Best carbon fibre tripod: 05 FLM CP30-M4S Centerpod + CB-43FTR head + QRP-40 quick-release plate
Price: £985 (£580 tripod, £295 head, £110 plate)
Buy it: www.snapperstuff.co.uk
Not only are upmarket brand FLM’s tripods and heads sold separately, their baseplates are, too – and the combination we picked doesn’t give a lot of change from a grand.
But for that price you get a very robust-feeling four-section tripod that extends from 47cm to 153cm.
The topmost leg sections are a chunky 30mm in diameter, and the twist locks are metal, rather than plastic, offering an enormous 15kg load rating yet weighing in at just 1.5kg.
The feet have retractable spikes for a firm grip through foliage and on soft ground.
The legs can be set to three positions, with the lowest virtually flat to the floor, and flip round 180 degrees for stowage, with the head tucked neatly between the legs.
The metal head is equally well engineered, and can withstand loads of up to 30kg.
The panning control can be set to move freely or with a tactile click, and a unique Tilt control allows you to lock the ball head to operate across a 2D plane of movement, offering the convenience of a ball head with some of the precision of a three-way head.
In use, FLM’s tripod is very light yet very strong, and everything from the smooth operation of the twist looks, to way the spiked feet firmly lock in place – and even the way the bottom hook snaps out with a reassuring click – ooze quality.
Like the tripod, the head is a marvel of engineering, although the sheer amount of controls made for quite a steep learning curve.
It’s a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, there’s no doubt, but it certainly comes at a price!
Pros: Very high load rating; sublimely crafted; light and compact; clever ball head features
Cons: Extremely expensive; all components must be bought separately; complicated to use
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PAGE 5 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 05 FLM CP30-M4S Centerpod
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PAGE 7 – Things to consider when buying a carbon fibre tripod
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