Review Fotopro L-64 Carbon Fibre Tripod for Photo and Video
Before buying a tripod there are many questions to answer, a tripod can’t be perfect in every situation and many products are made for a specific purpose. The Fotopro L-64 carbon fibre tripod aims to answer few of our questions with a unique product that fits many needs, there is no other player in the market doing something similar. This tripod is made for photography and videography, for professional and serious enthusiast looking for a compact, lightweight travel tripod for photographs and video.
A new concept for photo and video tripod
Usually a tripod is not a piece of innovation, there aren’t big improvement to do in the product itself, most of the time is a manufacturing improvement or a new material is used. Fotopro is trying to lead the innovation with the L series thanks to a carbon fibre tripod with an integrated ball head made for photo and video. Don’t be fooled by the integrated ball head, this is not an entry level product, the L-64 is made for professional photographers that want to be lightweight and use the tripod for amazing videos too, without the needs of a big and heavy video head.
The L-Series has some amazing specification, the L-64 I had the opportunity to try has a 1k type carbon fibre, there are 4 sections, a min length of 196mm and a max length of 1370mm (there is no central column). Folded length is only 589mm, including the ball head, and it weights 2.08 kg (remember, the ball head is included!). The tripod has been tested up to 20 kg load weight and it looks like it can stand all this weight easily. The L-64 is the smallest of the series, look below for all the specs.
|Modello||Sezioni||Altezza minima||Altezza massima||Chiuso||Diametro sfera||Peso||Carico|
The L-Series looks pretty complete to me, great for travelling but sturdy enough to withstand big body camera and big lenses. All the tripods (maybe except for the longest) looks great for travel, without compromising the stability. Of course if you want just a small and lightweight tripod go for something else, but this will keep your camera and a big telephoto lenses safe and stable without worrying.
Materials and build quality of Fotopro L-Series
The first feeling is: “sturdy as a tank”, locking and unlocking the legs is easy and smooth, the ball head moves easily but holds really tight when locked, I love it. The 1k carbon fibre is supposed to be lighter but stronger than normal carbon fibre, I can’t test this but it feels strong and doesn’t flex when I push the legs with my thumb like in other carbon fibre tripods I had. The leg section is big, more than other similar-sizes tripods. Every other part that is not in carbon fibre looks beautifully built with anticorrosion metal.
Inside the rubber feet there is an hidden spike, really useful on some terrains for a better grip. In the box (see below) there are 3 spare rubber feet. Cleaning the legs looks pretty easy, this fast operation is recommended after use in salt water and sandy beaches.
Box contents for tripod Fotopro L-64
The box is really rich of perks, there is a travel box with handle, a strap, the video grip (with a pouch), 3 spare rubber feet and some hex keys. To remove the legs there is no needs of tools.
Ballhead and tilt
The biggest feature of the Fotopro L-64 is the ball head and tilt system. After putting the legs in place for a good stability it’s not easy to level everything to perfection, and it’s here the tilt system of Fotopro L-Series looks amazing. When shooting videos or taking panoramic shots for photo stitching is mandatory to have the camera perfect on level, the independent tilting of the Fotopro L-64 is great to find the perfect level quickly without keep adjusting the legs. The top plate is a standard Arca Swiss, the bigger knob on the top is for the classic adjustment of the ball head. Inside the knob we can find a really practical friction adjustment that I prefer to keep quite tight. The movement is awesome, really smooth, fluid, precise and stable.
I love the friction in the knob, some ball heads don’t have it or is difficult to set, I really like this feature and the possibility to actually adjust the friction itself with another small screw for fine tuning.
For video shooting has been added another small knob (see pic at right) with “video” printed on it. This knob is pretty cool, it allows to block the ball head so it will move only on the vertical axis. Thanks to the friction and the principal knob it’s possible do adjust the movement and get really smooth vertical panning. Of course we have a grip handle to attach for better movement precision. On the horizontal axis there is another small knob (shown in the pic, bottom) that will allow the horizontal panning and panoramic shooting. For video purpose there is no automatic return in position or soft landing at the end of the vertical panning. This is pretty obvious, but for a ball head the achievement in video shooting is quite good. The purpose of the tripod is more obvious now: this looks perfect for photographers that wants to take good videos with the same tripod, but maybe is not the most professional choice for videographer that wants to take some pics time by time.
Use of the Fotopro L-64
After testing the tripod for the first time I was really satisfied by the overall quality and feeling of the product. The stability is really good, the L series have really innovative products with amazing quality and perfect for photography, with great capabilities in videography. At first sight the many knobs available look a bit too many, but after the first approach the use became easy. I really advice to start looking at the knobs and ball head at home and try all the the different movements you can get. If you use the tripod for photographs most of the time try to set the friction hard, or use a softer setting if you are going to do pannings and panoramic shots often.
After using the Fotopro L-64 for few weeks I have a better understanding of what’s the best way to use this tripod, if you are a serious or professional photographer and need to take videos as well with a good quality of movements this is made for you. If you are a professional videographer that *sometime* use the tripod to take a photo, this is a bit too much photo-oriented for you, but if you need a second travel tripod for when you shoot more photographs and still want to take videos maybe it worth thinking about the Fotopro L-Series. The sizes available in the series are good, from the really compact one that I’ve tried to the more impressive L-74L. They are portable, and not too heavy, but always with great stability in mind. I would definitely recommend this to everybody was wandering if they could take a video with a ball head.