Up close & personal - macro tripod review part III

Giottos MTL 3361B £110 + MH1301 ball £79

SPEC PANEL (exc ball-head)

Max Height (column down): 144cm
Max Height (column up): 165cm
Min Height: 25cm
Leg Sections: 3
Closed Length: 68cm
Weight: 2.5kg
Load capacity: 8kg

Quality 3/5
Features & Design 4/5
Value for Money 3/5
Overall 3.5/5

Giottos’ MTL 3361B is a black-painted aluminium tripod with a pivoting centre-column and 3-leg sections. Although one of the heaviest on test it has a good range of features including foam wraps on all three legs, a built-in spirit-level, reversible 1/4-in and 3/8-in head attachment, and an optional, unadjustable short-column for very heavy cameras or large lenses.

In order for the column to tilt though it has to be removed first then re-inserted back into the hinged clamp. This isn’t quite as slick as the Gitzo Explorer, and there are three locks to adjust making it slightly more fiddly in use. I also found the size of locking knobs on the small side as the centre-column needed a lot of tightening to secure.

Although an optional extra, our sample was sent with a Giottos MH1301 ball head. Boasting a separate friction control in addition to the usual locking knob the MH1301 is an extremely well made and very efficient head. Overall the MTL 3361B is a bit of a mixed bag. The aluminium castings and 3-section legs doesn’t make it quite so compact when compared to the rest and it’s one of the heaviest in the group, but it is a pretty sturdy platform capable of supporting a decent load.

Check back tomorrow for part IV and the review of the Gitzo Explorer GT2540 EX + GH2750 off-centre ball head.

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