Giottos MTL8271B - £290 (about $460)
This carbon fibre giant is the tallest tripod on test, and also the most expensive. The Giottos MTL8271B's maximum height of 185cm (without head) is all the more remarkable when you take into account the short centre column.
Shorter centre columns can add stability, at the expense of the collapsed length if the legs are made longer to compensate. It's a sizable 72cm in this case.
Being carbon fibre, the tripod is fairly light at 1.9kg, which is some 300g less than the smaller Giottos MTL9461B. Maximum load capacity is increased from 8kg to 10kg. Less impressively, this carbon model lacks a pivoting centre column or low-angle shooting adaptor, despite being almost three times the price of the mid-range Giottos MTL9361B.
The clip locks for the chunky carbon leg sections lock very securely but, because the legs are so long, there's noticeable flexing as you approach the tallest operating heights. Extending and collapsing the legs is also quite a performance, and there's no silky gliding to enjoy. Instead, telescoping is a somewhat stiff and jerky affair, which is disappointing, considering the tripod's steep asking price.
Unless you really need the extra height (about 15cm, or 6 inches), this carbon fibre tripod offers pretty poor value compared with many of the aluminium models in the group.