Man­frotto Befree Car­bon Fi­bre Tri­pod with Ball Head £280, $350

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www.man­frotto.com

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

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