The 3 Legged Thing Punks Patti is the latest addition to the highly successful Punks range of camera supports.
It features the same slim profile, lightweight design and full height support that we’ve seen in the majority of past Punks tripods.
As ever the Punks build quality shines through with excellent attention to detail from head to foot. The only sign that this is an entry level model is the all plastic leg lever locks.
These locks replace the more familiar twist locks, but that’s not the only significant change. Topping the tripod is the new Air Head Mini.
This compact version of the already small Air Head is quick and smart with a single release to free the ball and panoramic rotation.
Aimed at those just starting out the Patti is feature packed and gives ample support and flexibility for all mirrorless and the majority of DSLRs up to an astonishing 10kg.
As ever, the slim profile of the Punks series, makes this tripod, as with the rest of the range an absolute winner and an ideal choice for anyone getting into photography.
As a company 3 Legged Thing have had a hard task, getting their supports recognised in a market flooded with cheap imports and many well-established brands.
That battle has been hard fought, but ultimately their hard work has been recognised, with a succession of awards for both the company and products.
Out of all of their ranges, I feel that the Punks range is 3 Legged Things most exciting line-up. Punks offer a low profile, lightweight and versatile support at a very reasonable price.
Now to broaden the appeal of the range the redesigned Punks Patti brings the same low profile form to the entry level.
A first look at the Punks Patti shows that ultimately the overall design is very similar to the rest of the Punks range especially the Travis. It’s only when you take a closer look you see the lever leg locks, smaller simplified head and no removable monopod leg section.
Other than that the rest of the tripod seems very similar is size and stature to the Punks Travis.
Starting at the top we have the usual style of Arca Swiss plate, this features safety stop bolts, which is a nice addition.
This new head can support a very respectable 10kg, 8kg less than the Travis. This load is more than ample for the majority of mirrorless and DLSR body and lens combos you could wish to try.
The Air Head Mini also only features one control knob that releases both the free movement of the head and the panoramic rotation.
Moving down to the Tri-plate, this can be used for attaching accessories such as straps or hooks to hang a bag.
Below this is the canopy with a built-in bubble level and the leg hinges that enable the legs to be angled at 23º, 55º, 80º. These leg hinges are the same style that features on the rest of the Punks range.
Travelling through the centre column and at the bottom, we’ve got nice D-Ring again ready for attaching a bag or strap.
As ever the D-Ring can be removed so that the column can be removed and flipped for low angle shots, or removed entirely so that the twist lock collar can be removed and the tri-plate can be attached directly to the canopy. This takes the tripod down to a minimum height of 11cm.
Taking a look at the four section Aluminium legs and each of these are held in place by those new lever locks. These locks are all plastic and feel as solid as they come.
At full height, the tripod reaches 1.63m with the centre column fully extended 1.33m with its retracted
At the end of each of the legs are the usual screw-in feet, these can be swapped and changed if needed.
Build quality and handling
As ever the build quality of the punks Patti is excellent.
The new Airhead Mini is Anodised in either blue or black. The clamp release plate features a circular bubble level, and there’s another bubble level built into the side of the clamp giving you plenty of guidance when composing and levelling your shot.
The quality of the clamp and base plate is identical to the rest of the Punks range, so all solid and excellent quality.
The big difference with the Mini over the Air Head is the loss of the panoramic control knob. Although simplified the one knob approach to release and lock works well in general use for composition.
Only when I solely wanted to utilise the panoramic rotation did I notice the inconvenience of just having one control.
To raise and lower the centre column the twist lock collar is used, and this is as smooth as ever.
Like the rest of the range, you can unscrew the D-Ring, release the Collor and then flip the centre column. This process takes less than a minute and gives you far more shooting options.
To drop the tripod down to the minimum height, the centre column can be unscrewed, and then collar and canopy bolted together. Again the whole process is quick and easy taking around a minute to perform.
Along with the head, the other significant new feature to this tripod are the lever locks.
These have been added to keep costs down, and the all-plastic construction of them does give the tripod a cheaper feel than when compared to the more usual twist locks.
The detailing on the levers is nice with the 3 Legged thing bubble effect and logo with a matt black finish.
In use, the locks seem solid enough and the legs release and lock tight. In the test, I bent and flexed the plastic levers to a far greater degree than any sain owner would wish to do with their equipment, and all held excellent and firm for each of the locks.
Each of the Aluminium legs themselves is anodised and have a nice smooth motion as extended and retracted.
This smooth leg motion makes it easy to set up even on uneven ground, and the lever locks are of a size enough to get easy purchase when closing the lock.
Once the tripod is stood in place it’s then time to turn attention to the camera. As ever there is a base plate that needs to be attached and here the multi-tool that comes clipped to the tri-plate can be used to tighten the plate under the camera quickly.
Then the Arca Swiss style plate can be placed onto the tripod clamp and tightened easily. The clamp bolt is designed to be positioned under the lens so there can be no accidental releasing when adjusting the ball head.
It also means that the rear bubble level is perfectly positioned at the back of the camera making it very easy to level your view.
In the test, I stuck with the supplied Bootz as feet but did take a set of the spiked Stilletoz and Clawz just in case they were needed.
I use the Punks Billy and Travis on an almost daily basis, so here it was interesting to see how much of a difference the changes to the design seen on the Punks Patti would have on the usability of the tripod.
The lever locks did make a difference; they worked perfectly well locking the leg sections firmly in place. But they don’t have that same direct feel that you get with twist locks.
The Air Head Mini was a pleasure to use, the one knob to release and lock approach worked well and in the majority of scenarios I have to say that I prefer it to the two knob approach.
The only time I wished for the panoramic lock was when taking a panorama, but even then the slight repositioning while moving the camera, while not ideal, in real terms, didn’t make any difference.
Overall the Patti feels much like the rest of the Punks range. It’s low profile and lightweight which makes it easy to carry and attach to the back of a backpack.
Setup is quick and easy, and the legs and head take the weight of the Sony A7 III with 12-24mm or Panasonic GH5 with ease.
Those new lever locks work well and hold everything in place, as they should, and with a reassuring solidness.
I am impressed with the Patti, the design and style follow on well from the rest of the Punks range and generally in use it does feel very similar. But those small differences that make this entry level do become very apparent after a while.
The lever locks just aren’t as refined as the twist locks, the Air Head Mini is more natural to position and rotate for a single shot images but not for multi-shots, and there’s no option to use one of the legs as a monopod.
All these define Patti’s position clearly in the product line-up.
As an entry-level tripod, it offers plenty for any aspiring photographer; from enthusiast to student. It’s far more versatile than most other tripods in this price range and certainly looks better.
The Punks Patti will go on sale for £99, and at that price, it’s a decent all-rounder and the ideal solution for anyone just getting into photography and shooting on a budget.