Kickstarter: Peak Design Unveils The Next Generation of Camera Tripods

johnf3f

Canon 1Dx
Oct 25, 2012
921
17
Wales
Just looked at the link and that dinky little tripod looks like it is going to cost a little more than my Gitzo GT4542LS Systematic and this is the most expensive of my 4 current Gitzos - I just can't afford these cheaper (!?) tripods and it has flippy leg locks too.
My pennies are safe.
 
May 25, 2019
2
0
Asked them about the weight breakdown and got a quick response.

Carbon Fiber -- Ball Head: 0.2 kg (.4 lbs), Legs: 1.0 kg (2.26 lbs)
Aluminum -- Ball Head Only: 0.2 kg (.44 lbs), Legs Only: 1.3 kg (2.9 lbs)
Center Column: 0.05 kg (0.11 lbs)
Load Hook: 0.009 kg (0.02 lbs)
Mobile Mount: 0.01 kg (.03 lbs)
Universal Adapter -- 0.09 kg (0.19 lbs)

The legs are decently heavy they saved most of their weight in the ball head. Will end up being pretty heavy if you use a third party ball head.
 
Aug 22, 2010
1,577
269
48
Uk
www.GMCPhotographics.co.uk
While I do agree it's functions and construction are fantastic, it's also priced out of most shooters budgets. Some might say this Kickstarter is as well.
Yes....but if you have a £10000 lens on a £5000 camera...a £1000 tripod makes a lot of sense. I use a mk1 400mm LIS and it's a VERY heavy lens. I need the robust stability that only a video tripod can bring.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
Looks interesting, but I’ll stick with my RRS TQC-14. The new PD is shorter when collapsed because of the 5th leg section, but that decreases stability and my 4-section TQC-14 w/ BH-30 LR fits vertically in my carryon. They tout the 3.1” diameter, the TQC-14 is 3.18”, and with the ballhead also has a similar max height.

I like the blurb on the PD campaign about the fast setup with an office record of 9.4 s to deploy, because they don’t use ‘tedious twist locks’. I just timed the my setup of the TQC-14 at 8.6 s on the first go. They also don’t time the reverse procedure, which in my experience (a few years with Manfrotto) is slower with flip locks.

I’m also certain the RRS TQC-14 is more stable. It’s not just that it’s rated to a slightly higher capacity. It’s that the actual capacity of the TQC-14 is much, much higher. Those of you who get one of these PD tripods, would you do what RRS owner Joe Johnson did with a TQC-14, which I’ve also tried on mine without issues?



Somehow, I doubt it...
 
Reactions: JPAZ

PGSanta

EOS M50
Sep 5, 2018
43
28
San Diego, CA
Looks interesting, but I’ll stick with my RRS TQC-14. The new PD is shorter when collapsed because of the 5th leg section, but that decreases stability and my 4-section TQC-14 w/ BH-30 LR fits vertically in my carryon. They tout the 3.1” diameter, the TQC-14 is 3.18”, and with the ballhead also has a similar max height.

I like the blurb on the PD campaign about the fast setup with an office record of 9.4 s to deploy, because they don’t use ‘tedious twist locks’. I just timed the my setup of the TQC-14 at 8.6 s on the first go. They also don’t time the reverse procedure, which in my experience (a few years with Manfrotto) is slower with flip locks.

I’m also certain the RRS TQC-14 is more stable. It’s not just that it’s rated to a slightly higher capacity. It’s that the actual capacity of the TQC-14 is much, much higher. Those of you who get one of these PD tripods, would you do what RRS owner Joe Johnson did with a TQC-14, which I’ve also tried on mine without issues?



Somehow, I doubt it...
No way the TQC-14 with the ballhead folds up to a 3.18 diameter. Measure yours.
 

Valvebounce

EOS 5D SR
Apr 3, 2013
4,088
91
52
Isle of Wight
Hi sfeinsmith.
I think the point you and many others are missing is the size /weight advantage, you gave up carrying your barbells for a Gitzo Carbon Fibre tripod!
This small lightweight TRAVEL tripod will be more stable than most of us handholding a shot, especially when the exposures get a bit longer!

Cheers, Graham.
Ps. Still not getting one, but I see it’s merits! I’m still going to be limited to my lower cost items including my wrestling octopus (Benbo) tripod.

When you get the tripod and you can test it. My experience is a long length regardless of what kind of materials. It tends to create a wobble problem. I learned and avoid it and then it was successful to avoid the wobble situation. In fact that my camera and lens are very heavy. I have to put my tripod as short as possible to increase stability. My oldest tripod, 58 years old with all metal constructed and it very stable. The disadvantage was weight as much as if I carry barbell to the site where I shot the images. Today, the tripod becomes more and more expensive and use carbon fiber materials for the lightweight purpose included compact designed. I love the Gitzo but I hate their price tag. Another point that tripod has a hook so you can put heavy such as carrying a bag to create more stable as possible by hold toward to ground. Sometimes it works but not always, for example, face wind direction that impacts the carrying a bag will swing forward and backward that create unstable. Get my points?
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
Sep 8, 2012
898
22
Every so often, a new product comes along that intrigues me. This is one that has my attention. Reason?

My present travel tripod is the RRS TCQ-14 with a Markins Q10. It is solid even with a DSLR and big lens (OK, maybe not as solid as my TVC-24). Downside, without the head it is about 17.3 inches folded and weighs 2.3#. To fit it into my carry-on luggage, I put it in diagonally and it does use up much of the suitcase volume. Add the head and it is more like 4.1# all in. I almost never extend the center column but it is there if needed. But, you all know this.

What would the PD do for me? Shorter length and a little less volume in my bag and the head is included (even with the possible shortcomings of the head as noted in some of the videos) for the entire setup . At this price, it is hard for me to jump unless I know the PD tripod will be stable enough. But, any tripod under my camera is better than one I'd leave at home because of its weight and size.

This is never easy, is it?
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
No way the TQC-14 with the ballhead folds up to a 3.18 diameter. Measure yours.
I did, and you’re right – I measured the at the top of the legs which is 3.18”, but the first twist lock extends wider, the correct max diameter is 3.4”...still plenty compact.

Incidentally, from my perspective there’s no real benefit to the more compact design of the PD tripod legs. There would be if I needed to fit it into a rigid shipping tube, but it goes in a carryon suitcase, filled mainly with clothing that fills in the peripheral space between the legs, so that space isn’t wasted.

Basically for me, as long as a tripod fits in a carryon (I typically use a Pelican Elite 22”), having a more stable support trumps saving a few cubic inches.
 

PGSanta

EOS M50
Sep 5, 2018
43
28
San Diego, CA
I did, and you’re right – I measured the at the top of the legs which is 3.18”, but the first twist lock extends wider, the correct max diameter is 3.4”...still plenty compact.

Incidentally, from my perspective there’s no real benefit to the more compact design of the PD tripod legs. There would be if I needed to fit it into a rigid shipping tube, but it goes in a carryon suitcase, filled mainly with clothing that fills in the peripheral space between the legs, so that space isn’t wasted.

Basically for me, as long as a tripod fits in a carryon (I typically use a Pelican Elite 22”), having a more stable support trumps saving a few cubic inches.
Length wise it's what... 20 inches with a ball head? I know, because I've owned one. It's not a compact tripod, if it works for you, great, more power to you. It's definitely a stable beast given its size.

I can't say if there's a real benefit to the compact design of the PD or not. I don't know yet. The only folks who can really speak to stability are all basically shills, and have not done complete reviews yet.

I will say that the space savings look to be VERY real (and significant enough to ME). The only real questions I have about the design is stability. If it's not a stable tripod relative to what I currently use as a travel tripod, then it's a no go.

I currently have a few Gitzos, a Sirui, and Mefoto globetrotter CF. I used he Mefoto for travel specifically because I can disassemble it removing the monopod leg, and the center column to make it almost flat, so it fits on the top or bottom of my carry on bag easily... with no "negative" space wasted. The peak design might fix this... I'm willing to give it a chance.

I'm NOT willing to pack up my Gitzos, or something like the TQC-14 because it's too bulky in my bag. Just my experience. If it works for you, it's certainly a great tripod.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
Well, I wouldn’t mind 4” shorter but not at the cost of stability. Incidentally, if I remove the center column from the TQC-14 (RRS now sells a version like that), the bottom of the legs close tighter and the top of the legs becomes the max diameter at 3.18”.
 
Reactions: johnf3f
May 30, 2019
5
1
Yet another misguided attempt at tripod design. Class, what is a tripod supposed to do? Hold your camera steady in a variety of shooting environments. A tripod needs weight and mass and simplicity; it should not take away from shooting. Yet, manufacturers continually make products that are...lightweight! And camera store employees wrongly sell carbon fiber tripods as lightweight platforms. Spindly, too-short and more resembling toothpicks, people continually buy and use the wrong tripod. "It's easy to carry!" or "I can hike with it!" or "It fits in my suitcase" is the refrain I hear all the time. Folks, buy a tripod for the first reason; as a stable platform to hold your camera still. All other considerations are secondary. You like to hike? Schlepp it up. If it's heavy you'll get a better workout on your hike as well as get better pics. Travel? Buy a suitcase that holds your heavy tripod.

Folks, your buying decisions for tripods is way out of whack. This "new" tripod is bad on so many levels. Spindly, too short, and, I predict, way too expensive.
 

PGSanta

EOS M50
Sep 5, 2018
43
28
San Diego, CA
Yet another misguided attempt at tripod design. Class, what is a tripod supposed to do? Hold your camera steady in a variety of shooting environments. A tripod needs weight and mass and simplicity; it should not take away from shooting. Yet, manufacturers continually make products that are...lightweight! And camera store employees wrongly sell carbon fiber tripods as lightweight platforms. Spindly, too-short and more resembling toothpicks, people continually buy and use the wrong tripod. "It's easy to carry!" or "I can hike with it!" or "It fits in my suitcase" is the refrain I hear all the time. Folks, buy a tripod for the first reason; as a stable platform to hold your camera still. All other considerations are secondary. You like to hike? Schlepp it up. If it's heavy you'll get a better workout on your hike as well as get better pics. Travel? Buy a suitcase that holds your heavy tripod.

Folks, your buying decisions for tripods is way out of whack. This "new" tripod is bad on so many levels. Spindly, too short, and, I predict, way too expensive.
No.

We all don’t need to subscribe to your prescriptions on life. I’m sure this will fit the needs of plenty of people very well, and others not so much.

If it works for me I’ll keep it, if not I’ll move on.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
A tripod needs weight and mass and simplicity; it should not take away from shooting. Yet, manufacturers continually make products that are...lightweight! And camera store employees wrongly sell carbon fiber tripods as lightweight platforms. Spindly, too-short and more resembling toothpicks, people continually buy and use the wrong tripod. "It's easy to carry!" or "I can hike with it!" or "It fits in my suitcase" is the refrain I hear all the time. Folks, buy a tripod for the first reason; as a stable platform to hold your camera still. All other considerations are secondary. You like to hike? Schlepp it up. If it's heavy you'll get a better workout on your hike as well as get better pics. Travel? Buy a suitcase that holds your heavy tripod.

Folks, your buying decisions for tripods is way out of whack. This "new" tripod is bad on so many levels. Spindly, too short, and, I predict, way too expensive.
Sorry, no. Tripods don’t need to be heavy. They need to support sufficient weight and damp vibrations (carbon fiber does that well). My carbon fiber tripod is light, fits in a suitcase, and I can hang a 15-20 lb backpack from the hook during use to provide ample stability.
 

knight427

EOS T7i
Aug 27, 2018
86
98
I think that it's an interesting design. I think it's incredibly compact and small...but here are a few of my thoughts.
Firstly it's got a lot of leg levers to undo...it's going to be slow to operate. Have a look at the Sachtler Flowtech 75 for a better design of top operated leg levers....one lever undoes the whole leg.
The other problem with this design is the very thin center pole. It's very thin and looks wobbly. I like the integral ball head...but it's using it's own clip / camera mount design which is a mistake. It really needs to be Arca / Swiss compatible or it's a no - go for me. Any tripod that can't use an Arca Swiss L bracket is pointless in my opinion.
The Flowtech looks like a really great design...for a giant tripod. I'm guessing that system wouldn't scale down well.

I backed the aluminum, this will be my first travel tripod. When I travel for work, I get to check a bag, so I pack a normal sized photo tripod into my largest suitcase. I will still check a bag with the PD tripod, but will be able to take my medium suitcase instead and have the option to use a carry-on suitcase when I am not traveling for work. I also hope to also use it for hiking and biking.
 
May 30, 2019
5
1
Sorry, no. Tripods don’t need to be heavy. They need to support sufficient weight and damp vibrations (carbon fiber does that well). My carbon fiber tripod is light, fits in a suitcase, and I can hang a 15-20 lb backpack from the hook during use to provide ample stability.
...and hooray to you for spending WAY more money than you should have. Some people throw obscene money at carbon-fiber thinking it's the best way to go. $1,200 for a tripod? $800 even... Seriously? How about $100 and it will last for many, many years and is easy to fix should one of the knuckles goes bad.

To each his own, but I teach workshops. Over 700 students in 14 years. I can predict how many people will bring tripods that simply will not do what they say. I spend more time with students trying to untangle and fix cheap and poor tripod and ballhead choices than I ever do teaching composition and exposure. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM made the decision to buy it based on weight and travel convenience, with no consideration on how it would affect their photography effort.

Students will bring too-short, toothpick-looking tripods with cheap or poorly designed ballheads all in the name of weight considerations. Then, they want me to help them figure out why they can't get the shots others are getting because they have to spend so much time figuring out their tripod/ballhead configuration. For instance, many, many times they don't even know they have a rotation collar on their 70-200mm f/2.8. They gaze in amazement when I show it to them ON THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT! It's amazing how people react when I let them use my tripod/ballhead. It is the proper height, proper stability, only 3 sections to telescope, and...only $100! (The Slik Pro700 DX) Suddenly they explode into new creativity in their photography when they don't have to wrestle with their ballhead not drifting, making it more likely that slow shutter photography will have tack-sharp results because the center post is not raised.

Look at the pictures on the Peak Design website; replete with pictures of people using it with the center post extended topped with a heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Sony 7R-type camera. I would love to use this photo to demonstrate what not to do. Does anyone here know how long it takes for the vibration to dissipate in this kind of setup? Sometimes 3 and 4 seconds, IF the wind is not blowing and your camera strap is not flapping. Meanwhile, the clouds have moved, the animal has scampered off and the shot is gone while you scratch your head trying to figure it all out.

The company means well. Kudos for the new space-saving design. They are honest people who truly believe. Yay. It's a too-short tripod with 4 sections on each leg, meaning unlocking 12 levers?? The bottom section is very thin and means it will vibrate and sway with stiff winds or uneven terrain, especially with the center post extended. The ballhead, while brilliant in design and function, forces users to position the vertical shot in a horribly unbalanced position, shifting the center of balance severely on a spindly tripod, making it more likely that you'll do a face-plant into the ground with your equipment if you're not very careful.

They did not think this through. All they've done in invent a new space-saving design for a tripod that doesn't do what a tripod/ballhead is supposed to do, that is, keep the camera/lens setup STILL! It's a better metronome than a tripod. Yet, people will flock to this product because sites like this continue to flaunt it as the Newest Groovy Thing.

Do not fall prey to this marketing hype. I guarantee many of you who buy and use this will immediately recognize it's shortcomings.
 
Last edited:

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
24,067
1,288
...and hooray to you for spending WAY more money than you should have. Some people throw obscene money at carbon-fiber thinking it's the best way to go. $1,200 for a tripod? $800 even... Seriously? How about $100 and it will last for many, many years and is easy to fix should one of the knuckles goes bad.

To each his own, but I teach workshops. Over 700 students in 14 years. I can predict how many people will bring tripods that simply will not do what they say. I spend more time with students trying to untangle and fix cheap and poor tripod and ballhead choices than I ever do teaching composition and exposure. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM made the decision to buy it based on weight and travel convenience, with no consideration on how it would affect their photography effort.

Students will bring too-short, toothpick-looking tripods with cheap or poorly designed ballheads all in the name of weight considerations. Then, they want me to help them figure out why they can't get the shots others are getting because they have to spend so much time figuring out their tripod/ballhead configuration. For instance, many, many times they don't even know they have a rotation collar on their 70-200mm f/2.8. They gaze in amazement when I show it to them ON THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT! It's amazing how people react when I let them use my tripod/ballhead. It is the proper height, proper stability, only 3 sections to telescope, and...only $100! (The Slik Pro700 DX) Suddenly they explode into new creativity in their photography when they don't have to wrestle with their ballhead not drifting, making it more likely that slow shutter photography will have tack-sharp results because the center post is not raised.

Look at the pictures on the Peak Design website; replete with pictures of people using it with the center post extended topped with a heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Sony 7R-type camera. I would love to use this photo to demonstrate what not to do. Does anyone here know how long it takes for the vibration to dissipate in this kind of setup? Sometimes 3 and 4 seconds, IF the wind is not blowing and your camera strap is not flapping. Meanwhile, the clouds have moved, the animal has scampered off and the shot is gone while you scratch your head trying to figure it all out.

The company means well. Kudos for the new space-saving design. They are honest people who truly believe. Yay. It's a too-short tripod with 4 sections on each leg, meaning unlocking 12 levers?? The bottom section is very thin and means it will vibrate and sway with stiff winds or uneven terrain, especially with the center post extended. The ballhead, while brilliant in design and function, forces users to position the vertical shot in a horribly unbalanced position, shifting the center of balance severely on a spindly tripod, making it more likely that you'll do a face-plant into the ground with your equipment if you're not very careful.

They did not think this through. All they've done in invent a new space-saving design for a tripod that doesn't do what a tripod/ballhead is supposed to do, that is, keep the camera/lens setup STILL! It's a better metronome than a tripod. Yet, people will flock to this product because sites like this continue to flaunt it as the Newest Groovy Thing.

Do not fall prey to this marketing hype. I guarantee many of you who buy and use this will immediately recognize it's shortcomings.
Hooray to you for buying an inexpensive, heavy tripod with a relatively low load capacity that is way to large for air travel. Perhaps you’d be happy putting a load of ~17 lbs on it (just a couple pounds shy of it’s rated capacity), I certainly would not. I make careful, well-informed buying decisions, and I’m fortunate enough to have a personal income that allows cost to be at or near the bottom of my priority list, although I recognize that’s certainly not the case for everyone.

I’m a fan of using the right tool for the job, and a strong, light, short-collapsed-length tripod with a good ball head that doesn’t drift (e.g. the RRS BH-30 LR) is the right tool for my travels. The most it needs to hold is a 1D X and something up to a 70-300L, and with some weight on the hook it’s very stable. However, it’s not robust enough for routine use with my 600/4L IS II – for that, I have an RRS TVC-33 (yet another >$1000 tripod) and a gimbal head.

Not that it matters, but I don’t find this new PD tripod particularly appealing.
 
Reactions: johnf3f

slclick

Blessed Be The Fruit Loops
Dec 17, 2013
2,865
301
...and hooray to you for spending WAY more money than you should have. Some people throw obscene money at carbon-fiber thinking it's the best way to go. $1,200 for a tripod? $800 even... Seriously? How about $100 and it will last for many, many years and is easy to fix should one of the knuckles goes bad.

To each his own, but I teach workshops. Over 700 students in 14 years. I can predict how many people will bring tripods that simply will not do what they say. I spend more time with students trying to untangle and fix cheap and poor tripod and ballhead choices than I ever do teaching composition and exposure. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM made the decision to buy it based on weight and travel convenience, with no consideration on how it would affect their photography effort.

Students will bring too-short, toothpick-looking tripods with cheap or poorly designed ballheads all in the name of weight considerations. Then, they want me to help them figure out why they can't get the shots others are getting because they have to spend so much time figuring out their tripod/ballhead configuration. For instance, many, many times they don't even know they have a rotation collar on their 70-200mm f/2.8. They gaze in amazement when I show it to them ON THEIR OWN EQUIPMENT! It's amazing how people react when I let them use my tripod/ballhead. It is the proper height, proper stability, only 3 sections to telescope, and...only $100! (The Slik Pro700 DX) Suddenly they explode into new creativity in their photography when they don't have to wrestle with their ballhead not drifting, making it more likely that slow shutter photography will have tack-sharp results because the center post is not raised.

Look at the pictures on the Peak Design website; replete with pictures of people using it with the center post extended topped with a heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 and a Sony 7R-type camera. I would love to use this photo to demonstrate what not to do. Does anyone here know how long it takes for the vibration to dissipate in this kind of setup? Sometimes 3 and 4 seconds, IF the wind is not blowing and your camera strap is not flapping. Meanwhile, the clouds have moved, the animal has scampered off and the shot is gone while you scratch your head trying to figure it all out.

The company means well. Kudos for the new space-saving design. They are honest people who truly believe. Yay. It's a too-short tripod with 4 sections on each leg, meaning unlocking 12 levers?? The bottom section is very thin and means it will vibrate and sway with stiff winds or uneven terrain, especially with the center post extended. The ballhead, while brilliant in design and function, forces users to position the vertical shot in a horribly unbalanced position, shifting the center of balance severely on a spindly tripod, making it more likely that you'll do a face-plant into the ground with your equipment if you're not very careful.

They did not think this through. All they've done in invent a new space-saving design for a tripod that doesn't do what a tripod/ballhead is supposed to do, that is, keep the camera/lens setup STILL! It's a better metronome than a tripod. Yet, people will flock to this product because sites like this continue to flaunt it as the Newest Groovy Thing.

Do not fall prey to this marketing hype. I guarantee many of you who buy and use this will immediately recognize it's shortcomings.
My experience is that I have RRS quality with a Manfrotto pricetag with a Feisol. I can do the same thing with my Tournament tripod that Joe can do with his. The thing that is the real trap with tripods which very few people tell you about is that when you first get into photography, you buy an inexpensive one and you find besides functionality and weight, the load and stability has serious shortcomings. As many progress in the craft, the body size and glass size not to mention accessories such as filters and whatnot increase and you might as well be handholding.

I think tripod purchases are more important from the get go to future proof even more-so than camera bodies. How many 'pods have most of us (and bags as well) purchased until we found the type which works for us in all or most circumstances?
 
Reactions: tar4heel2