For DSLR and lens combinations weighing up to 8kg, this aluminium-based Benro tripod and ball head are well engineered to take the strain of heavy camera kit.

Sold separately, they also offer a range of features to suit the most demanding of photographers in all sorts of shooting scenarios.

The tripod and ball head combination is smartly styled, immaculately finished and comes complete with a durable padded carrying case.

Well matched for use with heavy SLRs and lenses, the Benro A297EX FlexPod tripod has a maximum load rating of 10kg, while the BH2-M ball head is rated at 8kg.

The combined tripod and ball head weigh 2.7kg and fold down to a carrying height of 75cm. Each leg has three sections, with diameters ranging from 28mm to 24mm to 20mm as they descend from top to bottom.

Benro a297ex flexpod and bh2-m

By extending the centre column, the maximum available height is a lofty 184cm.

Features

Leg sections are clamped with clip locks and the bottom sections have solid rubber feet, although these lack retractable spikes. A bubble level in the tripod collar and another one in the ball head help you to level the tripod and the camera for perfectly straight horizons in your photos.

There's also a weight hook fitted to the bottom of the centre column, to help stabilise the tripod when shooting outdoors in breezy conditions.

Advanced features include multi-angle legs, which hinge out to any of three angles. This is particularly useful for low-level shots down to about 49cm or for shooting in cramped areas or on rough terrain.

Equally useful for close-up photography and for shooting with ultra wide-angle lenses, the centre column has a 180 degree pivot facility.

Build quality

The locking action of the tripod's leg section clamps is reassuringly tight. When the clip locks are released, the leg sections extend smoothly, although there's a little stiffness when collapsing the sections from their fully extended lengths.

Tension in the hinges for opening the legs is sufficient to stop unwanted movement, but not so stiff that adjusting the leg angles is difficult. Comfort padding is fitted to only one of the three legs, but it's better than nothing.

Clips for operating the three-position leg angles are smooth and precise, and the pivoting centre column assembly is well designed and very secure.

At the top of the Benro A297EX FlexPod tripod's centre column, the platform features three grub screws for securely attaching the head with an allen key. The tension of the leg section clip locks and the main leg hinges can also be adjusted if and when necessary with allen keys.

Build quality of the Benro BH2-M ball head feels similarly robust. The locking screw enables complete steadiness, even with long telephoto lenses or when using the camera in portrait orientation.