July 15, 2015

Triopo W8 Universal Articulated Center Column Review

Triopo W8 Universal Column assembly

This is a not so easy to find accessory coming from Triopo, which complements the functionality of their tripods but not only.
The W8 model described here is using 28 mm tubes while a the W4 model more commonly acquainted features 25 mm tubes.

Nevertheless, as this product is sold independently it can be used with any tripod just mounted on its existing center column increasing its functionality and versatility.

This page is meant as a reference with a illustrations of the parts comprising the Universal Articulated center column assembly, until all texts and implementation examples are duly completed.

Enjoy!

The Universal Column

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:W8
Maximum Height:1590 mm (62.60")
Transport Height:450 mm (17.72")
Articulated Column ∅:28 mm (01.10")
Short Center Column ∅:28 mm (01.10")
Weight:470 gr (0.99 lb)
Max Load capacity:5 Kg (11.0 lb)

The W8 and W4 models actually come with Aluminum alloy columns, one long and one short. However, the version described here is assembled from a standard Carbon Fiber long center column and the standard Aluminum short column of Triopo usually used for low level shooting.
Both were descried in detail in the article Triopo Tripod Spare Parts & Accessories Reference.

Long Center Column

Long Center Column ∅28 mm, made of 8X Carbon Fiber for specific tripods of both the Triopo GT and GX series. Mine was taken from the Triopo GX-1328 Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod reviewed in detail in the past.

Triopo 28 mm CF long center column components

Triopo 28 mm CF long center column assembly


Short Center Column

Short Center Column ∅28 mm, made of Alu-Mg alloy for all tripods of the GT or GX series with a ∅28 mm center column. It has 3/8"-16 threaded hole on both sides and a 5 mm wide longitudinal anti-twist groove. It serves as a ground level shooting center column.

Triopo 28 mm Alu short center column components

Triopo 28 mm Alu short center column assembly


The Articulated Bracket

That's actually the part the fuss is all about. A metallic hammered painted articulated mechanism resembling the coloring of the apex of most Triopo tripods.
Comes with two hard plastic winged nuts one tightening the long column and one in control of the panning and tilting of the assembly.

W8 Universal column articulated bracket main lock

W8 Universal column articulated bracket column lock

W8 Universal column articulated bracket base mount
Triopo W8 Universal column articulated bracket has a 3/8"-16 mounting hole at the bottom.

W8 Universal column articulated bracket components
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Mounting the Universal Center Column

W8 articulated bracket w/ short Alu column

W8 articulated bracket w/ short Alu column mounted on tripod

W8 articulated bracket w/ long CF column mounted on tripod
W8 articulated bracket mounted on tripod via short Alu center column and long CF center column set vertically aside.

W8 articulated bracket w/ long CF column horizontally
W8 articulated bracket mounted on tripod via short Alu center column and long CF center column set horizontally.

Using the Universal Center Column


W8 articulated bracket w/ carabiner on long CF column hook
W8 articulated bracket with carabiner hang on long CF column hook in order to accommodate a counterbalance weight.


Pros
Outstandingly low price for the full W8 combo.
Offers two extra aluminum center columns one full length and one short.
Rigid locking resulting in good stability.
Fair functionality.
Increased tripod versatility.
Extra Bubble Level.

Cons
Simple construction without any bearings that might lead to wear of the metal parts in time.
Butterfly Winged Lock, locks both panning and tilting.

Conclusion
Once more a very good idea coming from Triopo coming at a very reasonable price. The parts as in my case can be used individually so it is very versatile without changing permanently the character of the tripod it is going to be used with.
Somehow though, the usual feeling with Triopo products remains, leaving a taste of something left to be desired concerning quality control and functionality. It is not as firm and well designed as Berno's versatile transformer tripods but still does the job well.
Considering that it is sold as an independent product and that besides the short center column it can be attached on any tripod by its articulated bracket on a 3/8"-16 tripod stud makes its a little more tempting to get as an upgrade.

I hope you found the review useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2015-2018 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
The Triopo W8 Universal Center Column presented in this article was purchased directly from Triopo, therefore I'm unable to quote any sellers other than the Triopo headquarters in China.
Regarding its price, you may consider it a little higher than the current price for smaller ∅24 mm Triopo W4 universal center column, which sells around EUR 35.00 on Amazon and on eBay.

For further details about ordering, purchasing, shipping or payment methods you may come in contact with Triopo's Client Service Department.

If you are interested in the above product(s) or any other product please consider using the relevant link(s) to make your purchase and help support this site. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated.

Referenced Articles:

Benro A-289 EX (A2890F) AL-Mg Versatile Trans-functional Tripod Review
Benro A-298 EX (A2980F) Versatile Transformer Tripod Review
Triopo GX-1328 Carbon Fiber Classic Tripod Review
Triopo Tripod Spare Parts & Accessories Reference Reference
Triopo Tripod Spare Parts & Accessories Reference

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