Benro Mach3 TMA 37C
THERE’S SOMETHING VERY appealing about the purity of Benro's Mach3 series; it passes over fancy features in favour of a simple, classic design and quality materials. Every penny of investment in the TMA37C is concentrated on delivering solid support, with wide diameter legs ( 32mm at the top) made of nine- layer carbon- fibre, with three sections that are more stable than four, and large grippy twistcollar locks. That's the essentials sorted.
It's not totally devoid of a few modest extras though. The legs have three angle settings to get down low, and an additional short centrecolumn is provided for a minimum platform height of only 17cm. There's a ballast hook, spirit level, the rubber feet unscrew for swapping with the spikes supplied, and a handy 3/ 8in threaded socket can be used for accessories. It all comes in a very nice quality shoulder bag, too.
Unsurprisingly, the Mach3 topped the ratings for stability, scoring 82% in the wind- buffet test and 76% for mirror- shock, for an overall rating of 79%. It's a combination of the larger tubing, only three legs sections, and a bit more solid mass that is pushing up the scores. The Manfrotto 055 and Induro Stealth were the only other tripods to rate into the sixties zone and above.
In use, the fat profile legs and chunky collar locks give a reassuringly solid impression. It just feels well planted, a fact backed up by the performance figures, and everything operates as smoothly as you'd expect. The height is well judged, also suitable for taller users, and there's the option to go above head height with the centre- column extended, though that risks some loss of stability.