I am not one to necessarily take the time to sit down and write about the photo gear that I use but felt that this time I would make an exception.
I am quite hard on my gear and it sees a lot of use in all kinds of conditions. This is why you spend decent money for quality equipment that will put up with the stress travel photographers tend to dish out. This is a quick story 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 last April I stumbled over my wonderful 3 Legged Thing Travis tripod. Everything stayed upright which is a testiment to Travis' sturdy construction.
In my defense, it was pitch black and I seriously could see very little of what I was doing. Yes, I should have been using the head lamp safely strapped around my skull but didn't want to sacrifice my "night vision".
Upon packing up my Travis tripod I realized that I bent a leg and it would not retract properly. Fine, I will fix it when I get home!
If you have ever tried to straighten a bent aluminum tube before then you probably already realize that my attempts were an exercise in futility. In the process I also lost an important piece that is used to tighten against the leg and secure it from moving. So, while I contemplated what to do to fix Travis, I wrapped a rubber band around the lower leg so it would not fall out. Yeah, looks great...
3 Legged Thing Support
After putting up with 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 floored 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 saying the parts were on their way! Again I was astonished by this response
and 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 is ready to rock and roll (hopefully not literally)!
I felt compelled to write this article to let other photographers know that companies like 3 Legged Thing stand behind us even when clumsy oafs such as myself stumble around in the dark and break their equipment. They were under no obligation to repair a tripod that was damaged by user abuse (albeit unintentional) yet they did and 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!
Thanks for reading!!