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K&F Concept SA254M1 Lightweight and Compact Aluminium Tripod

Updated: Mar 29

I recently took out the K&F Concept Lightweight and Compact Aluminium Tripod for a spin. I thank them again for this collaboration. If you are interested in getting the product for yourself after reading this:


Click HERE to go directly to K&F Concept and get a 5% discount with promo code: KF888XXX888

or

Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page.



Who are K&F Concept?

K&F Concept (short for Kent and Faith) are a one-stop refined photography solution provider. Founded in 2011, they specialise in design, research and marketing of photographic and video equipment ranging from camera tripods, lens filters, camera bags, surveillance camera and other must have accessories for your photographic needs.

 

Packaging

The only bits of plastic within the packaging was the plastic bag around the tripod, the sandwich bag style packet for the manual and allen/hex keys and a little bag for the phone mount. I wasn't aware that I would be receiving the phone mount so it was a nice surprise. I am not entirely sure that the plastic bag is necessary considering it comes in the carrying bag. The tripod comes in a sleek black box and stylish carrying bag.




 

What's in the box?

In the box, you will find a smart compact and well built carrying bag which will protect your tripod well and is pretty convenient and comfortable to carry on hikes. This bag is slightly bigger than the carbon fibre tripod I received previously and it wouldn't fit in the tripod carrier section of my camera bag but then again, is the carrier bag necessary when you have a tripod holder on the side of your camera bag?.


If you prefer to carry the tripod in its carry bag, it does have a comfortable shoulder strap within the bag that is easily installed.


 

The Tripod

Upon opening the box, I was immediately impressed with the build quality. The tripod is quite light (3.35lbs/1.52kg) due to being built from a high quality military magnesium-aluminium alloy. This material is not as light as carbon fibre but it still manages to keep to the weight down by having a hollowed out design for the pipping.


At its' smallest working height, the tripod has a height of 20.1"/53cm and at its' tallest, the tripod is 62.2"/158cm. The amount of customisation in terms of angles in height is fantastic. There are many moving parts so when you initially begin using the tripod it takes a little bit of getting used to but with a bit of practice, you'll be able to hit the ground running quickly in no time.


I found the tripod a little bit heavier than what I'm used to for a longer hike but the weight was manageable.


 

Monopod


One of the tripod's legs is detachable and can be used as a monopod if you so desire. I love this feature from K&F Concept's tripod range. You are essentially getting two tripods for the price of one. The monopod can also be used as an alpenstock (hiking stick) for the long hikes. I might have to test that out on my next hike.


A monopod can be quite useful for getting a steady shot when you are on the go and don't have the time to set up a tripod. Monopod's are a great option for sports photographers as well. For me this feature is particularly useful for low light settings as my Canon 80D is quite heavy and hard to get sharp shots.

Unlike other tripods I have used in the past, I found rejoining the monopod back to a tripod very easy. The central axis was easy to disconnect and reinsert. This is really great as using a monopod in the past for me has been a frustrating experience as I spent more time trying to put the tripod back together than actually taking my photographs.





 

Flip-locks System


Each leg of the tripod comes fitted with a flip-lock system which is great for locking in your desired height or angle. My initial impressions were that the system was extremely strong and secure. I didn't find any leg slippage at all. For a quicker set up, you can open all three flip-locks at the same time to release all the levels of the legs.


 

1/4" Screw Head and Phone Mount


The tripod comes with the standard camera mount but you can spend a tiny bit more and get the version that comes with the K&F Concept phone mount.


The standard screw head that comes with the tripod is quick to attach and release from my camera. I have used many others and by far, the K&F Concept one is the easiest to use.

The fluid head at the top makes getting a straight shot or horizon very simple as well.


What I was really intrigued to try in the pack, was the magic plate (the orange one). The plate doubles up as a camera mount and a phone mount.


The magic plate can be screwed onto a standard plate using the 1/4" screw head and mounted onto the tripod in a kinda tabletop fashion using the thread holes. I found it more useful just to clip the plate onto the top of the tripod as I found the set up quicker but its each to their own.


There is also a cold shoe holder (a small clip) on the other side, which means you can attach the magic plate to your camera onto the flash holder plate, allowing you to mount a light, microphone or even your phone for dual shooting. I don't own an external light or microphone and the holder didn't fit onto my Canon 80D camera so I was unable to try out this feature.


 

28mm Ball head and Loading Capacity


The ball head of the tripod is made of durable metal built to withstand whatever you need it to do. With 360 degrees of movement, the compositions are endless whether it be panoramas, horizontal or vertical shooting. I recommend keeping the allen key set that comes with the tripod in your camera bag or carrying bag as some of the screws around the ball head can become loose.


What impressed me with this particular ball head was the 10kg of load capacity. I mean I'm not sure who would be able to put that weight to the test (maybe a wildlife photographer with one of those rocket launcher size lens) but I have full confidence that the ball head can take whatever I throw at it.



 

Angle Adjustment Buttons


The tripod legs can be adjusted and locked to three different levels which helps with stabilisation on varying ground and inclines. I found the set up time pretty quick and balancing the tripod with the fluid head easy. The buttons felt really sturdy and I didn't feel it would break on me.


The other locking systems, the centre column lock that holds the main section of the tripod, the locking knob on the tripod head and the locking force for the ball head are also very solid.


 

Macro Shooting


The tripod, like other K&F Concept tripods can be inverted due to its' central axis to achieve low angle shooting and macro shooting. I find this feature is particularly useful for my product photography. Again, set up for this was easy if you have a flip screen on your camera as you need to set up your camera on the 1/4 head upside down if your lens doesn't have a mounting ring.


Without the flip screen, shooting in this manner may be difficult if your camera doesn't rotate its viewing screen internally.



 

Backpack Storage


If carrying the tripod in its carrying bag is not for you and your camera bag has a pouch or straps on the side, the tripod fits well in most camera bags. The camera may not be the lightest one that K&F Concept make, but it still is relatively light for those long hikes. I didn't feel like any part of the tripod would fall off and be lost whilst hiking.



 

Conclusion


I am very impressed with the SA254M1 tripod from K&F Concept. The tripod ticks all the boxes in terms of versatility and build quality to be used as an everyday tripod. Initially, the slightly heavier weight was a concern for my hikes but my concerns were soon dismissed with regular use.


If for you the weight is an issue, they also make this model of tripod in carbon fiber, which reduces the overall weight by about 200 grams but for me, the difference is pretty miniscule.


 

The links again:


Click HERE to go directly to K&F Concept and get a 5% discount with promo code: KF888XXX888

or

Click HERE to go to K&F Concept's Amazon page.