3-Legged Thing PUNKS Corey 2.0 tripod kit
Several factors make Corey 2.0 a good travel tripod for serious photographers. Aside from its overall versatility, it packs down small enough to fit inside a suitcase or backpack, yet extends to a generous operating height of close to 1.5 metres. It also ticks all the usability factors: extend and retract the legs and lock them into place; an easy way to attach the camera; overall stability of the set-up; and portable of the set-up when you need to move it.
Like the original Corey, the new Corey 2.0 is sturdily constructed. It’s not the smallest travel tripod on the market but, for its weight-to-payload ratio and price, it’s one of the best. Better still; the improvements over its predecessor make it arguably the most versatile tripod of its type available.
Back in August, 2018, when we reviewed the Corey and Travis tripods made by 3 Legged Thing, the company was a relatively new ‘face’ on the imaging scene. Now it’s a respected contributor with an expanding product portfolio that is being expanded regularly. Photo Review was fortunate enough to receive a sample of Corey 2.0, the updated model, for this review, which will focus upon the improvements the new model offers. Purchasers can choose from three colour options: all-black, black and blue or black and copper. We received the model with the blue trim.
The Corey 2.0 kit, showing the AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head, protective microfibre bag, the Toolz multi-function carabiner, a carrying strap and a carry bag and printed promotional matter. (Source: 3-Legged Thing.)
The new model fits into the same ‘entry level micro-traveller model’ category as original Corey tripod. In Australia, the new Corey 2.0 tripods are sold in kit format, with the AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head attached and covered by a protective microfibre drawstring bag.
The Toolz device is packed in a separate zipped side compartment, along with some promotional material. This side compartment has an additional zipped mesh pocket on its inner side that is split into three to provide storage for the optional Heelz, Stilettoz, Clawz and Vanz ‘footwear’ accessories.
The Corey 2.0 kit as supplied. The top picture shows the carry bag unzipped, while the lower one shows the exterior with the zipped pocket plus the Toolz multi-function carabiner.
Somewhat counter-intuitively, the zipper on the main carry-bag runs along the opposite side to the handle and dedicated loops for the bundled shoulder strap (i.e. on the bottom of the bag). You’ll need to remember to zip it up before picking up the bag to make sure the tripod doesn’t fall out. (Don’t store any small items in the main compartment.)
Like the original Corey, the new Corey 2.0 comes with the Toolz, a multi-purpose tool with hex key, coin key and bottle opener as well as a key ring and carabiner that allows it to be attached to items like your camera bag. You’ll need these tools for unscrewing and re-attaching the numerous removable parts of the tripod, particularly the Arca-Swiss style quick-release platform, which lacks the usual D-ring screw handle.
Unlike the previous model, where only one leg could be unscrewed and attached to the centre column to become a monopod, all three legs can be unscrewed directly from their hinges and used for different purposes. In addition, the legs can be replaced with optional Vanz tripod feet (sold separately) to convert Corey 2.0 into a tabletop tripod.
The Corey 2.0 plus attached AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head with the legs removed and replaced with the optional Vanz tripod feet. (Source: 3-Legged Thing.)
The leg locks have been given a ‘facelift’, with a combination of rubber pads and knurling to provide a better grip. Locking them requires a quarter turn, while no more than half a turn is required to unlock them unless you plan to completely disassemble the tripod.
A little more weight has been added to lower their centre of gravity and make the tripod more stable. Detachable rubber Little Bootz provide added stability and they can be replaced with other footwear, such as spikes or ABS balls to suit different terrains.
The Tri-Mount plate is similar to the previous models but now has hollowed loops for attaching items like the carabiner, strap or other accessories. It also makes Corey 2.0 easier to fold up, including when the centre column is detached. The central bolt has ¼-inch and 3/8-inch threads and can be removed and reversed.
The AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head comes attached to the Tri-Mount plate. It has three knurled knobs: an orange locking knob at the top for releasing and securing the quick-release plate, a larger black knob below it, which locks and unlocks the ball movement and another orange knob near the base, which is used to unlock and lock the rotation of the head to enable panning.
Who’s it For?
The Corey 2.0 tripod is designed with stills photographers in mind. If you’re looking for a video tripod, 3-Legged Thing’s Jay model comes with the AirHed Cine and is the nearest equivalent to Corey 2.0. It’s a bit larger (50.1 cm folded length) and heavier (~2.15 kg) but its load capacity is also 14 kg.
For stills shooters, an RRP of AU$453 for Corey 2.0 is roughly twice the asking price of similar models from Manfrotto (the Befree), Benro (Travel Slim) and Sirui (Traveler 5A). However Corey 2.0 is much more versatile and, arguable, better built. If you’re purchasing a travel tripod as a long-time investment and want one that is almost infinitely adjustable and configurable, the Corey 2.0 would be a wise choice.
Either in its bag or out of it, this tripod will fit easily into a suitcase and can also be attached to the side or back of a small-to-medium sized backpack. The new model’s leg locks feel more solid and you can set your camera up even closer to the ground that the original Corey permitted. It’s also easier to transform into a tabletop tripod if you buy the optional Vanz feet.
Build and Ergonomics
Like the original Corey, the new Corey 2.0 tripod is made from aircraft grade magnesium alloy, which is both very strong and relatively light. It’s a stylish unit, whichever colour you buy and, like its predecessor, a cut above competing models in build quality.
Three views of the Corey 2.0 tripod, showing it with the legs and centre column fully extended, centre column inverted and legs packed and spread to provide low-level shooting stability. (Source: 3-Legged Thing.)
Visually there’s not a lot to distinguish it from the original Corey, although the improvements outlined above make it more pleasing to use. It’s easy to flip the legs down when you take Corey 2.0 out of the plastic bag it comes in and a ‘catch’ lever at the top of each leg allows them to be adjusted independently.
The legs can be locked into place at three different angles: 23 degrees, 55 degrees and 80 degrees, while four locking collars on each leg make leg lengths independently adjustable. This will make it easy to set up the tripod when you’re on uneven ground or working close to a low obstacle. Built-in spirit bubble levels on the tripod and ball head help you to level-up your camera when it’s mounted.
The top of the Corey 2.0 without the AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head, showing the built-in spirit level. (Source: 3-Legged Thing.)
There’s a small orange D-ring at the bottom of the centre column for attaching an extra weight if you’re working in windy conditions. This ring must be unscrewed before you can pull out the centre column when you’re planning to use the tripod close to the ground. You can also use the ring when the centre column is in place for attaching the carrying strap or ‘parking’ the Toolz carabiner (although one of the loops on the Tri-Mount plate is better as it makes the carabiner more accessible).
Two illustrations showing the different places for ‘parking’ the Toolz carabiner.
You can quickly convert Corey 2.0 to a monopod by unscrewing any of the legs directly from the leg hinge. Once this is done, the leg can be screwed into the bottom of the detached centre column – or you can screw on the AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head if you don’t require additional length.
Removal of one of the legs to convert Corey 2.0 into a monopod.
The clamp holding the quick-release plate on the top of the AirHed Neo 2.0 can be detached from the ball head and mounted directly onto one of the tripod legs to allow it to be used as a monopod. You simply remove the quick-release plate and use the Toolz to unscrew the hex screw in the centre of the clamp.
The Tri-Mount plate disassembled to allow the quick-release plate to be attached directly to one of the tripod legs.
The system is simple in concept and, as with the original Corey, we found it required minimal force to adjust the leg sections and lock them securely into place – although it’s worth noting each lock on the review unit had two positions (which we assume is universal) so be prepared to twist through the initial resistance to allow the column (leg or centre) to be moved or locked into place. We had no problems with overall stability during the period of our review, although we found a few minor issues when attempting to detach some of the components.
If you buy one of these tripods, make sure you download and read the instructions before attempting to use it. Before detaching any part of the tripod, check out the ‘How to’ videos on the support page of the 3-Legged Thing website, to see precisely how each task is accomplished. It’s easy to try putting things together the wrong way round and there are situations involving small screws and rubber washers that must be assembled correctly.
The quick release plate must be correctly orientated, with the screws on its base pointing fore and aft, or it won’t fit into the clamp on the ball head. (This isn’t covered in the instructions.)
Top and bottom views of the quick-release plate showing the screws aligned vertically.
We also found the Toolz device to be awkward to use as the carabiner loop poked out far enough to bump against parts of the tripod and head, depending on how the legs were set up. Fortunately, we had a pocketable screwdriver that could be used in such situations.
Attaching the quick-release plate to a camera was a slower process and would be more difficult for people with limited dexterity. Our regular tripod has a D-loop as a permanent fitting and, while it makes the process straightforward (and eliminates any chance of losing the loop), While it’s not always as quick and convenient as it might seem (you must make sure the loop is pushed flat before mounting the camera on the tripod head), it’s quicker once you’re familiar with the system.
Corey 2.0 set up on an uneven surface with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera on board.
Top view of Corey 2.0 with its legs spread out and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera mounted.
Close-up view showing the adjustability of the ball head.
We tried some of the different configurations for Corey 2.0 with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II with the 12-100mm f/4 lens and found it worked very well. It would also be suitable for use with our Canon EOS 5D Mark II fitted with a 24-105mm f/4 lens, which we used for our trials of the Ray tripod. These two cameras, while not the latest models, should cover the range of camera sizes used by most readers who would purchase either of these tripods.
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Material: Magnesium alloy (aircraft grade)
Load capacity: 14 kg
Leg sections: 5
Column sections: 2
Max. leg tube diameter: 23 mm
Leg lock type: Rubber-coated twist type with weight-balanced parallel locks
Leg angles: 23º, 55º, 80º
Detachable legs: Yes; all legs are detachable
Spiked/Detachable Feet: Yes, detachable rubber Little Bootz; Heelz, Stilettoz, Clawz and Vanz tripod conversion footwear available
Removable centre column: Yes
Features: Legs can be detached and converted to a monopod, camera boom, microphone boom, lighting arm, selfie stick or other similar function.
Head type: Detachable ball head
Maximum Height: 146 cm
Minimum Height: 18.4 cm
Folded Length: 36.1 cm
Kit Weight: 1.78 kilograms
Kit contents: PUNKS Corey 2.0 magnesium alloy tripod, AirHed Neo 2.0 ball head, QR Octa Arca-Swiss compatible quick-release plate with ¼-inch-20 screw thread, microfibre head bag, Toolz (Multi-Tool, hex key, coin key, keyring, carabiner and bottle opener), Premium protective carry-bag with a carabiner clip and storage pocket with an extendable carry strap
Warranty: 5-years global (details at www.3leggedthing.com)
Distributor: Blonde Robot (Find your nearest dealer)
- Build: 9.0
- Features: 8.9
- Ease of use: 8.8
- Stability: 8.9
- Versatility: 9.0