Reviews |3 Legged Thing Nicky

3 Legged Thing Nicky Review

Gitzo's Systematic range has some new competition

3 Legged Thing Nicky review
Review

Price when reviewed

£699.99

$749.99

Our Verdict

The Nicky is an exciting addition to Three Legged Things’ tripod range that showcases some of the know-how that the company has built up over the years. If you’re looking for a tripod that’s suitable for supporting a large camera and long lenses, then the Nicky is a solid proposition whether you’re shooting stills or video.

For

  • Very solid set of tripod legs
  • Removable legs for great versatility
  • Supplied with flat and bowl head plates

Against

  • Legs-only kit

What is the 3 Legged Thing Nicky?

The 3 Legged Thing Nicky is one of two new hybrid tripods in 3 Legged Thing’s Legends range. Like its bigger brother, the 3 Legged Thing Tommy, the Nicky is designed for use with heavier camera systems, whether that’s for shooting stills or video.

The Nicky is sold legs-only but it comes with both a flat and a bowl plate for mounting different types of tripod head.

Specification

  • Product type: Tripod
  • Announced: 20th October 2020
  • Construction: Carbon fibre tubes, aerospace-grade magnesium alloy fixings
  • Max Height: 156cm
  • Minimum height: 12.4cm
  • Leg sections: 4
  • Centre column sections: N/A
  • Folded length: 59cm
  • Leg angles: 23º, 55º, 80º
  • Load capacity: 60kg / 132lb
  • Max tube diameter: 32mm
  • Weight: 2.4Kg / 5.29lb
3 Legged Thing Nicky review

Features

Three Legged Thing has introduced the Nicky alongside the Tommy as part of its Legends range. These new tripods are designed for use by photographers and videographers with big, heavy cameras and lenses.

Both have carbon fibre legs but the Nicky’s have a maximum tube diameter of 32mm whereas the Tommy’s maximum tube diameter is 35mm.

The tubes are made from 8-layer 100% Japanese carbon fibre while the canopy, leg-locks and fixings are made from aerospace-grade anodised magnesium alloy.

All three of the Nicky’s and (Tommy’s) legs are removable, which means it can be transformed into a table-top tripod with the addition of 3 LT’s Vanz footware (available separately). Once detached, the legs can be used as a monopod with a maximum height of 1.66m or a microphone boom – or whatever you might need a 1.66mm pole for.

In another key difference between the Nicky and the Tommy, the Nicky has 4-section legs while the Tommy has 3-section legs. The Tommy is also taller at 162cm whereas the Nicky reaches a maximum height of 156cm.

Both have a maximum stated load capacity of 60Kg. That’s enough for any camera kit!

3 Legged Thing supplies two plates with the Nicky. One is a flat plate with a 3/8-16 thread that allows standard flat-based tripod heads like the 3 Legged Thing AirHed or Airhed Cine video head like the to be mounted. The second plate us a 75mm bowl mount for use video heads with a levelling base.  I primarily used the flat plate with the Airhed Cine.

The Nicky’s legs can be splayed at three angles, 23°, 55° and 80°. When the legs are splayed to their widest, the canopy sits very close to the ground. This makes the minimum shooting height very low, it just depends upon the head and size of camera that you use.

Helpfully, 3 Legged Thing supplies a high-quality case with the Nicky. With the legs collapsed down, the Nicky measures 59cm, and the bag makes it very manageable to carry. However, it’s worth noting that the bag isn’t long enough to fully contain the tripod when a head is mounted, so this has to protrude from the open bag. It’s not uncommon, but it would be nice if everything was kept neatly inside.

A pretty hefty hook is attached to the bottom side of the flat plate, so when that’s mounted you have the option to hang a weight if you think the tripod needs added stability.

There are also a couple of channels machined into the canopy for routing cables if you want. Alternatively, they can be used to attach a weight or some accessory you need to hand – a filter pouch for example. In addition, there’s a ¼-20 accessory thread that can be used to attach monitor accessories such as a monitor or mic.

Read our 3 Legged Thing Tommy review

3LT Nicky review

Build and Handling

3 Legged Thing uses high-quality materials for the Nicky’s construction and it’s clear that the company’s machiners have hit their stride. The Nicky looks and feels like a high-class piece of kit.

At the top of each leg, there’s a big fat Rapid Latch that releases the leg angle lock with a press. It’s quick and easy to use.

The legs also unscrew smoothly and, more importantly, are easy to rethread and tighten. You won’t find yourself fiddling around trying to catch the thread correctly to reattach the legs.

On every leglock, 3LT’s O-Pads have a rubber-like Bubble Grip texture that gives excellent purchase, making it easy to loosen and tighten the locks. You only need to rotate the lock by around a quarter turn to be able to lengthen or shorten the leg.

3LT Nicky review

Performance

If you’re photographing or videoing wildlife with a big, heavy camera and long lens, you want a solid, dependable tripod that will take the weight and won’t wobble each time you adjust the composition.  The 3 Legged Thing Nicky is a reliable set of legs, that when paired with a heavy-duty head, gives the support that you need.

As I mentioned earlier, the leg length and angle adjusters are well-made and work well.

Although it doesn’t have a centre column, at 156cm in height, the top of the Nicky’s canopy is just above my eye level, so it’s tall enough for most situations. If it came to it, I could fling a tarpaulin over it and take shelter.

The Nicky can also be used at very low level, giving a great range of shooting heights.

While a centre column brings the convenience of being able to make small height adjustments quickly, using a tripod’s legs alone to get the required shooting height usually ensures the most stable platform. The Nicky is designed with stability in mind.

A consequence of the maximum height and high stability of the Nicky is that, without a head, it weighs 2.4Kg and measures 59cm when it’s packed down. It’s not a travel tripod.

It’s worth noting that if you want to get the same maximum height from a tripod with a similar design, the Gitzo Systematic Series 4 GT4533LS for example, packs down to 69cm – 10cm longer than the Nicky. It has 3-section legs which helps to reduce its weight by 90g, but I’m not sure you’d notice the difference when you’re carrying it. It also retails for £749 / $957 whereas the Nicky is launching at £699.99 / $749.99.

3 Legged Thing Nicky review

Verdict

If you’re looking for a solid, dependable set of tripod legs that can be used to support a hefty camera kit when you’re shooting stills or video, then the 3 Legged Thing Nicky makes a great choice.

It has a wide height range, reaching from close to ground-level up to 156cm, can accept a variety of tripod head types and is compatible with 3 Legged Thing’s array of tripod footware, making it even more versatile.

As an added bonus, the legs can be removed to create a chunky table tripod with the addition of the Vanz footwear while the legs can become microphone booms and prodding sticks.

It’s a shame that 3 Legged Thing hasn’t factored a tripod head like the Airhed Cine in the bag sizing, but it’s still useable and nice to have.

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