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Thread: Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

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    Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

    Hey everyone.
    Does anyone out there have experience with a Benro C-069 M8 carbon fiber tripod? I'm wondering how it compares with the Gitzo equivalent in terms of stability and build quality. Any other general experience with Benro tripods would be gladly heard. These light weight tripods aren't cheap, are they?
    Thanks.
    Tim

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    Re: Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

    We tried one of their monopods on the Oregon trip (Capture Integration sells them) and they seem really well made. They make tripods and monopods for many other companies.

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    Re: Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

    Thanks for the reply. I heard that Gitzo originally set the Benro factory up to produce their tripods on the cheap but ended up pulling out and leaving the technology and facilities behind. Any truth to that claim? Either way, there is a striking similarity to the Gitzo, Benro and Induro tripods. I'm hoping there is a striking similarity in quality too as that would save some big dollars!

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    Re: Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

    Quote Originally Posted by tjv View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I heard that Gitzo originally set the Benro factory up to produce their tripods on the cheap but ended up pulling out and leaving the technology and facilities behind. Any truth to that claim? Either way, there is a striking similarity to the Gitzo, Benro and Induro tripods. I'm hoping there is a striking similarity in quality too as that would save some big dollars!
    We are a dealer for all three (Gitzo, Induro and Benro). Essentially, Benro tripods are knock-offs of Gitzo. Induros are rebranded Benros. Gitzo never set up a Benro factory in China to produce their tripods "on the cheap". Gitzos are made entirely in Italy (and previously in France).

    Do as we do in our store. Put a comparable Induro/Benro tripod next to a Gitzo (4-section, 2-series, for example). Then grab two legs at the top section with two hands and push with one hand while pulling with the other. This gives an indication of twist resistance (aka torsion rigidity). There is a very big difference between the real deal and the knock-off. The Gitzo is about 30-50% stronger, while still weighing about 10-20% less. Gitzo uses better leg locking (G-lock) and uses only 35% epoxy to 65% carbon fiber. Benro/Induro uses almost 50% epoxy, thus the strength/weight difference. The weave pattern on Gitzo is also more advanced. They employ a 6-ply tube with a total thickness of 1.5mm. Each ply is woven in the opposing direction to the underlying layer, resulting in more strength.

    Putting the technical aspects aside, just put two side-by-side and judge for yourself. When we do this test in our store, we sell very few Induro tripods. The bottom line is that while their are cosmetic similarities, you get what you pay for. If you want the strongest, lightest, longest-lived tripod, you get a Gitzo.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Re: Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

    I agree with David (though have less experience comparing than he), but if one is looking for a "decent" tripod which is priced well below Gitzo, then Benro is worth a look IMO. I have and prefer Gitzo, but I also have one Benro tripod and it does fine too. I know the strengths of the Gitzos and the weakness of the Benros, so have no problem using either when appropriate. One can adapt. But to be clear, I do not feel that the Benro are weak if appropriately sized to the kit.

    I own a Benro because it was the best available when I was looking for a tripod in southeast Asia for a project. I may have been able to find a very over-priced Gitzo if I had looked harder, and I did find over-priced Manfroto models, but the Benro offered more value. Clearly, I prefer my Gitzos, but I have no disrespect for the Benro in terms of support for my DSLR kit. I don't have a model appropriate for my medium format kit, so strength, as I use it, isn't an issue.

    As for "knock-off": yeah, probably. But let's be honest... there are three legs and a mounting point. The Benro has a different grip on the leg-locks, a compass (whooo-hoooo) and a sling mount. No decoder ring though. And actually, Benro had minor design improvements prior to Gitzo WRT to leg-span-cog adjustments, etc. The added pressure is likely good in that it keeps Gitzo from resting on their laurels.

    In my opinion, Gitzo is the best for most applications, but if one can not afford or justify a Gitzo, then they could do worse than Benro or Induro. Frankly, from what I've seen, I feel Induro is an over-priced version of Benros, so I'd look to Benro before Induro.

    Just my 2
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 7th December 2009 at 01:07.

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    Re: Benro Carbon Fiber Tripods

    Thanks all. I've compared more closely the Benro and Gitzo products since and I'm clear in my mind the Gitzo is a world ahead in rigidity and strength but man, those prices! For something near spec to the Benro C-069M8 at approx $300US the Gitzo is nearer $550US! I'm of mind to buy once, so I'll probably splurge on the Gitzo eventually if I can hang on with my cumbersome Manfrotto 190 for a bit longer and save money. If the photos start rolling in though, I may have to bite the bullet and go Benro in the interim.

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