Benro C2970F Versatile Transformer + BH2-M ball head £245, $420
The carbon fibre version of this Benro tripod is lighter and stronger than its aluminium sibling
More expensive than the aluminium edition, this version of Benro’s 2970F Versatile Transformer tripod is made from eight-layer carbon fibre. The diameter of each leg section, the clip locks and all the magnesium alloy castings are identical in both cases. With the head fitted – it has the same BH2-M ball head – there’s a reduction in carrying weight from 2.5kg to 2kg, while the maximum load rating of the legs goes up from 10kg to 12kg.
The excellent pivoting centre column mechanism is also the same in both tripods. One thing that is slightly different is that the aluminium tripod (with head fitted) has a maximum operating height of 190cm and collapsed height of 77cm, but the carbon fibre edition is slightly shorter, at 184cm and 75cm respectively. An upside of this is that the tripod fits into the padded bag that’s supplied with the head fitted.
There’s really no difference in the performance of the two Benro tripods. Both feel equally rigid and sturdy and, as we’ve mentioned, the fasteners and head are identical. The carbon fibre edition is noticeably lighter to carry, but is typically rather more expensive to buy. Even so, it’s competitively priced for a carbon fibre tripod.