I’ve used the same $60 aluminum and plastic tripod for years. It seemed fine at first but the plastics weakened with age and developed a lot of slop. I’ve been looking at getting a new tripod for quite some time so I was really excited to receive this Neewer tripod as a gift.
The tripod arrived in a simple matte black box with “Neewer” printed in red on the side. Inside the box is a padded tubular shaped nylon bag containing the tripod. It has a zip down one side and a comfortably wide shoulder strap. Inside the bag you have the tripod itself with a heavy velvet drawstring bag over the mounting head. There are a couple of Ziploc bags. One contains a manual and warranty card. The other bag contains a couple of accessories and an alan/hex wrench.
The tripod is almost completely made of metal a few rubber grippy parts for traction on collars and the slightly conical rubber feet. It isn’t the lightest tripod at about 3 lbs. To be honest, that is a good thing because the extra weight makes it structurally more sturdy and better planted when a heavy camera is mounted on it.
It’s a deceptively large tripod considering the small bag. This is because the legs rotate 180 degrees. When folded for storage, the legs rotate around with the head cradled in between making for a short compact package.
The tripod legs
The legs are all twist lock with hollow aluminum shafts and collars that have knurled rubber covered grips around the outside. The hinges off of the center post are metal and have a ratchet mechanism so they lock in place without any horizontal A-frame type supports that are common on cheaper tripods. The ratchet thumb levers are also aluminum and sprung. The legs lock at three angles when combined with the four adjustable telescoping twist lock legs, you have a lot of flexibility. Each leg has four sections telescoping sections. The center post is also adjustable and allows for an extra 12 – 16” of height.
The tripod head is well constructed of black aluminum with a large, quick release ball joint. The ball joint has a slot down one side to allow the camera to be mounted vertically on its side if needed. The head is solid aluminum with the ball and mounting shoe of one piece. A knurled metal thumb screw unlocks the shoe allowing the foot that attaches to the camera with a standard thread mount to come off. The shoe works like a vice clamping mechanism that squeezed two sides of the foot. The threaded screw underneath has a handle which rotates flush inside the foot. It has some friction so it stays put and doesn’t just drop down and get in the way of mounting the camera to the tripod (like my old one did). The foot also has metal protrusions that drop into slots in the shoe. So even if you don’t completely tighten the camera to the head of the tripod, the camera is clamped in a rail with only about one inch of horizontal travel before it will get caught.
One of other thumbscrews locks the ball joint in place. You can adjust the friction somewhat to make it fairly stiff or loose. This gives you a lot of quick and easy control over the camera orientation.
The lower thumbscrew locks the head’s rotation on the vertical axis while a metal collar at the base lets you adjust friction of the entire tripod head. It feels like there is some kind of oil damper inside the tripod head because the panning rotation of the tripod head is very smooth and consistent. When a certain amount of force is applied it glides very smoothly for tracking your camera target. You can adjust the speed of this damping effect by tightening or loosening the collar at the base of the head.
The whole head can be removed by turning the head anticlockwise many turns.
The feet of the tripod are conical in shape so that no matter what angle the legs are set to there is always a good purchase whether it’s rough terrain or a highly polished surface.
When I first got the tripod I noticed the thick foam padding at the top of one of the legs. I thought it was just convenient for carrying the tripod in your hand. But then I noticed the label above the foam grip. This leg of the tripod is detachable and can be used as a convenient monopod. You just unscrew it from the tripod, unscrew the head from the main tripod and mount it onto the monopod instead. A pretty neat feature that adds a lot of value to the tripod since you get two for the price of one and less equipment to carry with you.
I haven’t been using it long. Only about a week. But it is already my go-to tripod. I only had the one large tripod previously and that was rubbish compared to the Neewer. I also have a few smaller tripods of various quality I use for photographing while perched on a table top or stool. This Neewer tripod actually does a good job of replacing those too. The Neewer is a bit bulkier than my carbon mini tripod and has a wider footprint at the lowest setting but it is also far more stable and MUCH more versatile. You can adjust the height from less than 2 feet to over 6 feet. 18” to 65” and it is rock steady. Because of how sturdy it is, you can put a fairly heavy load on it. The specs state 33lbs and I haven’t tried that much weight, but I have mounted a heavy 6lb lamp and a 14lb computer monitor on it in my studio with no problems.
This is a very sturdy and versatile tripod. It is heavier than the cheap tripod it replaced and a little more bulky than some but it does fold up into a shorter compact carry case than most. The specs state that it is a 2 in 1 tripod but for me it’s actually a 3 in 1 tripod since it replaces a tall and small desktop tripod as well as having a detachable monopod leg. So it’s very convenient if you want to carry as little gear with you as possible. I have a small two-seater convertible with a small trunk. So the less baggage I have to lug around the better. This tripod replaces as many as three different tripods and is very sturdy and dependable and comes with a nice padded case with comfy wide shoulder strap. I highly recommend it.