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benro systemgo travel tripod

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by travelbug, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 20, 2014
    anyone use this line of tripods? intriguing design with the center column that can go horizontal and a number of accessories to customize it.
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I have a carbon Benro Travel Flat that I am quite pleased with. Workmanship, materials, etc. are very nice. I am sure this line would be the same and would have no concerns in those areas. I would encourage you to consider only the tripod with the biggest diameter legs that they offer. Leg diameter drives stiffness and with the possibility of cantilevering your camera well away from the center line of the tripod, stiffness will be critical. That said, I would expect that a camera cantilevered as they show in the web site promotional photos would be quite unstable, basically hung on the end of a long springy beam, and you would need high shutter speeds or use strobes to get good results.
     
  3. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    142
    Oct 20, 2014
    thanks, ill have to test the tripod in store then. i know theres no such thing as an all around tripod but i will be using this for long exposures of landscapes and cityscapes during travel for the most part. i will be using the center column in the vertical position for the most part. i will use it horizontally for macro and some angle shots, but i dont plan to use it at its full height when horizontal anyways.

    at any rate, is there a travel tripod you could suggest (doesnt need to go horizontal)?
     
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Well, I am kind of a outlier on travel tripods, but I'll give you my thinking.

    The general rule of tripods is: Stability, light weight, low price -- pick any two. It seems logical to me to pick stability, otherwise what is the point? When we say "travel" I think we are choosing light weight. So low price goes out the window.

    There are many threads here with impassioned arguments for the class of small folding tripods like the Benro Travel Angel. In this class, the legs fold "upwards" so that the column and head end up sort of encased by the three legs. I have not had much interest in these because the legs tend to be small -- under 25mm/1" diameter for the largest leg. So stability is not going to be great. Some are quite short as well. I encourage you to use Search and read some of the threads. These tripods have impassioned fans.

    The king, of course, is Gitzo. For a while I had an (aluminum) Reporter Compact Performance model (G226). At 4.3# without head it seemed fine when I swung it around the living room but seemed to gain a lot of weight during a 1500 kilometer African photo safari. It had 28mm legs and for stability it was a rock. And, as a bonus, I paid under $150 for it on eBay. But it was just too heavy/with head, almost 15% of the total weight of our one airline-checked bag. I recommend this tripod wholeheartedly if "travel" for you is automobile travel rather than trekking or backpacking. Often, $100 will buy one on eBay and that is a screaming deal for the stability you get. Edit: For example, Adorama sold this really nice one: Gitzo G226 226 Reporter Compact Performance Tripod with Rapid Column

    What I ended up with is the Benro Travel Flat C2192 (carbon). It came bundled with a B1 head, which I sold. The vendor was "dcstuffs" on eBay and the price was a little south of $400. This tripod saved me 15% or more weight vs the Gitzo, gave me a monopod conversion leg (which I use much more than the whole tripod), and the unique flat design makes packing it easy. It will fit nicely in a 20" carry-on. The downside, not a big deal to me, is that there is really no center column. There is a stubby little thing that adds some height but it can't, for example, be reversed to hang downwards for insect portraits. The C2192 had the largest leg diameter of the available range, at 29mm. That is why I chose it. For stability, I have done shutter shock testing of my GX7s and the Benro compares very favorably to my Gitzo Studex and my TiltAll, both of which have 32mm aluminum legs.

    For a head, I am currently using an Acratech GP. At 1# it saves me 0.8# versus the Gitzo G1276 I was using with the Reporter. So, all in I have reduced my carry weight by 25% and have the flat, very packable, design. I am a happy guy. But people's constraints and preferences differ, so YMMV.

    (Though not directly addressing travel, this is a worthwhile read: Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan)
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
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  5. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    I have a Benro C2970F tripod which has a center column that will go horizontal or more. It's discontinued, but appears to be a predecessor of the System Go line. It's been a great tripod and I really like the flexibility of the center column, but it's also like a tuning fork. When you cantilever anything out a ways, there will be vibrations. Unless they are caused by a continual dynamic force like wind, eventually they subside.