Man­frotto 560B-1 £99, $170

NPhoto - - Gear Zone - www.man­frotto.com

At just 66cm col­lapsed, the 560B-1 is one of the smaller sticks in our bunch, yet is still fea­tures three fold-out feet for bet­ter grip on loose sur­faces. They re­ally do make a dif­fer­ence when you’re off the beaten track.

The leg and feet con­nect via a small ball-and-socket joint, which is sup­posed to en­able smooth pan­ning. How­ever, we found it to be prone to jerk­ing and stick­ing. Frankly, it might as well be lu­bri­cated with lumpy cus­tard. There’s no lock­ing mech­a­nism ei­ther, so if you don’t hold on to your Nikon, it will tip over.

The four-sec­tion leg is noth­ing spe­cial, ei­ther. The skinny tub­ing it’s made from helps keep the weight down to a re­spectable 1.2kg, but it re­stricts the pay­load to just 2kg, mak­ing this the weak­est mono­pod on test.

A light­weight Nikon will sit pretty on this leg, but its poorly-de­signed base is a real bug­bear

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