Gear Review: Lollipod
PRICE: (as of February 2014) : £29.99
Every now and then a really great idea happens and proves to be a really valuable tool for both amateur and professional photographers.
Enter the Lollipod - a really really small and light aluminium tripod that both the committed Instagram/blogger/selfie-shooter and professional snapper can find a huge amount of use for.
The holy grail for me is to get my shooting kit into a small and light a bag as possible. I really don’t enjoy carrying back-breaking amounts of equipment to shoots. Usually to take less means I’d have to make some sort of trade off between portability and kit, leaving something behind to keep the kit more manageable through the London transport network.
I was actually amazed at just HOW light they are - they really don’t add any notable load into a camera bag and you can easily take them anywhere. They come in a range of fun colours too. They are only available online direct from Lollipod, they say it’s to keep the costs low.
They come in a little net bag with a handy clip - as well as a natty little mesh pocket thing that clips onto the stand at the bottom so you can add a weight for some more stability. I found them surprisingly well made too.
Each unit weights a paltry 320 grams, and is 32cm long when closed. They extend to 113cm long.
For the amateur they are great for selfies/night shots and group shots- there’s a smartphone attachment available that clamps your phone to the Lollipop. It’s a standard tripod thread on top so most things with a tripod mounting screw you can attach. Don’t forget video too - Now there’s no excuse for having any wobbly shots!
They can take a weight of up to 420g, which is not huge but should be alright If you want to pop a compact camera onto it - it’s no problem at all. The head is plastic though - so do be careful but it seems to be fairly sturdy for the size.
What’s in it for the professional?
They can take a flash gun and wireless trigger. I find the Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 is just about ok on it. You don't need to drag heavier lighting stands around because these are perfect for those moments you would love to take the flash off-camera but you don't want to drag a couple of lighting stands with you. The head can be flipped 90 degrees too.
I’d probably not advise you take these out into the wind - even with a weight in the included net basket attachment you may struggle. Keeping the stands lower to the ground and not extending them fully will make them a little more stable though, adding umbrellas may also be too top heavy for them.
Some of you are sure to say the colours are not very ‘pro’ looking. I have the light blue-grey ones and they are pretty subtle.
I actually like the different colours - they can be helpful if you have a couple of stands, and if you have the strobes on different settings you and know which one to move- or you can tell an assistant ‘move the green one’, so this can be quite handy.
The Lollipods are so light you can use them as a boom arm too and If you shoot video- these are also a great idea to keep with you.
I actually use mine with a couple of Rotolights, but other LED lights would also be fine on providing they aren’t too heavy. I find the Rotolights perfect because they are SO light that they can go everywhere, but I’ll be reviewing those in another post.
So, a 2 head lighting kit, a couple of stands can all get thrown into your existing camera bag and you’ll hardly know they are there.
The standard thread will of course hold a small Video Mic, or even a Digital audio recorder. You could collapse the Lollipod and use it as a table top tripod for a microphone, or use it as a boom. They’re really very versatile.
They are no substitute for a full tripod or a lighting stand but if you’re like me and sometimes wish you had an extra support or pair of hands on a shoot, these are fabulous and inexpensive tools that could become invaluable.
Ultra lightweight and compact
Not suitable for items over around 420g
Not good in windy conditions
RICK’S RATING: 8/10
A brilliant and cheap addition to any camera bag. They can’t take a huge load but they are incredibly handy. Get one and you will have a new range of shooting options available to you.