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|Benro C-157EX: Click on the thumbnail for the larger image.|
Benro's C-157EX carbon fibre tripod legs cost around £250. It has eight layer carbon fibre legs that promise to be 40% stronger than Benro's previous carbon offerings, fully adjustable leg angles, for low angle shooting and stability on uneven ground, anti rotation legs and a reversible centre column.
Benro C-157EX: Features
The legs are in three sections, allowing the tripod to fold up to a minimum height of 32.5cm, while still providing a maximum height of 148cm. It is by no means the most compact set of legs I've seen, but it does provide a good compromise between size and rigidity.
The metal joints, leg clips and centre column assembly are constructed from lightweight magnesium alloy, providing superb robustness without making the tripod too heavy. Every part of these legs feel precisely engineered.
The centre column can be adjusted, or even removed or reversed by rotating the lock surrounding it. The large size of the rotating lock makes it easy to tighten up the tripod adequately for maximum rigidity. At the top of each leg there is an adjustment plate which can be lifted to allow the legs to open out wider, which is great for taking shots from low angles, or for setting the angle of each leg independently when on uneven ground, such as a steep slope or stairs. The centre column on this model is fixed and cannot be flipped horizontally like some other tripods allow.
Despite the lightweight, the combination of carbon fibre and magnesium materials feels incredibly rigid and stable, making the tripod suitable for large professional cameras and lenses, as you would expect for the price.
A compass and spirit level are provided where the legs meet the centre column. The compass could be useful for working out where the sun may rise or fall in relation to your location, but the spirit level isn't all that usefully placed here. Once you've fitted a head to these legs, there can be no way that the included spirit level can show whether your camera is level or not.
Benro C-157EX: Performance
The difference between the weight of this tripod and the old chrome Manfrotto I'm used to carting about is immediately noticeable. In terms of strength and stability this Benro seems to be top notch. All the fixtures and fitting are extremely well-engineered and the tripod is relatively easy to set up.
Just in case the lightweight may lead to a lack of stability in strong winds, a hook is provided on the base of the centre column to allow you to attach a weight. Your camera bag or a bag of pebbles would do the trick and if you were heading out shooting you could just take the bag to save the extra weight of carrying stones or pebbles about.
Benro C-157EX: Verdict
If you're in the market for a set of carbon fibre legs, this Benro C-157EX is most certainly worth a look. It is extremely well engineered and lightweight enough to save many a cricked back.
Priced at £250, it may be a touch expensive, as equivalents from other brands such as Manfrotto and Giottos can be around £50 cheaper. Saying that, both brand's equivalent models are a little heavier so, if the lightest weight possible without compromising on strength is what you're after, this may be the tripod for you.
Benro C-157EX: Pros
Fully adjustable legs
Easy to set up and adjust
Benro C-157EX: Cons
Maybe a touch expensive
Benro C-157EX: Specification
|Leg sections||3, 2 extendable|
The Benro C-157EX costs around £250 and is available from Warehouse Express here: