When you are out and about with your camera/camcorder, or even in the studio, one of the most important bits of kit in your arsenal when looking to take the perfect static shot is of course a tripod. Now of course knowledge of taking the perfect shot will of course be more important but for those who really demand a lot from their tripod will need to bear in mind that you usually get what you pay for; there are bargains out there but tripods are usually the exception to the rule.
Enter a company who completely disregards what I say, Hahnel. They are considered one of the best bang for buck manufacturers of tripods on the market and are well known to use good quality materials and feature top notch build quality. With a reasonable catalogue of tripods/heads available, it’s easy to see why Hahnel are becoming a popular choice for photographers on a budget!
So which model will I be taking a look at today? Yes, if you skipped over the title, the model up for test today is the Hahnel Triad 60 Lite Tripod which as you might have guessed, a lightweight option suitable for the photographer on the go. The Triad 60 Lite features 4 section legs which are equipped with snap locks, a three-way fluid pan and tilt head and dual spirit levels for ensuring your camera is taking level shots. Is this the new go to tripod for amateurs and professionals on a budget? Let’s take a look….
- Three way, fluid effect pan & tilt head
- Quick release plate
- Spirit level
- Pan lock
- 4-section with snap leg locks
- Rubber feet
- Maximum height: 162cm
- Minimum height: 43.5 low level with reversible column
- Maximum load capacity: 5kg
- Includes case
- Weight: 1.9kg
The Hahnel Triad 60 Lite comes in a relatively plain box which has a nice black and white contrasting colour scheme; plain, simple and effective. A list of features is present towards the bottom of the packaging which gives you a rough idea of what you can expect with the Triad 60 Lite.
Inside the box and keeping the tripod nice and cosy is an included travel/carry bag which sports the Hahnel Triad 60 Lite branding across the middle; a very nice addition and a must have for any photographer on the go.
Starting with the top part of the Hahnel Triad 60 Lite, we have the 3-way fluid dampened pan head which is handy to use as a hybrid for photography and of course video; it has a very nice smooth and fluid motion which is superior to the price range it currently sits at.
Also in view is the first of the two included spirit levels; this allows you to keep your DSLR level to the type of terrain you are using. This is also good for balancing the legs depending on the type of shot you intend to partake in shooting. The weight of the tripod is a meagre 1.9KG so it’s certainly not going to break your back when carrying it around; perfect for the walking or hiking photographer.
The mounting plate is of course removable for those wanting to quickly de-attach your camera for quick hand shooting; or of course for removing to transfer all those lovely shots to another device without the need to unscrew anything. Plenty of knobs are in sight too with the centre column locking handle taking pride of place in the centre; also featured is the quick disconnect lever for the mounting plate and of course the knob for switching from portrait to landscape shots.
At the top of each of the three legs (hence tripod), we have the leg release angle adjustment switches which allow the legs to spread even wider; this gives you more freedom depending on the type of terrain adding more flexibility to your arsenal. These actually swing out to around a 45 degree angle facing north.
The entire fluid head/pan is detachable if you did wish to use an uprated one; maybe one designed purely for video etc. I probably would stick with the one included with the Triad 60 Lite as it is pretty good quality and certainly supercedes anything in the price range. The option is there however and if you are taking your tripod in dirty terrain, being able to remove important parts allows for cleaning/maintenance etc.
Moving down towards the frame/legs of the Triad 60 Lite, we have the tail end of the centre column which features a hook; useful for storing your camera bag or to add extra weight to your tripod for extra stability.
The Hahnel Triad 60 Lite features a maximum height of 162cm so it is by no means the shortest tripod on the market; the minimum height in which this tripod remains operational is 43.5cm with a reversible column. It also features a maximum load capacity of 5KG which is ample for basic DSR/handheld camcorder set-ups but may not be suitable for those with very high end kit; this tends to be quite a bit heavier.
Here we have the quick locks for the tripod legs; as mentioned the maximum height of this tripod is 162cm. These are telescopic legs but with this being the lite version, it doesn’t have a brace to keep stability; something I would have loved to have seen but Hahnel do offer different models featured with braces.
Here we have the tripod up and operational; I would have taken an image with my camera installed, but I was using it to take this shot of course!
It’s worth nothing that at the time of writing this, I have used this tripod day in and day out for the past month and a half, mainly to test its durability, if it is as good as Hahnel make it out to be and to see if it has a practical use for studio work; it is perfect however for the snapper on the move!
After using the Hahnel Triad 60 Lite tripod for a pretty reasonable amount of time “well over a month of constant use”, it’s time to give my feedback and experiences on my time with the Triad 60 Lite. With my needs from a tripod fairly simple, the Triad 60 Lite should certainly be capable in theory but is it actually practical?
Well in a manner of speaking, for my personal demands as an amateur photographer and sometimes a “YouTuber”, the Triad 60 Lite is pretty perfect for me in many different respects. The fluid/pan head is ideal for me for quick video shots in which I can drift over the products and also provides a pretty sturdy base for my Nikon D5100 to sit while shooting video. If I had to give the Triad a mark down on is that the legs can sometimes be a little wobbly if you move them too much; would be nice for them to stick and lock in place as opposed to being free. A brace would have solved this problem but nevertheless, I was very impressed with the Triad 60 Lite overall.
Having dual spirit levels made my job easier too as guessing if an angle is exactly straight can be a tedious task; having two methods of checking the level of the tripod especially on an uneven surface is parallel to taking the perfect shot in my opinion; sometimes levelling images out in post-production gets tedious after the first thousand so it’s nice to have a tripod capable of being level at the time of shooting. The legs also feature quick locks and are complimented with rubber feet; perfect for keeping the tripod gripped to things such as wooden floors and also stops the telescoping legs being damaged/scratched from rough terrain such as concrete or gravel.
The Hahnel Triad 60 Lite tripod is also rather light weighing in at 1.9KG which is mainly due to its construction from a lightweight aluminium alloy; this tends to be a lot cheaper than carbon fibre or graphite tripods. Nevertheless, the Triad 60 Lite can hold up to 5KG of equipment which might not astonish some but for the regular DSLR user with regular lens, this will be more than adequate for and if you do have a DSLR on the heavier side, you might want to consider another tripod.
The Triad 60 Lite has a nice array of features; certainly in its price range and could be considered one of the best bang for buck tripods on the market today. With the current price, you are getting a lot for your money and not just that, what you are getting is pretty damn good quality all things considered; a budget price tag with the feel of a professional tripod is nothing to be sniffed at.
Overall the Hahnel Triad 60 Lite combines fantastic value with very good build quality and has features usually only found on more expensive tripods. In regards to the superb value, I am awarding the Triad 60 Lite our value award as I really don’t think you can currently get better for the money; this is in addition to our Silver award as it has a lot going for it but it isn’t perfect, but nothing usually is!
If you are looking for a tripod for under £60 then the Hahnel Triad 60 Lite should be at the top of your list, especially if you need a reliable and smooth pan/tilt head as I haven’t used one as good as this for the price.
To purchase, please click here! – http://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/Hahnel_Triad_60_Tripod_Lite_including_Case
Huge thanks to Clifton Cameras and Hahnel for sending the Triad 60 Lite in for us to take a look at!
- Exceptional value
- Good build quality
- Has features well above its price point
- Fluid pan head is smooth
- Nice sleek aesthetic
- Would be nice to have fully lockable legs
- Lack of brace can make it unstable sometimes, especially if no weight counterbalancing is used