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Review: FLM CP30-M4S Carbon Fiber Tripod

Overview : The FLM CP30-M4S Carbon Fiber Tripod is especially suited for panorama photography. They can be integrated with an FLM Leveling able center column (available separately). The smallest CP30 has minimum stored dimensions 45cm and the FLM tripod head fits elegantly and perfectly between the tripod legs, without changing the overall stored dimensions. Each FLM Centerpod may also be used without a center column and include a changing thread from 1/4" and 3/8".

The CP30-M4S FLM Centerpod Tripod has 4 tube segments and the uppermost tube is 30mm in diameter. The height when closed is 470mm and the maximum height when fully extended with the center column is 1530mm. The weight is approx. 1.5kg and it has a load capacity of 15kg. CP30-M4S model has a retractable hardened steel tip / foot, for protection when not in use. With a few twists you can change the system from cushioned rubber to steel tip - quick and secure.

Features :
  • Lightweight: 3.3 lb
  • Load Capacity: 33.1 lb
  • Maximum Height: 60.2"
  • Minimum Height: 5.1"
  • 4 Sections
  • 8-Layer Carbon Tubing
  • Twist Locks
  • Retractable Spiked Feet
  • Removable Center Column

Quality/Usability : You can never have too many least that's what I keep saying to myself. I've owned and used aluminum tripods and a few carbon fiber tripods but the latter can be pricey. When I stumbled upon FLM at PhotoPlus Expo, I thought I would give them a try and see how well their tripods were.

The CP30-M4S FLM CenterPod Tripod is a small, lightweight yet extremely stable tripod with each leg comprising of 4 pure carbon fiber tube segments.

The CP30 range is very sturdy and ideal for DSLR camera systems and good for traveling due to it's light weight.

Carbon Fiber :

FLM tripods and monopods are made from 8-layer carbon tubes made of pure carbon fibers to ensure stability and lightness of the product. It is important to bear in mind that the more tube sections you have allow for more compactness, which is ideal when you need to travel light. While the fewer sections you have provide more stability, which is ideal when you're shooting in low light.

Equipment Connection :

All FLM Centerpod tripods include an adapter thread with 1/4 inch one end and 3/8 inch the other.

Center Column :

Each FLM tripod is fitted with an anti-rotation center column (middle tube) that can be displaced over its entire length. Its design means that, even with the tripod head attached, its length when stored is not exceeded.

The FLM Centerpod Tripod can be used without its center column in order to obtain the best possible degree of stability and freedom from vibration. You can also invert this center column to enable the camera to be positioned as close to the ground as possible.

Center Column Additions :

A retractable hook system is integrated into each center column in order to add stabilization to the FLM tripod outdoors. When not in use, it can be simply retracted with a click thus reducing its stored dimensions.

A spirit level is housed in an aluminum casing at the end of the center column, allowing each FLM carbon tripod to be positioned easily on uneven ground.

Legs :

The special locking technology enables each tube segment to be opened and locked into place using just one hand. All these connections are protected with the A-S-L-System (Anti Shock Lock System) against dirt and unintentional opening.

FLM's automatic leg locking system means the actions of unfolding and folding up the FLM Centerpod legs are accomplished with just a few movements.

To set up the tripod, each leg is rotated downwards to the desired locking position. Each position will lock automatically on the way down, but you can also manually change this.

To fold up the tripod, make sure the legs are all swiveled downwards first (through each locking position). Then fold each leg in one movement upwards, through 180° with one movement for each leg, so they all meet together around the center column. When the legs are folded together in this way, the stored dimensions of the FLM-Centerpod are very compact.

Feet :

The CP30 and CP26 3-tube models come with a protective retractable rubber foot, which when turned counter clockwise reveals the carbon fiber spike with steel tip. While the CP26 models with 4-tubes have a protective removable screw rubber foot/cap, which when removed reveals a carbon fiber spike with a steel tip.

Sizing :

The minimum height of the CP30-M4S is 13cm, the maximum height when fully extended is 1530mm, while the maximum height without the center column extended is 1300mm. The weight is 1.5kg and load capacity is 15kg.

The uppermost leg tube is 30mm in diameter and the length when closed (for storage) is 470mm. You can store the FLM tripods WITH the FLM Centerball Head connected, as it fits elegantly and perfectly between the tripod legs, without changing the overall stored dimensions.

FLM CB-48FTR Professional Ball Head, FLM SRB-60 Quick Release Clamp and FLM QRP-70 Quick Release Plate was used to mount the camera onto the CP30.

Conclusion : Overall, the FLM CP30-M4S Carbon Fiber Tripod is a very light tripod. It's very sturdy when fully extended. I like that the center column has a retractable hook that makes it almost flush which lets me get low to the ground. Another nice feature that I really liked is the retractable rubber foot. Most of the tripods that I've used and reviewed requires you to turn the feet which than exposes the spike. With the CP30-M4S, you turn the foot counter clockwise to reveal the spike and it locks in place. When you're done, you turn it clockwise to hide the spike. Quick and simple.

Manufacturer: FLM
Site: Buy from B&H Photo / Buy from Adorama

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