Reliable and Strong. 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 Tripod Review

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Examining and understanding tripods can be a tough job. But the 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 felt pretty definite. I have a Manfrotto and Benro tripod that I use fairly often. However, the 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 is undoubtedly the strongest of the bunch. If you’re careful, it also has the best ballhead. This tripod was designed for heavy loads. Got one of those Mamiya medium format cameras? Grab this! Going birding? The 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 has you covered. Overall, this is a fantastic tripod that is hard to beat, but can surely be improved.

Too Long, Didn’t Read

The 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 is a very well built tripod for folks who want stability and better compositions. It’s also great for birding and night photography. It’s a bit large though. So, expect to bring this tripod in its carrying case. Add that to your photo gear in your camera bag.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Cool colors
  • Very adaptable and versatile
  • Detachable lens can be cool

Cons

  • A little larger than I’d prefer for a travel tripod
  • Make sure you’re very intentional with your ballhead adjustments: I had a few close calls
  • I’d like more locking mechanisms just because I sometimes got anxious about it

Innovations

The 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 doesn’t reinvent the whee. It’s designed to deal with heavy loads. It does this while remaining surprisingly lightweight, as it’s made of carbon fiber.

Gear Used

We tested the 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 with the Canon EOS R5, Canon L Roxie Bracket made with 3 Legged Thing, Canon RF 100-500mm L lens, Leica SL2s, Sony a7r III, Tamron lenses and Panasonic lenses.

Tech Specs

These specs are taken from the 3LT website.

Counterfold Legs


Winston 2.0 is one of the only full size tripods in the world to feature counterfold legs, enabling the user to fold Winston into just 61cm / 24″.

Max Load to Weight Ratio of 23:1


Winston 2.0 is capable of supporting loads up to 23 times his weight. With a 40kg payload, Winston is one of the strongest tripods in the world.

Knurled Knobs


Pro Range 2.0 tripods, including Winston now have Knurled caps on the leg locks, and column lock, as well as on the AirHed Pro available in Winston kits. The knurling creates a grippier surface enabling users to apply greater leverage when loosening or tightening.

Parallel Locking


3 Legged Thing’s unique Parallel Locking system provides better leverage, and greater rigidity, without the hassle of accidental disassembly.

Multiple Mounting Points


Our patented Tri-Mount plate offers multiple threaded connections and three hollowed spurs for accessory attachments, and has refined contouring for ease of use.

A Range of Footwear


Winston 2.0 has detachable rubber Bootz, which can be replaced with any of our foot accessories, for maximum stability on any terrain.

Ergonomics

While the 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 is a tripod first and foremost, it’s one of the most popular around. You’ll probably think it’s just like other tripods when looking at it. If you’re a NY Mets fan, you’ll probably like the color scheme and appreciate it’s winning design (unlike the Mets).

Starting at the top here, there are obvious knobs. The big one lets to move the ball head in all directions. The smaller one is good for rotating it.

Below the ball head is another knob. This edged knob helps you raise the middle column.

Here’s the top of the tripod legs. You’ll push down little buttons to lock the legs in place. This is one of my favorite things about the 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0.

The legs have sections and knobs to lock them in place.

Here’s another view of the bottom of the center column. 

And lastly, here are the feet. They’re rubber, but also interchangeable.

Build Quality

The 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 is built solid. I’m shocked. This tripod is made of carbon fiber, but it feels a bit like metal at times. Lots of tripods are made of carbon fiber, but none are this high grade. It’s incredible. 

While the tripod is built well, I can’t always say the same about the ball head. Sometimes I thought the ballhead was fully locked when that wasn’t the case. It often caused me to over-tighten and do extra tests. Let me tell you, nothing makes you gasp like seeing a Leica SL2s and a 16-45mm lens almost tumble down. The same goes for a Canon EOS R5 and a 100-500mm lens. By the time I got to testing the Sony camera on it, I had a bit of PTSD. 

All of this starts with the plate system. You secure the tripod plate to your camera or lens using tools 3 Legged Thing gives you. Make sure it’s on tight. And when you attach it to the tripod, try using various positions. You’ll know when it’s on nice and tight. This is probably the weirdest thing about the tripod, but when it works, it’s incredibly solid.

Ease of Use

Besides my qualms with the tripod plate, the 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 is straightforward. If you’ve used many tripods before, this won’t be much different. Sometimes you’ll need to be careful as the legs can be accidentally loosened. I wish there were a better lock system for that. In fact, that’s the only way I could possibly seeing this tripod improving. If there were various lock systems around it, then it would be perfect. Locking various aspects of the ballhead and other sections quickly could ease a bit of anxiety.

Also, attaching it to a camera bag will make you realize just how big it is. I wouldn’t attach it to a bag while also traveling in the US. The TSA would not be happy about that.

Conclusions

Likes

  • Durability
  • Strength
  • Amazing capabilities for a tripod of this weight and size

Dislikes

  • I wish it had a few more locking mechanisms

The 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 is a fantastic tripod. It’s incredible for photographers who have cars or who don’t mind bringing around something larger. It works for a variety of long exposure and wildlife photography applications. And just in case, it would work well with old-school film cameras. Again though, if you’re in a city using public transportation, you’ll be a bit annoyed. Bringing this in its case along with your packed camera bag is annoying at best. Ideally, I think people want to bring only one bag with them. But all that aside, this is one of the best tripods you can possibly own.

The 3 Legged Thing Winston 2.0 receives five out of five stars. Want one? Check out Amazon for the latest prices.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.