Are you looking for a new tripod ?
We recently gave the Kenro Heavy Duty Tripod Kit a field test. Kenro’s web site states the tripods are “manufactured to exacting standards of quality and design” which they back up with a six year guarantee. The tripod is manufactured from eight layers of high quality carbon fibre with aluminium alloy castings giving an impressive load capacity of 14 kg. The four section legs have twist action locks for quick set up and adjustment. One of the legs is removable and can be converted into a full size monopod with a maximum hight of 1740mm. The kit is supplied with a BC3 ball head and carry case.
Twist lock legs: The tripod uses a twist lock system on the legs making set up and adjustments on the go fast and straight forward.
Monopod feature: One of the tripod legs is removable , and when attached to the centre column converts to a full size monopod.
Centre Column: The tripod kit is supplied with two reversible centre columns , one standard and one short, enabling very low level photography.
Tripod head: Supplied with a triple action BC3 ball head with an Arca Swiss style quick release plate.
Carry Case: Supplied with a Quality padded carry case.
So , we took the tripod kit along to Bushy Park , London for a full day’s testing. First the carry case , large enough to fit the tripod , spare centre column and with space for additional items the case feels well made and easy to use, so were off to a great start. Removing the tripod from the carry case, it has the feel of a well constructed , solid quality tripod . Thanks to the carbon fibre construction the weight is kept to a respectful 2.5kg which made moving the tripod around on the day light and easy.
The twist locking leg system works. The twist locks are easy to open and close on the move with one hand and they lock rock solid with no movement or creep on the legs. Set up is easy and the tripod has a built in level to help get the tripod squared up.
One feature I really liked was the hook on the bottom of the centre column, a simple idea often missing from a lot of tripods. It enables you to hang a weight on the bottom of the column to give extra stability or just keep your backpack to hand and off the wet ground. The tripod performed well, even when loaded with a full frame camera and 500mm lens there was still no spread of the legs. add the padded leg grip and the tripod out performed my expectations.
The supplied BC3 ball head also performed well. Another piece of solid well engineered kit. We swapped the head during the test for Kenro’s GHC1 gimbal head , and the two work perfectly together. (Click here for more details on the gimbal head ) the ball head is supplied with a standard Arca Swiss style quick release plate used by many other manufactures.
The ability to convert the tripod to a monopod is another great feature. It means you should be able to cover most of your support needs from one product and one bag. The monopod works a treat. Once assembled it behaves just like the full tripod .
The twist locks cope well , are easy to use and once locked are rock solid. ( and really , really light ! ) One slight niggle , it’s a little fiddly to convert from tripod to monopod on the move when it’s wet and you have a camera body in one hand. But if you set up the monopod before you start your day , it’s easy ( with two hands ) and as good as any monopod I own.
Technical stuff :
Number of leg sections : 4
Maximum leg diameter : 30mm
Maximum working height : 1680mm
Maximum Monopod height 1740mm
Minimum working height : 262mm
Folded Length : 600mm
Weight : 2.5kg
Maximum weight load : 14kg
Supplied head : BC3 ball head
Product code : KENTR501C
Should you buy one ?
For the price ( around £ 300.00 ) the KENTR501C promises a list of impressive features , and passed the field test with flying colours. It does what is say’s , and does it very well. The ability to cover both tripod and monopod functions from one bag is a huge bonus and at a price point that won’t break the bank. So i guess the answer has to be YES !
Available from WEX photo video , expect to pay around £ 299.00
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