Vel­bon Sherpa 5370D kit (with PH-157Q three-way head) £120, $180

It’s rea­son­ably compact and light­weight for an alu­minium kit, al­beit with a mod­est load rat­ing

NPhoto - - Test Team -

The two light­est car­bon fi­bre tripods in the group weigh 2kg with heads at­tached, and this alu­minium Vel­bon kit is only a whisker heav­ier at 2.1kg. It’s quite a nar­row de­sign and not overly long when col­lapsed, at 63cm. The flip side is that the max­i­mum op­er­at­ing height is just 170cm and, in keep­ing with its light weight for an alu­minium tri­pod, the load ca­pac­ity is only 4kg.

The three-sec­tion leg de­sign en­ables the bot­tom sec­tion to have a di­am­e­ter of 20mm. That equals the di­am­e­ter of the bot­tom sec­tion of the Gitzo legs, although the Vel­bon’s alu­minium feels a lot less rigid than the Gitzo’s car­bon fi­bre.

The de­sign of the PH-157Q three-way head is more like a cross be­tween a ball head and three-way head. A sin­gle lock­ing arm en­ables move­ment of both pan and tilt, while a sep­a­rate lock­ing screw is used to switch be­tween land­scape and por­trait ori­en­ta­tion shoot­ing.

Per­for­mance

Rigid­ity isn’t very im­pres­sive, as you’d ex­pect from a light­weight alu­minium tri­pod. It’s not helped by the sur­face of the head’s quick-re­lease plate, which feels spongy and fails to give a re­ally solid sup­port for the cam­era. Ul­ti­mately, it’s the least ex­pen­sive tri­pod in the group, but also the least sturdy.

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