I’ve worked with a quite a few products from the folks over at K&F Concept in the last couple of years. Quality has ranged from great to average to the not so spectacular. When I was asked to have a look at their TC-2335 carbon fiber travel tripod, my expectations were at most cautiously optimistic. That being said, I’m happy to report that this little carbon fiber tripod from K&F Concept offers a lot in terms of performance. So, lets talk about K&F Concept TC-2335 carbon fiber tripod; what I liked, what I didn’t like and what you need to know if you happen to be in the market for a lightweight travel tripod.
When the box first arrived my immediate reaction was “this is tiny…really tiny.” Not only that, but the entire package was alarmingly lightweight. After opening up the box I realized the logical reason for this: the TC-2335 is really tiny and incredibly lightweight. In fact, it is the most feather-like, compact tripod I have ever evaluated. The tripod itself is housed in its own padded carrying bag.
After removing the TC-2335 from its carrier, I was met with a surprisingly attractive carbon fiber tripod.
In terms of aesthetics, the TC-2335 proves to be one of the better-looking tripods I’ve entertained from K&F Concept. The carbon fiber is well done and is a default matte gray. This particular model comes with a matching orange color scheme, which looks great, But it is also available in an unlikely “thunder” version which features blue lighting graphics on the leg’s of the tripod…yes, really.
All leg locks are the twist type and are rubberized. I was honestly surprised with just how cleanly the leg locks are executed and would compare them to some higher-end tripod models I have handled.
Overall, the appearance of this tripod looks fantastic. But how would it perform in the field? Let’s find out.
Before we get rolling with how the TC-2335 performs, let’s have a look at a few specifications that you will want to know.
Practical technical specifications
- Folded Height: 13.6 inches (34.54cm)
- Maximum Height: 53.1 inches (134.9cm)
- Minimum Height: 12.9 inches (32.8cm)
- Weight: 1.85lbs (839g)
- Maximum Weight Supported: 26.5lbs (12kg)
For such an admittedly small form factor, the TC-2335 is very stable. The terminating leg sections are quite small in diameter and this would lead one to assume that the legs are flimsy. But this is not the case. When locked down, this little tripod is reasonably stable even in high wind and awkward positions.
Speaking of the legs, I’ve mentioned already how impressed I was with the leg lock mechanisms, but there’s more. I was concerned, given the slender legs, that the overall stability would be compromised. However, the leg locks do an excellent job of arresting almost all leg movement.
The leg angle locks are something that I dislike about this tripod. They are not spring loaded; meaning that after you pull out on the locks, you must manually press them back into place to lock the legs. Again, I’m sure this is a weight saving measure, but the added convenience would have been worth the small amount of bulk, in my opinion.
The ball head
I used this tripod with three separate camera’s, ranging from lightweight crop-sensor mirrorless to full-frame DSLR. The ball head had no problems supporting the weight placed on it throughout my tests. K&F states that the tripod is capable of supporting virtually fourteen times its weight. While that may be extreme, I do not doubt that the ball head mechanism could support a camera system upwards of five to six pounds should the circumstances present themselves.
The ball head itself sports only a single adjustment knob which controls both panning and the ball head articulation. I’m sure this is a weight saving measure but can lead to complications when adjusting your camera at times. While panning is silky smooth, the ball head seems to be somewhat rough and quite audible when moved. A small amount of lubrication may help in this area. I feel I should also note that the ball head features not only a bubble level – which is quite useful – but also a magnetic compass.
In terms of packability, the TC-2335 from K&F Concept is superb. It’s extremely lightweight and doesn’t take up much room anywhere. It would be ideal for those who do a lot of flying or for anytime space comes at a premium. It looks great and is more than capable of supporting most camera systems that you’ll likely want to be carrying around. The twist locks on the legs also secure with extreme solidity. Overall, for a tripod of this size, the entire platform is oddly stable.
What’s not so great
I can’t get past the angle locks for the legs not being spring loaded, and this is the major gripe I have with this tripod. Granted, this is the first tripod I recall using which doesn’t have this feature. At the same time, I’m sure this would be something that could be a personal preference. Also, the quite serviceable ball head is not exactly smooth in operation, and I would have liked to have seen a secondary knob for panning.
For a tripod which is intended to be a travel companion for the highly mobile photographer, the K&F Concept TC-2335 is a wonderful low-cost option if you are in the market for a compact carbon fiber tripod. It’s good looks and solid stance will be completely adequate for most shooters who understand it’s uses and limitations.
Don’t look for a workhorse tripod here. Rather, I would suggest you view the TC-2335 as a wholly capable shooting platform that will come in handy when weight, size, and portability take precedence over the subtle functionalities found in larger, more dedicated camera support systems.