I recently reviewed the Neewer Litetrip LT35 tripod. It was one of two that were sent to me to try. The second was the TP62. Also a carbon fiber travel tripod, this one was quite dissimilar from the first, offering a very distinct experience.
When a manufacturer releases two tripods at the same price point, it’s almost impossible to write about one without referring to the other, as potential buyers will be choosing between the two. As I mentioned in my previous review, there are some similarities. They are both carbon fiber and have five leg sections that are operated with flip lock levers. Both have a center column that can be shortened. Both come with padded bags.
However, there are many unique design features of each, and some will appeal more to some photographers, but others may prefer different features.
The most noticeable of these differences is the size. Folded away, the Neewer TP62 is about 17” long, nearly three inches shorter than the LITETRP 35. This meant that I could fit it inside my camera bag. This shortness was partly due to the low profile ball head, but the leg sections were shorter too.
That was curious because the TP62 stands taller. That's because sections 2, 3, and 4 extend to be longer than Litertrip’s equivalent legs. Even with the center columns fully extended, something I never usually do, the TP62 stands taller despite its legs standing 2.5” further apart on the ground.
However, with the short center columns fitted, the Litetrip sits 1.75 inches closer to the ground when the legs are retracted. It also has the clever trick of being able to raise its leg above horizontal, something the TP62 cannot do. When folded, the TP62 is also ¾ inch wider when measuring around the legs just below the spider.
Weight-wise, they are almost identical, with the TP62 being just 0.17 oz (5 g) heavier at 2.6 lb (1.18 kg), that’s a difference equivalent to a rounded teaspoon of sugar.
Unlike the Litetrip 35, the TP62 has sprung, metal flip-lock levers to extend the legs. At the bottom are screw-in rubber feet, and the tripod is supplied with spikes that can be used instead.
Another major difference is the low-profile ball head. It’s operated by releasing a “flip buckle” lever on the side. The ball head is permanently attached to the extendable short section of the center column. The good news is that there's a second short column with a ¼-20 UCN stud, and you can attach a different head to it if you wish.
The supplied Arca-Swiss style quick-release (QR) plate is again designed to work with Peak Design’s Capture Clip and Clutch/Micro Clutch. There was one slightly odd feature. The hex socket in this QR plate’s attachment screw was smaller than standard. However, an Allen key to fit it is supplied twice; there’s one hidden in the center column attached to the bag hook. The QR plate clips firmly into its mount and is released by pressing a switch. Cleverly, the switch, once operated, can be slid sideways to lock it in position. Remember to do this as it's easy to accidentally release it otherwise.
The ball head has a U-slot for turning the camera by 90 degrees.
The Neewer TP62 Tripod in Use
Because the tripod folds away so small, I took it with me on my recent trip to Finland, where I was shooting at temperatures at around -30° Celsius. Although I transported it there in my checked-in luggage, I could fit the tripod inside the zipped compartment of my camera bag.
Out in the field, it was sturdy and stable, and I could operate the tripod even when wearing thermal mittens over my gloves.
I deliberately left the center column at home to save weight. I also rarely shoot higher than waist level and, as I mentioned, never extend center columns.
The tripod was stable, and the only mishap I had was when I dropped the QR plate into deep snow and had to take my gloves off to feel for it.
I tried different configurations. For a worm’s eye view, although the camera didn’t get right down to ground level.
However, you can invert the long center column to get the camera down really low. This is a useful feature for macro photography.
One slight drawback of both tripods' heads was that it was necessary to fit a QR plate to the Arca-Swiss style foot of my bigger lenses. With my other tripods, I can fit the lens foot directly to the head. That was not a major issue though as I could always fit a different head to the tripod or use the QR plate.
What I Liked and What Could Be Improved
What I Liked
- Robust and high-quality build
- Lightweight carbon fiber legs
- Smooth ball head action with just the right amount of resistance
- Very short when packed away, and even shorter if the ball head is removed
- Smart-looking design
- Easy to use even in cold weather
- Good maximum height
- Good minimum height
- Strong-feeling flip locks
- Interchangeable feet
What Could Be Improved Next Time
- The QR Plate should require the same hex key as every other tripod in existence
- When the short center column is in use, the tube end is not covered. Supplying a screw-in cap, perhaps with a hook attached, would be a boon
- It would be nice if the accessories supplied with the Litetrip 35, such as the phone holder and panoramic QR plate, were in the package
- As with the other Neewer tripod, there was a fair amount of single-use plastic
- Model: TP62
- Material: Carbon fiber
- Load Capacity (Tripod): 22 lb/10 kg
- Load Capacity (Head): 10 lb/4.5 kg
- Angle Selector: 3
- Folded Size: 17"x2.6"/43x6.5 cm
- Maximum Tube Diameter: 1"/25 mm
- Height Range (Without Center Column): 7.5"-52"/19-133 cm
- Height Range (With Center Column): 16.1"-61.8"/41-157 cm
- Weight: 2.6 lb/1.18 kg
- Carry Bag
- Tripod Camera Mounting Base Adapter
- 1/4" to 3/8" Screw Adapter
- L-Shaped Hex Key
- 3x Foot Spike
- Shoulder Strap for Bag
This is completely subjective, but of the two tripods, the Neewer TP62 would be my first choice to take with me. Its versatility and small size suit the kind of shooting I do. Its lower height with the legs retracted also makes it perfect for mounting my camera when I am using that as a webcam for online training.
As I said in the previous review of the LITETRIP LT35, there are always compromises to be made when designing tripods, but this seems to have few while truly living up to the name of travel tripod.
Perhaps Neewer will come out with a hybrid of these two models. Adopting the leg profile and hinge design of the LITETRIP LT35 would be the perfect travel tripod for me.
You get what you pay for, and the Neewer TP62 retails at $299. It isn’t cheap. However, both this and the Neewer Litetrip 35 have a far better build quality that you can feel in use than you will find in budget brands. Moreover, there are a lot of other excellent known-brand professional-built tripods on the market that match these for quality but cost a lot more; I own some of those too.
So, value for money, for someone wanting to gain the benefits of a high-quality tripod and, at the same time, not spend all their hard-earned money, both of these tripods are a good option. I think these tripods may well make other manufacturers rethink their pricing structure.