I am quite hard on my gear and it sees a lot of use in all kinds of conditions. It is best to spend decent money for quality equipment that will put up with the stress of travel photography. This story is about my wonderfully dependable Punks Travis tripod made by 3 Legged Thing in the United Kingdom. The “Punks” line of tripods are primarily for travel of which I do my fair share (see Travis at work in the image above)
The Value of Having a Headlamp
Long story short, while photographing the night skies at Hurricane Ridge I stumbled over my wonderful 3 Legged Thing Travis tripod. Travis stayed upright which is a testament to Travis’ sturdy construction. In my defense, it was pitch black and I could see next to nothing. Perhaps using the head lamp safely strapped around my skull would have helped but I didn’t want to sacrifice my “night vision”. When packing up my Travis tripod to leave, it would not retract properly. I had bent a leg. Fine, I will fix it when at home!
If you have ever tried to straighten a bent aluminum tube then you probably already realize that it rarely works. In the process I also lost an important piece used to secure the leg. So, as a temporary fix I wrapped a rubber band around the lower leg so it would not fall out. Yeah, looks great…
3 Legged Thing Customer Support
After using a crippled tripod for 3 months, I finally sent a message to 3 Legged Thing HQ in the UK. I explained what happened and asked about purchasing new parts to fix Travis. They (“they” being Neil of the 3LT Support Team) responded later that day telling me that they would cover the repair under warranty! Needless to say, I was astonished by this response as I fully expected to place an order for parts. Neil requested a couple of photos of the damage and purchase receipt which I gladly sent. The next day I received an email from Neil with a Royal Mail tracking number. The parts were on their way! Again, I was amazed by the level of professional service that 3 Legged Thing provided. The parts arrived a few days later and included a little package of Haribo gummies (nice touch!!).
Needless to say, the new parts were easy to install and Travis was ready to rock and roll!
Great Service makes for Loyal Customers
I wrote this article to let other photographers know that companies like 3 Legged Thing stand behind their products. Even when clumsy oafs such as myself stumble around in the dark and break their equipment. 3 Legged Things was under no obligation to repair a tripod that was damaged by user abuse (albeit unintentional). In doing so they have made a lifelong customer in the process.
Please, check out the gear at 3 Legged Thing if you are in need of a great tripod!
Travis is happy now so CHEERS to all of the crew at 3 Legged Thing!