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

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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.

Per­for­mance

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.

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