighter than for example aluminum, but it’s also very strong and has great dampening effects preventing any kind of vibration that would affect your camera while shooting.
Rollei Compact Traveler Carbon Tripod
- legs made by 7 layers carbon fiber and anodized aircraft aluminium
- weight including ball head: 0.98kg (!)
- maximum height: 142 cm
- minimum height: 34 cm
- maximum allowable load: 8 kg
A part from the tripod itself the kit also includes following practical extras:
- a ball head
- a handy bag to store and carry the tripod in
- a shoulder strap to attach to the tripod
- kit of useful tools and spare parts
- pouch for the monopod
How to use the Rollei Compact Traveler No 1 Carbon Tripod
The tripod comes with folded up legs in 180° around the center column and is very easy to set up. Simply unlock the foot closure on each leg, you will see that there are three different positions to lock them in, set them in the position that is most suitable for your shooting. When all three legs have been folded down the center column will appear and you can with ease adjust the height to the preferred level. The rubber feet can be removed to reveal spikes that are more suitable for surfaces such as lawn.
A bonus – the Rollei Compact Traveler No 1 Carbon Tripod can with the help of the included tool kit easily be transformed to a monopod.
In the field
Let’s be clear, heavy gear has a huge potential to de-motivate you. I can’t count how many times I’ve skipped going out shooting in the evening after work just because of the thought of heavy gear discouraged me. You cannot change the weight of your camera BUT the tripod you can! Be careful though, NEVER ever compromise on quality, after all you still want stability and a tripod that is easy to set up. Already at the first time I took the tripod with me I felt the difference, it was amazing! The tripod was now more of an accessory than a big part of my camera equipment, not light as feather but same feeling after using a regular one. The tripod comes with a very handy poach that perfectly fits in my bike basket. Before, when using my regular tripod it was too big for the basket and I had to attach it to my backpack. Now, less weight on my back :-)
Thanks to the fact that its foldable and light it is very easy and practical to carry around. Even in the metro! You will not accidentally hit someone else with it while moving :-) When its time to unfold it in the field its done in a few seconds. The legs are extended by screw-locks. In less than a minute you have a tripod that is ready to be loaded with your camera. The ball head is integrated but you can use another one if you wish. I have used the tripod under milder weather conditions, in other words, not during a stormy day in Iceland, and the tripod has still been stable letting me realize sharp photos.
As you might have understood by now it was love at first sight between me and this compact travel tripod from Rollei. I must confess I was skeptical at first, was this ultra light tripod going to be sturdy enough under windy conditions? After months of usage, in different weather conditions in Paris, sunny, rainy and windy days, this tripod has proven to fulfill all its promises. It’s made of high quality materials and the performance has been over expectation. Further it has all features you would wish for of a travel tripod and I believe you get a great value for the price.
If you are shooting in the city or going away on a weekend and want to travel light, I can truly recommend the Rollei Compact Traveler No 1 Carbon. It will not disappoint you and your shoulders will thank you :-)
I organise photo-tours in Paris and during the tour you’ll have this and other tripods from Rollei at your disposal to to try, read more on the page Photo-Tour in Paris.