Slik Lite CF-422 and Lite AL-420S Tripod Review
Today Slik released a new product line of tripods, the Lite Series – Lite CF422 and Lite AL-420S. Landscape Photography Magazine is among the first in the industry to test the products. Below you will find our comprehensive review of the Lite CF-422 and Lite AL-420S tripods.
The tripod arrived in traditional packaging. Included in the box was a very nice blue and cream tripod bag (complete with karabiner), 2 AAA batteries, a center column cap, hex wrench and an instructional manual.
Specs at a quick glance:
• Retail Price: $329.95
• Arca Swiss Compatible
• Max Height (with center column fully extended): 70.1”
• Standard Height (without center column extended): 56.1”
• Folded Length: 18.7”
• Tripod Weight: 2.43 lbs.
• Material: Carbon Fiber
Legs & Rapid Flip Mechanism
One feature to note is the grip on the legs that allows for ease of extending the four sections. I found the grip to be of very good quality and easy to grab. In addition to the legs is the patent pending technology Slik has called Rapid Flip Mechanism, which enables you to invert the legs 180 degrees while traveling.
Flashlight & Accents
The tripod has a sleek design with a hint of blue accents on the body, namely one leg and on the leg release. You will find a flashlight in the base of the center column which can be turned on by rotating a ring. I found the flashlight very useful for looking inside my backpack after the sun had set and also to assist while walking back to my Jeep after the sunset shoot. It provides enough light so an additional flashlight wasn’t required. In addition, the center column is gear-less and allows you to be able to detach it for low shooting.
Notwithstanding that although the tripod is from carbon fiber and attractive, the weight (2.43 lbs) caused me to have doubts about the ability to hold up my various bodies and lenses. The tripod was tested with the following bodies for weight:
• Fuifilm X-T1 & 16-55mm lens (total weight): 2.4lbs
• Fujifilm X-Pro2 100-400mm lens (total weight): 4 lbs
• Nikon D810 & Tokina 24-70mm with RRS L-Bracket (total weight): 4.525 lbs
With all the above camera and lens combinations, the ballhead was able to support each camera and lens, all the way up to the 4.5 lbs of the Nikon D810 with Tokina 24-70mm and RRS L-Bracket with ease. The camera was also placed in a slightly elevated angle on the ballhead (as pictured) and the ballhead was able to support the head without the shift.
One feature I find less than ideal (and this is true of most tripods today) is that there isn’t a D Ring on the plate itself. You will need to carry a coin with you to get it off and on. The plate is also exceptionally small, which worries me that it would be easy to misplace or forget.
I always keep an L-Bracket on my camera and with an arca swiss mount, the small plate was a moot point.
This is a stable, sturdy tripod, with the ability to support a good deal of weight. Based on what is on the market today, this is a great value for money.
Also Tested – A Brief Summary:
I also had the opportunity to test the Lite AL 420S which is a travel tripod and retails at $99.95. For any mirrorless systems this aluminium tripod would be a good fit. Most of my notes above on the CF-422 can be carried to the AL 420S. One difference is that while the AL-420S has a twist extension on the legs, this tripod weighs just under 1.71 pounds and the folded length is just 12.3 inches.