Samsonite’s presence here in the Philippines is limited to bags for the most part, but during an intentional visit to the neighborhood thrift shop I was able to get my hands on one of their tripod models, the Triton 1100.
The particular model that I was able to get was the one without the level and the quick release mount, think of this as the most basic of the entire line. Operation is as straightforward as it can get: 4 knobs and 6 latches are about the only operable parts in this configuration.
The knobs control panning and swiveling as well as elevation, and the latches dictate the height of the feet. It lacks a little bit due to the fact that the sliding ring at the center cannot be locked and as such, the tripod must be fully spread in order to maintain complete stability of the feet, of course with a little assistance it does still function even when the feet are close together.
My brother and I watch a lot of the restoration / preservation series on History: Pawn Stars, The Pickers, and Kings of Restoration, and it really does feel good taking something home from what others might consider their garbage and giving life to it. I got this deal for 500 pesos and while some might argue that a new one can be had for 600, I’m certain that it wont be a Samsonite.
I had come to the realization that shopping for a tripod is pretty similar to shopping for a bag because while there are several body types (carbon fiber, alloy, etc) some parts of the hardware would remain plastic and as Samsonite is a well respected player in such a field which requires plastic as well, how can you go wrong? This model is also very light, perfect for lugging around and the colors match the GF3 to a certain extent; A completely black tripod model will surely make the GF3 pop out as it is the white model that I have.
The Triton certainly came at an opportune time as I was on the lookout for quality pods lately and seem to only find bulky ones or else totally expensive models. This would certainly let me experiment with lengthy exposures and allow me to be in the frame at particular instances… very important indeed! So if by chance you pass along thrift shops / sales, always remember that there may be treasure lurking in there, all it takes is a little hunting.