test team

NPhoto - - Test Team -

If you’re af­ter a new tri­pod, you’re not go­ing to be short on choice. With some­thing al­ready out there to suit ev­ery re­quire­ment and budget, new­comer Nest re­ally needs to pull off some­thing spe­cial to make an im­pact on the mar­ket.

The Trav­eller NT-6294AK is cer­tainly a good start. Its legs may be alu­minium (a car­bon fi­bre ver­sion is also avail­able), but with a 29mm max­i­mum di­am­e­ter and se­cure twist-grip leg locks, this is one re­as­sur­ingly rigid set of legs that’ll sup­port a hefty 20kg load.

The ball head has an ad­justable fric­tion dial to com­pen­sate for dif­fer­ent cam­era weights, plus a smooth ro­tat­ing pan base and a well-de­signed Arca-Swiss com­pat­i­ble quick re­lease plate. An­noy­ingly, it has a lower weight limit than the legs: just 10kg. How­ever, its com­pact size means it’s no match for a big, front-heavy FX tele­photo setup, so if you’re us­ing a big body with large lenses, you’d want a dif­fer­ent head any­way.

Nest re­ally throws down the gaunt­let to the com­pe­ti­tion with the Trav­eller’s abil­ity to con­vert to a monopod. It’s a neat trick we’ve seen be­fore on some Three Legged Thing tripods, and it adds con­sid­er­able ver­sa­til­ity and value. To make the switch you sim­ply un­screw the ap­pro­pri­ate leg, then lift out the head and cen­tral col­umn by re­mov­ing its bal­last hook. Screw the two tubes to­gether and away you go.

Whichever con­fig­u­ra­tion you fancy, you’ll ap­pre­ci­ate the over­sized, grippy leg locks, which are a plea­sure to use. The leg an­gle se­lec­tors are also eas­ier to ad­just than many de­signs, ex­pand­ing to 22 or 75 de­grees so you can shoot from just 285mm off the deck.

The largest mem­ber of the Trav­eller line-up, this model has a mod­est folded height of 450mm but will stretch to 1660mm thanks to its four­sec­tion legs. A high num­ber of leg sec­tions can some­times mean com­pro­mis­ing on rigid­ity, but we found this to be an ex­cep­tion­ally solid sup­port.

Hav­ing sturdy legs does make this quite a portly plat­form at 2.2kg, but that is in­clud­ing the qual­ity ball head. Strangely, the car­bon fi­bre equiv­a­lent is no lighter. Still, a lit­tle ex­tra weight is easy to shrug off given the Nest’s out­stand­ing qual­ity, ver­sa­til­ity and value.

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