Benro, if you have heard of them or not, has a nice range of tripods for all occasions. They range from travel tripods to large studio gear made of various materials. This new offering from the company is the Benro Slim Travel Kit, which has a few things in its favor. The tripod is reasonably priced compared to its competitors, lightweight and available in aluminum or carbon versions.
Both versions are very affordable considering what you get for the money, so let’s delve in to see what the tripod has to offer and how it compares to the rest.
When you line up the Benro Slim Travel Kit next to a regular tripod, it’s very apparent how slimline and lightweight this unit is. The aluminum version weighs in at only 2.6 pounds, with the carbon version being just a little lighter at 2.2 pounds. Very lightweight, considering it could be holding up a few pounds of camera body and lens.
The dimensions of the tripod are also quite compact. When folded down, it measures 20 inches long, with a fully extended height of 57.5 inches by 3.1 inches wide. Basically, very slim and lightweight. Compact enough to strap onto any camera bag and not feel like you’re carrying much of an extra load.
The design has a lot to do with the compact dimensions. The spider design and rigid legs allow for a nice folded-down size and a good working height for everyone but the tallest of people. The tripod also has a maximum capacity of 8.8 pounds, which should be enough for a top-end DSLR and heavy zoom lens.
Each leg of the tripod has three extendable sections with twist locks. Each one is made of quality blue anodized aluminum and looks very nice in contrast to the rest of the black frame. Not everybody is a fan of twist locks, but they are a very quick and easy way to adjust the height of each leg and it can’t be accidentally knocked like the snap-on versions. There’s even a nice little symbol on each leg to tell you which way to turn each lock.
The inclusion of a tripod head and Arca Swiss compatible quick release is a welcome addition. There’s nothing worse than buying into a quality tripod and then having to pay extra for a separate head. The one included here has a one handle adjustment for rotation and position. There are also degree markers and a small bubble level. All nice features to save buying extra little bits.
The quick-release is attached with a large screw, folding wing, and butterfly nut which can be locked in place. It’s also compatible with other release plates or L-brackets. Additionally, there are center markings on the quick release plate and on the head for easily aligning everything.
There are also some extra security pins on the bottom of the quick release plate to keep everything in place even when it isn’t fully locked. Extra security and very well thought out, so any attached camera stays in place no matter what. The whole ball head is made from anodized aluminum, which both feels and looks quality made.
The center column also has a small hook for hanging off a counterweight and weighing down the tripod. In essence, the tripod has been well thought out with all the features you could ask for.
The Benro Slim Travel Kit in Use
Usually the terms “lightweight” and “full-size tripod” don’t go hand-in-hand. The Benro Slim Travel Kit seems to fit both into the same package. It’s light enough to cart around all day long and it features all the little details you would expect from a professional tripod. The most important aspect is how sturdy the tripod works in reality and is capable of being set up anywhere.
The ball head is quite capable of carrying a Canon 5D Mark IV with heavyweight zoom, which is roughly 3.3 lbs. The ball head also has no problem holding the camera at an angle and locking securely in place. After a full day’s shoot, the ball head felt secure and I’m optimistic that as it’s made from quality parts, it won’t lose traction or wear very much as time goes by.
As for setting up the tripod. It’s very quick and easy with the twist locks and the camera can be quickly locked in place with the quick release plate. The center column can also be used for lowdown photography, and the ball head can be attached to the bottom of the column for floor shots.
How Does It Compare?
There are quite a few equally reliable tripods on the market, built from either aluminium or carbon. They have equal amounts of functionality as per the Benro Slim Travel Kit but generally cost a lot more.
The Vanguard VE02 235 CB has a lot of the same attributes — being very lightweight and portable with a quality head and short center column for shooting at ground level. It only has a working height of 7.9 inches which may be too small for some, but it is an excellent tripod for the money.
|Benro Slim Travel Kit||Vanguard VE02 235 CB|
Benro already has a great range of tripods and this new version is a great addition with a lot of features for the money. Even the carbon version is a worthwhile buy and costs a lot less than some of the competitors. For the price, you would expect a lot of features to be skipped but that is not the case here.
This tripod would suit someone who wants a high-quality lightweight solution that doesn’t break the bank. It would also serve as a nice travel tripod and portable addition to pros who have other heavyweight tripods but just want something lightweight for traveling. In any case, Benro has made a quality tripod which doesn’t lack in features.