So recently I participated in a wonderful evening photo effort in central London and conducted some night photography with my Hasselblad 501CM and some Tri-X 400 pushed to EI 1600.
The results were wonderful, but they suffered slightly by my use of embankment ledges and lens caps and boxes of film to get the angle and stability for a 5 or 6 second exposure. I needed a suitable tripod of course.
I do have a tripod. A wonderful Manfrotto tripod with ball head. Its amazing, but it is heavy and big, and not ideal for someone who, like me, often commutes to London and does some photography while I am there. So I started a search for a mobile, small, tripod, but it obviously had to be good enough to support a medium format Hasselblad 501CM with a Carl Zeiss lens on it (the 80mm, typically)! And also be light, and fit in my blad bag as well.
After some Googling, I found reference to the Manfrotto PIXI EVO 2-Section Mini Tripod:
Obviously I favour Manfrotto but I still wanted to make sure it would not be a waste of dosh. So I checked the weight of the 501cm with 80mm lens and an a12 back. its about 5.5lbs. the specified max safe weight for this tripod is reported to be 2.5kg, which is about 5lbs. So I figured I was borderline here, so I did some YouTube searching too and found a useful video titled ‘Testing the Manfrotto PIXI 2-Section tripod‘ that shows a guy loading one of these tripods with about 8lbs of camera kit, and whilst it was clearly struggling a bit, it managed it. So I concluded it would be fine for my Hasselblad.
On arrival, I was not disappointed at all. It is almost exactly the same length as my blad so will fit in my bag easily. It is light and seems very sturdy. Its panel is the perfect size for either a vertical or horizontal alignment to the base of the blad (i suggest vertical, along the length of the body as pictured below, as it is front heavy when loaded with a lens). The best bit is that with a flick of the switch on the round body the legs fully expand to allow a really low centre of gravity. The Hasselblad seems rock solid – certainly fine for anything except perhaps photography in a hurricane.