K&F Concept has a range of aluminium-alloy and carbon-fibre tripods in its range. The K&F TC2535 is one of the latter and this five-section travel tripod is £120 for the legs only. It folds neatly to 35cm so is easily portable, but when fully erected is 142cm with the two-section centre column up, and 110cm without. For low-level shooting you can work just 42cm off the ground and the leg twist grips work very well, even with cold hands. Photography News has a competition to win one of these tripods for free. Go to our website at photographynews.co.uk and click on the tripod photo. All you have to do is answer a simple question to be in with a chance of winning! K&F TC2535 £120
Peak Design Travel
Peak Design has one model in its range currently and it is available in aluminium (£329) or carbon fibre, (£569). The Travel tripod has been designed from the ground up, so it is easier and faster to set up and take down, and more usable, too. Collapsed down, the tripod in cross profile is about the same diameter as a water bottle, with no protruding knobs, so perfect for packing and carrying around. The alloy version weighs 1.56kg complete with head, while the carbon model is 1.29kg, and both have a load capacity of 9.1kg. Height extension is good, too – 152.4cm with the centre column up and 130cm with it down. Both tripods include a lifetime guarantee.
Joby Gorillapod 3K PRO kit £149.95
Manfrotto Befree GT XPRO
This is an award-winning tripod for a very good reason: it’s amazingly good. The GT XPRO sits at the top end of the popular and extensive Manfrotto Befree range – the price here includes the 496 ball head – and while it’s dedicated to macro photographers, it suits all forms of general use, too. A four-section, carbon-fibre tripod with twist-grip legs, it weighs in at 1.76kg, so portability rates highly and it has a 10kg maximum load. Maximum height with the centre column down is 141cm and with the column extended it can reach 162cm. At the other extreme, you can get as low as 9cm, and when folded down for travel it’s just 43cm long. Where the GT XPRO gets really effective for macro and flatlay
work is when you fully extend the tripod’s centre column and set it to 90°, which makes shooting straight down incredibly easy. It's quick to do and also just as fast when you want to reset the centre column for regular shooting.
set up and you just close its legs for selfie shooting and vlogging. The 3K PRO kit comes with an Arca- Swiss compatible ball head and is designed for mirrorless and smaller DSLRs cameras. It weighs in at 463g and is 30cm in length, making it very portable. This is a tripod you can stash in the bag and leave it there, ready and waiting, for whenever support is needed. If you want to turn the 3K into a vlogging kit you can buy the Rig Upgrade for £42.95. It includes two extra flexible arms and a hub to hold a couple of LED lights, such as the Manfrotto Lumimuse, or a microphone. The Gorillapod 3K PRO Rig kit costs £179.95.
There’s an impressive range of support kit in Joby’s Gorillapod range, including for phones, action cameras and the top-end models for regular cameras. The 5K model has a maximum payload of 5kg, but the one that is featured here – the 3K – can take 3kg. All Gorillapods share the same flexible ball and socket legs. This means you can easily and securely hold your camera on a fence post, branch, walking stick or ski pole. Balancing the camera on uneven terrain is equally simple and it’s quick and fast to flex the legs to get the position you want. Once in place, the legs stay put, so no issues with camera stability once you are
Benro Rhino 14C with VX20 £229 benro.eu
The result? These new pods are very usable. For example, the auto-hold trigger makes it easy to adjust leg angles, both freely or using the presets. The model that is highlighted here is the four-section Rhino 14C at £229. It is an excellent travel tripod, folding down to 46.5cm, with a maximum extension of 165.5cm with the centre column used, and its maximum load is 16kg. The VX20 head features an Arca-compatible plate and has a dual panoramic function that allows you to rotate the camera, even when the ball head is firmly locked into position.
Benro updated its tripod offering last year with the introduction of the four-strong Rhino range and three VX ball heads. The lowest priced is the 05C at £199, which comes with the VX20 head and a load capacity of 10kg, and goes up to the 34C at £289, with the VX30 head and a 20kg payload. Both feature new-design braided carbon-fibre legs, so they rate highly for value for money. In designing the Rhino range, Benro retained all the features the brand is renowned for, but then took a fresh look at some key aspects of tripod design.
Issue 85 | Photography News 23
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