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on 21 October 2013
I bought this with trepidation having some experience of flimsy tripods. I have a Nikon D7100 and did not want to balance my beloved camera on a wobbly tripod so I worked on the basis that the camera needs a tripod at least close to it's own build. Having said that I am an amateur hobby photographer so I dont need the best and did not want to spend hundreds on a tripod if avoidable. A couple of the reviews I read here (particularly the one from the pro photographer) gave me the willpower to go ahead with this order and wow - I am delighted with my buy. Absolute gem of a tripod. Sturdy and oozes decent quality (not fantastic quality but decent). Anyone seeing or touching it will think you spent more than the price on this. It has excellent sturdy legs and comfortable clips that allow you to open and close without losing a finger nail. The legs are tubular and not the cheapie hollow type that you get for £10 and this makes them even more sturdy. It also has a level which is great for telling you if you are set up on flat ground. However that is a bit useless without an indicator on the head to tell you when the camera is level set too. However that is a minor grips as I tend to shoot in RAW and can easily level off my photos with my Nikon software that came with my camera.

The on off ballhead mechanism which some people claim to have found complicated is actually a breeze to learn. The tripod comes with no manual which is a bit of a surprise given that not everyone might now how to use the ballhead mechanism however nothwithstanding this it took me all of a minute to work it out. Basically release the brass lock by pulling it toward yourself and then pull the black plastic lever above it to release the camera foot. Once released you can screw the foot into the base of your camera and you are good to go, with or without tripod as you need.

Another thing that the seller fails to tell you is that the main tripod column is reversible. This means that you can hang your camera upside down to take micro and macro photos if that is your scene etc. The swivel ballhead also allows for the camera to be flipped over a full 90 degrees which is handy. Like any tripod or new piece of kit you need to spend time with it to get to know it before you take it out for an important shoot. I am still getting to know my camera as well having upgraded from an entry level D40 beforehand.

Finally an important consideration that made me buy this was the weight of the tripod. I considered the option of lugging this around, even if only in luggage from country to country and I was wary of buying a 3, 4 or 5 kilo tripod. This little think is a perfect weight providing just enough stability and security without breaking your shoulder on a walk. The tidy bag supplied makes it all the easier to carry too.

When buying a tripod ask yourself one key question - am I happy to balance £2k worth of camera and lens on that tripod and walk away to take a photo? That is really why you do need to choose carefully and dont assume that everything is the same as they are not. This tripod is probably the ideal entry level tripod for amateur photographers or as an additional extra for a pro...
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on 18 July 2013
I was really impressed by the build quality of this tripod, both the ball head and the body. In my opinion it is not that far away from Manfrotto standards for a similarly sized tripod. The legs have clip locks on them which are much easier and faster to extend than the twist locks that are found on some budget tripods. The leg catch at the top allows the legs to be opened out in one of three positions: narrow (for tighter spaces), normal (for greater stability) and very wide (for ground work).

There are a few negatives: the ball head doesn't have a separate pan feature, making it unsuitable for panoramas, and the central pole doesn't have a hook for attaching weights to (for increased stability). For me these weren't big issues, but I did buy a Giottos MH5011 3-way head for greater flexibility.
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on 16 September 2014
The tripod was great. Still would be - but one of the clips to secure the legs has broken ( or to be more accurate the plastic has worn down causing the clip to pop off and the leg to collapse ) . This is a real shame, had this not happened it would be a 5 star review. But it happened after only weeks of using.

*UPDATE*

I was sent a replacement tripod which again seemed like it would be great for the money ( providing the clips held together ) . But this time, the middle extension came off when assembling the tripod for a group shot at a wedding. I couldn't get it back together at that moment - so almost ruined all the group photos.

Due to these failings this otherwise sturdy appearing tripod is really of no use to me now.
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on 11 September 2015
Good solid budget tripod, while it lasts.
But... Right from the off, the bolts for the legs were either way too tight or too slack, and this has been the pattern all the way through it's short life with me.
Constantly tightening/slacking off, it's ridiculous.
I have had it in the sea, freshwater, sand, mud, dust, rocks. It's been all over Scotland doing landscapes, beaches, rivers, and several weddings! and I use it for corporate photography in my day job. It's had a tough bit of work to do from time to time, but I clean it, WD40 it when needed, but the alloy parts are corroding and the metal parts have been rusting for some time.
The three rubber feet have also gone through months ago, leaving metal tubing touching the floor.
I might have been able to patch it up and keep it going for a while but this morning I have had enough. After tightening up the leg bolts just last week, I'm on an important outdoor shoot this morning and one of the legs starts slipping down, right at the wrong moment.
I have now ordered a more expensive Carbon Fibre tripod, only slightly more expensive than this one.
There comes a time when you've just had enough, and this morning I reached my limit.
Do yourself a favour, buy something else.
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on 17 June 2014
Amazing piece of kit. Definitely sturdier than I thought it would be. I didn't want to spent hundreds of pounds for a Manfrotto or similar because I live in the Scottish Highlands and would worry about it getting wrecked. I decided to just buy a cheaper one so I could replace it if needed. This beauty feels like it could take a battering from the gales and rain up here. Very nice looking too, the ball head and small liquid level indicator look great. This tripod definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought for the price I paid, it would be a bit cheap and nasty but it's the best tripod over ever bought. Even the bag it packs into is great, it's padded and has a little interior pocket. I'm very, very pleased I bought it and it compares to a certain brand of pricey, professional tripods. Worth every penny. Will be buying another one for my daughter. I never thought it was possible to get excited over a tripod!
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on 5 February 2014
I got this tripod because of all the other reviews and I'm glad I did. It's well built and very sturdy, even fully extended. I tried some long exposures with it and as long as you extend the legs and not the middle pole it does the job just fine. In strong winds even with my strap on the camera there was no shake in the end pictures. It even stood up to the challenge of my Canon 5D3 with a 300mm f2.8 L lens on it.

There is another setting for the legs which isn't in the description. You can have them set out flat and upright like in the pictures, but there is also a middle setting which gives it a nice wide stance and very stable. In this setting the tripod is the same height as the middle pole if you don't extend the legs, I find it more stable than laying the legs flat and extending the pole. Also it would have been nice to get a shorter pole with the tripod for super low down shots. If you want super low down shots the only way is to flip your pole upside down and rotate the pictures in post processing.

The only downside I found is the weight. It's not a light tripod but for the price you can't complain. If you are concerned about weight then buy a carbon fibre one. Also there was no hook on the pole to hang weights from, this didn't bother me too much because it wasn't in the description. I made my own DIY one out of a wine bottle cork and a hook from my local DIY shop, just put the cork in the bottom of the pole and screw the hook in...sorted!

There is no panning function with the ball head like said in other reviews. The only way you can do panning is if you loosen off the middle pole and that will allow you to pan the camera, Or just loosen off the ball head and hope you have steady hands.

Everything else about the tripod is great. The clamps are reliable and the QR plate for the camera is nice and secure once fitted.

All in all I'd highly recommend it. It's up there with a lot of higher priced tripods and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.
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on 14 April 2017
This tripod is just about OK but it could be better. The quick release ball head jams and if you move the camera side to side the release mechanism actually loosens up!
My tripod did not come supplied with a bag which I thought it was supposed to have?
The tripod is quite light weight when compared to a Manfrotto.
The build quality is just OK.The quick release levers are made from plastic.
The feet are rubber which can be removed but you had better just leave them on as otherwise you will just expose hollow thin walled aluminium tubing.
The ball head mechanism is cheaply and simply made but does lock quite solidly. Not sure how it will fair once some wear and tear has occurred as I can see little lee way to allow for wear.
You can unscrew the ball head as it has a universal thread that will fit Manfrotto heads. (I have a Manfrotto fluid head that I use with this tripod)
If you want a good tripod then pay a little extra for the Manfrotto.
As the old saying goes "You get what you pay for"
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on 28 July 2014
I read some reviews on here from professional photographers who had been in the business for many years and they had given this tripod an excellent review so I decided to to take the plunge and purchase it. What a fantastic choice I made. This tripod is absolutely solid, top quality workmanship and materials. The day my tripod arrived I set out to test it and headed for the hills for some landscape photography. I mounted my Canon 700D with battery grip and a heavy 10-20 Ultra wide angle lens and began shooting. The ball head was a joy to use compared to some other tripods I had used easily adjustable and locks solid when the scene composition is done. Even though there was a fairly brisk breeze that day all of the shots were sharp, motion free. The tripod legs are easily adjustable to various heights including a really nice low level shooting height. This tripod is worth every penny and punches way above its weight in quality and performance and I wish I had discovered it before shelling out on vastly inferior tripods. And the price is remarkable!!
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on 20 January 2015
Very stable legs and good locking mechanism. Beware the removable head lock! On my sample it occasionally did not lock and I nearly had £1000 of equipment falling to the floor. Very cheap add on. Despite what others have said, I have used lightweight Manfrotto tripods and professional heavy duty ones and the only similarity between this budget tripod is the name which begins with 'Man'. However on a tight budget I don't think there are many better alternatives.
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on 26 August 2015
I bought this for my canon 7D having had some bad experience with cheap tripods with hollow tubes and unsecured legs. I had this for just over seven months now but I have used it last week to capture sun sets and street night photography. Ever thing looks but despite how hard you try to secure locking pins at the bottom of the legs it doesn't secure the front and side legs!!
I tried it with various places on Road, Garden, street etc; but the bottom legs doesn't secure. This renders the tripod completely useless.
It might be a manufacturing fault but I don't think Amazon would allow me to return it now!!!
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