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Benro C-297 n6 'Flexpod'

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Old Wednesday 19th December 2007, 16:29   #1
Tim Taylor
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Benro C-297 n6 'Flexpod'

As shown here for instance is available for about £190 delivered. It weighs 4lb without a head and can apparently cope with a load of 8kg. The 'flexpod' bit seems to offer help for macrophotography but from the picture it looks as if it relies on a sort of wingnut and a counterbalance hook arrangement to make it work so possibly dodgy?? As I enjoy macrophotography and may also 'invest' in longer and heavier glass next year I wonder if anyone has any comments on the suitability of this tripod.

The head choice is another issue to consider in due course.

Thanks

Tim
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2007, 16:52   #2
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Look at these two links about Benro tripods. Not much about the specific model you're looking at, but other reviews I've read about their tripods are very promising. At those prices they look like serious competition for other more well known brands loke Gitzo and Manfrotto, though one of the main issues with them seems to be spares accessability (should you need them) and after sales service. I think that as a knew(ish) company with a desire to break into western markets, this won't be too much of a problem for long though. Certainly worth a serious look at those prices.

http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-bin/dcf...um=DCForumID15

http://www.nikonians.org/cgi-bin/dcf...um=DCForumID15

As a further point, it's worth searching the forums on this site, as there are lots of other reviews/discussions about Benro products & most of it is positive. Some of their other products such as ball heads are apparently decidedly dodgy though!

Steve

Last edited by SteveClifton : Wednesday 19th December 2007 at 16:57.
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2007, 17:05   #3
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Thanks Steve. Yes, I've browsed some of the threads here and elsewhere and agree it all seems pretty positive. I'd like to read a bit more feedback on this 'flexpod' model in particular - the one mention I've seen here was positive.
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Last edited by Tim Taylor : Wednesday 19th December 2007 at 17:13.
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Old Wednesday 19th December 2007, 21:34   #4
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Have a look at www.feisol.com they do a range of carbon tripods the CT 3342/CT3442 are their new range max load 10KGS weight 1KG look very good after sales service is excellent (i think it 3 years they generally send you the part).Steve's link to the nikonian site will have good posts on Feisol tripods or www.fredmiranda.com i think they are far more reliable than benro.Price for the Ct 3442 is $309 plus center column $39 plus $33 shipping =£190+ import duty 3.7% plus vat at 17.5% approx £240-£245.i think this looks a far better tripod than the Benro range.
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Old Thursday 20th December 2007, 18:26   #5
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Thanks very much Graham. They certainly look well made and the lighter weight is tempting. However, they don't seem to offer the flexible arm of the Benro although I see there's an extra horizontal adapter you can buy for them. Hmm, decisions decisions...
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Old Monday 7th January 2008, 19:08   #6
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Well I've made my mind up and ordered the Benro C-298n6 and the KS-1 ballhead. I'll report back and post some pics at some stage. The cost has come down a bit in the last week and there was £10 off the ballhead if purchased with the tripod. This is the more compact of the two Benros with the flexible centre column so will hopefully not be too difficult to take on hols. Time will tell.
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Old Sunday 10th February 2008, 20:31   #7
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Benro C-298n6

As promised, here's some feedback. The text is lifted from an email I sent to a couple of people who pm'd me about the tripod.

I set the tripod up in the garden and took some shots which I hope show you what a versatile design this is.
  • You can undo all the leg locks on each leg at the same time by holding them all and twisting anticlockwise about half a turn. You can then fully extend the leg in one action and go back and do up each joint one at a time. They move smoothly and I’m sure it will get a little looser with time and use.
  • There are three leg positions available for each leg – see photos.
  • To use the lowest position you can either use the flexible arm horizontally as in the picture or you can buy a second short central column. I think I might do this anyway and keep the ball head on the long column and a gimbal head on a short column.
  • It is very rigid in my opinion. I only have a little Manfrotto ‘digi’ tripod to compare with but a friend with a top of the range Gitzo felt it was extremely rigid. You will have noticed the hook at the end of the column – this enables you to add to the weight of the tripod by hanging your camera bag or your carafe of wine…
  • The platform area has a bubble level and a compass. I also houses the mechanism for letting the column slide up and down and also for locking it sideways at different angles. This is toothed and very strong. I won’t worry about my camera hanging there as long as the balance is right. The whole platform mechanism can also be loosened with a knob underneath it and it then rotates smoothly. If you had a head without a panning facility, you could almost use this.
  • The tube through which the central column can be raised and lowered is a little rough inside and you can see on one of the pictures that there are some scratches. I need to smooth it with some sandpaper.
  • There are spikes provided which can replace the rubber feet and there is a little toolkit for adjusting tension of the leg locks and so on.

I'm using it currently with an Indian sidekick type mount for the 500mm Sigma and a KS-1 Benro ball head for small lenses. I may get a short centre column to use with the sidekick so I can keep it permanently mounted on the column and the ball head on the long column.
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Old Sunday 10th February 2008, 20:33   #8
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And 2 more pics.
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