I’ve reviewed a few other tripods from 3 Legged Thing before. They’re a small British company specializing in travel tripods, and in a relatively short period they’ve managed to build a devoted following. And they give all of their tripods boys’ names. This one is called Albert.
It’s a carbon fiber travel tripod that folds down to a compact travel shape with legs that fold back on themselves. Unfolded, it’s one of the taller travel tripods on the market, stretching up to a maximum height of nearly 69 inches (175cm).
Like most of the other higher-end travel tripods on the market today, the legs fold back on the center column. In combination with the telescoping legs, it makes for a very compact package for travel. Although being a larger tripod overall than some of the others, even fully collapsed it’s still a bit bigger than some others.
When folded out, the legs can lock in one of three shooting stances, with the legs at: 23°, 55°, and 80°. A manual ratchet lock on the top of each leg locks the position in place. As usual with this kind of tripod, each leg can be angled independently or extended to its own length.
Those bulges that look a bit like furry leg warmers are the twist lock grips. The black part is rubberized for grip. I’ve found the mechanism to be smooth and the lock to be tight.
The traditional tripod stance has the legs at a 23° angle. That gives you the maximum potential height and highest load capacity, but the narrower footprint also means that the center of gravity is more critical—especially when the center column is fully extended.
You can broaden it to a mid-level 55° angle. And for low-level shooting you can remove the long center column and splay the legs wide at 80°. That way, you’ll get a lot of stability and a low vantage point just a few inches off the ground. The maximum load capacity reduces the wider the legs are spread.
Feet. The feet are removable and can swapped out for steel spikes or whatever other kind of feet or platform you want to attach.
The Albert is available in different configurations. You can get just the legs and use them with another head of your choosing. Or you can get the legs bundled with one of the two ballheads 3 Legged Thing makes.
The one I’ve been using on these legs is the AirHed 360, the larger of the 3 Legged Thing ballheads (you can see the other one on my review of the Leo).
It’s bulkier than the Airhed light, and heavier. It’s also unusually strong, rated for a direct vertical load of up to 440 pounds (200 kg), down to a still-impressive 35 pounds (16 kg) at the 90° angle for portrait shots.
There are two knobs on the body itself. One controls the 360° panning base. The larger one locks the clamp on the ball.
By default, it comes with a hybrid Peak Design / Arca-style quick release head, and a QR plate is included in the box. The pano clamp is also a bit unusual in that it has a separate 360° panning rotation that operates independently of the one at the base of the head.
The center column is one of the distinctive aspects to this tripod. Most travel tripods come with a single-section center column. With some you can remove it and swap it for one of a different length. But several of the 3 Legged Things tripods do things a bit differently by having longer-than-usual center columns. The Leo, has a 2-section center column. The Albert goes one better, with a giraffe-like 3-section center column.
When fully extended in the upright shooting stance, it reaches a maximum height of just shy of 69 inches (175 cm). For a larger, more traditional tripod, that mightn’t sound like much, but it puts it among the taller compact travel tripods.
Monopod. You can also create a monopod by unscrewing one of the legs (the one with the orange ring at the top), removing the central column, and screwing the leg into the column. You can use it with or without the ballhead.
What’s in the Box?
It comes with a retro-styled canvas bag with shoulder strap. If you get the bundle with one of the heads by 3 Legged Thing, it also includes a QR plate.
– Legs at 23°: 66.1 lb (30 kg)
– Legs at 55°: 44.1 lb (20 kg)
– Legs at 80°: 22 lb (10 kg)
Maximum Height: 68.6″ (174.2 cm)
Minimum Height: 9.3″ (23.6 cm)
Folded Length: 16.3″ (41.5 cm)
Weight: 4.9 lb (2.25 kg)
This is one of the larger compact travel tripods. It folds down to a relatively compact bundle. But it’s also one of the heavier tripods in this class, especially compared with other carbon fiber travel tripods. (The precise weight depends on which head you put on it. With the AirHed 360, the combination comes to 4.9 lbs (2.25 kg).)
The downside of the extra reach is the extra leverage that it adds. There is a definite flex down the length of the column and legs. When combined with the leverage, it undermines the tripod’s stability. With the center column extended it’s not as stable as I’d like for long-exposure shooting or timelapse, especially with the weight of a DSLR, despite the high load capacity it’s rated for.
Another thing I found is that there are a lot of twist locks. One downside of most twist locks is that the best way to check if it’s locked is to try it. As compared to, say, a lever lock, where it’s much easier to tell visually. The Albert isn’t unique in that respect, of course–it applies to pretty much all twist lock tripods. But because of the 3-section center column, the Albert has even more twist locks than most other tripods–4 on each leg and another 3 on the central column. So you have to be constantly vigilant that they’re all actually locked. It wasn’t something I would have thought of without using it.
Overall, then, it’s well-built and strong. But the very thing that makes it different–the extra height–is, in my humble opinion, its weakest feature. The Albert has a high load capacity rating, but there’s also quite a bit of flex and wobble when it’s fully extended. I can see using it occasionally to shoot over something, but when fully extended it’s not rock solid enough for me to count on it staying perfectly still for long exposures or timelapse shooting with a DSLR or even larger mirrorless setup. Smaller cameras would fare better, at least in still conditions. And if I’m not going to use the extra height, there are smaller, better options available–even 3 Legged Things’ own Leo . It just seems like they might have pushed physics a bit too far with this one.
3 Legged Thing Albert vs Leo
I’ve also been using the 3 Legged Thing Leo tripod lately (you can find my review of the Leo here). It’s very similar in terms of how it’s put together and its features, but it’s smaller and much shorter. Here they are side-by-side.
Where to Find Them
Ricoh GR III Accessories & Replacement Parts
Here are the model numbers of some of the core accessories and replacement parts for the Ricoh GR III.
- Ring Cap: GN-1
The ring cap is the small plastic ring that attaches around the lens. Chances are, it's fallen off. While you do have to remove it to attach the lens adapter, it's a poor design that tends to fall off and get lost far too often. I've lost a couple of them now.
The camera will work just fine without it. But that will leave some contacts exposed around the lens barrel, which isn't ideal.
The official replacement part is overpriced. But you can also pick up much less expensive aftermarket versions. They're also available in different colors, so you can bling up your camera with a personal touch--or make it look like the Street Edition.
- 【Compatibility】: Designed for Ricoh GRIII (only).This decoration ring is made of high quality...
- 【Easy to use & Protector】:Easy installation and removal and Protects lens barrel exterior.
The GR III has a USB Type-C connector port. When you get a cable, you can get them with another USB Type-C connector on the other end or a more traditional USB Type-A connector. Which you choose depends entirely on what you're plugging into. For example, some newer laptops only have USB-C, while most other computers have USB-A.
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Enhanced Durability: Improved construction techniques and materials make a cable that lasts 12× longer.
Battery & Charger
- Battery: DB-110
It's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rated at 3.6V 1350mAh 4.9Wh.
There are some other cameras that also use the same battery--notably, some Olympus cameras (the Olympus model number for the same battery is LI-90B). So they're quite widely available. You can get the official Ricoh version. There are also aftermarket versions that can be much better value but work just as well.
- This Wasabi Power kit includes 2 batteries and 1 charger for the Ricoh DB-110
- Each Wasabi Power battery features Premium Grade A cells, 3.7V, 1300mAh
- Charger: BJ-11
You can charge the battery in the camera (using a USB-C cable). There are also external battery chargers available. They're especially useful if you're using spare batteries, so you can charge and shoot simultaneously.
- AC Adapter: K-AC166
This is used to power the camera for longer shoots, such as time-lapse, or if you happen to be using the camera for live streaming as a webcam. It connects via the camera's USB-C port.
Wide-Angle Conversion Lens
- Wide-Angle Lens: GW-4
- Lens Adapter: GA-1
- Wired Shutter Release: CA-3
- Easy to operate, Half-press to focus, Full-press to shoot
- Fits macro photography well, eliminates camera shake
- Standard External Viewfinder: GV-1
- Mini External Viewfinder: GB-2
- ✪LCD Screen Protector perfectly fit for Ricoh GR 3 DSLR Camera . Not for other model. Easy to install...
- ✪9H Hardness - Longer tempering time, which made the screen protector has a higher hardness. Prevents...
- Soft Case: GC-9
- Neck Strap: GS-3
- Hand Strap: GS-2
Ricoh has produced a wide-angle conversion lens that takes the standard 28mm view down to a 21mm (in 35mm equivalent). While it does add some extra bulk to an otherwise small camera, it works well and adds a more dramatic, wider view. I have an [in-depth review of it separately](https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/ricoh-gw-4-wide-angle-conversion-lens/).
Something to be aware of, though, is that you will also need to pick up the lens adapter separately. For reasons I really don't understand, the wide-angle conversion lens doesn't come with the adapter, and both are required to make it work. So make sure you pick up one of those at the same time.
Remote Shutter Releases
This is the official Ricoh remote shutter. It connects to the camera via a USB cable, and it's a simple shutter release (i.e., there's no timer or intervalometer).
You can also find aftermarket shutter releases for the GR III.
The Ricoh GR III doesn't have a built-in viewfinder. But they make two versions of an external viewfinder that slides into the camera's hot shoe. It covers both the standard 28mm view as well as the 21mm view if you're using the wide-angle conversion lens. There's also a mini viewfinder; that model seems to be hard to find.
The back screen of the GR III is quite exposed, and if you lie the camera on its back, the screen comes in contact with the surface. Even if you're putting the camera in your pocket, there's a risk of keys or coins scratching the screen.
There's no official screen protector, but there are good aftermarket versions. The one I use is this one. It's essentially a consumable that protects the screen. If you scratch the protector, you can quickly and easily replace it with another from the pack.
You can, of course, use the GR III with just about any camera case or bag. But Ricoh does make a dedicated soft-case that fits snugly around the camera and offers some protection even if you're toting the camera around in your pocket. I've been using one for a couple of years, and it's held up very well, and it keeps my camera safer from bumps and scratches.
Again, there's no particular reason you have to use the official GR neck strap, but there is one. The main part is leather, and it even has a discreet, embossed "GR".
If you do use a different strap, be aware that the strap loops on the camera are very small and won't take thicker (i.e., stronger) attachment loops. So you might need to use some D-rings as well.
There's even an official "GR" leather hand strap! But, again, aside from the branding, there's no special reason to use the official strap. If you do use a different one, you might need D-rings if the thread doesn't go through the camera's small attachment loops.
The GR III doesn't have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.Pentax External Flashes: