Macro tripod review part VIII: Uni-loc Major System 1600

Uni-loc Major System 1600 $275 (£175) + Uni-loc 30 ball head $65 (£40) (not shown).

SPEC PANEL (exc ball-head)

Max Height (column down): 136cm
Max Height (column up): 180cm
Min Height: 0cm
Leg Sections: 2
Closed Length: 83cm
Weight: 3.8kg
Load capacity: 20Kg

Quality 5/5
Features & Design 4/5
Value for Money 5/5
Overall 4.5/5

Without doubt this particular model is the heaviest and largest of the group, and it’s ideal for supporting heavier gear, however, there are smaller and lighter models available from the maker.

Like the Benbo on which it’s modeled the Uni-loc also exhibits an enormous range of movements making it ideally suited to difficult to reach subjects. The Major 1600 has the edge on build-quality though and this particular model features an independently lockable centre-column. As a result I found I was much less likely to have an accidental spill and it greatly improves on the original design where one clamp locked all three-legs and column.

I also liked the folding column with the option of two head platform allowing me to get low and orientate the head (and camera) with ease. While the huge column clamp increases rigidity you have to resist the temptation to overextend the column. You can shorten it quickly (it comes in two sections) with the provided hex-key, though, and is easy enough to do in the field.

You can also strip out one of the legs to make a fully functional monopod, but like the tripod (with 2-section leg tubes) it’s not particularly compact. Bear in mind you’ll need to budget for a head, but apart from the weight and bulk there are few if any other shortcomings.

Tomorrow: 10 top tips for using your macro tripod.

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