Travel tripods are not just for travel photography. They pack lighter and more compact so that traveling with them can be less of a hassle, but just like any tripod, they can be used in a variety of shooting scenarios. This one from Fotopro is an option for shoots with higher demand.
Travel tripods are emerging in the market left and right, with so many options for photographers on the go. However, most of them are made with just portability and weight in mind. While this is applicable for the majority of photographers who travel with camera gear, it is also important to consider that there are also photographers who travel with the intention of shooting with heavier camera setups and require sturdier camera support. This new tripod from Fotopro aims to cater to that need.
This new travel tripod from Fotopro comes in the usual travel tripod format where the legs fold up to reduce the minimum folded/packing length. When in this configuration, it has a length of just 47.5cm (18.7in), which was made to fit standard cabin-approved sized carry-on luggage, making it possible to bring around even with limited travel capacity. When set to the minimum working/standing height, it maintains the 47.5cm (18.7in) size as the height shortens as the legs spread.
The X-go Max E 2 is a 4-section carbon fiber tripod with aluminum twist locks. Each of the 3K carbon fiber rods appears thicker than most other travel tripods, which is probably why it can carry a bit more load and can withstand rougher environments. When all 4 sections are fully extended, it has a standing height of 152 cm, and with the center column fully extended, it reaches the maximum height of 170 cm (67.12 in), including the ball head. The mentioned center column can be removed to invert the head; however, it cannot be reduced in length, which puts a limit on how low the working angle can be.
This 1.5-kilogram tripod can carry up to 12 kilograms of camera gear and can accommodate larger setups such as long telephoto lenses on full-frame cameras, given that weight distribution is balanced. Without the ball head, the tripod assembly can carry up to 20 kilograms in total since the ball friction is removed from the equation.
One of the three legs of this tripod, which can be identified with a rubber grip on the most proximal section, can be removed by rotation and connected to the base of the center column to form a full-sized monopod. This assembly connects to the ball head but can also be used with other types of tripod heads that the user prefers. When fully extended, this monopod has a maximum height of 177 cm with the ball head attached.
At the very end of each leg are standard rubber feet for friction on whatever surface the tripod is being used on. However, these feet can be removed by a simple tug to reveal the built-in metal spike that can be used to pitch the tripod onto less stable terrain without having to remove and replace the feet.
On the central joint that connects the three legs are two additional 1/4”-20 threads for additional accessories. These ports can be used with friction arms or any other accessories with a standard tripod screw. This gives the user the ability to use added accessories such as field monitors, smartphone mounts, bag hooks, or even screw-on sandbags for added stability.
The Fotopro X-go Max E 2 comes with a ball head that follows the standard form with control knobs. The largest knob controls the lock and friction of the ball joint, while the small knob below it controls a level-controlled pan action that involves the entire head. On the top part is another knob that controls the Arca-Swiss format quick-release clamp that mounts the camera plate or other Arca-Swiss compatible brackets or cages. On the opposite end of that knob is a lever that unlocks the QR platform, allowing for a secondary panning option independent of the tripod legs’ level. This is accompanied by an adjacent bubble level indicator, which makes it easier to maintain neutral level without having to adjust the legs individually on sloped ground.
Application and User Experience
The Fotopro X-go Max E 2 adds to the multitude of camera support options available in the market and offers an option for photographers who travel with relatively bigger gear and/or bigger shooting requirements. While the tripod can be carried around taking less space in your luggage and is relatively lightweight, it does have an edge when it comes to using heavier gear on location.
Unlike many other travel tripods emerging in the market, this does not focus on making it extremely light and thin but instead offers a good middle ground between being relatively easy to bring around while still being reliable in less-than-pleasant shooting scenarios. As a landscape photographer, I appreciate how this tripod can offer better stability in windy situations and even when partially submerged in flowing water. With that also comes the extra height for when higher shooting angles are required because it is important to note that travel tripods are not exclusively used just for travel or landscape photography but can essentially be used in any scenario. It just so happens that travel tripods are made to be more convenient to travel with. I, for one, travel for architecture and interior shoots in overseas locations, and this tripod (possibly with a replacement geared precision head) can be a valid option for when I need more height options.
The added features such as the ability to use as a monopod, the extra accessory ports on the central joint, and the secondary pan action on the ball head add to the convenience of using this tripod. As a tripod on its own, it does the job that it is supposed to do with the added convenience of being relatively portable and compatible with other uses. For a photographer's first or only tripod, this general-use travel tripod is definitely a viable option. However, when looking at numerous similar options, the X-go Max E 2 does not quite stand out. It joins the ranks of many reliable travel tripods out in the market, but I believe that more features could have been added (maybe a center column that can either reduce in length or shift horizontally) for it to stand out.
What I Liked
- Relatively portable and light
- Slightly heavier payload and added height
- Two pan options on the Arca-Swiss type head
What Be Improved
- More convenience features could be added to stand out
You can purchase the Fotopro X-go Max E 2 tripod here.