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Thread started 03 Nov 2011 (Thursday) 21:59
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Benro c2680t v2 vs Gitzo gt1542t

 
v35skyline
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Nov 03, 2011 21:59 |  #1

This is sort of a follow-up to peter_n’s Benro vs Gitzo review. I decided to make a new thread because both sets of legs I have are different than those of Peter’s. The two legs being reviewed in this thread will be the Benro c2680t v2 and Gitzo gt1542t. The Benro I have has the same model number as the one Peter reviewed, but the v2 is an unofficial addition to the name because we have discovered a new variation of the original – I will explain this later. I will try to touch only on the differences that haven’t been explained in Peter’s review. Anything not mentioned here is probably covered in his thread found here: https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1043508

Before I begin the review, I would like to thank dc-stuffs of eBay, the seller from whom I purchased my Benro from. Dc-stuffs has been an absolute pleasure to work with. To me, he has set the bar/standard for not only international sellers, but all sellers. His communication to me was second to none. I received replies within 24 hours always – usually sooner. All replies very helpful and not vague. He measured, weighed, and sent requested pictures of a number of legs. Shipping was quick (less than a week from Hong Kong to Chicago).

Benro c2680t v2 (slightly shorter center column than the v1)

Folded length (w/out ballhead): 16.75”
Foldled length (w/ Markins Q3T): 16.75”
Max height (w/out center column extended): 48.5”
Max height (with center column extended): 57.75”
Weight (w/out ballhead): 2.808 lbs

Gitzo gt1542t

Folded length (w/out ballhead): 16.75”
Foldled length (w/ Markins Q3T [clamp was folded “down” to the side]): 19 3/8”
Max height (w/out center column extended): 45”
Max height (with center column extended): 58”
Weight (w/out ballhead): 2.2.16 lbs

Center column

Both the Benro & Gitzo center columns are grooved to prevent rotating. Not much more to say that can’t be found on Peter’s review. Both columns have a spring loaded hook at the bottom for stability weights. I find that the Gitzo’s hook is easier to pull out, but that is hardly an issue (the Benro isn’t difficult by any means). Just something I noticed and could change over time with use.

Legs

The Benro legs are noticeably thicker diameters at every section. Having owned the Gitzo for longer, the thicker sections on the Benro come off as rather bulky. Both legs are equipped with anti-rotating legs and both work as advertised and well.

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The Gitzo legs automatically “lock”when extended passed their extension angles (there are two). The Benro legs have a “button” that must depressed to lock the legs into their extension angles (again, there are two). As for the practical difference between these two mechanisms, I find the Gitzo legs easier to unfold and the Benro legs easier to fold. That said, I prefer the Gitzo in this regard.

The piece that reads, “Benro,” is the button that must be depressed/released to move fold/unfold the legs.

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The Gitzo legs have a sliding lever that must be moved to fold/unfold the legs.

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Peter mentioned that the c2680t legs make a “swooshing” sound when collapsing each leg section and I can confirm this. However, I also notice this on the Gitzo legs.

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v35skyline
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Nov 03, 2011 22:01 |  #2

Folded length

The c2680t and gt1542t are neck and neck when folded without ballheads. However, the c2680t v2 attempts to mimic the design of Gitzo’s previous gt1541t and has a shorter center column that allows the ballhead to be recessed and protected between the legs when folded. Gitzo’s newer gt1542t has a longer center column that causes any attached ballheads to be completely exposed when attached.

c2680t v2 vs gt1542t folded w/out ballhead (same length, the Benro looks longer because of the angle of the shot)

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Same picture as above, but this time with the Q3T mounted on the Benro. You can see that it does not add any significant length to the folded length.

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Same picture as above, but reversed (Q3T is now mounted on the Gitzo). You can see that it significantly adds to the folded length (note that I forgot to fold the clamp down in the picture, and by doing so you can reduce a little over an inch – however, it is still considerably longer than the Benro w/ Q3T attached).

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The advantage of the gt1542t is that it does not limit the size of the ballhead you use. Because the panning base of the ballhead is not confined to the limits of the legs because it sits beyond them, you can virtually use any size ballhead you want. That said, realistically, this probably isn’t much of an advantage. Most people likely do not want to use larger ballheads on these legs, anyway, so as to keep portability at a maximum.

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The advantage of the c2680t v2 is that the shorter center column allows the ballhead to be recessed within the legs, and thus the overall folded length w/ ballhead attached is shorter than the gt1542t. However, the panning base of the Markins Q3T is larger than the “disc” base of the c2680t v2’s column. What this means is that the c2680t v2’s legs can fold perfectly parallel w/out a ballhead attached. However, if a ballhead’s panning base is larger than the ct2680t v2’s center column “disc” base (and this is the case with the Q3T), then the legs will not fold flat/parallel. Again, the size of the ballhead is limited to the space between the legs.

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In practical terms, this means that the overall folded diameter of the Benro is, in my opinion, significantly larger than the Gitzo.

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Nov 03, 2011 22:01 |  #3

Benro

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Gitzo

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You can see that the Benro is quite a bit bulkier.

Q3T on the Benro.

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Q3T on the Gitzo.

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***NOTE: the c2680t v1 (the version Peter reviewed) has an ever so slightly longer center column that allows the legs to be folded flat/parallel with the Markins Q3T. As far as I know, this version is no longer available and Benro made the adjustment without any warning. I received the following message from dc-stuffs regarding this concern.

dc-stuffs wrote:
Benro had shortened the length of center column in the recently batches, to make the ball head "further covered" by the tripod legs when folded, so as to shorten the overall folded length of the tripod. (I trust this modification was requested by the Benro dealers from China and worldwide, because larger portion of customers prefer shorter folded length.)

The following picture is from dc-stuffs and shows the c2680t v2 (shorter center column).

http://imgs.inkfrog.co​m/pix/dc1977/cx680t_1.​jpg (external link)
(pay special attention to where the base “disc” of the center column ends)

This picture from dc-stuffs shows the older c2680t v1 with the longer center column.

http://imgs.inkfrog.co​m/pix/dc1977/cx680tbx_​1.jpg (external link)
(pay special attention to where the base “disc” of the center column ends, not the ballhead)


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v35skyline
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Nov 03, 2011 22:02 |  #4

Max height

With the center columns extended, the Benro and Gitzo are virtually identical.

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W/out the center columns extended, the Benro is about 3.5” taller. This, for me, is important. I have to extend the center column on the Gitzo a few inches for my gripped 5D2 to be at a comfortable height without having to slouch over. The added 3.5” of the Benro does not require me to extend the center column. I am 5’6.”

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Footprint

I didn’t measure this, but the Gitzo has a wider footprint.

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Weight

The Benro weighs over 0.6 lbs more than the Gitzo. This may not seem like a lot, but in all practical terms, it makes a difference – at least to me. I instantly feel the difference when holding the two. That said, I will attribute the extra weight of the c2680t legs to the beefier leg sections. I can’t say for sure that this is where the weight is coming from, but that’s how I justify it in my head, heh. Sorry for the iPhone pics – took these after I put my 5D2 away.

Benro

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Gitzo

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With the Q3T attached, the Gitzo is a 3 lbs beast. Maybe I need to just start hitting the gym and pumping some iron, but the difference in weight is quite significant to me, LOL. :p

Build quality

The Gitzo just screams quality in my hands. It’s difficult to explain, but the Benro just doesn’t do the same. And it’s not just the Gitzo name that makes me feel that it is better quality. It really does ooze quality and instills confidence in me. However! Holding the Benro, I have absolutely no reason to believe that it will fail me. Its build quality is by no means cheap and is not lacking.

Value

In my opinion, the Benro wins. I purchased mine for $345 shipped – the Gitzo was $610 ($570 after MIR, which I have not done yet). Here is how I weighed it out. It may not be perfect and not everyone will agree, but this is how it pans out for me (in no particular order)

Benro pros
- Cheaper (by $225 at my time of purchase)
- Includes steel spiked feet
- Includes a nice bag
- Shorter folded length
- Beefier leg sections
- Taller maximum height w/out center column extended

Gitzo pros
- Build quality is just top notch
- Lighter (by ~0.6 lbs)
- Smaller folded diameter (less bulky/stubby)
- Extension angle locking mechanism (not sure what to call it)

I will be keeping the c2680t v2 and returning the gt1542t. The shorter folded length, taller maximum height w/out center column, and price are what lead to this decision. The bag and spiked feet are just bonuses. I will, however, miss the weight, smaller folded diameter, build quality, and angle locking mechanism of the gt1542t. So while I will miss more features of the Gitzo, I value what I like about the Benro more - if that makes sense.

For what it's worth, I'd probably prefer both the c2680 v1 and gt1541t over the two models reviewed in this thread. And of the c2680t v1 and gt1541t, I think I would opt for the Gitzo.

THE END! Hope this helps some people!

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ben_r_
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Nov 03, 2011 22:16 |  #5

Adding this to the Support Sticky now...

Thanks v35skyline! Well done!


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Nov 03, 2011 22:32 as a reply to  @ ben_r_'s post |  #6

Great review, thank you !




  
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Nov 03, 2011 22:44 as a reply to  @ ben_r_'s post |  #7

Wow, great review v35skyline. I've been looking at travel tripods so your review came in at the right time. You mentioned some things that I hadn't even considered. Thanks!


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v35skyline
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Nov 04, 2011 09:29 |  #8

Thanks, Ben. I've received so much help from this forum, figured I'd try to return the favor in some manner.

Glad a couple people have found this helpful already.


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Nov 04, 2011 12:21 |  #9

Interesting read and a great review Calvin! :) I'll be cross-linking to it from the original post in my own review when I get some time at the weekend, and I'll be sending you a request in a quick PM tonite.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble to document your thoughts; very much appreciated! :D


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Nov 04, 2011 13:14 |  #10

Bottom line proven once again: You get what you pay for.


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Petersman
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Nov 04, 2011 14:53 |  #11

irishman wrote in post #13353834 (external link)
Bottom line proven once again: You get what you pay for.

Meaning Gitzo is superior ? Doesn't sound to me like that ;) .
And I'm someone who'd rather get a Gitzo, too .

It'd be interesting to see a comparison of the Benro with the Series 2 Gitzo Traveler, they might be closer in weight and dimensions .

Even better if Gitzo released some revised traveler legs, with shorter center column for the 1542T, and made the kits an option for all models .

An interesting observation is the different leg angles; I recently got a comparable HorusBennu, which also has noticably steeper leg angles than my (old, 5 section) Gitzo traveler tripod.




  
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Nov 04, 2011 15:45 |  #12

Petersman wrote in post #13354296 (external link)
Even better if Gitzo released some revised traveler legs, with shorter center column for the 1542T, and made the kits an option for all models .

Do you mean like this shorter column? LINK (external link)


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v35skyline
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Nov 04, 2011 16:36 |  #13

irishman wrote in post #13353834 (external link)
Bottom line proven once again: You get what you pay for.

Yah, I'm not really sure what this post means.


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lucasmcd
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Nov 04, 2011 17:28 as a reply to  @ v35skyline's post |  #14

Bottom line proven once again: You get what you pay for.

I thought the Benro compared really well to he Gitzo for the price ?


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RiaGurl
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Nov 04, 2011 17:56 |  #15

great review on the version2 of 2680T. Can you use that tape measure and measure diameter without the ballhead...or add that to your review...just out of curiosity to see how much difference the legs just out impacts it.

it really makes no difference. i love the fact that benro has thicker legs all the way around. this is a dealmaker for me and for many others, this is a huge factor in stability amongst other things.

if you have actual digital calipers to measure each leg thickness (for the benro at least), i think that would make a more absolutely thorough review. thanks!

i have the Benro 2680T v2 with markins Q3T myself...love the look and feel and although I have not had a chance to "push" it to it's limits (weatherwise, outdoors, etc.) I feel confident to do so.


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Benro c2680t v2 vs Gitzo gt1542t
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