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Thread started 09 Jul 2009 (Thursday) 05:05
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Review: Slik Mini-Pro II Tabletop/Travel Tripod

 
badgerW
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Jul 09, 2009 05:05 |  #1


I have had this tripod since 2002 or so. It is out of production, but the Slik Mini Pro V ($23 at Amazon (external link) or Adorama (external link)) looks to be the same thing. There is also the Mini-Pro III (Adorama (external link)) which comes with a mini ball head. Larger versions of all of the images in this review (and a few more) are available in my Flickr set, Slik Mini-Pro II Photo Review (external link).

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2545/3703185815_998a2a93d8.jpg?v=0

It looks wimpy and it certainly is diminutive, but this thing is very strong for its size. The non-removable head is a 2-way tilt/pan head; it pans smoothly 360 degrees and will tilt forward and back, but not sideways. The tilt control is tightened by turning the handle, while the pan control is tightened by the knob at the base of the head. If you want to shoot in "portrait" mode then you will have to re-seat your camera sideways on the cork-padded mounting base. If you wanted to, you should be able to attach your choice of head on top of the standard camera mount screw by using the appropriate screw adapter, but this would obviously affect the center of gravity and overall stability of the tripod. When folded, the 'pod is about the same size as the 70-200 f/4L:

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2447/3703143103_5d1c307a8d.jpg?v=0

Despite that, you can hang a pretty good amount of equipment off of it:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3421/3703143223_d5cef1779a.jpg?v=0

That's a 5D, 24-105 f/4L (fully extended), and a 430EX. Now would you believe that it can do the same thing sideways (portrait orientation)?

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3426/3703951828_d4dca55dd0.jpg?v=0

Believe it. It can also handle longer lenses (70-200 f/4L IS) in either orientation:

IMAGE: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2488/3703143603_01ea093e89.jpg?v=0

Now, some caveats. Of course this thing will not break the laws of physics. It can get "tippy" but all of the above configurations were definitely stable when the legs were oriented the right way. You just have to play with it a bit and make sure there's a leg extended under the center of gravity of your camera/lens/flash system. It is always best to extend the legs fully, but the tripod is usable with the legs collapsed for lightweight setups. The tilt/pan adjustments tighten very well and I have not had issues with slippage. Same with the leg extension widgets; they hold very well and have never been an issue.

As mentioned in the Amazon product blurb, the Slik Mini Pro is also usable as a "chestpod" to gain some extra stability for handheld shots:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3424/3703185915_be9c4d4859.jpg?v=0

In this position, I have extended all of the legs and the center column to their fullest extent, and I set one leg in the center of my chest and the other two on each clavicle. I am a decent-sized guy (6'1") so it should be adjustable to fit smaller people too. It is amazing how sturdy it feels when held in this way (although of course you look like a massive dork). I used this stability to good effect on a trip to Spain to take some photos of dark cathedral interiors before I had an image-stabilized lens. I have not run any scientific tests to determine keeper rates vs. handheld, but maybe I will if people are interested.

One last thing to mention, the center column has a suction cup on the bottom of it. This suction cup grips pretty well despite the advanced age of my copy. I just tested this out and I am actually kind of blown away:

IMAGE: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3428/3703205537_e49e5648c4.jpg?v=0

That's an SD600 stuck to the bathroom mirror, and yes, it held for as long as I left it there, a good 20-30 seconds. I took it off the mirror when I was done, but it showed no signs of slipping or weakening. Of course I would not do this with heavy or valuable gear, but the suction cup has proven useful to add some stability when setting the tripod on a smooth surface such as the hood of a car. All in all it beats the crap out of the Gorillapods that I have tried. And for $23 I don't think it can be beat at all.

Gear

  
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Headshotzx
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Jul 09, 2009 07:21 |  #2

Thanks for the review. I might get it or something similar for family gathering shots at restaurants / meetups and stuff. Nice to see it holds relatively heavy gear well.


Zexun | Flickr (external link) | YouTube (external link) |

  
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fast1
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Jul 09, 2009 11:27 |  #3

excellent review, price is relatively alright as well

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fanorama
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Jul 09, 2009 15:27 |  #4

A nice review.

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Thanks for the input.



  
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Sibil
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Sep 02, 2009 08:13 |  #5

badgerW wrote in post #8249964 (external link)
There is also the Mini-Pro III (Adorama (external link)) which comes with a mini ball head.

I am wondering what the pro/con of the model you reviewed would be versus the model with the mini ball head.

I'd like to buy one of these, but don't know how to decide between the mini Pro III versus V.

Any help would be appreciated.




  
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Sibil
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Sep 02, 2009 14:26 as a reply to  @ Sibil's post |  #6

Well, the POTN threads were helpful. I ordered the Mini-Pro III




  
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soze
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Feb 17, 2011 17:32 |  #7

thanks for the review!




  
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cdo221
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Mar 26, 2011 13:45 |  #8

Thank you for the excellent review. I was deciding between several tripods and settled on the mini pro III because of this thread and it works excellently. Holds my gripped xsi + Sigma 70-200 2.8 in both orientations.


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kwando
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Mar 26, 2011 15:19 |  #9

Pretty cool! Would make a great little tripod for a window to time lapsed shots using a P&S


~Simon~
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https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1213134

  
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lsquare
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Aug 20, 2012 10:19 |  #10

I hate to revive this thread, but I'm looking for something similar to this tripod without a non-removeable tripod. I want to be able to use my Markins Q3T on it.




  
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tdodd
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Aug 20, 2012 10:37 |  #11

Take a look at the Velbon Ultra Maxi Mini.

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Review: Slik Mini-Pro II Tabletop/Travel Tripod
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