Review of the Calumet 7100 & 7300 tripods

Manufacturer: Calumet
Model: 7100 & 7300 tripods
Price: 7100 RRP: £49.98 7300 RRP: £69.96

Calumet’s 7100 and 7300 have a build that promises a long-lasting relationship and a price that won’t put you on the breadline. In terms of their features there’s little to separate the two models at first glance – they both have four leg sections with foam covers, take the same 5kg load and have three-way pan and tilt heads with quick-release plates as standard. The legs lock firmly into place using easily operated clips and there are further clips at the top to set each leg at one of three fixed angles. However, it’s fair to say that the mechanism used to lock the leg angle is a little rudimentary and the handles that lock the various head movements also aren’t the most refined we’ve seen – ‘utilitarian’ is the operative word here.

Apart from that we have few complaints. If you can bear the additional 600g weight (and £20) we’d recommend the 7300 over the 7100. Not only does it extend to 1.7m (as opposed to the 7100’s 1.5m), but even when used at lower extensions the 7300’s slightly chunkier legs offer greater stability, which is especially useful for heavier camera and lens combinations. You also get a useful built-in spirit bubble to help prevent sloping horizons.

Ultimately though, there’s little to separate these two great products which come at a very appealing price.

Secure leg-locks, affordable, spirit level (7300 only)

Rudimentary leg-angle locking mechanism, unrefined pan and tilt handles

What Digital Camera Score:
85% (7100)
87% (7300)