The Neewer spotting scope tripod is made out of carbon fiber, featuring an innovative, durable design that makes this model very versatile and compatible with a wide range of camcorders, DSLR cameras, spotting scopes, and GoPro gear. Its lightweight design allows users to carry it to their destination, without causing user fatigue.
Our Verdict: If you’re looking for a lighter option than what you’ll get from a standard aluminum tripod, then your search is over. This carbon fiber model weighs just three and a half pounds, is easy to use, and can turn into a monopod, making this one of the most versatile models on the market. The innovative design allows you to take this tripod pretty much anywhere.
The adjustable legs are longer than what you’ll find on competing models, however, this is a huge plus for taller birders who don’t want to spend hours hunched over their spotting scope. This model is a great buy and a steal for the price. I’d recommend it to birders of all skill levels who are looking for a tripod that’s light, easy to use, and designed to last.
Overview and Features
Neewer is a manufacturer that is known for its lightweight tripods and their other spotting scope, photography, and birdwatching equipment. Because of this, it comes as no real surprise that their latest tripod is earning a reputation for durability and quality and just may be their best tripod for spotting scopes to date.
This model is not only made of tougher stuff, but it’s also reasonably priced, easy to use, and designed with beginners in mind.
The fact that it can be converted into a monopod is a big deal for both birders and photographers. While a monopod isn’t quite as stable as a tripod, it will definitely come in handy if you’re trying to sight birds in an environment that’s thick with brush. The monopod is simply more portable. It also weighs just a pound, which makes transporting and hauling it a breeze.
One of the best features that most birders will enjoy is the maximum height adjustment of sixty-six inches. This extra height will be perfect for taller birders who don’t want to hunch over their spotting scope for several hours. However, there is a downside to these extra inches. When folded, the tripod is around eighteen inches long. This means it can be difficult to haul since it will stick out of a travel pack. However, for taller birders, this extra length is still a huge plus.
This design helps to minimize vibrations. It provides the type of stable base you need when you’re using your spotting scope on your latest birding adventure. Once you extend the legs to the desired height, you can easily twist and lock them into place. When you’re using the tripod you’ll notice how solid it feels, without much flex.
Quick Release Plate
The tripod’s removable ball head comes with a large quick-release plate that allows you to quickly attach or detach the spotting scope.
If you plan on using this tripod for photography as well, then you’ll appreciate the built-in bubble level located on top of the head.
The column comes with a weight hook for increased stability during use.
Did I mention that this model also converts to a monopod? So, what is a monopod and how does it work? A monopod is very similar to a tripod. It’s used to stabilize spotting scopes, the best bird watching binoculars, and cameras. However, while a tripod comes equipped with three legs, a monopod is equipped with just a single leg. Of course, there will be a tradeoff of stability for ease of use, but considering the monopod offers a faster and simpler break down and set up time, it’s well worth it.
When you’re using a spotting scope, there will be certain situations in which a tripod is a must. Having a sturdy one on hand can be very beneficial depending on the situation. While they can definitely be inconvenient to carry around, especially if you have a long hike ahead of you, it’s worth it to have this type of stable platform on hand.
So, what is carbon fiber and why is it considered one of the best materials to use for tripods? Carbon fiber is a resin or polymer that’s reinforced with carbon fibers. The carbon fibers offer a variety of advantages such as high tensile strength, stiffness, high chemical resistance, low weight, low thermal expansion, and high-temperature tolerance.
Because this model is made out of carbon fiber, it’s considered extremely stable and very light. This particular model weighs in at just three and a half pounds. In order for an aluminum tripod to weigh the same as this model, the metal would need to be much thinner, which would result in a less durable tripod.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Carbon fiber design
- Turns into a monopod
- Fast set up and break down time
- Head adjustments can be difficult
- Rubber feet are low quality
Neewer Versus Amazon Basics Aluminum Tripod
The tripod by Amazon Basics is even lighter than this carbon fiber model, despite the fact that it’s made out of aluminum. However, if you’ll recall, I mentioned that in order for an aluminum frame to offer a comparable weight to that of a carbon fiber tripod of the same size, the manufacturer must make the frame much thinner. So, you can bet that the frame is nowhere near as durable as what the Neewer tripod has to offer. Aside from a lightweight design, the competing model comes equipped with a three-way head attachment that allows you to smoothly tilt and swivel the head for a better viewing experience.
It’s also compatible with smartphone adapters, still cameras, digital cameras, spotting scopes, and video cameras. However, it doesn’t turn into a monopod, like this model does, which is sure to disappoint some users. Both are offered at a comparable price and come loaded with many of the same features, however, the Neewer model wins hands down, in terms of durability and stability.
Conclusion and Rating
The Neewer tripod is made out of carbon fiber, which is a very durable, lightweight material. The included quick-release plate and head attachment are well-built, while the extendable legs offer a higher than average extension which makes this model perfect for taller users. The fact that this model can also convert into a monopod is a huge selling point and one that adds to this model’s versatility. Typically, carbon fiber models are pretty pricey, so it was great to review a top of the line carbon fiber model that’s not only well-built, but affordable as well. I gave this model a rating of four and a half out of five stars.