Benro is a fairly new tripod brand, but it has already made a name for itself and gained a lot of loyal customers. The founder of the company was Jack Culin and he is known in the tripod world as one of the best designers and manufacturers ever. He started designing tripods back in 1961 and they still produce both aluminum and carbon fiber tripods today. The modern Benro products can compete with any other tripod brand/manufacturer on the market right now, especially when talking about high-quality affordable tripods such as the Travel Angel series.
What makes Benro so popular? This question will be answered by this article, which contains information that might help beginners choose their first or next tripod wisely. We will also discuss some common issues that sometimes people encounter while using their tripods.
Some General Information About Benro Products
In general, Benro produces great quality tripods and offers an excellent value for the money when it comes to affordable options from their Travel/Video series. You can also find decent Manfrotto or Gitzo alternatives in this price range from them, but what makes these products better than classic entry-level* models from well-known brands is a solid carbon fiber material used for making legs and an advanced leg locking system called “Multi-Angle Central Column (MACC) Lock”. Although Benro uses a lot of aluminum components in the construction of its tripods, they are still lightweight and support surprisingly high weight capacities without any problems.
*The models that cost under $300 and include ahead.
Another thing worth mentioning is the fluid video pan heads that come with entry-level Benro tripods. They work well but don’t expect professional performance out of them. The biggest flaw of these heads is the inability to support camcorders, because of their weight (over 2 lbs). Although you might attach some small DSLR camera to it without any problems, if you need higher quality video footage, then try attaching your camcorder to something more advanced that has leveling base or better ball/fluid head with a bigger payload capacity. Also, note that these cheaper Benro tripod heads do not have quick-release plates included! It’s true, so make sure you buy one in addition to your tripod/head if you don’t already have one.
What About Benro Professional Tripods? How Good Are They?
Benro professional tripods are better in every aspect when compared to their entry-level counterparts. The main difference between these two product lines is the material used for making legs. Carbon fiber is much stronger, lighter, and more rigid than aluminum alloy, so pro models are better suited for demanding photographers with heavy gear. Besides improved durability, carbon fiber Benro tripods are also capable of supporting more weight per leg section (20 lbs vs 14 lbs), which makes them ideal equipment for most landscape & architectural photographers out there! Another positive side of carbon fiber is lower thermal expansion, which means that it won’t get loose so easily when exposed to low temperatures.
This is why I think every serious photographer who does not want to overpay for the same quality should consider buying a Benro professional tripod in addition to their entry-level model at some point. You will be surprised how much better your images look after upgrading your camera support! And if you are ok with spending even more money, then choosing carbon fiber Gitzo or Induro might be an interesting idea too. However, unless you shoot weddings professionally or make money from your photos/videos, there’s no reason not to buy Benro instead of Gitzo for example. They are both great brands, but Benro offers similar products for much less cash.
Which Benro Tripods Can Withstand Wind?
All of them! 🙂 Although they might look a little bit small for this task from the first glance, long story short – they do have what it takes to hold your gear securely. To see how strong Benro professional tripod legs really are, check out this video below. It shows a guy hanging his full body weight on a tripod/head combo by its legs and nothing happens! The only thing you should keep in mind is that carbon fiber material used for making these tripods can be crushed or damaged if exposed to lots of pressure (e.g. if one accidentally steps on the leg), so try not to abuse it too much In other words, all Benro tripods will hold your gear securely in most conditions, but don’t try to test their limits too much. 😉
What Is The Difference Between C Series & P Series Benro Tripods?
C series are entry-level models, whereas P series are professional carbon fiber tripods that cost a bit more money. Although the differences between these two lines are not very big, there are still some changes worth mentioning. For example, the C series have aluminum alloy components combined with carbon fiber legs, so they are lighter than pro models (about 1.5 lbs). They also come with “old school” twist locks instead of push-button ones found on pro-Benros. On the other hand, P tripods have upgraded leg locking mechanisms, larger diameter carbon fiber legs & aluminum alloy components combined with carbon fiber.
At first sight, both C and P series are capable of holding the same amount of weight (e.g. 77 lbs for maximum load capacity), but there is a catch to it – P tripods have more leg sections than C models. It means that they can extend up to 41″ without sacrificing rigidity or stability, while the C series go only up to 36″ before getting wobbly! Carbon fiber also doesn’t get loose in cold weather as easily as pure aluminum alloy does, so P tripods are better suited for use in challenging conditions anyway (+$100 to spend on accessories isn’t too bad either). I have seen plenty of landscape photographers using the C series for years and their gear didn’t get crushed, so there is nothing wrong with buying a cheaper Benro tripod if that’s what you can afford. Nonetheless, the P series are just better in general.
What Other Brands Are Similar To Benro?
Benro might be not very popular among beginners due to its home country (you probably haven’t even heard of it), but some other brands offer similar quality for much less cash. Check out Gitzo if you’d like to go for the “second best” option on the market or Slik if you are broke! 🙂 Either way, make sure your tripod stays durable enough to resist regular abuse during travel. Carbon fiber models are obviously stronger & lighter than Manfrotto’s aluminum ones, but they are also more expensive.
Can I Use Benro For Travel Photography?
Yes! That is one of the main selling points of these tripods actually. Carbon fiber makes them weigh half as much compared to the Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod for example, which means that you can carry both on your shoulder without feeling any discomfort at all (even if you have back problems).
What Tripod Should I Buy: Benro vs Manfrotto?
If what you’re looking for is a sturdy & reliable standard tripod that won’t cost you any fortune, then go with Manfrotto 055XPROB or 190CXPRO3. Those are tried & tested models that have been around on the market for quite some time now (and still going strong) – see how they held up an on-Resource comparison of best tripods – write-up. If you want a lighter tripod capable of going where other models can’t, then Benro MK10/MK11 is the way to go – see how it performed on our website: Benro A2980F vs Induro AT213.
What Tripod Should I Buy: Benro C Series or P Series?
I’d say that if you are looking for a budget-friendly model good enough for occasional use, then go with the C series. They may be one step under P tripods in terms of quality & functionality, but they still work just fine given the price difference between the two groups (P costs quite a lot more than C). On the other hand, if you are planning on using your tripod on a daily basis, then the P series is probably worth the investment. They are sturdier & better suited for extreme conditions, plus they are lighter than C tripods which is always an advantage if you care about not getting too tired after walking 10 miles with 50 lbs of gear on your back.
All in all, Benro tripods can be used by both beginners and professionals alike. Either way, make sure you don’t cut any corners when purchasing one because this is definitely not something you want to replace often (if ever). If you have already decided that Benro G5 or M-series models will fit your needs better than Manfrotto 190XPROB or 496RC2, go for them without second thoughts.
What are your thoughts on Benro’s lineup? Do you already have one of these or are you planning on buying one soon? Feel free to share your experience with us & other fellow photographers by leaving a comment below! Also, do not hesitate to ask anything that comes to mind – it is always my pleasure to help you find the best gear for your needs! 😉 Cheers!