When I received the Fotopro T-Roc MAX Professional tripod to review, my first impression was, “Wow, what solid construction, especially considering the light weight and small footprint.” I was looking for a great tripod for travel photography in various terrain, but also for shooting video with a mirrorless camera. This tripod does all that and more.
Whether you’re slinging the tripod case over your back to take on a hike or setting up in a corporate office, you won’t be inconvenienced with this tripod. Despite the sturdy carbon fiber construction, it weighs less than four pounds and folds up to a compact 19 inches in length.
It’s versatile, too. You can go low by spreading the legs out almost horizontally for an 8-inch total height. Or, go tall by extending the four leg sections to reach over 67 inches.
The four leg sections have easy-to-use yet secure twist locks. The legs can move independently at different angles and have three lock-in points to prevent collapse. I was worried about the lack of spreaders, but the rubber feet have unbelievable traction. If you’re out in rugged terrain, remove the rubber feet caps to reveal titanium spikes that can really dig in.
This tripod is great with rocky or un-level terrain. For example, you can have one leg shortened when on a slope or on top of a rock while the other legs are extended and digging into the ground level that is further below.
The carbon fiber body has a firmness, even when fully extended, that some of my video tripods that are 4x the price don’t have. There is no flex or wobble in the legs. No wonder the tripod is rated for a 44 pound load capacity. The thick, textured construction of the rubber pieces seem quite durable. The quick release plate’s 1/4”-20 mount grips securely.
G6 ball head
The tripod comes with the G6 ball head, which is a simple, effective head. The quick release plate is easy to lock or release and includes a level. The ball lock knob has a large threaded lever to grab and turn. The smaller pan lock knob bites down hard. There is also a friction adjustment.
When locked down, the ball head isn’t going anywhere. When released, you’ll find the panning to be very fluid. It’s definitely free and easy.
There’s a very fine line to unlocking the ball knob just right to get optimal tilting friction, as the friction adjustment has minimal range. I would appreciate some more range here, but it is definitely workable.
LG-7R ball head
As I shoot a lot of video, I was also sent the LG-7R head. It comes in pretty packaging and includes a felt bag. At just 1 pound, it’s not a worry to use it while on the road. The beautiful anodized aluminum construction features a removable handle for improved pan and tilt control during video. There is a robust quick release plate lock and a level. Panning is so smooth, I can perform a graceful and even pan with just a slight push of a finger.
The main locking knob controls the movement of the ball. There is also a tension control ring for subtle adjustments. If you lock into the hole in the ball, you can restrict your tilting motion to perfectly vertical, which can be handy for certain shots. This feature helps makes up for the lower tilt friction range than I’m accustomed to having.
As further proof of its strength, I setup a Sony FS7 video camera on this tripod and head. Normally, I would not trust a tripod without a spreader or wheels with this weight, but the solid construction, locking mechanism and rubber feet held the camera with no problem.
I must note that fluid movement of the camera was not achieved and this is not the main purpose of this tripod, but make no mistake that you could support a stationary video camera without issue. It’s a true testament to this tripod and head’s strength in a small package.
After review of this tripod, I feel confident that I have found a capable product for both my wilderness travels and my daily normal use of shooting video on a mirrorless camera. As someone used to using large video tripods, I get the same feel of stability here in a product that weighs 40 pounds less. This tripod gives me versatile setup options for whatever situation I encounter. Perfect.