Introduction & Specifications
The CP30-L4 II is a member of FLM redesigned line of tripods, thus the mark II designation. This is not just a refresh of an existing line, but a complete overhaul bringing the tripod designs into the modern era. Previously we saw that the smaller CP30-S4 II tripod performed exceptionally well. The CP30-L4 II is a near identical tripod except for the length of the legs. Thus, large sections of this review will be the same as found on the smaller tripod.
Despite just having longer legs, the L4 version ends up as a somewhat different tripod than the S4. Whereas the S4 readily lends itself to travel, the much longer folded length of the L4 is more cumbersome. But the L4 is still the smallest and lightest ‘tall’ tripod available, creating a very versatile overall package.
This tripod was generously loaned to me for review by FLM Canada. I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own, and the test results are all of course unaltered data.
|Name||FLM CP30-L4 II|
|Yaw Stiffness||501 +/- 1 Nm/rad|
|Yaw Damping||0.096 +/- 0.009 Js/rad|
|Pitch Stiffness||1886 +/- 5 Nm/rad|
|Pitch Damping||0.252 +/- 0.025 Js/rad|
|Weight||3.24 lbs (1.469 kgs)|
|Manufacturer weight rating||48.5 lbs|
|Maximum Height||68.0 in (172.7 cm)|
|Minimum Height||3.1 in (7.9 cm)|
|Base Diameter||2.1 in (5.3 cm)|
|Folded Length||23.0 in (58.4 cm)|
|Folded Circumference||9.5 in (24.1 cm)|
|Folded Volume||165.0 cu. in. (2.7 liters)|
|Leg Material||Carbon Fiber|
|Primary Leg Angle||23.0 deg|
|Top Tube Diameter||30.2 mm|
|Second Tube Diameter||26.2 mm|
|Third Tube Diameter||22.2 mm|
|Fourth Tube Diameter||18.6 mm|
The test results are included here as I consider them to be part of the tripod’s specification. For full discussion of the stiffness and damping, see the test results page of the review.
The stand-out specification for this tripod is of course the height of 68 in (~173cm). This is tall enough to get the camera above head height for most people and allow eye level shooting on steep terrain where one tripod leg needs to be extended downhill. Pair this with the compact folded volume and reasonable weight and we find that no other tripod can quite match the combination of height, stiffness, and portability that the CP30-L4 can provide. This is the primary draw for these legs.
While the folded volume is quite small due to the lack of a center column and compact apex, the folded length is still somewhat long. It would be fine strapped to the side of a full sized backpack, but isn’t going to fit into carry-on luggage. Given the height of the tripod and 4 leg sections, there is no way to avoid this longer folded length. A fifth leg section would of course make it more compact, but comes with a corresponding decline in stability as seen in the similar but smaller CP30-M5 model.
What’s in the Box?
The tripod comes with a set of rather nice spiked feet and an Allen wrench for tightening the set screws on the top plate. Often we see very short, stubby spikes of limited use when they are included with the tripod for free. These ones are of an appropriate length for very soft loose surfaces such as sand and snow.