While it only allows two leg positions, the unique pull and twist angle locks found on the Befree One make it one of the easier tripods to erect and collapse.
The four-section legs’ plastic flip locks also pleasingly feature tightening bolts, but unfortunately at 130cm it offers the second shortest extended height here. While this height will still be comfortable for most users, it’s a notable 26cm shorter than the Velbon UT-53D. Its fixed telescopic centre column can’t be inverted, and with a minimum working height of 49cm, it’s not as versatile as some others for low angle shooting. One of the legs does features an insulated grip however, for increased comfort.
Combined with its friction locking ball head the tripod can securely support 2.5kg. This amount, while suitable for most DSLR-plus-standard-lens setups, is the second lowest on test. The plastic quick-release plate that comes with the head doesn’t require any tools to fit and is a standard size. This means that it could be replaced with one of the brand’s metal alternatives if desired. There is a safety catch present on this head, but no spirit level is offered.
With the tripod’s legs folding back over the centre column, it can be collapsed down to an impressive length of just 33cm and carried conveniently in its included bag. At 1381g the Befree One and head are the heaviest complete kit in the group. While the tripod is built to a high standard, for the price, there are more competitive options.
- Street price: £99 (As of July 2016)
- Max height: 130cm
- Min height: 32cm
- Weight: 1.3kg
- Visit: www.manfrotto.co.uk
This review was first published in the Spring 2016 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.