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on 30 August 2013
In a nutshell: this is an absolutely brilliant tripod, is easy to use, very sturdy, well-made and not nearly as heavy as you might be worried it is.

I mainly use tripods for macro photography and group portrait shots, and the tripods I've used over the years have ranged from unwieldy but reliable to cheap and kind of like gambling with your kit. I, like a lot of people, need a compromise between a giant and reliable tripod and one that's easy to carry around, especially one that doesn't cost ridiculous amounts of money - and that's where this model fits the bill...

Top 5 best things about this model (there are many, but these are the main selling points):

1. Sturdiness. This will not fall over unless something physically rams into it. I bought the 10kg weight-bearing model and am pleased to report that it hasn't once let me down or even hinted that it's breaking a sweat when I load it up with a heavy lens, flash gun and diffuser. Which is nice!

2. Quick setup. With only 2 locks per leg, you can set up inside 30 seconds and be ready to shoot. Having worked with the Vitruvian Giottos MH5310-630 Vitruvian Aluminium Tripod with Ball Head recently, there's very little in terms of which is quicker to use, but I do prefer the feel of the Silk Road.

3. Reach. Fully adjustable height, from flat on the floor to nearly 6ft in the air. Obviously, the higher you stretch it, the less steady it becomes, so bear that in mind if you fancy a cup of tea inbetween shots.

4. Optional extras. Working on wet grass? Gale brewing? If you remove the rubber feet from the bottom of the legs, there are spiked feet which add more stability. Also, the centre column has a hook to which you can attach a weight (most likely a heavy bag) to add even more assurance. This might sound obvious, but there's no mention of it on Amazon's product description (unless I skimmed over it) and it's worth pointing out - not all tripods have this and I've found it to be pretty useful.

5. Price. Hey, we're not all rich. At around £130, you're getting a truly remarkable tripod for a modest sum.

Downsides:

1. You'll have to buy your own tripod head, unless you've already got one you can switch over. Again, this might not surprise some people, but it's worth reaffirming this. Giottos make some great models, especially the MH1312 Giottos GTMH1312-652 Ball Head with Friction and Quick Release Plate Weight: 0.36 kg max. Capacity: 6 kg Black, but you can pick from other manufacturers to get the one that really works for you.

2. Carry bag size. If yours comes with a bag, chances are that when you've fitted that shiny new tripod head to it, the total size will exceed what the bag can accommodate. Whoops. Either buy a new bag or store them separately.

I really recommend this tripod to anyone using DSLRs. It's not something to take on holiday but for most uses, this tripod will be a great addition to your kit and won't let you down.
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on 2 April 2014
Excellent for heavier Spotting Scopes and cameras. It is quick and simple to operate, which was just what I needed for digiscoping.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 May 2015
Broke too quickly
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