Supporting Stars - part 5 of 1 2 3 4 5

by Gavin Stoker Published 01/08/2011

Kenro has recently announced a new range of lightweight Benro tripods in the Flat Traveller. Available in either aluminium or carbon fibre with steel-spiked or rubber feet, these supports come with twist-lock legs, and are dust and water resistant. "The Benro Flat Traveller range is ideal for any demanding photographer who works on location," claims Kenro's Paul.

There are three models available in aluminium, load bearing up to 6, 8 or 12 kilograms. Prices range from £109.99 to £160. The carbon fibre versions cost £319.99, £359.99 and £394.99 respectively for the same loads.

In terms of more familiar names, there's Giottos, distributed by Daymen International. Its spokeswoman selects the Vitruvian model as worthy of particular attention. Available in aluminium and carbon fibre these newest additions have an operating height of 147cm yet fold down to 40cm, and with the centre column extended reach a maximum 171cm. The VGRN9265 employs aluminium tubing and weighs 2.03kg while the VGRN8265 uses seven-layer carbon tubing and weighs 1.72kg. Both are supplied with a carry bag.

For its part, Johnsons Photopia, UK distributor for Vanguard tripods and bags, recommends the Auctus Plus tripod, in particular the carbon fibre Auctus Plus 323CT. Set-up is quick, via twist-to-loosen locks. All-terrain feet convert from antirust spikes to angled, textured rubber for secure footing on an array of terrains. It's flexible, too, with legs that adjust to 25-, 50- and 80-degree angles for use on uneven ground and for low-angle photography.

With its multi-angle centre column, the Vanguard Alta Pro is different again; its flexibility gives rise to a brand new range of camera angles that its spokesman suggests: "could allow very creative and different wedding pictures". The GH-100 was flagged up as a grip head that would be a perfect addition to the same tripod.

Lightweight yet rugged are the new 8000 series eight-layer carbon fibre tripods and monopods from Calumet. Each carbon fibre tripod features a grooved centre column with a spring-loaded weight hook for added stability, three foam leg covers for over-the-shoulder carrying comfort and rubber feet with retractable steel spikes. With six models to choose from, point your browser at Calumet's URL for more.

A tripod round-up would be incomplete without a mention for Manfrotto, numbering a Compact range and the 290 series among its most recent releases. The Compact series has an innovative thumb-wheel locking system while the 290s have a removable head and all-metal locking joints. The Compact Photo Kit's five section legs and reversible column provide maximum compactness for storage and transportation; yet when fully extended it is a full-size tripod. Just right then for harassed social photographers already juggling two DSLR bodies and sundry lenses.

For more on all recommendations, visit the following:

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1st Published 01/08/2011
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