It’s a compact travel tripod with the legs extending in five sections. It folds down to an impressive minimum length of 16.1 inches and weighs 3.7 lbs with a maximum load capacity of 26.5 lbs. MeFOTO claims that it will hold up to a 70-200 f/4 lens steady, but that of course depends a lot on conditions.
I was pleasantly surprised with my first impressions. It feels solid and well-made. I’ve not used MeFOTO products before, and the price point suggests cheap. But this is an excellent example of where cheap is not the same as inexpensive. It feels solid.
The locking mechanism employs twist locks with rubberized grips. They don’t feel as refined as some of the more expensive competitors like the Gitzos, but they do what they’re supposed to do. The shafts of the legs are carbon fiber, with the joints aluminum. One leg has foam padding (very handy when it’s very cold). In general, these types of locking mechanisms do pretty well at keeping dirt and dust out that might interfere with the lock, but they’re not perfect.
When folding the legs out, the legs move freely with an appropriate amount of resistance. I found the locking mechanism to be a bit unusual. Rather than a spring-loaded lock when the leg angle gets to the locking point, you have to manually push the lock in. To unlock, you pull it out again. It seems to work well enough, although I prefer the spring-loaded version used on the Gitzos. When you’re focusing on the scene you’re shooting rather than the tripod itself (or it’s just dark), it would be fairly easy to not push the lock in far enough to actually lock. The lock is also stiff enough that it’s not as easy as it could be to unlock and fold a leg with one hand. But it’s a relatively minor issue and is presumably one of the areas that explain the lower price bracket.
There are two options for choosing an angle to lock the legs at. One is a pretty standard angle of about 30 degrees or so. But the other is a much larger angle (eyeballing it, I’d say it’s around 60 degrees or so) that creates a much wider stance. If you’re shooting low to the ground, it’s an very good option for adding extra stability thanks to the broader base.
And if it’s important that you get even lower to the ground–for shooting wildflowers, for example, or just getting a low perspective for a landscape–you can buy a separate short column as an accessory that allows you replace the standard center column that brings the minimum operating height down to 13 inches off the ground. Available here
The feet screw out to extend up to an extra half inch or come out completely if you want to replace the standard rubber feet with steel spikes (included).
There’s also a center-column hook that you can use to hang weights or bags to add some stability, particularly in breezy conditions.
The kit comes with the MeFOTO Q2 ballhead, which uses an Arca-Swiss style quick release plate (a quick release plate is included). The head also has a built-in bubble level, although if you’re using the bubble level, you’ll need to align it before you slide the camera in because the camera will obscure the level when it’s on the head.
The locking mechanisms use pretty standard rotary dials. There are three dials–one for lateral rotation and two for locking the ball. It’s probably one more dial than is really necessary, but the extra dial does give you slightly more fine-tuning control.
Rubberized grips on the dials are a nice touch. The lateral rotation is smooth and locks tight. The ballhead itself is not the smoothst I’ve seen, but it works well enough and locks tight.
As a Monopod
One of the legs has foam cushioning. That leg unscrews from the main hinges. You then unscrew the weight hook from the center column, and the center column will slide out. You then screw the leg directly into the center column to create a monopod.
It’s a very handy feature, although it’s not necessarily a replacement if you rely on a compact travel monopod, simply because when used as a monopod, it’s still fairly tall with a minimum length a shade under 30 inches. That’s not going to fit in a bag easily while assembled. You also end up with the slightly odd situation of the foam grip being well below the camera, which is not the ideal place for it in use.
But it is nevertheless a clever design that creates a feature that is well worth factoring in when you’re deciding which tripod to buy.
Carbon Fiber vs Aluminum
The MeFOTO GlobeTrotter comes in two flavors: carbon fiber and aluminum. I used the carbon fiber. The difference comes down mainly to weight and price. The carbon version weights 3.7 lbs, whereas the aluminum version comes in at 4.6 lbs. But you pay a premium for losing that 0.9 of a pound: $209 for the aluminum version compared to $369 for the carbon fiber version. Carbon tripods also tend to be stiffer, with the aluminum naturally having a bit more flex in it.
It comes with a very good sling-style case that is sturdy enough that I would feel comfortable checking it in as checked luggage on a flight if I really had to (though, having had tripods damaged in checked luggage before, I try not to do it unless there’s no choice). The case fits snuggly and is convenient for carrying around. There are no external pockets, and you can’t really fit anything substantial in there in addition to the tripod (like a lightweight pano head, for example). While it’s not as nicely made as something like the Really Right Stuff tripod bags, it’s hard to quibble with it when it’s already included.
This is the first tripods I’ve seen that comes with a large variety of color trims: blue, red, green, titanium, and black. The colors apply to the hinges, the head, and aluminum rings of the locking mechanisms. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but I can also see some practical uses for distinguishing your tripod from others quickly if you’re traveling with a group of photographers or if you have multiple tripods set up differently.
Color me impressed. There are some finer points that are less refined than on some of the more established (and more expensive) tripods like the Gitzo travel tripod series. But the MeFOTO GlobeTrotter performs well and has some really nice touches such as the included travel case and ability to convert to a monopod.
But the killer feature is its price point, which at about 1/3 of some of its direct competitors. That’s hard to argue with and makes it hard to find fault with this tripod. Only time will tell whether its leg extension locks last as long without loosening or a cheaper quality carbon fiber weakens more quickly. But the reality is that you can still buy another two replacements and still come out at about the same price as some of its more refined competitors.
Model Number: MeFOTO C2350Q2T
Max Height Monopod: 66.9 inches (170 cm)
Max Height Tripod: 64.2 inches (163 cm)
Min length folded: 16.1 inches (41 cm)
Weight: 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg)
Max Load: 26.5 lbs (12 kg)
Warranty: 5 years (3 years when you buy + 2 years when you register)
Travel Case Included?: Yes
Options: Aluminum & Carbon / color trims
Made in China
|Gitzo Traveler Kit (Series 2)||Gitzo GT1542T||MeFOTO Globetrotter||Manfrotto BeFree||Induro Grand Turismo CGT114||Sirui T-2205X||Benro GoTravel 2||Benro C1682TV1 Travel Angel II||3 Legged Thing Leo||3 Legged Thing Brian||3 Legged Thing Rick||3 Legged Thing Roger||Oben CT-3581||Sirui T-1024XL||Varavon Baby T3||Kirk Mini||MeFOTO Globetrotter Air|
|Model No.||GK2580TQD||GT1542T||C2350Q2T||MKBFRC4-BH||CGT114||T-2205X||GC269TB2||C1682TV1||3LLEOKIT||E3BRIAN||3PKRICK||E3ROGERBL||CT-3581||SUT1204XL||BABY T3||TT-1||GTAIRBLK|
|Made of||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Alloy||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Aluminum||Aluminum/Stainless Steel||Aluminum Alloy|
|Leg Sections||4||4||5||4||4||5||5||4 (also version with 5)||5||5||5||5||5||4||3||1||5|
|Folded length||16.9 in|
|14.6 in |
|Max height||60.6 in|
|Max load||15.4 lb|
|Available w/Head?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (not removable)||No||Yes (not removable)|
Where to Buy
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: