Leica Intros New Travel Tripod and Ballheads
Leica is set to introduce a carbon fiber and aluminum Travel Tripod and two Ball Heads (24/38) with associated quick release disks, expanding its range of accessories. The products are "Made in Germany and are expected to round out the accessory offerings in the Leica stores. The travel tripod with (optional) Cordura nylon bag and the two ball heads are likely to be available from October 2013. Prices are below.
The new tripod and ball heads are "Made in Germany" - and provide all the important features sought by photographers. The two different sized Leica Ball Heads 24 and 38 are characterized by their compact design, high quality workmanship and ease of use. The 3/8" screw on the tripod and ball heads can be adapted.
The new Leica Travel Tripod is the ideal supplement to the two Ball Heads (24/38). It impresses with its low weight of only 2.6lbs/1.2kg and offers maximum stability. It is made of an 8-ply, high-end carbon fiber material. Metal spikes or rubber feet provide secure grip on all surfaces. It also folds up so compactly that it easily fits into any travel photo bag, with a minimal pack size - the mounted ball head disappears inside the folded tripod. A Cordura nylon carrying bag with shoulder strap and shoulder pad is optional:
The ball heads can be used with all Leica cameras, such as compacts as well as the Leica X- and M-systems. Useful in all shooting situations, especially with frequent changes of the camera position and shooting from several different angles, they always ensure a secure grip. A set of three removable disks to match the Leica ball heads complete the offer. Thus, several cameras can be used in rapid succession without having to swap the disk.
UPDATE (10/04/14): You can now find additional information on Leica's website about these.
The FLM Partnership
Leica has apparently partnered with FLM (Foto Light Metrology) which is a German company - along with FLM Canada who are their North American distributors. There's also a Hong Kong branch. These Leica accessories are in effect, re-branded FLM components. They are based on the 26mm tube CP26 series tripods - and the ball heads are the CB-24FB and CB-38FTR with a PRP-45 quick-release set. If you're curious to see how they're made, here's an interesting behind-the-scenes look in FLM : one day in the factory. For more insight into the tripod and ball head features, check out these FLM videos:
Leica Ball Head 38
The version with a 38mm ball diameter is equipped with a number of additional functions and can be utilized with a minimum of effort to make precise adjustments to the desired shooting position. This includes the tilt (via tilt button). This function can be turned only in the vertical direction and the other ball movements can be securely prevented by locking the ball. The panorama functions in 360° (with 15° increments via STOP button and detents) and can be used for landscape, architecture as well as timelapse movies, which - when taken from different positions - can be stitched into one large image. The features:
- Tilt function
- 15° STOP function for panoramic images
- Max load up to 53lbs/24kg
- Quick-change system
- Weighs only 1lb/436g
- 3/8" thread for adaptation to the Leica Travel Tripod
Leica Ball Head 24
The version with a 24mm ball diameter boasts a weight of only .5lb/227g. The Ball Head 24 has such a holding power that a lighter camera with lens (such as the Leica M) holds securely and allows for reliable shooting from different camera positions. The features:
- Small and compact size
- Easy to use
- Adjustable friction in both directions
- Max load up to 26lbs/12kg
- Quick-change system
- Weighs only .5lb/227g
- 3/8" thread for adaptation to Leica Travel Tripod
Specs at a Glance
|Tripod||Ball Head 38||Ball Head 24|
|Price||$665 USD||$515 USD||$300 USD|
|Quick Change Disks||$55 USD|
|Carrying Bag||$100 USD|
Official Press Release
Precise, easy to use, reliable: new Leica photographic accessories, ‘Made in Germany’
Leica Camera AG, Solms, has expanded its product portfolio and now offers premium-quality accessories ‘Made in Germany’.
The new products include the two easy-to-use Leica 24/38 ball heads with numerous additional features. Both are ideal for use with all Leica cameras – from compacts to X- and M-System products. They guarantee that the camera is held securely and steadily in all photographic situations and are particularly useful when frequently changing the camera position and shooting from several different angles. Also new is a compact, lightweight carbon tripod with dimensions that make it perfect for travelling. These new products are further complemented by a set of three quick-change plates for use with the Leica 24 and 38 ball heads. These make it possible to switch between several cameras in rapid succession without any need to exchange the plate. All of these new products are the result of a well-thought-out design and development concept. The use of optimally harmonised materials ensures an ideal symbiosis of stability and low weight and thus guarantees many years of reliable service.
The Leica 24 and 38 ball heads are distinguished by their compact form, premium engineering and ease of use. Both versions are designed and constructed to enable photographers to bring the camera into precisely the desired shooting position and perform fine adjustments with an absolute minimum of effort. Despite its impressively light weight of only 230 grams, the version with the 24 mm ball diameter offers such enormous locking power and stability that it can securely hold a camera system with a light lens, such as the Leica M, and reliably enables images from various camera positions. The same applies to the version with the 38 mm ball diameter, which also features a range of additional functions. These include a tilt function (tilt button). When this function is activated, the ball is locked for motion only in the vertical plane and is prevented from moving in any other plane. The 360° panorama function (15° STOP button) allows the capture of multiple precisely aligned landscape, architecture and object shots from different positions that can be merged in post-processing to create impressive panoramic images. This function is aided by a selectable click-detent option that locks the rotation of the ball in 15° steps. The click informs the user each time the ball head has been rotated by a further 15°.
The new Leica carbon tripod is an ideal complement to the two ball heads. Particularly impressive features of this tripod are its low weight of only 1.2 kg and its exceptional stability. Another benefit is that it can be collapsed to such a small size – the mounted ball head actually disappears inside the collapsed tripod – that it fits in any travel camera bag. An outdoor carrying case made of Cordura with a strap and shoulder pad is available as an optional accessory.
These accessories will be available from October 2013 from authorised Leica dealers.