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02-18-2018, 04:06 PM - 11 Likes   #1
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Moman Mini Tripod - Greatest $30 Purchase in Last 5 Years!

Photography is an expensive hobby.

Lenses, bodies, spare batteries, memory cards, camera bags, tripods/monopods; it all adds up.

I've been looking for a travel tripod that wasn't going to break the bank, could hold more than 30lbs and had versatility, such as the ability to attach to objects for unique perspectives/opportunities while traveling.

Up to this point everything was pointing to a Joby Gorillapod. Though, reading through reviews I was left feeling weary of the Joby's reliability.

But, I stumbled across this tripod on Amazon:
Moman Mini Tripod

The listing is "fulfilled by Amazon" meaning their customer service handles any issues - this is great because their standard return policy applies to this item... I can safely try it out for a few days knowing I can get a full refund should the product not meet expectations.

I only bought the legs. I have a spare 3 legged thing ball head that will be used with this tripod when traveling.


Here are my initial impressions/observations:


Folded Length :165mm / 6.5inch
Weight: 261g / 9.2oz



Max Extended Length :110mm / 3.9inch
Max Load (Tripod) :80kg / 176lb



The legs have one locked position, and turning the single wheel lock can fan the legs all the way out for a flat tripod.
The locked position creates a 10" diameter between all the legs



When the legs go completely flat, the diameter between all the legs is 12"


I find this measurement to be important when shopping for tripods... I want to know how much surface area is required when the tripod legs are fully extended.


I really like the design of the wheel lock:
It's a machined piece of aluminum with grooved slots where the legs can fit into, making the tripod lay completely flat.
It's difficult to see in the photo, but the red metal wheel has three grooves where the legs are tucked up inside.



Did you notice the three straps in the first photo above ^ ?
This is probably one of my favorite features of this tripod...
There are two slots in each of the legs allowing you to strap the tripod to objects. I have already found a few great uses for this:


I tested it already on some table legs and honestly expected it to slide down since the legs are tapered, metal and smooth.
It held solid.


Another view:



Add a ballhead, a K-3ii and a 16-85?
Still holding solid... Though I was glad to test this only a few inches above some plush carpet, just in case.



Another view:
I can already think of multiple scenarios where the straps will come in handy.
And honestly feel way more confident in this method of securing the tripod over the Joby design.



Did you glance over the 176lb max load mentioned above ^ ?
This little tripod is seriously strong... I stepped on the tripod while bracing myself on the table top.
I weigh 195 lbs on a good day and really didn't want to push the little guy to it's limits.

If it can hold the majority of my weight, I'm sure it can handle a DSLR and any lens I would throw at it.


Here's the K-3ii and 16-85 again:



But what about the K-3ii and the DA*300 with 1.4xTC attached?



Ok, but you're doing a long exposure of the moon... From your table...\
Can it handle the same setup tiling back for the shot?



So far I am very impressed with this little tripod:



Here's a shot of the legs flattened out with the K-3ii, DA*300 and 1.4xTC



And another:



Already found another use for those straps!



This will allow me to free up that side pocket for a water bottle on my trip!
Very excited about this:



I can already tell this tripod is going to get a lot of use.


Oh one more thing...
Did you notice the two holes in each of the legs?
They're 1/4" machine threaded... Possibilities endless...



I can already see this being extremely useful for macro this spring.

I also can't wait to use it with my DA*300 and 1.4xTC!
SO many times I shoot in prone and have to worry about setting my camera down in the mud/marsh/sand/etc.
I know we're all weather sealed, but keeping it off the ground is going to be nice in the long run!



Ok,
the listing does say it comes with a bag, even though the picture shows the ballhead and the legs.
I don't know if they forgot to send me the bag, or if that's only for the ballhead and legs purchased as a set... ?
I plan to inquire about this, but it has no impact on how I feel about the tripod legs themselves.

The screw on top is a 1/4"-20 thread.
The legs came with an adapter, but it is designed for the matching ballhead.
I tried the adapter in the 3LT ballhead I have and it doesn't work - the end of the adapter is flared out and the 3LT ballhead wouldn't lie flush because of this.
I did end up having another adapter on hand that worked with my 3LT ballhead, so that was okay.

Again, not a fault of the tripod legs themselves.
They assume you will purchase their ballhead I suppose. But if you didn't have a spare adapter and wanted to use your own ballhead you might need to find one.


This thing has a simple design.
It's sturdy, versatile, reliable and budget friendly.


When it comes to photography equipment, I rarely get this excited about something I spent less than $50 on!


Last edited by UserAccessDenied; 02-18-2018 at 04:18 PM.
02-18-2018, 04:23 PM   #2
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Nice review. I'm looking forward to follow up after you have used it longer.
02-18-2018, 05:29 PM   #3
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Looks like a very impressive little tripod, especially using the DA 300 tilted. I like how flat it can get. Interesting one of the reviewers complained that it doesn't tilt, etc., apparently they don't understand the head.
02-18-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
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Great review! That looks like something that would get a lot of use for many of us. I may have to add it to my bag!

Thanks!

02-19-2018, 05:40 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Nice review. I'm looking forward to follow up after you have used it longer.
Thanks,

I'll definitely post a follow up review after I'm put it through some further testing.

So far I'm very impressed by the build quality for the price.

---------- Post added 02-19-18 at 07:42 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Looks like a very impressive little tripod, especially using the DA 300 tilted. I like how flat it can get. Interesting one of the reviewers complained that it doesn't tilt, etc., apparently they don't understand the head.
Right, that seems like a basic physical attribute of any tripod/ballhead combination... without the ballhead you won't have much movement of the attached camera...
Not sure what they were complaining about.

---------- Post added 02-19-18 at 07:52 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Great review! That looks like something that would get a lot of use for many of us. I may have to add it to my bag!

Thanks!
I think a lot of people here could benefit having one in their bag.

I'm probably going to purchase a second one today as backup.

Similar to shoes - when I find a pair that fits perfectly I typically buy two pairs.
When I finally wear through the first, it's likely that model has been discontinued and I want to have a backup.


I doubt I will ever "wear through" this tripod.
But it might get lost, stolen, borrowed, etc.


I could have paid double for this thing and still felt like it was a deal.
03-01-2018, 06:17 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Thanks for the tip.

I could not resist and started a hunt for this here in Australia. Amazon Australia did not stock last week. Amazon US would not ship to Australia. I could not find it anywhere. Two days ago I had another look on Amazon Australia and there it was. It is now sitting on my shelf holding up a Sigma 150-500 and looking as solid as a rock. Amazing little beastie and the delivery was unbelievable. I also ordered a ball-head from the same supplier which is still in transit.No bag was included in the Amazon ad and sure enough none was supplied. The three straps were not mentioned either but were in the bag.

I have not been in the field with it yet. Hoping to get out and about on the weekend but I am confident it will perform superbly.
03-01-2018, 06:38 AM   #7
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Great review...

Curious what L-plate/bracket you are using...

Can you still access the battery compartment without removing the plate? Do you remember what it is and have a link?

ALso, do you use a camera strap? And if so, do you just attach to the strap lugs on the sides? I'm only asking because I have a Joby strap that I really like, but it attaches to the tripod threaded hole in the bottom, so I have to remove the strap and attach arca swiss plate every time I want to use my tripod which is a right royal pain in the ass, so thinking of changing my strap.

Many thanks

Update (if anyone else is interested): I think the L-Bracket is a Desmond DAL-1, available here: https://www.amazon.com/Desmond-DAL-1-Release-Compatible-Camera/dp/B00AR04OI2...l-1+qr+l+plate

Last edited by jjnevis; 03-01-2018 at 11:32 AM.
03-01-2018, 06:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
. . . The screw on top is a 1/4"-20 thread.
The legs came with an adapter, but it is designed for the matching ballhead.
I tried the adapter in the 3LT ballhead I have and it doesn't work - the end of the adapter is flared out and the 3LT ballhead wouldn't lie flush because of this. . . .
great review

if you order from the web site, it comes with an adaptive screw mount, check the photos

Mini Tripod ? Moman Play Store

I wonder why yours didn't

the amazon ad notes it does ????

https://smile.amazon.com/Tripod-Stabilizer-Aluminum-Moman-Minipod/dp/B074TDX...an+mini+tripod


Last edited by aslyfox; 03-01-2018 at 06:49 AM.
03-01-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
great review

if you order from the web site, it comes with an adaptive screw mount, check the photos

Mini Tripod ? Moman Play Store

I wonder why yours didn't

the amazon ad notes it does ????

https://smile.amazon.com/Tripod-Stabilizer-Aluminum-Moman-Minipod/dp/B074TDX...an+mini+tripod
I think if I read him correctly - the Adapter is supplied but it is the one pictured on the website which as a flared bottom and doesn't go into his ball head far enough to allow the head to sit flush and snug against the tripod top. If you can picture it as Ball Head - adapter not fully inserted due to flared bottom - Tripod Top... I think you will see what he seems to be saying.
03-01-2018, 02:03 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I think if I read him correctly - the Adapter is supplied but it is the one pictured on the website which as a flared bottom and doesn't go into his ball head far enough to allow the head to sit flush and snug against the tripod top. If you can picture it as Ball Head - adapter not fully inserted due to flared bottom - Tripod Top... I think you will see what he seems to be saying.
according to the photo at the web site, the screw is a reversible one and you just flip it

so I don't understand

but again I am easily confused
03-01-2018, 02:18 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
according to the photo at the web site, the screw is a reversible one and you just flip it

so I don't understand

but again I am easily confused
LOL - ME TOO!

Look at the 5th picture over which shows the 1/4 inch and what looks like a 3/8th inch adapter on it.
Moman Mini Tripod with 1/4 and 3/8 Screw for DSLR and Digital Cameras ? Moman Play Store

Or this picture on Amazon:
03-01-2018, 02:22 PM   #12
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that is exactly what I saw

I guess I didn't understand the problem

c'est la vie

not the first time nor will it be the last time I don't understand something simple
03-01-2018, 02:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aslyfox Quote
that is exactly what I saw

I guess I didn't understand the problem

c'est la vie

not the first time nor will it be the last time I don't understand something simple
That isn't a reversible screw. It's an add on adapter that flares out at the bottom. If the head you put that into doesn't also flare out - the screw adapter won't seat all the way into the hole. That means that adapter will stick out and the head won't sit against the tripod face - it will have a 1/8th inch gap. (or 1/16th etc)
03-01-2018, 02:33 PM   #14
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oh



thanks
03-01-2018, 02:36 PM   #15
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A really nice review. Great photo documentation. May have to pick this puppy up.
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