I have been using the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Pocket Pod in the field for low and close shots, but it had/has one serious limitation: its legs splay out so that it has only one position, ground height only.
Enter the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Ultra Pocket Pod: its legs have 3 click stops for three different heights, from about 6 inches / 15 cm down to about 3 in / 8 cm (base of camera, so lens will be higher). Legs can be set independently to accommodate uneven ground. The pod is of very high quality construction and very strong/rigid.
I consider the TFA-01 an essential piece of field gear; highly recommended. I take it with my on all my trips now; it’s not just for macro work but for anything low and close, helping to mix up the range of shots I might make.
I chose the the TFA-01 Ultra with BC-18 head as shown at right, in order to minimize weight and bulk. That model weighs in at 237 grams. Weights for the TFA-01 Ultra with BH-25 LR clamp or TFA-01 Ultra with BH-25 Pro clamp will be heavier.
- Entirely CNC machined 6061-T6 aluminum or stainless steel.
- Adjustable Leg Tension (requires T10 torx keys - provided)
- Rubber feet grip at any angle
- Corrosion-resistant parts
- 15lb load capacity (with legs fully splayed)
- Ratcheting Angle Stops: just pull out the stop, raise the leg, and the stop will automatically engage into place beginning at the highest setting. Pulling the legs back down will ratchet the stop into place at each angle. This keeps your fingers safe from pinching and assures the best support.
TFA-01 Pocket Pods provide stability on table tops and other surfaces without the burden of cumbersome and excessive equipment. This simple tripod is an interactive stabilization device that can keep up with the fastest "run and gun" photographers.
The legs can be held together to serve as an effective mini monopod, or they can be splayed out to create a solid, stand-alone stabilizer capable of a 15lb load. Durable rubber feet increase the grip on many surfaces. Anodized aluminum and stainless steel parts ensure the Pocket 'Pod won't disappoint, even in the most extreme of circumstances. The leg tension is adjustable with included T10 torx keys, allowing specific tuning for load, play and preference.
The Really Right Stuff ground pods may be better for a little more height and/or for long lenses. But the pocket pod gets very low and very close.
Shown below is the TFA-01 (non ratcheting legs). I prefer the TFA-01 Ultra with ratcheting legs because it affords 3 height levels.
Roy P writes:
BTW, after dragging my butt for a year on the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 mini tripod, I finally decided to get one. I hated the fact that it just splayed open to ground level, so I also bought the MTX Multi Tool that I thought I could use as a stem to raise the tripod. The MTX Multi Tool is handy and useful, but I still disliked the TFA-01.
Then as soon as I got back from Kenya, I saw you mentioned the Really Right Stuff TFA-01 Ultra Pocket Pod. I instantly called RRS. I was a tad over my 30-day return window, but they agreed to let me send back my TFA-01 and get the ultra for $22 more. The Ultra just arrived, and I love it! There are a lot of different ways I could use it.
DIGLLOYD: yup, the about $221 Really Right Stuff TFA-01 with BC-18 head is excellent. There are other variants available with different tripod heads or no head at all.