Tripod maker Libec have just announced a new entry level tripod called the TH-X priced at just $239 US. It replaces the popular TH-650HD, introducing some nice features not previously offered by Libec at this price point.
Libec’s outgoing TH-650HD wasn’t the strongest, biggest or most fluid tripod around, but that didn’t stop it becoming a firm favourite with enthusiasts, businesses, mobile journalists, students, and other budget-conscious shooters. A lot of that was down to the fact that there were very few professional options at its price.
The tripod can support payloads of up to 4kg. It has a conventional design with 2-stage v-section legs and a mid-level spreader. It weighs just 3.1kg (6.9lb) and has a height range from 75.7 to 159cm (29.5 to 62.5”). The operating temperature range is from -20 to +60 degrees centigrade (-4°F to +140°F). The head has a smaller 65mm sized bowl that allows for rapid levelling.
On top of this basic specification the new TH-X has obvious improvements. Libec say it has increased rigidity over its predecessor and I think it’s got a much better head design. It has a sliding camera plate which snaps on and off, and is compatible with Manfrotto and Sachtler quick releases (although this means it isn’t compatible with Libec’s own ALLEX quick release system).
A new ‘Dual Head’ design allows the head to be removed leaving the ball leveller in place, in a similar fashion to Libec’s more expensive ALLEX models. You can then attach your slider or other compatible devices directly to the tripod. The head has a 3/8” screw on the base which means it can then be remounted on top of your slider, jib, monopod, or another tripod.
The head has fixed counterbalance and drag controls – which is to be expected at the price and should be OK with smaller cameras. If you are planning to do a lot of panning and tilting with your tripod, you may want to look at something more sophisticated from Libec, or their competitors’ ranges.
It has a padded carry case with shoulder strap and should be available this month in limited quantities.
This tripod isn’t really pitched at the working broadcast cameraman – I wouldn’t exactly replace a Sachtler 18P or Miller 25 with it. That’s not its purpose in life. With the updates, the TH-X should prove very popular with the same groups of people that bought the TH-650HD. The upgrades are worthwhile and the specification is very good for the price.
For more details keep an eye on the Libec website.