3 Legged Thing Kirk X2a Tripod Review
First a bit of disclosure: I won this tripod in a contest. While this may mean I can’t comment on value for money very well, I can still be objective and tell you about what I like and what I don’t.
Named after Kirk Hammet of Metallica this differently named tripod from 3 Legged Thing sits at the top of their non carbon tripod range. This one also came with the B3 Arca compatible ball head and a rather nice bag.
First impressions of this tripod where it was very well made. All the machining seemed nice and clean and the anodising was certainly top notch. While not the carbon fibre that so many desire the whole package is still very light, especially when compared to similarly priced tripod from another major player.
The legs use twist locks which I was sceptical of to begin with as my cheap monopod uses them and have always been a pain. I needed not worry as a mere 1/4 turn is plenty to release or lock the legs. There was some grit in one of the locks from delivery but a quick clean with some water and a re-grease and it was as smooth as the other 8 locks.
Stability wise I really can’t fault the Kirk. Even at full height with the column up there’s very little movement. For me (about 5’ 10” tall) I do need to raise the column a small amount to use the camera at eye height but this is plenty solid. You can also remove the centre column and screw the top plate direct into the spider and get really low if needed, but allow 2-3 mins to do that.
One leg stands out as it comes with a neoprene foam grip. On a cold day you really notice the cold on the magnesium alloy legs so this is a very welcome feature. This leg can also be unscrewed to be used as a monopod. This is a bit of a faff as you have to also remove the 3/8” bolt from the centre column and screw it into the leg. Even with the supplied 100mm extension piece and B3 head on this is a bit short and I found my self stooping. While this might be useful in a pinch I don’t think it’s a real alternative to a proper monopod if you have the ability to carry both.
The B3 head is rated to the same 12Kg as the legs and is a nice and substantial item. I went for a nice moondust finish which is sort of golden in colour, but there’s a choice of 4 colours right now, so go for something that’s not black!
The friction dial has proved to be excellent and gives a good range of damping from none up to a full lock, letting you get it just so with ease. The lock knob is a similar size so I have confused the two a few times but with time I might get more used to this. There is also a smaller pan lock knob. Once slacked off the pan is nicely damped but it does allow a very small wobble so I’d recommend tightening it back up between shots if this may be a problem.
At about £170 this is a very well priced tripod. It’s light and packs down small, both advantages over it’s competition. Once you add in the fact it comes with a nice padded bag this really does seem to come to good value (if you’re paying anyway).
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to anyone in the market for a standard type tripod. I would even ponder the need for CF when this weighs so little.