Athlon Optics MIDAS CF40 tripod is built for heavy rifles and hard use. The largest member of the MIDAS lineup, the CF40 features 10-layer carbon fiber legs designed to support up to 88 pounds. As someone who enjoys heavy rifles and tripod shooting, I was keen to see just how good this tripod from Athlon was after a month of hard use.
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TFB Review: Athlon Optics Midas CF40 Tripod
The CF40 ships as a kit. All the accessories tuck into various storage locations in the digital camo-style storage case. Included is the tripod, carrying sling, tripod hammock, spiked feet, leg wraps, shoulder pad, ball head with quick release plate, leveling head, and of course the bag.
For this review, I’d be using the ball head mount that would allow me to test this setup with multiple ARCA-equipped rifles. Both the tripod base and ball head have bubble levels that make it easier to verify the level before sending rounds downrange.
Note: The ARCA rails on both my rifles were steel, and this photo was taken near the end of the review. This wear was only cosmetic and had no impact on performance in any way.
On the right-hand side of the ball head is a large tilt control knob. This larger knob loosens the entire ball head for elevation adjustment and snugs up quickly with a quick turn.
The right-hand side of the ball head has two sets of control knobs. First is the Fluid Pan lock that controls the traverse or left-to-right adjustment. Just above that is the Friction Control knob that adjusts tension on the ball head. This is useful when transitioning rapidly between targets as it allows you to pan and tilt the ball head when unlocked.
The base of the ball head houses a fairly large counterweight hook. The legs are wide enough, and with an 88lb weight limit, you can hang anything from a bag to a backpack underneath for added stability.
Tripod legs on the CF40 can be adjusted to three different angles of 80º, 55º, and 25º. Pushing the legs together slightly, pull the leg angle catch put and push down to meet the desired setting. This adjustment allows you to get as low as 10 inches off the ground when needed.
Deployment of the legs can be done very quickly thanks to a twist lock design. Half a turn unlocks each section, and a quick counterclockwise turn locks it securely in place. I found myself using mostly the first two leg sections, but the tripod can be extended up to 71 inches when needed.
At The Range
Of all the included accessories, I found the tripod hammock to be the most useful. For hunters, it may be the shoulder pad or carrying sling. As these are all stored in the bag, it’s easy to configure the tripod on the go. The hammock on this setup was perfect. Sitting just low enough that I was able to hang one of my larger bags on the counterweight hook without it getting in the way of items stored in the hammock. Plus, I wasn’t forced to go out and buy it as an accessory.
The ball head is very bulky, and adjustments are very fine and lock up nicely when tightened down. It takes a little while to master the adjustments, and I found that locking them down to start, and then slowly unlocking them as needed was the best course of action. As for the 88-pound weight rating, it held more than double that amount* without issue.
*With the tripod fully extended I was able to hold on to the base and hang all 200+lbs of body weight without the legs collapsing. I did this so you don’t have to.
Pros and Cons
Most, if not all, of the accessories you’ll ever need are included with the MIDAS CF40. I like that this ships as a kit and I never found myself needing something I didn’t have. All the adjustments and the ball head movement are still just as smooth today as they were right out of the box. Impressive after being subjected to a month of dirt, dust, and abuse.
When test-fitting the rifle, I noticed a slight wobble in the quick release plate. I removed the screw, added some Loctite, and it was perfect after. This didn’t inspire confidence from the start, and I won’t be replacing any of my other tripods with this one just yet. In addition, the bag with all the accessories is a very tight fit. Just a little bit bigger and I’d probably avoid feeling like I was cramming a sleeping bag back into a compression sack. It’s either that or takes extra accessories you’re not using out.
MSRP on the MIDAS CF40 is $874.99, with street prices currently sitting at a consistent $699.99. For the average shooter, I think the MIDAS CF40 might be overkill. One of the smaller models like the CF29 will save you a couple hundred bucks and a couple pounds. If weight and price aren’t a concern, I’d recommend the CF40. Overall I’ve been impressed by the CF40 and will be continuing to use it for my rifles that have ARCA mounts (it’s either that or I’ll need to buy an adapter for the 3/8 inch stud on leveling head). It’s not a do-all tripod, but it’s packed with features and backed by a lifetime warranty. I wish it was made in America, but that would probably double the price tag. With that in mind, if you’re looking for a heavy-duty tripod, this is certainly one to consider.
More information on the MIDAS CF40 can be found here, and more information on MIDAS tripods or other Athlon products can be found here on their homepage. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Athlon Optics for sending this tripod over for review.
- Model: MIDAS CF40
- SKU: 706005
- Country of Origin: China
- Head Style: Ball head and Leveling Head
- Head Mount: Arca Compatible
- Leg Material: 10-Layer Carbon Fiber
- Max Leg Diameter: 40mm
- Max Extended Height: 71″
- Lowest Extended Height: 10″
- Folded Height: 29″
- Tripod Weight: 8.4 lbs.
- Package Weight: 14.4lbs
- Max Load: 88lbs
- MSRP: $874.99
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