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My Car Boot Sale Bargain Tripod - The Cullmann 2921

I've been searching the local car-boot sale for months for a decent tripod. There's always plenty of cheap ones on offer, but I've already got one of those, and I wanted something sturdy and versatile. Then, last week-end, for £20, I got one.

Cullmann Tripod - Car Boot Bargain!

I was wandering around with my Wife, Suzanne, when I came across one of those stalls that gets me all excited. An old camera bag to hunt through, some lenses on display, and what looked like a huge tripod bag at the back.

I actually forgot about the tripod after looking through the lenses, and ran back to the stall when I realised my mistake a few minutes later. I unzipped the bag to find this gorgeous Cullmann 2921 Tripod, I guess over 20 years old because it says "Made In West Germany". I checked it still had the quick release plate, it all operated smoothly and seemed to be in good condition. I knew right away that it was a good one - the pan and tilt head was silky smooth, the centre column came completely out, and it was heavy. Real heavy.

Cullmann Tripod - Car Boot Bargain!

The lady asked for thirty pounds, I offered twenty and we had a deal. A bit rich for me, but it looked like this Cullmann was just the tripod I have been looking for.

At home I had time to play, and discovered how versatile this beast is.

As I've already said, the centre column can be removed, then installed upside down to get really low perspectives or for interesting angles and macro work.

Cullmann Tripod - Car Boot Bargain!

The centre column also splits into two - allowing the tripod to get very low - but also the two halves are joined by a bolt that is the same size as a tripod mount, so you can use the center column as a mono-pod too!

The next feature that marks this Cullmann Tripod as special is that the legs can work independently of each other. This means that you can "swing" the centre column around to all sorts of great angles, both upside down or the right way up:

Cullmann Tripod - Car Boot Bargain!

You can also make the tripod "do the splits"!

Cullmann Tripod - Car Boot Bargain!

I guess you're thinking, "Well this is all very nice, but what difference will it make to your photography?"

First up, I've now got a tripod that can safely take the weight of my Canon Eos 350D / Digital Rebel XT, without having to worry about it collapsing, especially when I'm using the heavier lenses.

The Cullmann 2921 is also very solid - much more so than my old Asda Tripod, so long exposures shouldn't be a problem, even in windy conditions. It's also very smooth to pan and tilt the head, making composition a breeze.

I've also now got a piece of kit that can put my camera in all sorts of weird angles. This is important, especially for macro work, because I'm using manual focus M42 lenses, often at tight apertures, so the shutter speed will be too slow for hand-held photographs.

One thing I'm determined to try soon are very long exposures (over a minute), and maybe even longer for some pinhole or zone-plate work - so a good, solid tripod will be a definite help.

The downside to all this is the sheer weight of the thing - it's going to take a lot of getting used to lugging this monster around!

Cheers, Rob.

ps As a bonus (unknown to the seller at the car-boot sale), I also found a mini-tripod, and a monopod in the tripod's bag, more on them in a later post... ;-)

Reader Comments (6)


Absolutely blinding find! That tripod looks like a beast. Looks like it has some good features too.

Don't fancy having to lug it up the side of a hill for landscape photography however, but still you must be well please with it.

Guess the other tripod and monopod will be useful too.

Well done, wish our car boot's were as good as yours, or is there a list of "photographic only" car boots that you're not telling us about?

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBen

Hi Ben,

We just make sure we get there early (7 o'clock), and go every week. Sometimes there's nothing, other times just what we're looking for!

Cheers, Rob.

July 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob_Nunn


I own a Cullmann 2921 too. Since 1980.
It still does it's job very well.


August 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKeiner

cool Tripod cullmann 2921, I have one but I've lost the release plate do you know where I can get one?

October 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterShanu

Funny to see, I yesterday bought the same one in a second hand shop, they asked € 17,= but as the quick release plate was missing, I got it for € 15,=.

Can you make a clear picture to see how the quick release plate is looking and functioning, I want to make a copy of it, as I cannot find it somewhere.

Awaiting your pictures, thanks in advance.


September 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHenk

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