Slik Pro 700DX Complete, £170
Compared with basic aluminium, Slik claims that its AMT (Aluminium Magnesium Titanium) material gives a 40% increase in strength to weight ratio. That has to be a good thing, with the promise of stronger legs that are also lighter in weight. As it turns out, however, the legs are the heaviest of any in this test group, at 2.7kg. That's a full kilogram heavier than the 3 Legged Thing legs, which have a greater maximum load rating of 12kg compared with the Slik's 11kg. Moreover, the tripod is usually sold as a complete kit, including a 3-way head, which brings the combined load rating down to a modest 6.8kg.
The head is easily removed, revealing a 50mm diameter mounting plate with standard 3/8-inch locking screw, so it's simple to fit an alternative, more heavy-duty head if you wish.
The design incorporates a latch for locking the legs in any of three different angles from the centre column. Very low-level shooting is helped by the fact that the lower half of the centre column can be unscrewed and detached, or you can invert the centre column completely. The centre column also has an adjustable friction damper but lacks any pivot facility.
Rigidity is very good and, overall, the Slik feels solid and well built. It's a good performer but a little basic, and particularly heavy to lug around.