Real World Review/Traveling Sticks : 3 Legged Thing – What A Lightweight!

And we mean that in the best way.
Finding a good traveling tripod that does the job, is versatile, steady, lightweight, well built, is a very tough list of requirements.
On the road, every bit of gear has to be essential and perhaps, serve more than one function.
Weight is an issue, when you are a one man (person) band.
Heck, we carry zoom lenses for a reason.
So, in our quest to find the perfect traveling tripod, the answer came to us.
It was in a blue and black case: the 3 Legged Thing called Brian.

Packing nicely in the suitcase (hand in for size reference) we set out for a trial run.
We’ll be honest: the main reason for this unit was being able to shoot panoramic VR’s, with our Nodal Ninja Ultimate rig. If you try a hand hold on it, you will have a bear of a time stitching it together.
This company makes the BEST pano rigs we found, and when you need details on a 360º, there is no better way.

But that’s another article.
So we took the “Brian” out to Vegas for CES. Taking off the the monopod leg, was an easy task, and once fitted with the extension and ball head, was easy to carry around the 4 football fields of the convention.
You see, if it’s not easy enough to carry, it’s not coming with.
We kept the Nodal Ninja on at all times, with the camera rig in the ThinkTank Airporter rolling bag.
A lot of product names, but just telling you what works best.
Next up was SXSW, with a lot more full camera usage as well as a video camera. Not an HD DSLR, but a Canon XL100, full up video camera.
How did it fare, overall?
What we like:

Lighweight, 3.8 lbs, including solid ball head

Case that packs well, including the top cap zippered area for extra plates, tools, etc

camera plate that uses Black Rapid R1 for easily going between tripod to shoulder strap,

versatile with the monopod use, just screw off one of the legs

Add on an extender to give the leg the right amount on monopod height (stored in case compartment)

tight ball head, with bubble level and markings for pano shooting (we do prefer the full Nodal Ninja rig)

ability to take off center column for more stability with larger cameras,

OR use spring loaded hook on center column to add weight for stability,

built in bubble level (critical for the panoramic VR’s)

So, between a Nikon D700 with a 24-70 2.8, the Canon XL 100, and a Sony NEX 5N with the Nodal Ninja Ultimate R1, this lightweight tripod did the deed, and made it into my travel kit for the foreseeable future. True, I have a video camera in here and no fluid head, or panning arm.
I just loosened the ball and worked steady.

At home base we still have a solid Manfrotto Video Tripod and Monopod, with fluid heads that you should use for video.
Plus an old Gitzo Press, that weighs a ton, but will never die. Will never take it on the road.

At a price of about $400., 3.8 lbs including ball head, and carrying case, the 3 Legged Thing called 3LT X1 Brian, from a small but mighty company in England, is just what the photo doctored for travel. We’ve had it for just about 4 months, and it’s been on 3 trips.
Less than half the price of the comparable Gitzo, and a bit more versatile.
We’ll report back as it goes on. 5 year warranty.

Available from BH Photo, and Adorama

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