Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 Review

Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 Review

Buy it at Amazon: Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Rugged, versatile, compact and lightweight with smooth 3-axis motion.

The Z988 tripod comes in a heavy duty nylon canvas bag with Velcro strapped handles for easy carrying, removable and adjustable shoulder strap, and a chunky, durable double-zipper. You'll also receive a set of instructions and Allen wrenches. This tripod is constructed from a light yet very durable aluminum alloy, and it weighs in at a hefty 4.75 lbs. The tripod measures about 19.5" when retracted and has 4 separate telescoping sections on the legs with twist activated leg locks for adjusting the lengths. At the top of each leg is a 7" neoprene handle grip. The legs have convertible feet and the rubber caps can be pulled off to reveal stainless steel metal spikes that can grip into soil and softer terrains.

To open each leg, simple pull down until it locks into place. To change the angle of the legs, press on the switch at the top of the leg. Each leg can be adjusted independently from the others for uneven terrains. At its fully opened height without the center column extended, the tripod sits around 58" tall. If you extend the center column with the twist lock below the hand strap, you can increase the final height to about 70", or just under 6'. The bubble level for the tripod is hidden under the footplate of the mounting bracket.

The most impressive piece on the tripod is undeniably the ballhead. Its functionality is very similar and comparable to a Markins Q-ball. The camera attaches to the mount via a flat plate with a screw-style quick release versus a lever lock release. The foot plate is 2.75"L x 1.5"W with 1/4" mounting screw. The footplate is also adjustable on the plate deck and can shift offset from center by about an inch to each side; locking pins at the ends of the plate prevent you from sliding the camera off the mounting plate completely.

Oversized locking knobs on the ballhead ensure secure positioning and adjustable friction control for smooth and fluid cinematic motion. There's a coarse pan at the base of the ballhead and a fine pan at the mounting plate with marked degrees of rotation for 5 and 2 degrees respectively. Since there's no L-bracket on the footplate, the ballhead has a notch for vertical portrait-orientation photography. Inset in the ballhead lock is a smaller screw which is the torque limiting screw. This setting allows you to let go of the camera without the position changing, but when you apply a bit of force you can still move around and reset the shot. Once setup properly with your camera rig, you'll basically have two positions for the ballhead lock: fully tightened for no movement or "fully" loosened to move the camera around but still let go with no change in position.

What this ballhead lacks is a panhandle, which would be really useful for cinematic movie shots. As it is, the ballhead can be used for shooting video but because you don't get as even control working directly on the ballhead, it's better suited for still photography. Panning by hand often results in some jerkiness as your muscles twitch and cause unintentional speed ups and slow downs in the pan. If you don't need the ballhead or want to use it with a different tripod, it can be removed/unscrewed and the 3/8" mounting screw below can be flipped over to convert to a standard 1/4" threaded screw for mounting accessories like flashes, mic, and speakers

Lastly, there's a spring retractable counterweight hook in the center of the tripod to help keep your tripod stable while in use, so that is doesn't move around or worse, fall over with your camera on it. Always use a counterweight when using a camera even if your setup is light because you just never know. Overall, this tripod is a great value for everything that you get, and I found that it works great for stabilizing your shoots for photos or videos.

Buy it at Amazon: Zomei Professional Tripod Z988 [Affiliate Link]


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