FLM CP30-L4 II Review

Comparison & Conclusion

Contents

 

The FLM CP30-L4 II provides the best combination of stiffness and portability that I have seen in a ‘tall’ tripod that can easily place the camera above head height.  While the folded length is still too long to be considered a classic travel tripod, the CP30-L4 should comfortably strap to the outside of a pack while hiking or moving around on location.  If you height and portability are your top priorities in a tripod, the CP30-L4 should absolutely be on your shortlist.  

Pros

  • Excellent combination of height, stability, and portability
  • Compact fold
  • Nice low profile rubber feet
  • Quality spikes included

Cons

  • No center column option
  • No rubber grips on the leg locks
  • Damping performance less than hoped for

Compared To:

For a more complete list, see the all-purpose tripods ranking page.

FLM CP30-L4 IIFLM CP30-S4 IIFLM CP34-L4 IIRRS TVC-24LOben CT-2491
Stiffness Nm/rad792.01144.01393.01132.0706.0
Damping Js/rad0.210.210.220.300.19
Weight lbs (kg)3.239 (1.469)2.888 (1.31)4.175 (1.894)3.752 (1.702)3.604 (1.635)
Height in (cm)68.0 (172.7)53.0 (134.6)68.0 (172.7)66.1 (167.9)61.0 (154.9)
Price$459$441$683$1030$300

FLM CP30-S4 II – The most natural comparison is to the smaller S4 version of the L4.  When used at the same height, these two tripods have roughly equal stiffness.  If you prefer the extra height, get the L4.  If you don’t need the height and prefer a more compact overall package, get the S4.

FLM CP34-L4 II – The CP34-L4 is a very similar to the CP30-L4 but is a significant step up in size and capability.  The CP34 has thicker tubing as the name implies and a larger top with a built in leveling bowl.  The CP30 is going to be significantly more portable though.  For hiking I would take the CP30.  For shooting out of a car and more casual walking around, the CP34.

RRS TVC-24L – The TVC-24L is perhaps the stiffest competitor to the CP30-L4.  The height of these two tripods is similar, but the fatter tubing on the RRS creates additional stiffness but also some additional weight and bulk.  If the FLM were built to the same size, it would be reasonable to expect similar performance.  The overall build quality of the RRS is slightly better, but the difference is insignificant in practice.  The biggest difference is the presence of the versa apex on the RRS that allows a variety of accessories such as a leveling base and center column.  If you want one tripod to do it all, the RRS might be a better choice.  But for the cost difference, you could easily get a second larger tripod.

Oben CT2491 – The Oben 2491 provides a similarly intriguing combination of height, stiffness, and size.  It includes a center column, but the FLM has a significantly taller base height.  The FLM is more rigid and has much, much better build quality.  It is absolutely worth the small amount of extra money for the FLM.

Who is it for?

If you don’t need the height, or are willing to carry around a little bit more bulk, there may be better options for you.  But if you are looking for the most portable tall tripod, this is it.  You can stop looking, get this one.

Where to Buy

Buy at Adorama

Find on Ebay

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