First-Impression Gear Review of Cullmann Nanomax 200T Tripod
I purchased this tripod (from BHPhotovideo online for $59) for my upcoming-extended backpacking travel through Southeast Asia. I needed something that was extremely portable & lightweight, but at the same time, reliable for my Canon 5d Mk ii with 35mm f/1.4 lens.
The very first impression of this tripod was that this tripod is VERY small!!! A lot smaller than what I thought it would be through looking at the measurements and from photos online. It’s about the size of my forearm, both in length and in thickness. And can easily fit in any messenger bags or small sized backpacks. So it’s a five star in regards to portability and also weight as well.
Minimum folded size can be noticed by comapring it to the Canon 5d Mk ii + Canon 35mm f/1.4 (the tipod comes with a good quality microfiber bag)
Minimum usable size is about a foot (30 cm). The mount is very sturdy and can be locked at an angle without any problem.
Full stretched out height is only about a waist high. You can give more stability by widening out the legs (right)
Reliability & Stability should have been compromised given its portability and weight, but with the load capacity I use (Canon 5d mk ii with 35mm 1.4), its plenty stable. The max load capacity of this tripod is 4.4lb (2kg), so for most DSLRs with mid-size lenses, it should’t be a problem. I was worried the ball head wouldn’t be able to support the weight of the camera, but once it was locked tight, it remained in place. All of the parts (expect the screw nobs and leg locks) are made of sturdy aluminium so the legs and the columns feels relatively stable even when they are expended to its max.
Of course, just because I said this is reliable & stable, doesn’t mean this is the best tripod for rough outdoor terrains, and unpredictable wind, and for overnight time-lapse shooting. I would NOT stand any further than an arms length from this tripod if my camera was mounted on it.
Usability is where the tripod scores the least points. When portability and weight was given priority, this is where all the compromise was made. First and foremost, the maximum extended height of the tripod with it’s central-column extended is 2.69′ (82 cm).
Yes you read it right, don’t expect to use this tripod standing up strait. I think this is the area I’m most concerned about for my trip, but since I’m expecting to use this tripod rarely and mainly for occasional long-shutter landscape shoots, I’m hoping the height of the tripod won’t be an issue. I think this tripod would have been perfect if it was at least a foot or two taller, but as I mentioned before, portability is most crucial for this trip so I’m pretty accepting of this handicap (maybe I’ll change my mind once I start using it in my trip).
Second downside with the tripod is the ball-head without the quick release. It’s an old fashioned screw so you’ll have to either turn your camera onto the tripod, or screw the tripod onto the camera. The best way I found was to just pull out the center column and screw it onto the camera, because it’s easier to just turn the center column with your hand than trying to turn the whole tripod or the camera. This problem is easily solvable by replacing the original ball-head mount with a quick release ball head mount. Cullmann sells quick release mount for this tripod, but I’ve heard online that people just replace them with any mounts they have at home, or with ones they purchased elsewhere.
The third may not be a big of a downside, but the leg spread has only two option. It has the normal leg-spread stance, and a wide leg-spread stance, so it doesn’t have independent leg spread option, which I don’t see it as a problem to worry about.
The Nanomax 200T is NOT all bad in usability. If you don’t think about the handicap it has with its height and ball-head, the tripod if very friendly to use. The ball head and center column adjustment came be made very easily with screw nobs, and the leg length can be adjusted easily using the lock-clip mechanism it has. I’m pretty sure I can have the tripod fully extended in under 10 seconds.
Overall I am satisfied with the tripod. You have to understand that tripod is not for every occasion, but for someone without the essential need of a tripod and for who is traveling and needs minimum luggage, this tripod can’t be more perfect. If I would change one thing, I do wish the tripod had more height.
1) Very small/compact (folded length of 12 in (30cm)
2) Very lightweight (1.6 lbs (700 g)
3) Stable with full-framed DSLR + Lens mounted
4) Easy to use
5) Affordable ($60 at bhphotovideo.com)
5) Anodized Aluminum Legs
1) Limited expended height (2.69′ (82 cm)
2) Inconvenient ball-head without the quick release
Full Tripod Spec from Cullmann
|Load Capacity||4.4 lbs (2 kg)|
|Maximum Height||2.69′ (82 cm)|
|Maximum Height w/o Column Extended||Not specified by manufacturer|
|Minimum Height||7.67″ (19.5 cm)|
|Folded Length||11″ (28 cm)|
|Weight||1.54 lbs (700 g)|
|Leg Lock Type||Anti-twist|
|Independent Leg Spread||No|
|Spiked/Retractable Feet||Not specified by manufacturer|
|Center Column Type||Rapid|
|Center Column Sections||1|