Product Type: Hama tripods
Newest Review: ... Jessops' basic model is probably a better option (although that does have a few flaws of its own). I would only recommend the Hama Star 42... more
The Tripod for a Balanced Perspective?
Hama Star 42
Member Name: johnpeter50
Hama Star 42
Advantages: Cheap; Lightweight; Portable; Sturdy enough for most consumer jobs.
Disadvantages: Construction quality is average; Nothing in the way of 'extra' features.
If you've ever found yourself looking through the family photo album cursing the wonky landscapes and tilted portraits, it's about time you invested in a tripod for your camera.
The Hama Star 42 is a consumer model tripod suitable for everyday shooting events. Although aimed solely at the home market, the tripod comes complete with quick release system and 3-way positioning head to ensure precision and speed in equal measure.
The tripod is made of lightweight aluminium and is of a typical nine segment construction. Each of the three legs has three extendable sections, allowing you to adjust the height with a fair degree of accuracy. These segments are held in place with small plastic clips that pinch into place; while these tabs aren't the strongest I've ever encountered, they do an admirable job of holding things together on a day to day basis.
The rotating head plate is made of a strong plastic, as is the quick release mechanism. While this means you'd be unwise to trust the Hama Star 42 with your most expensive equipment, it does provide an adequate level of support for virtually all home cameras and recording appliances.
Being constructed of aluminium, the tripod weighs in at a paltry 1.2kg, which means you're unlikely to be breaking a sweat whilst lugging this around; having been on several outdoor excursions with this tripod, I can report its easy enough to transport without issue. In fact, while *not* recommended, I have had occasion to pick up and move the loaded tripod using the panning armature alone.
Unlike your average 'pro' model, the lack of ballast equates to a rather pleasing result. When fully retracted the tripod becomes incredibly portable, resulting in a practical stand you can keep and store in the back of your car without concern for wasted space.
While it's hard to fault such a utilitarian device, there are some issues that should be identified before throwing down your cash on the tripod.
Firstly, you must remember you're getting a consumer model. As such you don't get the typical extras like gyroscopic elements, ball-bearing swivel heads and spirit level indicators; you therefore shouldn't rely on this model for professional quality work, lest you find your camcorder pans a little jerky, snaps slightly askew and your heavyweight £10,000 DSLR crashing to the floor in a strong gust of wind.
Secondly, I have had a couple of instances where the grips and 'locks' have become stuck or wedged after the tripod has been left sitting unused for a couple of months; however, these issues have easily been solved with a quick spray of WD40 and a little elbow grease.
Minor quibbles aside, the Hama Star 42 is a proficient, if somewhat generic, attempt at a consumer-grade tripod. If you're looking to up your photographic range without investing big-bucks, you can do far worse than splashing out £20 for this model.
Summary: A worthwhile, pragmatic choice for those seeking a cheap tripod.
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