Manfrotto Befree Carbon Fibre Tripod with Ball Head £280, $350
They say less is more, and with the featherweight 1.1kg BeFree costing £280/$350, that holds true here. That said, you do get excellent construction quality and attention to detail, with leg-angle clamps that are a cinch to use while wearing gloves, plus a small but capable ball head. However, to keep weight down, it doesn’t have adjustable friction, and one knob locks both the ball and pan base.
The weight-saving drawbacks don’t end there, either. Its 142cm maximum height makes the Befree the shortest support on test, and with spindly leg diameters ranging from 22.25mm to 11.55mm, the payload rating is four kilograms. Despite the carbon construction there’s fairly significant leg flex, so mounting anything heavier than a D7200 with a light lens is asking a lot of this tripod. Pros Incredibly light; excellent construction quality. Cons Flexible legs; basic head has proprietary mounting plate. We say Great on the go, but only pair it with a light Nikon.
It’s light – but needs a light camera too