Hey all, I've decided to write a bit of a review of the new tripod I just bought, the Benro A-269. This will be a short, preliminary review to start as I've only just received it and will base it on my initial findings, and update it later on as I put it through its paces.
To start off I would like to say that this is the first tripod I've owned, mainly because they just don't fit my style of shooting, but an opportunity has come up that will give me the chance to do a lot of landscape shooting, so I figured it was time to buy one. My main criteria for choosing the right tripod was price, then performance. Since I was going to be doing a lot of hiking I also needed one that was pretty compact and lightweight. I went through the usual suspects, mainly Manfrotto, and Gitzo and the like and never really saw one that fit all my criteria(and was affordable!), so I then started looking at lesser known brands, such as dynatran and benro. When I first found the A-269 it sounded almost too good to be true(and that may very well turn out to be the case), but i decided I was going to take a chance and try it out.
So, lets start off with the specs.
Benro A-269M8 Travel Angel
B&H Link - http://www.bhphotovideo.com …ravel_Angel_Aluminum.html
B&H Price - $244.95
Travel Angel A-series tripods feature individual leg angle adjustments, anti-rotation leg design, a reversible center column with spring loaded weight hook, anti dust and moisture rubber leg lock grips, and reversible 1/4"-20 to 3/8" mounting threads.
This tripod features a 180° folding mechanism, where the legs totally cover-up the top plate and "spider", and which accommodates the head inside the folded tripod legs. This allows it to fold up to a shorter size.
• Includes matching professional ballhead with Arca-type quick release, with separate calibrated panning control
• Top-leg diameter of 28mm
• Three leg-angle settings (24, 55 & 80°), to accommodate uneven terrain or awkward shooting situations
• Improved dust and rubber-resistant leg lock design prevents dust or moisture from entering the interior of the leg twist-locks
• Anti-twist leg sections and a grooved center column make setup and breakdown quick and easy
• Removable rubber and stainless steel spike feet provide a secure grip both indoors and outdoors
• Retractable spring-loaded hook can be used to add stability with a sand bag or equipment bag
Load Capacity - 26.5 lbs (12kg)
Head Attachment Fitting - 1/4"-20 & 3/8" (reversible stud) Maximum Height - 60.9" (154.7cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended - 53.4" (135.7cm) Minimum Height - 14.7" (37.4cm)
Folded Length - 14.7" (37.5cm)
Weight - 4 lbs (1.8kg)
Material - Aluminum
Leg Stages/Sections - 4/5
Leg Lock Type - Twist
Independent Leg Spread - Yes
Spiked/Retractable Feet - No
Center Brace - No
Center Column Type - Sliding
Center Column Sections - 1
Alright, on to the pictures.
Here we have the tripod folded up in the standard way, coming it at around 21" long. Not bad, but not why I bought it.
Now this is more like it. This is why I bought the tripod, portability.
So far so good, everything seems to be measuring up to spec. So here it is unfolded with all the legs extended. From the ground to the base of the quick release plate is 54", and with my 5D mounted, the viewfinder sits at 58".
Here's a closeup of the B-1 ballhead. It seems to be pretty sturdy and well constructed and has exhibited no signs up creeping or anything else even when i mounted my 6x7.