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Best of tripods


A solid tripod is nearly as important as the video camera itself. A solid tripod must do several things well. It must stay where you put it; it must not bend or vibrate when you use it; and it must give you smooth and consistent resistance for tilts and pans. If you think tripod only as a three-legged camera support system, perhaps a refresher course is in order. In recent years, tripods have evolved and types have expanded. Broadcast Video Producer will help you select the best tripod companion for your camera.


Manfrotto 190 G0!


The aluminium Manfrotto 190 tripod series has been around for many years, but the 190 Go! marks the first time that Manfrotto has used rotational leg-locks instead of lever locks. The 190 Go! is also the lightest and smallest model to grace the 190 range to date. That said, it’s still robust enough to support an enthusiast-level DSLR and 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Elsewhere, it features an Easy Link socket that can be used to attach accessories such as an LED light or reflector. The 190 Go! also comes with an adjustable centre column that can be set to 90° to help with creative angles, along with four individual leg angles that provide plenty of flexibility.









Gitzo GT1545T Series 1 6X Traveler


VGitzo is owned by the same parent company as Manfrotto and specialises in high-end tripods. The GT1545T is designed for those who require a highly portable tripod that doesn’t unduly compromise durability or functionality. To this end, each of its leg sections are constructed from Gitzo’s bespoke 6x carbon-fibre weave, which ensures excellent rigidity, and helps keep the overall weight down. Gitzo’s patented leg-folding design allows each leg to be folded back by 180°, allowing the legs to wholly envelop both the centre column and a small tripod head (not supplied). It can bear up to 10kg, and has a maximum extended height of 153cm.






Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod

The old expression was that the best of something was the “Cadillac” of its kind. Well, Really Right Stuff supports are the Rolls Royces of the tripod world. The TVC-33 Versa Series 3 carbon fiber tripod is a beautiful unit with a diamond-pattern carbon veneer, twist-locks, and rubber ball feet. The RRS TVC-33 has a ratcheting system for the leg angle locks that lets you keep your hands free of pinching once you pull out the stop. Also, the metal parts are made from a CNC milling process from a solid chunk of metal, not from a mold, for extra strength and durability.

Really Right Stuff TVC-33 Versa Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod


Gitzo GT2532 Mountaineer Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod


I From another premium line of supports, the Gitzo GT2532 Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod features 8-layer Carbon eXact legs with a signature Gitzo veneer. The carbon portion of the center tube can be removed, leaving the shooter with a shortened center tube for very low-angle shooting from a minimum height of 6.3”. Fully extended, the legs and ball head will reach 69.8” and support 31 lb. The GT2532’s chassis is made of magnesium and is powder-coated—again with that signature Gitzo look. Leg-angle adjustment tabs are spring-loaded and Gitzo placed O-rings on the tops of the G-Lock Ultra leg twist locks for extra sealing from the elements.
Gitzo GT2532 Mountaineer Series 2 Carbon Fiber Tripod





FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod


Another heavyweight option in our lineup, the 33-lb capacity of the FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid carbon fiber tripod and CB-40D ball head can support a lot of camera. The three-position leg-angle locks are unique to FEISOL and feature a release tab that protrudes from the chassis at the top of the legs. Anti-leg rotation technology keeps the legs tightly in place when the twist locks are tightened down. The twist-locks feature a minimalist design with smooth, but grippy rubber. A leveling center column allows for minor leveling adjustments and it can be removed and replaced with an included mount base to allow shooters to mount the head or camera directly to the aluminum chassis plate.
FEISOL CT-3472LV Elite Rapid Carbon Fiber Tripod with Leveling Center Column


Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod


WThe “Stealth” word in the Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 tripod’s name refers to the fact that Induro has purposely designed the CLT203 to have a very low reflective design—no bling here! The legs feature foam pads and a very cool carbon veneer. The center column is reversible when you remove the weight hook, and a short center column is included as an extra for low shooting. Black leg-angle locks pull out and the legs can be adjusted to three angles. A bull’s-eye bubble level lives on the magnesium-alloy chassis, as does an accessory mounting point with two different threads. A carrying case protects the legs, and a tool pouch holds spike feet and a wrench for adjustments.
Induro CLT203 Classic Series 2 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod



3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston Carbon Fiber Tripod


IFairly new to the tripod pond, but splashing in with splashy colors is the 3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston carbon fiber tripod and AirHed 360 ball head. The Winston is one of the most uniquely designed tripods in the lineup, due to its color combinations and leg lock grip design alone. The leg locks have oval-shaped grips and are very pleasant to adjust. One possibly unique feature is that the leg locks have a secondary locking system that prevents you from loosening the locks and completely removing a leg section. Many photographers new to twist-locks often have anxiety filled moments when they accidently disassemble the tripod while trying to extend it! Also, the legs have anti-rotation fittings to keep them from spinning while extending and retracting. Rare for a full-sized tripod, the legs can fold to the inverted position for more compact storage. Need a monopod or heavy-weight selfie stick? One of the Winston’s legs detaches and can serve a multitude of purposes. A maximum height of 76.9” and a very high load capacity of 88.2 lb makes the Winston ready for the heaviest of chores.
3 Legged Thing Equinox Winston Carbon Fiber Tripod with AirHed 360 Ball Head


Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod


The Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure carbon fiber tripod is very similar to the Induro I discussed above. The primary difference is the Benro is equipped with flip locks for the legs and a solo foam pad for carrying. The Benro leg flip locks may be the best in the business with very smooth action and an attractive design. The center column is locked down by a wingnut collar system and the triple leg-angle options are achieved by pulling out the locking cams to reposition the legs. The leg’s own bull’s-eye bubble level rides on the chassis. Maximum height with the head is 67.7” and the unit’s load capacity is 26.5 lb.
Benro TAD37C Series 3 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod




Oben CC-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod


If you are looking for a flip-lock-equipped carbon fiber tripod with a respectable 25-lb maximum load, check out the Oben CC-2381 with BE-126 ball head. A super-versatile center column allows for inverted shooting, or can be split into two sections to allow very low-angle shooting. To keep the two-section center column together, simply tighten the Allen screw when you don’t need the shorter column. The leg-angle locks are of similar design to Benro and Induro and work perfectly—holding the legs at three prescribed angles of 24, 55, and 80 degrees. The rubber feet retract to reveal spikes for anchoring your setup on softer ground. The unit comes with a padded bag and tool kit for keeping your rounded flip locks tight and shortening the center column.
Oben CC-2381 Carbon Fiber Tripod with BE-126 Ball Head Kit


Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Fiber Tripod


The latest in the 055 line of Manfrotto tripods is the MT055XPRO3 with the MHXPRO-3W 3-way pan/tilt head kit. With a 72” maximum height and a weight capacity of 17.6 lb, this setup has some unique Manfrotto features, as well as a modern look—sporting black with red and brushed-aluminum accents. The leg locks hold the legs at one of four different angles, and the lock levers are large and an easy-to-use press-to-release affair. The flip-locks have the hinge position at the 1/3 point on the locks, instead of at the end. This appears to allow the photographer to get better leverage on the lock—pushing and pulling simultaneously—for ease of actuation. The center column can extend and then rotate (with its own ball-head-type design) to the 90-degree position for lateral shooting. Housing a rotating bull’s-eye level, the head is oblong-shaped and cleverly integrates the Manfrotto logo into its top. The chassis’ EZ Link 3/8”-16 access thread allows numerous accessories to be mounted on the side of the unit.
Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum Tripod


Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod


“Tall and sturdy” is how the Silk Pro 700DX AMT Tripod with 3-Way Head was described to me. And, at a maximum height of 74.8”, it is one of the taller tripods on the market. All three A.M.T. (aluminum, magnesium, titanium) legs sport foam pads and allow three-position angle adjustment. The blended metal legs offer a 40% strength gain over standard aluminum. The center column has a dual-lock system and is designed so that it cannot rotate accidently and it can be shortened for low-angle shooting. Most flip-locks have hex bolts that can be tightened if the locks loosen over time. This Slik has riveted flip-locks that cannot be adjusted, but the 700DX that I handled has been abused in the store for more than three years and the flip locks show no signs of being anything but tight. This is a very solid piece of kit, suitable for any photographer, and it has a 15-lb load capacity.
Slik Pro 700DX AMT Tripod


Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod


Versatility is one of the hallmarks of the Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum tripod and BA-117 Ball Head. The black legs are standard, with easy to operate flip locks. The unit’s versatility comes to the fore when we look at the center column. The column is telescoping, but can be removed entirely, and the BA-177 head attached directly to the chassis for low shooting and maximum stability. The gear hook at the bottom is removable and the entire column reverses for extreme low-angle shooting. Up top, the BA-117 ball head has a single lever control for fast operation. The quick-release plates are proprietary, and the head has a special safety lock to prevent accidental release of the plate (and your gear!).
Oben AC-1361 3-Section Aluminum Tripod