Best carbon fibre tripod: 5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod:5 top models tested and rated

Best carbon fibre tripod: 05 FLM CP30-M4S Centerpod + CB-43FTR head + QRP-40 quick-release plate

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:
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

PAGE 1 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 01 Manfrotto 290 MT294C3

PAGE 2 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 02 Giottos Silk Road YTL8354
PAGE 3 – 
Best carbon fibre tripod: 03 3 Legged Thing 3LT X2 Eddie
PAGE 4 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 04 Vanguard ABEO Pro 283CGH
PAGE 5 – Best carbon fibre tripod: 05 FLM CP30-M4S Centerpod
PAGE 6 – 
Which carbon fibre tripod was best?
PAGE 7 – Things to consider when buying a carbon fibre tripod


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  • Mike M

    Those are the TOP models? As for your #1……. Yea ok. It’s only 55″.And so at 6’3 that center column would have to be extended to save your back. It only holds 11lbs? So much for any big sig on it. It’ll hold barely and I mean BARELY twice the weight of a rig with a tele on it. This is not in your travel or budget tripod sections so where are your Gitzo and Really Right Stuff reviews?

  • Sue Basler

    I recently bought the Eddie – by far not a cheap tripod and the more I use it the more disappointed I am. The reasons – the lack of a quick release plate is often really irritating and if you tighten it a bit too much and your fingers are a bit damp or numb from cold it is a bugger to undo. Attaching the plate to the camera is a hassle – having to find a coin somewhere, so I solved that by making a hole in a coin and attaching it to my camera strap – mmmm. Possibly the most disturbing thing is that with all the knobs at their tightest there is lateral play in the head. It is not much but when using a long zoom it is huge. The play seems to be coming from inside the head and no amount of tightening fixes the problem, so I am off to the shop where I bought it to return it as it is just not worth what I paid for it as far as convenience and reliability goes. I would also like to add that unless you tighten the ball head really really tight it does not carry the weight of my camera with the sigma 150-500 without sagging.
    My score – 5/10