FLM CP30-S4 II Review

The FLM CP30-S4 II is the smallest tripod in FLM’s newly redesigned tripod line.  FLM’s previous series of tripods tested well on this site for stiffness, but were rather heavy.  These new ones are much lighter and bring the designs into the modern age.  With the CP30-S4, we have a tripod that is small and light enough to plausibly be considered a travel tripod, yet with the design and construction quality we are accustomed to from a larger all-purpose model.  As we have seen from other recent designs, it is largely the omission of a center column that enables this advance in strength to weight ratio.  If you can live without a center column, I believe you will find the FLM to be a very compelling option.

This tripod was kindly lent to me for test and review by FLM Canada.  I was not paid by any party to write this review, and the opinions are entirely my own.

NameFLM CP30-S4 II
ClassAll Purpose
Yaw Stiffness723.6 +/- 2.1 Nm/rad
Yaw Damping0.145 +/- 0.014 Js/rad
Pitch Stiffness2726.1 +/- 6.4 Nm/rad
Pitch Damping0.396 +/- 0.04 Js/rad
Retail Price$375
Weight2.89 lbs (1.31 kgs)
Manufacturer weight rating44.1 lbs
Maximum Height53.0 in (134.6 cm)
Minimum Height3.1 in (7.9 cm)
Center ColumnNo
Base Diameter2.1 in (5.3 cm)
Folded Length19.0 in (48.3 cm)
Folded Circumference9.5 in (24.1 cm)
Folded Volume136.0 cu. in. (2.2 liters)
Leg MaterialCarbon Fiber
Leg Sections4
Primary Leg Angle23.0 deg
Leg LocksTwist
Top Tube Diameter30.2 mm
Second Tube Diameter26.2 mm
Third Tube Diameter22.2 mm
Fourth Tube Diameter18.6 mm
Exchangeable FeetYes
Foot TypeRubber
Bottom HookYes

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 CP30 has, as the name implies, 30mm diameter tubing for the largest of the leg sections.  This is partly what has made it awkward to characterize this tripod as travel or all-purpose.  Travel tripods typically have 28mm or smaller diameter tubes.  However, as the design here lacks a center column, the overall size and weight of the tripod remains well within the range we typically see for travel.  In the end, the distinction doesn’t matter, but I am just trying to point out that the CP30 could make a great travel tripod for the right person.

At 53 inches (~135cm) in height, the CP30-S4 won’t get the camera quite up to eye level for most people but is tall enough to require a minimum of hunching over to look through the viewfinder.  If you prefer to shoot mirrorless using a rear tilting screen, as I do, the height is perfect.  I tend to really like tripods in this height range as they afford the best compromise of size, weight, and usability for my applications.

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.