I am always on the lookout for new tools and gadgets to add to my arsenal. So I was really excited to get the chance to test out the Pantan Q1 tripod. The first thing I noticed when I opened the shipment was how lightweight this product is. It weighs less than three pounds but despite that, it is for the most part a really solid build. That makes this tripod excellent if you have to carry it for a long distance for a landscape shoot out in the wild or to trek through the city for some great cityscapes.
The product is rated for six pounds, so I loaded it up with my Canon 1DX and 70-200 2.8 IS II to give it a good run through. The two of those combine for just over six pounds, so it was a thorough test. This tripod does have a design flaw here in how the tripod plate latches onto the tripod. With the battery grip of the 1DX, you are unable to seat the plate and the camera if it is the usual horizontal mode. Only if you loosen the ring and turn the camera horizontal, do you encounter this though. I feel this is probably just something you would run into using the 70-200 with it mounted on the plate however. If you’re mounting the camera directly to the tripod, this is in no way an issue.
While on the topic of the mounting plate, I do feel like this is the weakest part of the tripod and does concern me a bit. It is not the highest grade plastic and does not feel completely safe to me putting a professional camera on top of it. It’s very similar to the ones you find on the $19.99 tripods on the bargain aisle at your box retailer. Even the ring to tighten the plate feels weak and cause for concern in comparison to more professional model tripods. There is also a feature that allows you to flip the plate vertically. That piece is another plastic construction that I would be wary of holding six pounds up. If you’re using this for a lighter DSLR, Go Pro, or home video camera then I don’t think you would have any issues whatsoever but I would stay close by if I put a 1DX or similar on the plate.
Aside from those minor issues, the tripod is a solid design. It has great functionality with the crank handle to adjust the height as you need it. It has levels to show that you are right on point. The feet have swivels built into them to help with this and assist in stability. Another great feature of this tripod is it has a hook to hang a counter balance weight on it. That is a huge asset to have if you’re in a windy condition and afraid that it might blow over.
All in all, this is a solid, entry-level type tripod and would work great for someone starting out or for the casual photographer. This tripod will become part of my regular set of tools that I use.
Disclaimer: I received this product at a significant discount in exchange for my honest/unbiased review.