Velbon Sherpa 450R £70
30th Apr 2006 | 23:00
Tripods can be too clever. The Sherpa keeps it simple
Let's imagine you don't want to wrestle with the wacky multi-directional legs on the Benbo or Uni-Loc. You don't want the fuss of the Giotto's multi-axis adjustments or the Manfrotto's mind-taxing three-way head, clever though it might be. You just want something with legs you can put your camera on to take shake-free shots.
That's what the Sherpa 450R does. It's not that expensive and neither is it complicated. Within two minutes you'll understand everything it does and you'll be able to set it up blindfolded.
Included as standard is a three-way head with a quick release plate (and safety lock mechanism) and a single handle for locking the pan and tilt axes. It does loosen quite suddenly, so you need to keep hold of the camera during adjustments, but the pan axis is nice and smooth - ideal for 'panned' action shots, for example or for video use.
Perhaps our only major gripe is the geared centre column which, as always with these designs, is slow, wobbly and fiddly to operate. You won't feel confident using it at full height.
At full column extension there's a fair degree of wobble, but if you wind that centre column down you find the 450R is actually very stable for a tripod at this price. It's also got a decent leg length, so that while it is fairly long when folded up, you won't often have to use that centre column when it's set up.
This is a good tripod. It's not flashy, it's not particularly flexible, it just does what is says on the tin. If your tripod needs are simple, we'd suggest that the Velbon 450R makes your buying decision pretty simple too...