CAVIX LEOPARD Tripod and head

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GrahamS
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CAVIX LEOPARD Tripod and head

Post by GrahamS »

Cavix Leopard Tripod and head

I recently acquired a Cavix Leopard tripod and bowl head. Don’t ask how and you’ll hear no lies! I had never heard of the Cavix brand before now. Perusing their website, they appear to know what they are about. “Zhongshan Jingge Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.” is the full name of the company and yes, you guessed it - it’s Chinese. They specialise in camera mounting equipment such as tripods and heads and have a vast range of models for both still and video photography, professional as well as amateur. Their range of products appears to be comprehensive and methinks the Manfrottos, Gitzos, Benros and Vanguards of this world should be worried.

The “Leopard” tripod is a new addition to their catalogue and at first glance, is very impressive. The tripod legs are carbon fibre and the head is of the “bowl” type, a proven design in the professional photography world. The metal fittings and the head are manufactured from high grade aluminium and are machined to s high degree of precision. Indeed, the whole feel of the tripod is one of precision engineering. The combination tripod and head weighs in at a mere 1.4Kg and the folded length is 505mm (19.9 inches) and maximum extended height is 1245mm (49.4 inches) with the centre column retracted, or 1500mm (59.25 inches) with centre column extended. It packs into a supplied handy carry case with shoulder strap.

I mounted my Nikon D700 with a 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor, the heaviest combination that I own, and the combination was extremely rigid with a very small amount of "wobble" caused by a minute amount of flex in the mating of the camera bottom with the QR plate, which both have rubber surfaces.  It could probably be eliminated completely if the attachment screw was tightened more but my old fingers and thumb can only apply so much force to the small hinged D-ring on the back of the tripod screw, which is seated in quite a deep slot on the back of the QR plate.  The plate is hinged at both ends so that the camera can be turned vertical to portrait mode either left or right.  Both hinges can be released together to facilitate removal of the plate from the head completely.  The problem arrises when the plate is re-attached or swung back into landscape position - the D-ring for fastening the tripod screw to the camera hangs down and stops the plate from seating fully into the head.  A tiny spot of blu-tak solves the problem by sticking the D-ring out of the way. Bit of a fiddle. The head components are machined to extremely tight tolerances - maybe too tight, as there is no play whatsoever anywhere. The small latches that secure the ends of the QR plate to the head require a firm upward and then inward push.

For a longer or heavier lens than my 75-300, I would recommend a lens with an integral tripod mount collar.  Just for balance alone.  Other that that, the legs are locked and released with twist locking collars - I am not a fan of this method of locking.  I much prefer a pivot lever lock.  If you have big hands, I don't think there is a problem, but I have small hands and find it difficult to twist the collars with sufficient force to unlock and lock them properly.  The struct instrictions say that there is a magic trick that enables the release of all three sections of a leg simultaneously by gripping and turning the lower section, but I can't seem to get the hang of it.  There is no flex in the legs whatsoever, even at full extension.

The head itself is superb - and very easy to set up in any orientation.  More so that the large Vanguard ball head on my studio tripod or the Manfrotto ball head on the 055 Manfrotto tripod.  The centre column can be removed and inverted easily and the angle of the legs can be set to three different angles, making this tripod particularly suitable for low level work.  It is also very light weight, at only 1.47Kg.   I am impressed!  Originally released at £135.00, I see that the price has now risen to £175.00. 

So, would I pay £175.00 for one?  Yes, I would.  Just for use as a travel tripod alone.  Well done, Cavix.

http://www.cavixgear.com/
Cavix Leopard tripod with Nikon D700 and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor
Cavix Leopard tripod with Nikon D700 and 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor
Cavix Leopard tripod with Nikon D7100 and Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor
Cavix Leopard tripod with Nikon D7100 and Nikon 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR DX AF-S Nikkor
Attachments
QR Plate
QR Plate
Leopard head with QR plate in portrait position showing camera attachment screw and D-ring
Leopard head with QR plate in portrait position showing camera attachment screw and D-ring


GrahamS
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Bennybee
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Re: CAVIX LEOPARD Tripod and head

Post by Bennybee »

Graham, that is beautiful equipment! Well designed and at an unbelievable price too. It makes me want to buy another tripod that I don't need.
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PFMcFarland
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Re: CAVIX LEOPARD Tripod and head

Post by PFMcFarland »

My most recent tripod purchase was a Benro Adventure TAD28C. Of carbon-fiber and magnesium construction it is quite light. The head isn't as nice as the one on your Cavix, but it does have the clamping leg sections instead of the twist-lock style. I find those much easier to adjust when on very uneven terrain. But I'd put up with the twisties if I could get that head. Mine is not quite the quick release and remount type I had hoped for.

PF
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