FLM CP38-L4 II Review

The CP38-L4 is the largest of FLM’s new line of ‘Series II’ tripods.  The predecessor to the CP38-L4, the FLM ‘Berlin’ tripod, tested very well from with regards to performance, but was a little bit short and a little bit heavy.  In the CP38-L4, FLM has managed to maintain the excellent performance of the Berlin while simultaneously making it taller and lighter.  This has resulted in one of the best scoring tripods I have tested, and one that should be on the shortlist for anyone looking for a full size tripod.  

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 CP38-L4 II
Yaw Stiffness1476.2 +/- 2.1 Nm/rad
Yaw Damping0.196 +/- 0.02 Js/rad
Pitch Stiffness4505.1 +/- 42.5 Nm/rad
Pitch Damping2.11 +/- 0.21 Js/rad
Retail Price$841
Weight4.93 lbs (2.234 kgs)
Manufacturer weight rating121.25 lbs
Maximum Height67.5 in (171.4 cm)
Minimum Height3.7 in (9.4 cm)
Center ColumnNo
Base Diameter3.1 in (7.9 cm)
Folded Length23.7 in (60.2 cm)
Folded Circumference14.2 in (36.1 cm)
Folded Volume380.0 cu. in. (6.2 liters)
Leg MaterialCarbon Fiber
Leg Sections4
Primary Leg Angle24.5 deg
Leg LocksTwist
Top Tube Diameter38.3 mm
Second Tube Diameter34.2 mm
Third Tube Diameter30.2 mm
Fourth Tube Diameter26.2 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 CP38-L4 is a big tripod.  It is tall enough to get the camera comfortably overhead for most people, and the tubing is fat enough to keep it steady while doing so.  Despite this, the tripod manages to weigh under 5 lbs.  That may sound like a lot when compared to travel tripods, but it is on the lighter side when compared to tripods of similar capabilities and dimension.  

What’s in the Box? 

The CP38-L4 includes a hex key for tightening the setscrews on the top plate and a set of spikes for using the tripod on loose surfaces.  Unlike most spikes that are included for free with a tripod, these are of a reasonable length that will be appropriate for surfaces such as sand and snow.