The Scrambler Ultralight Modular Tripod
all metal, ultralight yet highly durable modular tripod kit for extreme outdoor pursuits: a quick release, column and ball head for the Novoflex Micropod and other lightweight mini tripod bases
|Section (on SYSTEM)||Description|
|CAMERA QUICK RELEASE||Arca Swiss compatible camera quick release|
|BALL HEAD||Lightweight mini ball head with panning base|
|TRIPOD COLUMN||Tripod column with ball head mount and base quick release|
|LEG #4||Modular stabilising leg for uneven, steep or rocky terrain|
|TRIPOD BASE||The 50g Novoflex Micropod is the ideal base for the Scrambler|
A Mini-Tripod For The Weight Conscious
- Who is the Scrambler for?
- Getting Started: Benefits of a Modular (Component) Approach
- Background: Scramble Collaboration
- Modular & Packable
- Product Component Images
Who is the Scrambler for?
There are two types of people who are going to carry tripods into the mountains:
- serious landscape photographers
- long distance (solo) mountain trekkers and climbers that want or need to take photographs and/or video
The former may be out for a day or two and are not likely to be climbing over exposed ridges and sliding across treacherous scree fields. Such people can afford to carry a few extra kilos of camera gear. The latter however, may be out for weeks at a time, will be carrying many kilos of food supplies and all the other gear they need to survive and thrive in the mountains. The last thing this group of scramblers, climbers and long distance trekkers want is an 800g+ tripod strapped to their packs.
The "Scrambler" is a mini ultralight modular tripod (and selfie stick) aimed squarely at this latter group and it's the outcome of a long collaboration with our friends over at Scramble (thus the name).
Getting Started: Benefits of a Modular (Component) Approach
No matter how much manufacturers like to flash their virtuous green credentials around, far too often a good deal of disposability is baked into a product's design. One of the benefits of a product assembled from available components is that if any part fails or is lost, it can be easily replaced; no need to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Another benefit is that it allows users to test the water to some extent. A customer might already have a number of compatible components and so can start with just the parts they need. In fact, we recommend the following approach:
- If you have a compatible base, use that first
- If you go with the Novoflex Micropod, skip the SmallRig column quick release (as you may find it unnecessary, since the legs can be removed leaving the base "pod" attached to the column)
- If you already have a ball head, Arca Swiss (or some other compatible) clamp and/or plate, skip the ones we recommend unless or until you decide you need something lighter
A basic initial setup might look something like this:
Then if all that looks good and you don't already have them:
Then, if you're convinced, finish off with:
What you'll end up with should look like this:
Background: Scramble Collaboration
GP-Net Media provide Scramble with a range of photographic and design services (camera equipment, image processing etc ..). A couple of years back Scramble (whose editor had clearly tired of his flexible foam and plastic, not-so-fantastic tripods failing in every conceivable way) asked us to come up with an all-metal tripod with the following spec:
- tough and durable enough to survive extreme outdoor use
- modular and packable (be able to be quickly assembled, stripped down and packed away)
- every part must be able to be replaced should any component fail (a genuinely green product)
- enable the camera to shoot from at least 30cm above the ground
- be able to handle steep, uneven terrain
- have a secure arca swiss compatible clamp
- have a simple yet functional, single-lock ball head that will work with high quality 1-inch sensor cameras like Sony's RX0s and RX100s and smaller bodied MFT cameras like Panasonic's GM1, GM5, GX1, GX850s and the lighter bodied Olympus Pen cameras.
- and finally, ... it mustn't weigh more than 200g !
That last one may have been wishful thinking but it focused our minds and made us conscious of every gram. What we came with up weighed 250 grams in total, however, the tripod is quickly broken down into 3 sections (main column section, leg #4 and base) and only the main section is intended to be strapped to the outside of a pack (thus directly impacting pack weight felt on the shoulder). This section weighs a little less than 150g, a few grams more than the cheap flexible tripod it was designed to replace. The other parts easily fit in a pocket or belt bag.
Scramble have been testing beta versions for the last year and a bit and we hope to make a final release available as a build-it-yourself (and/or buy just the components you need) kit in June / July 2022. As the components arrive, we'll make them available on SYSTEM.
Modular & Packable
We're somewhat agnostic about the choice of base (legs), though our preference is the extremely light and surprisingly robust and strong Novoflex Micropod. One of the benefits of the Micropod is, due to its design (the legs slot into sockets), its legs don't move on hinges which means it can lean without collapsing. One of the more unconventional aspects of the Scrambler is that it has the option of an additional leg when required (we imaginatively call this "Leg #4"). This makes for a very stable base when set horizontally and allows it to lean into an incline when on steep terrain or rocky outcrops.
We designed the Scrambler so the camera, base and additional leg can be quickly attached and separated. The Scrambler has an Arca Swiss camera quick release and a vertical quick release to separate the tripod column from the base. The Leg #4 uses a cold shoe mount and is securely mounted one-handed with a quick slide and twist.
When disassembled, the base and Leg #4 can be packed into a pocket or belt bag and take up hardly any space. This just leaves the column, ball head and Arca quick release clamp which easily attach to the outside of a pack.
The Micropod, with its legs packed away in the vertical position, turns the Scrambler into a very effective selfie stick.
You can see a full component list (with links) here.
Product Component Images
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Lasted updated: 01/06/22