Avoid the cheap­est, stick-thin tripods and you can still buy sturdy sup­ports on a bud­get

NPhoto - - Special Feature -

benro a500f-n1 £105/$140

Com­pact but sturdy, this light­weight tripod kit has a max­i­mum height of 156cm and a load rat­ing of 5kg for the legs (enough to sup­port a D810 and 400mm f/2.8 lens). The ball head fea­tures an ad­justable fric­tion damper, too.

man­frotto 294a3+d3rc2 £105/$140

At 2.5kg, this kit feels re­as­sur­ingly sub­stan­tial and of­fers good sta­bil­ity on a tight bud­get. At 181cm when fully ex­tended, it raises the cam­era al­most a foot higher than the Benro, while the three-way head boasts a handy bub­ble level.

vel­bon sherpa 200R £60/$130

If you’re not af­ter bells and whis­tles, then this kit rep­re­sents solid value (in the UK). The legs op­er­ate smoothly, al­though they don’t of­fer multi-an­gle po­si­tion­ing, and at 1.9kg it’s easy to carry all day, so you’re more likely to use it.

van­guard nivelo 245bk £120/$150

This five-sec­tion tripod of­fers a piv­ot­ing cen­tre col­umn that can be used ei­ther up­wards or down­wards – the lat­ter is use­ful for low-level macro shots. The Nivelo is a great op­tion for travel pho­tog­ra­phy, as it folds down to just 37cm.

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