Benro A2970F Ver­sa­tile Trans­former + BH2-M ball head £145, $225

There’s a wealth of clever fea­tures and im­pres­sive build qual­ity packed into this low-priced tri­pod

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Take a quick glance at this alu­minium Benro tri­pod and you’d never guess that it’s one of the least ex­pen­sive in the group. Take a longer look and the build qual­ity and fea­tures be­come even more im­pres­sive. Based on three-sec­tion legs with firm yet eas­ily op­er­ated clip locks, the tri­pod has a 10kg max­i­mum load rat­ing, closely matched by the 8kg rat­ing of the BH2-M ball head, which can be locked with three grub screws.

There are three lock­ing leg an­gles to choose from, plus a piv­ot­ing cen­tre col­umn. Only the Man­frotto tripods in this test group match this fea­ture, but it’s bet­ter im­ple­mented on the Benro, where you can lock the cen­tre col­umn at many an­gles through a 180-de­gree arc. The Man­frot­tos only of­fer ver­ti­cal or hor­i­zon­tal op­tions.

Per­for­mance

There’s a high-pre­ci­sion feel to all the ad­just­ments in the legs and head, and the ex­ten­sion of all leg sec­tions is very smooth. A firm foot­ing is guar­an­teed thanks to a set of spikes that is sup­plied as an al­ter­na­tive to the fit­ted rub­ber feet. Bub­ble lev­els on the tri­pod col­lar and head en­able quick and easy lev­el­ling. Our only com­plaint is that the plush padded bag that’s sup­plied isn’t quite long enough to ac­com­mo­date the tri­pod with the BH2-M head fit­ted.

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