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Old Jan 7, 2013, 12:39 PM   #1
jalagl
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Tripod Recommendations - are Benro tripods good?

Hi all,

I need help from more experienced photographers to choose a new tripod.
I have been using a cheap Sunpak tripod that finally broke down, and want to upgrade to a decent one without spending too much. I want to spend around $250-$300. I do a lot of traveling, so portability is an important factor - I need to be able to fit it in a carry on, so it has to collapse to <19in. Weight isn't that important, but lighter is better.

I have been looking at the Benro Travel Angel series, which cost between $200 to $300, and they seem to have good reviews. It comes with a ballhead that I would replace in the future as funds become available. These are the two I'm considering:

Benro A2691T Travel Angel Transfunctional Tripod Kit with Aluminum Twist Lock Legs with B1 Head

Benro A2690T Travel Angel Tripod Kit with Aluminum Twist Lock Legs with BH1 Head

The other alternative I'm looking at is a Manfrotto 190XPROB (~$120) with the 496RC2 Ball Head (~$70), but that one doesn't collapse as much as the Benro (22.4in vs. 17.7in), even though the Benro is heavier.
The other highly recommended Manfrotto, the 055XPROB, is even larger and heavier.

I use a Canon Digital Rebel and the heaviest lens I have is a Tokina 12-24. The options I'm looking at support over 10lbs, so I should be good even if I upgrade to a better (larger) body and glass in the future.

Are the Benro good enough? Any other recommendations under $300?

Thank you for your advice!
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 02:21 PM   #2
someoldguy
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For what you have now it'll probably be just fine . I had an earlier model ( A-169 (?)) that I got because I travel some and the ability to fold way down was more important to me than absolute stiffness . Was pretty happy with the tripod , it held my 5D2 and lenses to a 100-400 well enough for my general usages , though the ballhead that came with the tripod didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence when supporting the big lens , and was replaced after a couple of months. The head worked fine holding anything up to a 70-200/4 though .No problems with build quality on either the legs or head though . Had it for a couple of years ,I'd probably still have it if it didn't get run over .
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:44 PM   #3
MCAsan
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Also checkout Feisol and Vanguard.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 03:56 PM   #4
100Teraflops
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OP, I think you are on the right track, as buying a tripod is the equivalent of buying a trusty pair of shoes. Honestly, you don't have to worry about a lightweight tripod in your price range, which you really don't. I would look at aluminum tripods and read B&H Photo and Adorama reviews if you haven't already.

Aside from this forum, you can check Fred Miranda, Potn, and Nikonians for other reviews and recommendations. But back to your selections, you specifically require a smaller tripod which should narrow down your options rather quickly. Furthermore, I have a good experience with a Bogen/Manfrotto tripod. I have no experience with a Benro, Feisol, or Vanguard. Have you checked out Oben? I think you can expect a quality tripod within your price range. IMHO Happy Shopping!

Edit: you might be able to squeeze in a tripod head, which I realize you are trying to do. I think, if you exceed $300 with a tripod and head, then it's not all lost. A tripod head is just as important as a good sturdy tripod, but that's another story.
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Last edited by 100Teraflops; Jan 7, 2013 at 04:01 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 04:24 PM   #5
samcraig
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I have a Benro MeFoto and LOVE it


Super portable and sturdy.
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 06:43 PM   #6
Laird Knox
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I have been very happy with my Induro tripod and ball head. I use the AT213 as I was willing to trade portability for stability. In the future I expect I will get one of their carbon fiber travel tripods and another larger one. (I often shoot with more than one camera.)
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Old Jan 7, 2013, 08:01 PM   #7
ijohn.8.80
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For travel, the travel angels are excellent. You can always get a better head for it later on when you upgrade your kit.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 08:08 PM   #8
jalagl
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Thanks a lot for your suggestions - I checked some of the names mentioned here, but couldn't find a model that collapses enough for travel or is as tall as the Benro without extending the center column.

My plan right now is to go for the Benro, given the good feedback I've read online and the thumbs up from someoldguy, samcraig and ijohn.8.80. In a few months I'll get a nice ballhead, probably the Manfrotto 496RC2 ro 498RC2 - right now my gear isn't that heavy, so that should be sufficient for a while.

Thanks!!
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 08:53 PM   #9
ijohn.8.80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalagl View Post
In a few months I'll get a nice ballhead, probably the Manfrotto 496RC2 ro 498RC2 - right now my gear isn't that heavy, so that should be sufficient for a while.

Thanks!!
In regard of heads, take a look at The 3 Legged Thing's range over here.

They also have travel tripods that fold down to 440mm long over here. I don't know about stockists where you are though, shipping it to you might be too expensive. On further looking both B&H and Adorama are distributers for them, so you could potentially order there for reasonable shipping.

Sorry to throw a curve ball other suggestion for you. I love my Benro and have had no problems with it at all. Eventually I'll move to a 3 Legged Thing if they are still as good as they are now, probably when I upgrade to full-frame in a few years time...
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Last edited by ijohn.8.80; Jan 8, 2013 at 08:59 PM.
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Old Jan 8, 2013, 09:15 PM   #10
samcraig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalagl View Post
Thanks a lot for your suggestions - I checked some of the names mentioned here, but couldn't find a model that collapses enough for travel or is as tall as the Benro without extending the center column.

My plan right now is to go for the Benro, given the good feedback I've read online and the thumbs up from someoldguy, samcraig and ijohn.8.80. In a few months I'll get a nice ballhead, probably the Manfrotto 496RC2 ro 498RC2 - right now my gear isn't that heavy, so that should be sufficient for a while.

Thanks!!
Which benro are you getting?

FYI - the mefoto folds up SO much it's ridiculous. Maybe 12"?
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