REVIEW – My iPhone 13 Pro Max is the main camera that I use for everything from random personal snapshots, to Gadgeteer product photos and videos for my reviews. Most of the product photos that I take are handheld or with my SHOTBOX photo light box. But sometimes I need to be in front of the camera instead of behind it. For those times, I use a tripod and today I’m going to show you the SANDMARC Tripod – Pro Edition.
What is it?
SANDMARC is well known for its iPhone lens and camera accessories. The SANDMARC Tripod – Pro Edition is a lightweight tripod that has been designed for travel and easy use with an iPhone or other smartphone. It works with traditional cameras too 😉
What’s in the box?
- SANDMARC Tripod – Pro Edition
- Arca-Swiss Plate
- iPhone Mount
- Zippered storage case
Design and features
SANDMARC sells two iPhone tripods. The Compact version and the Pro Edition which I’m reviewing here. The Pro Edition tripod is made of aluminum and is really lightweight at 2.43 lbs (1.1 kg).
The SANDMARC Pro Edition iPhone Tripod is designed to fold up for portability.
The legs have 4 sections that extend section by section to allow for the tripod to have a maximum height of 63.4 inches (161.1 cm) down to a minimum height of 15.35 inches (39 cm).
There is a locking button at the joint of each leg where it connects to the top of the SANDMARC Pro Edition – Tripod. These buttons fix the angle of the legs. In the image above, you can see one of these lock buttons in the unlocked position.
And here is the button in the locked position. In the locked position, the leg’s angle can not be adjusted.
Here’s an example of using the leg angle locks to make a low and wide base for the tripod so that you can get a great low-angle perspective with your photos.
The center column of the tripod has the same functionality as the legs with a twist lock to extend and lower two sections. The center column has a metal clip at the bottom that you can use to attach a weight to add stability…
The metal clip unscrews which enables you to flip the center column upside down if you want to use the tripod / your camera at a different angle which is great for top-down type photography.
The SANDMARC Pro Edition – Tripod has a great ballhead style mount on top makes switching from portrait to landscape orientation super quick and easy.
To switch orientations, you just loosen the thumb screen on the side of the ballhead, swivel the phone in the desired angle, and re-tighten the screw.
The ballhead is completely removable as it unscrews from the top of the tripod.
Attached to the top of the ballhead is an Arca-Swiss Plate.
The plate can be quickly removed from the top of the tripod which makes it very convenient if you switch cameras assuming you have multiple cameras and multiple Arca-Swiss Plates.
You can either attach the plate to the bottom of your DSLR or another camera that has a standard tripod socket in the bottom or if you use a phone as your camera as I do, you can use the included springloaded phone clip.
The phone springloaded clip screws into the Arca-Swiss Plate using the built-in screw in the plate.
Another feature of the ballhead is a liquid bubble level which is built into the knob for the Arca-Swiss Plate.
I liked everything about the SANDMARC Pro Edition – Tripod except for one thing… The legs at least in my review sample were loosely attached to the top of the tripod. Where was a problem was if you lifted the tripod to move it to another location, the legs fell together instead of remaining open. If you happen to be holding something in your other hand as you moved the tripod, it was awkward to adjust the stance of the legs so that the tripod could be placed securely on the ground.
You are probably saying that it would be easy to tighten the leg joints to remedy this issue, but the legs are attached with 4.0mm hex head screws. I was lucky that I happened to have a hex screw bit driver set and a 4.0mm bit so I was able to tighten the legs. It would be nice if such a tool were included with the tripod.
What I like
- Ball head
- Arca-Swiss Plate
What I’d change
- The price. Ouch.
- The legs need to be tightened better or a hex driver tool should be included
The SANDMARC Pro Edition – Tripod is a well-made tripod with good functionality. But at $199.99, the price places it well out of bounds for many people’s budgets. As a casual photographer, I personally wouldn’t spend that kind of money on a tripod. I think you’re paying a markup just to have the SANDMARC brand name on the tripod. I reviewed the MeFOTO BackPacker Air tripod 6 years ago. It has a similar style of tripod with a similar ballhead and plate mount system and is only $111 right now on Amazon and it even includes a small Bluetooth remote.