Saturday, May 12, 2012

Slik Mini Pro V Tripod Review

A couple of months ago, I bought a Slik Mini-Pro V Tripod. I was looking for something compact that could serve as a secondary tripod; originally, I had in mind to get just a cheap full-sized tripod. But then I saw this one, and I was intrigued...skeptical, but intrigued. It's so small that it fits into one of the slots of my Lowepro Stealth AW Reporter D200 Bag

Oxmoor Road Tunnel in Homewood
The Mini Pro V comes with a pan-tilt head, which is removable but does not have a quick-release plate; I didn't realize the head was interchangeable when I purchased the mini-pod, but was pleasantly surprised, since I have a Slik mini-ball head  (Slik SBH-100 Mini Ballhead), that fits this mount. My only negative note about the pan-tilt head is that it does not pivot from a horizontal-to-vertical orientation; in order to change the camera's orientation, you have to unscrew the base slightly and manually turn the camera 90 degrees. Personally, in a situation in which I expected to be going back-and-forth, I would just use the Slik ball head.

The legs of Mini Pro V extend a couple of inches, and lock in place by a tightening ring. The center column is also extendable for about three inches of additional height. And on the bottom of the column is a suction cup for those times when the pod is sitting atop a flat, suitable surface; that cup has quite a grip too.

This tripod's miniature stature lends it to non-traditional methods of operation. I have seen it used as a chest-pod of sorts for stabilization when using telephoto lenses. I used it against the wall of a tunnel (below) in order to get a 1/10s exposure with my Canon Rebel T2i and 20mm f/2.8 lens.

Canon EOS 3 with EF 20mm f/2.8 mounted on Slik Mini Pro V Tripod
 For my money, it was a great purchase. I can't wait to get it out at night for some long exposures; I have plans to use it this summer for some wide-angle Milky Way shots with some foreground. The Slik Mini Pro V has its limitations, but it's stable and adaptable enough for my purposes, when my main tripod is otherwise being used or I'm on a long trek and don't want haul the bigger tripod.

Canon Rebel T2i, EF 20mm f/2.8, 30s @ f/22, ISO 100


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