QZSD Q668SC Tripod / Monopod Complete System

This tripod is another item I’ve asked over and over for GearBest to send me.  They agreed and boy have they sent a nice one.  I don’t have a ton of experience with tripods, but I’ve used this one and formed some impressions! Read on!


Official Specs and Features

Sorry, I can’t find an official page for QZSD.  In fact GearBest is listed as their official store.

Versions

There are quite a few versions of this tripod, all with slightly different model numbers.  There’s the 666, the 999, 999B, etc.  All differ just a little.  For example, the 968C looks to be the tallest option, at 1.75M.

Price

The model I’m reviewing here (and the one you should buy! Unless you need taller), is $128.54, and looks to be under a flash sale at the moment.  Here’s a [referral!] link to the item.


Short Review

I absolutely love this thing.  If I had one wish, it’s that it was a little taller, but the size and compactness when closed, and the included features make this well worth the purchase price!

Long Review

What’s Included

  • QZSD Tripod with head
  • Carrying bag with shoulder strap
  • Manual (Chinese/ English)
  • Hex wrench
  • Spike feet
  • Protective bag for ball head

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And there’s another little attachment (bottom center) that to be honest, I’m not really sure what it is for.  It looks like it’d be for storing the manual and spike feet and tools, but… it doesn’t hold those things.

Package and Manual

The Q668SC (which is probably what I’ll call this tripod, since typing QZSD, as a left-shift-only-typist, is extremely hard), is a very nice corrugated box.  It’s perfectly fit for this tripod, with absolutely no slop.  (And slop is what causes bad things during shipping!).  There’s an illustration of the tripod and some verbiage, and the end of the box has a GearBest inventory sticker, and the model number sticker for the tripod.  It’s a nice little package!

The manual lacks a certain something, for me.  It’s a single sheet of glossy A4 paper, printed front and back with every tripod or camera support QZSD makes.  And while, yes, that’s fine and yes, that probably saves the company a bunch of money, it cheapens the experience.  And also this doesn’t answer all the questions I have.  Like what’s this little keychain bag for….

Build Quality and Disassembly

I don’t believe I could be happier with this tripod.  I’m a carbon fiber junkie, and this tripod is made of carbon fiber.  And it’s real carbon fiber, not a carbon-fiber-over-aluminum, or even a “carbon fiber” sticker.  Real. Carbon. Fiber.  I like this too because I’m an environmentalist and like the carbon sequestration of carbon fiber (that’s a joke right there.)

Here’s the whole tripod, though this photo isn’t all that telling.  Tripods: Great for taking photos with.  Horrible for taking photos of.

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The overall build quality is great, really.  This is a sturdy tripod, but also very light.  It compacts down to a very manageable size, and as the name implies is great for “tourism.”

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The legs are maneuvered by little thumb locks.  And since this is a travel tripod, these legs fold all the way over the top.  Just push this little thumb lever, and lift the leg.  It’s also possible to adjust the legs to various angles, to which they’ll lock in.  But past a certain point, they’re dedicated to the “stored” position.

A nice touch on this tripod is the center weight hook, on the bottom of the vertical piece.  This hook is spring loaded, so if it’s not being used it doesn’t hang down.  When in use, though, it can provide a nice weight to keep the tripod firmly planted.

Size

Here are the official specs:

Max. height: 1.46m
Min. height: 0.36m
Folded height: 0.36m
Max. loaded weight: 6kg
Leg column quantity: 4 sections
Max. pipe diameter: 22mm

Retention

Included is a bag that fits the tripod perfectly.  It’s great for carrying the light, but strangely the interior of the bag is lined with this very crinkly material.  I’m not even sure what it is but boy is it loud.

There’s also a strap around the neck on the tripod itself, which seems to be a hand/wrist strap.  Likely good for putting your hand through while actually taking photos, so you maintain a physical connection to your devices.

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And a final mechanism, tenuously in this category are these soft pads on two of the legs.  Note that these two legs are not the monopod leg.  The monopod leg is completely bare carbon fiber.

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Head

I haven’t use enough tripods to judge this comparatively, but I can say that this has been good for my uses.  I shoot with a Canon 6D and 24-105 lens, which is a reasonably heavy setup.  This tripod (and head, specifically) had no issue whatsoever with this camera.  And the lens is a bit cantilevered, but there were never any issues with that, either.

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There are four rubber pads which help hold a device in place once screwed down with the 1/4″ threaded mount.  The screw seen here is partially captured.  It’s adjustable over about 1/2″, and one end is threaded so that the screw can be removed fully.

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The head has two bubble levels, in different orientations.  The head is on a ball as well, so it can be easily rotated completely around, and there’s also a slot which allows the device to be turned sideways.  The head can unscrew fully from the tripod, too, which is useful for the monopod.  The monopod screws into the tripod leg with the same threads as the head screws to the tripod.  So if being used as a tripod, the head can attach easily to the monopod.

The plate that attaches to the device is my single complaint with the tripod.  It’s not bad, it just… doesn’t seem perfect.  As can be seen above, the threads for camera mount are really just a captured screw.  The screw has Phillips threading, and also a little d-ring for easier tightening.  The issue is that when sliding the plate into place, the d-ring doesn’t do what you want it to, and so the plate doesn’t slide in smoothly.  And also if the device isn’t tight enough on the screw, then the screw can slip into the threaded area of the plate, making it want to be even less secure.

That said, this is an absolutely standard plate mount, and if you have others, or wish to buy more, they’ll work.  It’s also quick release – the thumbscrew at right in the photo below can be opened enough that the plate will lift UP and out, not just sliding in and out.

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The ball joint is secured with this large dial seen below.  It’s been very secure for me, and doesn’t seem to show any signs of wear, or slop.

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There’s one more dial on the head.  This one’s for twisting the whole head around the tripod.  It’s a nice thing to be able to do, since the rest of the setup can be maintained, and the head may be rotated on the horizontal.  It’s also graduated by degrees, so it’s easy to rotate the head very specific turns.

Leg(s)

As stated above, the legs are carbon fiber.  It’s a matte finish carbon fiber, not shiny coated.  It’s quite nice, to be sure. Each leg has four segments.  Two legs have padding, and the other one is removable for use as a monopod.

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The legs are very adjustable, with each being individually adjustable.  They’ll go quite wide, as can be seen below.  It’s possible to set the system up so that the camera is under the legs, for those very very low shots.

The leg with the copper color collar may be unscrewed from the rest of the unit, and the head screwed on to it for use as a monopod.  This monopod retains it’s adjustability, too.

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Feet

The feet that come installed on the tripod are screw-in rubber feet.  These are quite nice – the rubber is very thick and resilient.  Also included are metal spike feet, which screw in exactly the same way.

Conclusion

What I like

  • Carbon fiber!
  • Full package with a bunch of included accessories
  • Very sturdy
  • Holds my full frame camera and fairly big lens
  • Has hook for weight

What I don’t like

  • Plate for camera mount is a little sloppy
  • Would prefer longer leg sections (to be fair there’s a different model for this)

Up Next

I have a JETBeam and possibly a Nitecore for later this week!

Notes

  • This light was provided by GearBest for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at zeroair.org.  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for those coupons.  Note I’ve upgraded that sheet so that now, you may subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

Author: zeroair

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