Jessops major carbon fibre

Build quality

We wouldn't expect fully professional build quality at this price and, sure enough, the Jessops Major Carbon Fibre feels a bit flimsy compared with heavier tripods.

Then again, the light weight makes it very travel-friendly and it folds down reasonably small, to a length of just 64cm. The flipside is that the maximum operating height is a meagre 161cm, even with the tripod's centre column fully extended.

The clip locks work well in combination with the spiral-etched carbon fibre leg sections, enabling smooth operation when making height adjustments.

There's not much else to get excited about, however, as there's no pivot facility for the centre column or other advanced features.

Performance

Thin legs inevitably mean more flexing, and the Jessops Major Carbon Fibre lacks the stability of heavier-duty tripods, even when the bottom leg section isn't extended at all.

The head feels a touch wobbly as well, despite the ability to fasten it to the platform with three grub screws, using an allen key. The quick-release plate is a strangely oversized affair, measuring 8x5cm. This should enable a firm, solid connection to the camera, but the D-ring for mounting is very small and difficult. The screw also lacks a slotted head, so you can't use a coin to aid tightening.

One neat trick is that any of the four-position, multi-angle legs can be used in an almost vertical upward direction. The extreme rotation of one of the legs can come in really useful when you need to shoot very close to a wall, or when you're pinned into a corner.

We liked

For hiking or holidays, the 1.8kg carrying weight is a joy, and the ability to rotate any of the legs almost vertically upwards is great if you're pinned up against the wall.

We disliked

Typical of lightweight tripods, it's prone to flexing and can't match the stability of a sturdier alternative.

Final verdict

A reduction in stability is often the sacrifice you have to make for reduced carrying weight in a tripod and, sadly, the Jessops Major Carbon Fibre is no exception. It has a lot to offer as a travel tripod, where weight saving is at a premium, but it simply can't match the sturdiness of most full-sized aluminium tripods.