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3 Legged Thing Reveals Brand-New Legends Tripod Range

Simon Skinner - 2 weeks ago

The renegade British tripod brand strike again with an all-new ‘ultra-premium’ tripod range, revealing the very first three products. Read on for the full skinny.

3 Legged Thing Mike 2
3 Legged Thing’s new ‘Mike’ Tripod enters the market with some bold claims of superiority and innovation.

3 Legged Thing products have become extremely popular in recent years, with the Pro and Punks tripod ranges becoming a common fixture with photographers across the globe. The British brand has built its reputation with innovative and outlandish designs and the newly announced ‘Legends’ range is no different. In the words of 3 Legged Thing, the Legends range ‘represents the most radical departure from conventional tripod design ever developed’. Taking inspiration from skateboarder, musician, photographer and 3LT Pro-Team member, Ray Barbee, the ethos of the new Legends range is that of innovation, performance, and creativity.

Designed and engineered in Stagsden, England, the new products promise to deliver ‘unbelievable’ strength, ‘maximum’ versatility, and ‘incredible’ build quality. It’s the first time that the brand has launched a range that’s been created for both photographers and videographers.

3 Legged Thing’s CEO and Founder, Danny Lenihan, told PhotoBite: “With every incarnation of tripods, we bring new and exciting technological advances, and upgrades to existing design and engineering. Legends is a back-to-the-drawing-board look at how we use and need tripods in modern photography and videography, with ideas dating back five years that we had previously left undeveloped. With emphasis on workflow and user-friendliness, we’ve simultaneously lowered the weight, and increased the load-to-weight ratio, without compromising stability or rigidity. We’ve added advanced functionality, the likes of which have never been seen before, and made major aesthetic changes for our most incredible tripod range to date.

The first two tripods in the range are Mike and Jay, 3 Legged Thing’s very first levelling-base, hybrid photo/video tripods. The levelling bases will allow for smooth and quick set-up on rough terrain. Mike is a full-sized carbon fibre tripod and Jay has shorter carbon fibre legs with a greater number of sections, which make it ideal for travelling videographers.

Mike

Mike has been named after one of the original Bones Brigade skateboarders and an innovator in his own right, Mike McGill. The inventor of the McTwist [arguably the most iconic trick ever invented and witnessed in an all-too-close-and-personal incident at Southsea Skatepark in the late 1980s by PhotoBite Ed, Simon Skinner], Mike is one of the most famous skateboarders in the world, and a professional for over 30 years.

It’s quite funny to see this groundbreaking trick, [the McTwist] being pulled off with only a few cheers from the small crew present being heard. Skate nerds unite and enjoy this gem.

JAY

Jay is named for the late Jay Adams, the Dogtown skateboarder, whose style was inspired by surfing, influencing a whole new generation of skaters.

Danny continued: “When I first saw Ray Barbee, as a teenager, making his Bones Brigade debut in the Powell-Peralta film, Public Domain, my perception of skateboarding instantly changed. Here was this kid, who had defied normal conventions of neon and garish 80s fashion, and replaced them with a tee, jeans, Vans and a baseball cap. His style was smooth, inimitable, flowing and utterly effortless, and it was this that inspired me most. The parallels between Ray Barbee’s ethos and creativity, and the ideas forming in my head were tangible and quantifiable. I wanted to bring this new range to life, with fluid workflow, effortless movements, and unbounded style. When I mentioned to Ray that we’d like to name a tripod as a tribute to him, he was incredibly modest and humble. I knew then that it was exactly the right thing to do. Whilst the Ray tripod isn’t the first in the range to launch, it is important to understand that the influence and inspiration for the rest of the range, and the three debut products, all stem from Ray Barbee’s commitment to the arts, and I look forward to launching his signature product in 2020.”

All three of the new tripod’s legs are detachable, which adds a level of versatility that’s rarely seen in any tripod system. The legs can be detached and used as a monopod; boom arms, for lighting setups, or even for microphones. With the legs removed the tripod can be used on table-tops or at ground level by joining a set of 3LT’s tripod footwear to the leg hinges. This enables both Mike and Jay to be used for macro work, bringing photographers a varied range of perspectives from which to shoot. With the addition of 3LT footwear, the levelling base can also be used as a foot stabiliser for a monopod leg, adding an extra level of versatility to the products.

Construction

The tripods are made from 8 layers of 100% pure Japanese carbon fibre, and aerospace-grade, anodised magnesium alloy, producing market-leading strength, rigidity, and durability and include 3 Legged Thing’s new Rapid Latch, which is a tough, anodised mag-alloy latch with auto-engage lock, and is used to open and position the legs. The Rapid Latch has been designed to make adjusting the legs quick and easy. Rapid Latch is also designed to be simple to use for people with disabilities or hand injuries, allowing them to change the leg angles with ease. The tripods come with a set of [removable] rubber Bootz, which can be replaced with one of four varieties of alternative footwear, to increase stability on even the most challenging surfaces.

3 Legged Thing Mike 5

The Legends range tripod leg locks have new external designs with raised O-Pads for improved, grip, leverage and water displacement. Internally, the locks have been engineered with a new design of ‘Chicken Lips’ [shims] which give the locks better strength and grip, along with what 3LT describes as ‘formidable’ anti-rotation.

AirHed Cine

Mike and Jay’s levelling base has a friction control that enables users to finely-adjust the positioning. Both tripods are also available in kits with 3 Legged Thing’s new video head, the AirHed Cine.

3 Legged Thing AirHed Cine
3 Legged Thing’s new AirHed Cine.

This new cine heads from 3LT have been precision-milled from aerospace-grade magnesium alloy and, featuring a distinctive spiderweb design, the AirHed Cine has an adjustable, fluid-motion, tilt mechanism that offers smooth movement and can be controlled directly, or with the included panning arm. The arm can be fitted to either side of the head for right or left-handed operation. The AirHed Cine is available with a choice of standard video clamp and plate, or an Arca-Swiss compatible clamp and plate, and features a ¼”-20 thread for externally mounted devices such as articulated arms.

Pricing and availability

The first two tripods in the Legends range are available for pre-order now and are expected to be in authorised stores early December. Mike’s SRP is £499.99 [tripod only, with tripod kit including AirHed Cine SRP of £729.99]. Jay’s SRP is £449.99 [tripod only, and £679.99 for Jay Kit with AirHed Cine]. If you are only interested in the new AirHed Cine, that’s available separately with an SRP of £299.99.

For more information on the Legends range tap through to 3LT’s dedicated pages

About the author

Read 3 Legged Thing Reveals Brand-New Legends Tripod Range

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.