In my ongoing search for the best travel tripods, I’m often intrigued by tabletop tripods. That’s not strictly a class of tripods, but they share something in common: they’re short. They’re designed for either shooting low to the ground or for putting it on top of something else.
Beyond that, there are huge differences. Tripods that might fall in that category run the gamut from small and flimsy and fitting in your pocket to super-solid shooting platforms for heavy rigs.
This one is firmly at the strong and stable end of the range.
Its full name is the Really Right Stuff TVC-32G Versa Series 3 Ground Carbon Fiber Tripod. It’s a very short tripod that sits very low to the ground. With a maximum height of under 14 inches, it’s basically shin height. So it’s good either for low-perspective shooting or for standing it on top of something else (like a table top). I recently borrowed one from B&H to take a hands-on look at it.
Its carbon fiber legs are in two sections. By default, it’s sold as legs-only, without a head.
As usual with Really Right Stuff gear, it’s beautifully crafted with a lot of attention to detail, and every piece of it is made in the United States. RRS gear unapologetically aims at the premium end of the market, and that’s often reflected in the price. With an MSRP of $475 for the standard version (more if you choose added options), it’s certainly not cheap, but it’s in the same ballpark as its nearest competitor.
The legs are in two sections. The bottom sections extend, but they don’t extend very far. Even fully extended, the height maxes out at under 14 inches.
The extensions lock in place with solid twist locks. The angle of each leg can be set independently, with spring-loaded ratchet locks at the top.
On top is a bubble level.
The base that a head fits on is unusually broad and takes large tripod heads comfortably.
There isn’t one.
Under the base is a small hook that can be used to hang ballast for added stability or if you need to batten down the hatches.
It comes with rubber feet. They’re removable, so you can replace them steel spikes (available separately) or other feet or mounting points if you like.
As a Travel Tripod
The TVC-32G isn’t strictly a travel tripod in the usual sense, but it can certainly be used as one. And at first glance, it certainly looks very promising with respect to saving space in your carry-on. When I first saw it, I was excited at the prospect of it taking up only a tiny space in my bag.
But when you look at it in person you find that what it reduces in length it adds in girth. When I first went to pack it, I found that I had to rearrange the configuration of my case’s dividers to make it fit.
That’s because of the very broad shoulders at the top. It ends up being a different shape in your bag to a regular travel tripod, but it doesn’t necessarily end up saving any space overall. It’s still small, mind you–just not as compact as I originally imagined.
Here’s an example of what I mean, with it side-by-side with the RRS TFC-14 travel tripod:
But, of course, you’re ending up with a much stronger platform than most travel tripods, so there is that. If you do take it with you traveling, it can easily handle large telephoto lenses or medium-format cameras and is also a very good platform for the heavier rigs involved in shooting video. Because of its low stature, it’s also an attractive option for macro photography either in the field or studio.
The closest competitor that comes to mind is the Induro Baby Grand. They’re similar sizes and weights, although the Induro has a rated load capacity of three times the RRS (165 pounds vs. 50 pounds).
Another similar option is the Varavon Baby T3 mini tripod, although the RRS, in turn, has a much higher load capacity than the Varavon (50 pounds vs. 17.6 pounds).
What’s in the Box?
There’s the tripod and . . . well, that’s about it, at least in the standard package. You can also order it with various options, such as with or without a leveling base, as well as different handles and platform types.
But there’s no case or attachments included such a steel spikes, so you’ll need to pick those up separately if you want them.
Because it uses a standard 3/8-16 stud, it will work with just about any tripod head. If you want to pair it with one from RRS, their venerable BH-55 ballhead would be a good choice.
Load Capacity: 50 pounds / 23 kg
Maximum Height: 13.7 inches / 34.9 cm
Minimum Height: 2.9 inches / 7.3 cm
Folded Length: 10.1 inches / 25.6 cm
Weight: 2.5 pounds / 1.1 kg
Buy it At
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: