Quick Review: Cartoni Focus 8 tripod

By Isaac Spedding

As I had travelled to Las Vegas from New Zealand for one of the world’s largest film and video conferences, the NAB Show, I hoped that it would be relatively easy to borrow a tripod for a shoot I was doing on the Vegas Strip.

The shoot was two one-hour static videos in the same location — one at night and one in the day. The footage would be played on a loop inside two large doors in a glade as part of the Christchurch Botanic D’Lights exhibit in New Zealand. I was one of several artists who would be exhibiting works in the botanic gardens based on the theme “Lost Vegas.”

Fortunately, postPerspective’s Randi Altman knew of a team who could help. I was given the Cartoni Focus 8 for 24 hours. The Focus 8 kept core Cartoni values of usability and reliability. I was instantly impressed by two features: one was the easy clip for the leg extension, which audibly snapped open and closed, and the other was the robust base plate that came with the system. There is no way you are going to lose that screw in there. What’s great is that the Focus 8 head also accommodates some Manfrotto and Sachtler base plates too!

I had to walk quite a bit of the Vegas Strip to capture what I needed, and the tripod was easy to carry and set up. The Sony A6000 I was shooting with was too light to really test the Focus 8 under weight, but the core functionality was retained even with a super light camera, allowing me to easily balance and lock the camera in place.

I had nothing pinch me, nothing “kind of work” and nothing that annoyed me about this tripod. Once our current line of tripods reach the end of their life I think the Cartoni range will be on my wish list. Although plastic, and at the lower end for Cartoni platforms, the Focus 8 cuts no corners and is a great solution for anyone looking for a sub $1,000 ($845.75 to be exact) set-up.

A special thanks to The Studio-B&H and Manios Digital for making my shoot happen.

Isaac Spedding is a New Zealand-based creative technical director, camera operator and editor. You can follow him on Twitter @Isaacspedding.


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