Benro Travel Flat Tripods? Any experience?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by oldracer, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I am looking at the Benro Travel Flat tripods, for example BENRO C2192T Carbon FLAT Tripod Monopod 2in1 Leg | eBay

    I've done my Google research and found a nice video in Italian, plus other comments, but it's a pretty good chunk of change so I'd appreciate comments from anyone here who has used tripods from the Travel Flat family.
     
  2. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
  3. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    May 28, 2011
    Nice. That's a pretty innovative design on the Benro.

    (Sorry, no experience with it.)
     
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Nope. Been there, done that. I am selling a Gitzo Performance Reporter right now. The problem with this style tripod is that while they are short, they are bulky. We travel with carry-ons and one checked bag. The Gitzo takes up too much space in the checked bag, as would the Benro Travel Angel, the Feisol, or any one of a jillion other conventional designs.

    I am willing to deal with the unconventional center column in order to get the flat design. I looked at this one: CULLMANN Foto | Video :: MAGIC SystemPod CB6.3 as well, but it relies on its long conventional column to get any height. I don't think it will be as stable as the Benro.

    I also like the monopod option on the Benro, as it will eliminate a need to carry a separate monopod as I now do.

    I'm just looking here for hidden gotchas that I might not have thought about.
     
  5. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    May 28, 2011
    I imagine it could be tiresome to swap ball heads between the monopod, tripod head, and center column. And the center column makes the folded length pretty long when installed.
     
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    No experience with the flat, but I love my "regular" TravelAngel. The ballhead has been plenty good, even with the 45-200 or 14-50 f/2.8-3.5 heavy lenses. that said, it might struggle to hold steady something heavier than that (of course, if you had a lens heavier than these, it probably needs a tripod collar).

    Very stable and light. The leg locks are pretty good, probably not as nice as Gitzo, but you're not paying those kinds of prices either!
     
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    B0 or B1? I was thinking about guying one of the ballhead combos and trying the Benro ball head. The price differential for the combo vs just the tripod is small enough that I could probably make a couple of bucks selling the head if I didn't like it.
     
  8. nwbie1

    nwbie1 Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Oct 18, 2010
    San Francisco, Ca.
    Have the Non CF and very good so far

    I bought one of the flat benro for my travel because it fits in my computer backpack when we went to China, HK and Philippines last year and all I could say is it is as good as it gets. Can't beat the compact design specially when we were in China where I had it with me everyday, 8-10 hrs per day. If I do it again, I would splurge with the carbon one. Half a pound difference is a lot at the end of the day. BTW, I use this for my Nikon D700 with grip and 70-200 lens with no problems. Hope this helps.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I demo'd the 5 section Benro travel flat "A0190T" against my Culmann magic tripod (the older version which as far as I can tell is cosmetic + a new ball head diff than the new).

    My take is they are basically the same in terms of stability... which is just adequate. Given the compactness of either, its acceptable. Both are better than the cheap compact tripods you find everywhere. I've used mine for more than 10 years now; rangefinder, p&S, and MFT. Its not the most stable but it works when on the go. I will have to say that the Benro was taller with the center column down and is rated for more weight.... but the legs didn't seem to spread far enough. I also noticed that one of the demos had a broken twist lock... not sure the story there. When comparing weights and folded length you have to take into consideration that some are measured with a ball head... and others not. I believe that the Culmann will most likely be shorter when folded and is lighter. IMO, the carbon versions of the Benro travel flat was not worth the premium; same stabilty, same folded length, a tiny bit (IIRC .1 kg) lighter. I also didn't like the screw in center column of the Benro. Culmann converts to a monopod which is a nice touch. The Benro was a 5 section design while the Culmann was a 4 section design. I think if I were in the market, I would have really considered the Benro but there just wasn't enough advantage over my current Culmann to warrant the purchase.

    Here's a pic for size.. .without head.

    394853470.


    Remember... when shopping for tripods:

    Lightweight
    price
    stability.

    You can only pick 2 as a requirement and let the other be flexible. Lightweight + price = less stable. Stability + lightweight = expensive... and so on.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oh forgot to mention....

    Other options that appeared recently that might be of some interest to you. NOTE: I haven't seen them in person yet. I've been meaning to make a trip into the city to see it in person at BH.

    Sirui T-025 5-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod with C-10 BSRT025 B&H

    Sirui T-005 5-Section Aluminum Tripod with C-10 Ball BSRT005BL

    These don't fold flat but their "traditional" design will probably mean better stability.. especially at the neck where the legs attach. More importantly, they claim they fold down to 11.8 inches. So far the reviews on the BH website is favorable although I have never heard of the brand.
     
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Thanks, nwbie1 and usavit. That kind of input was just what I was looking for.

    But ...

    Yes, that's my current dilemma. 0.32 kg., approximately. That's a small number for over $100 in cost difference. I'll probably rationalize the carbon one on the theory that the carbon will also be stiffer and more stable than the aluminum. But, ... I dunno. Analysis paralysis.
     
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Carbon has some other advantages - better vibration damping, doesn't transmit temperature as much (won't feel "cold"), non-reflective, looks cooler.
     
  13. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nope. Not tiresome at all. Great concept. I have the 2691T and am extremely happy with it. Ballhead-Monopod-and-all. :2thumbs:
     
  14. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    true... but its not as essential when you are talking about smaller cameras like ours. This also highly depends on the quality of the tubing used in the construction. At this price range.... its more for looks and little bit of weight.


    OP,

    Put a bag of coins of the weight difference in your shoulder bag.... does it matter?
     
  15. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    OK, pulled the trigger on the C2192T carbon Benro.

    I re-looked Sirui's flat tripod (SIRUI S2205N) because it has a conventional column, but like the Cullmann it is quite short. Too short, particularly without the column extended -- only 47" The Benro spec is 57" without the column, so hopefully I will not have to mess with the column very often.

    Re swapping the ball head, that's not a big deal to me. I find I normally go out with my monopod only or, occasionally, planning to use the tripod. So the swap will happen before I leave home or the hotel.

    Re small weight differences, yes. But the way I get a bag that is too heavy to carry is a little bit at a time, not by adding an example from my anvil collection. :)

    Thanks for the input, guys. I'll report back.
     
  16. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
    Please post a review after you've used it, very curious as to how it works for you.
    Yep. Old backpackers saying, "Look after the ounces and the pounds will take care of themselves.". :smile:
     
  17. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    OK, it came today. Reporting back initial impressions:

    I bought the BENRO C2192TB1 kit from DC-Stuffs on eBay. The kit includes a B1 head and a spare plate. It was $30 more than the bare C2192T tripod, so I figured I could always sell the head at a profit if I didn't like it. (DC-Stuffs has apparently taken a break for Chinese new year, so he has no active auctions. If you search completed auctions, though, you'll find his stuff.)

    The C2192T is the "step-up" size, not their lightest weight one.

    I am very happy so far. I don't think that the goofy add-on column design will be a problem. Mounting the head on the tripod with no column puts the EVF of my G1 at 60" while my normal eye height is 64" It isn't a big deal to bend down that little bit. When I install the column I actually have to shorten the legs a bit to get the camera to eye level. I may never use the column at all. As a monopod, the EFV is at 61 1/2", so again not a problem.

    The way the legs fold out from the flat design is a total non-event -- not a little awkward as I had expected. I just feels like folding normal tripod legs.

    The head's ball movement is quite stiff, but I expect that will smooth our with use. I think it is a pretty good head, though I am going to change the quick release to a snap-in style. Holding the monopod and the camera requires a third hand to tighten the Arca Swiss clamp screw.

    The padded case with the tripod inside is around 2 1/2" thick, which is going to be a huge benefit in checked luggage.

    Workmanship, attention to detail, etc. is quite good. Weightwise it is saving me net maybe 3#/40% compared to my previous aluminum Gitzo and separate Gitzo monopod.

    (Shameless plug: I just listed the monopod on member buy/sell. It is a really good piece of hardware.)
     
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  18. ascherjim

    ascherjim Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Nov 10, 2010
    I never hear of these Benro flat tripods until I read this thread. I was able to find a lower-priced aluminum model (A1190T) which normally sells for about $142, but which i got for $88 plus shipping, which was advertised on EBay as a camera store's "demo" model. However, it arrived today in its sealed original packaging, absolutely new. It's a delight. Very stable, and should prove ideally suited for my panoramic work when I'm not inclined to lug around my much heavier Manfrotto, which I only utilize not too many steps away from my parked car.