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
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.
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.