Tripods and innovation rarely go hand in hand, with most simply fulfilling their basic requirements and having little more than a decent build to recommend them.
However, the Benro A1182TB0 is intent on being different, achieving all of the above while also boasting a unique foldable design – one that allows it to fold down to the thickness of a single leg.
As if that weren’t enough to sell it, the model can also have one of its legs removed and used in conjunction with the supplied monopod head, when all three legs aren’t required.
Its build quality is excellent, with a combination of aluminium and magnesium alloys making up most of the construction, and a good quality rubber around both the leg locks and the cogs. There’s only a single leg sleeve for comfortable holding, although the matte black finish on the legs is smart and understated.
The tripod extends to a maximum of 166cm and folds down to just under 57cm, and has a respectable maximum load of 8kg. In use, the leg sections move freely once released, and only require a short twist to lock them again (rather than needing to be screwed until tightened).
Once locked, they stay firmly in position, which is similarly true of the ball head. This is released with a cog to its side, which is large and rubbered for more comfortable operation, although awkwardly it does obscure the bubble level underneath it in its default position.
Perhaps the only significant downside concerns the feet. On many other models, small spikes can be twisted out for use on softer surfaces such as grass – here, the rubber feet need to be removed before the three (supplied) spikes are screwed in.
This in itself is not difficult, but considerably more time-consuming and irritating. Admittedly, this would be more of a concern for those constantly changing between different shooting surfaces, rather than those only using it in one particular environment.
- Price: £135
- Manufacturer: Benro
- Size: 1665mm max, 125mm min
- Weight: 1.81kg
This review first appeared in Practical Photoshop magazine, the number one magazine for lovers of photography and image-editing.