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Thread started 19 Mar 2009 (Thursday) 23:15
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Review: Benro C-269 Tripod with B-1 Head (and pictures)

 
5teve
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156 posts
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Location: San Ramon, CA
     
Mar 19, 2009 23:15 |  #1

This is a review of the Benro C-269 Travel Angel Tripod with the B-1 Head. I purchased this tripod through B&H and have just started to put it through its paces. After a 2 month search for the "perfect" tripod, I finally believe I found one that I am happy with. When I was trying to research Benro tripods I really struggled in finding many reviews, so hopefully this review will help others who may be interested in them.

My criteria:
1) Small and relatively light - so that it could be easily taken on hikes and when travelling.
2) Not super expensive
3) Able to accomodate a 5D2 with 24-105L lens and flash easily, and potentially a 70-200 f/2.8 at some later time.

I originally purchased a Manfrotto 190XProb with the 488RC2 head like many others on this forum have done, but after receiving it realized that it was a bit too bulky for travel. I was not willing to spend the amount required to purchase a Gitzo and Markins/Kirk ballhead, so my options were somewhat limited. I stumbled across Benro (with the help of the C-069 review posted on this forum), and was impressed with their travel angel series of tripods.

Once I decided on the travel angel series, the next decision I had to make was what version to get. There are 3 different sizes of the travel angel series, C-069, C-169 and C-269 (also available in aluminum). Although I liked the extremely compact size of the C-069 and light weight, I did not feel that it would be stable enough for my needs. I also wanted a tripod that had a bit more height than the C-069 allowed. I am also starting to mess around with panoramic photography and the added weight (approx. 2lbs) for the pano head concerned me a bit. Because of my concerns I decided against the C-069 and went ahead and ordered the C-169. After receiving the C-169, I realized that it still was not quite stable enough for what I was looking for. The legs of the C-169 seemed fairly stiff, but the lowest 5th leg section was a bit thin and when I pressed on the tripod I could see them flex a little bit. Also, the B-0 head seemed too small and even when cranked down I was still able to move my camera with relatively little effort.

So here I am now with the C-269, and all I can say is that I am much happier with this model. The legs are super solid, stable, and do not seem to exhibit any flex. The B-1 head is larger and locks my camera down securely with little or no creep. Yes, the tripod is larger and heavier than the C-169, but not by much (about 0.6" longer and 0.7 lbs heavier). I feel that the tradeoff in weight/size is definitely worth the gain in stability. Ok, enough rambling.. on to the review.

First here are the tripod specs:
Capacity: 26.4 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: 3.5 lbs (1.580kg)

The tripod comes with a nicely made bag and also comes with a padded shoulder strap (not pictured).

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The tripod folds up in the same manner as the Gitzo 1541T/1550T with the legs folding over 180 degrees. Here is a picture of the tripod next to a Lenovo T61 notebook.
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Here is another picture where it is easier to read the actual length. As you can see when the tripod is folded it will easily fit into a carry on bag.
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This is a picture next to my camera for size comparison.
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And here is a picture of the tripod extended with the center column down. With the tripod setup like this the camera is pretty close to my eye level (5' 8" tall).
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A close picture of the camera mounted on the ball head.
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Conclusion:

Overall I am extremely happy with my tripod purchase. Although there may be better more expensive options out there, I definitely feel for the price this tripod fits my needs perfectly. The tripod seems to be well made and the ball head locks down solid. I am not sure I can really ask for much more in that regard.

5D2 | 35 f/1.4 L | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 580EXII | Sony RX100-III

  
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cherryhill2007
Hatchling
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Joined Mar 2009
     
Mar 20, 2009 00:35 |  #2

Congrats! I got A-269 and B1 for about US$200. Love it! quite light and tough




  
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Grentz
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Mar 20, 2009 01:44 |  #3

Looks very nice, I would love one of these travel angel CF tripods...they are still a bit pricey though.

I think I am going to consider one, just wish the CF versions were a bit cheaper :p


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ed ­ rader
"I am not the final word"
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Mar 20, 2009 02:01 |  #4

Grentz wrote in post #7560638 (external link)
Looks very nice, I would love one of these travel angel CF tripods...they are still a bit pricey though.

I think I am going to consider one, just wish the CF versions were a bit cheaper :p

i've gone the two tripod route, one lightweight tripod for travel and a heavier one for everyday use.

now i have a 3.5 lb. pound rig that i use both for travel and every day use .... benro C-128 with markins Q3 ballhead.

ed rader


http://instagram.com/e​draderphotography/ (external link)
5D4, 80d, 16-35L III, 24-70L II, 70-200L F4 IS II, 100-400L II, sigma 15mm FE, 35mm ef-s macro, tc 1.4 III, 430exII, gitzo 3542L, gitzo GM4562, markins Q10, markins Q3, kirk, really right stuff, sirui

  
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symby
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134 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Halifax, NS
     
Mar 20, 2009 08:29 |  #5

Do you think the 4 section C-168 would be much more stable than the C-169 that you had? I'm current debating between the C-168 and C-268. With a B-2 head.. Any regrets not getting the B-2 over the B-1?

Also did you get the quick release plate? Hows that?


Canon 50D | Canon XTi | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4L IS | Sigma 10-20 | Canon 430EX

  
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5teve
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
156 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Nov 2008
Location: San Ramon, CA
     
Mar 20, 2009 09:49 |  #6

symby wrote in post #7561695 (external link)
Do you think the 4 section C-168 would be much more stable than the C-169 that you had? I'm current debating between the C-168 and C-268. With a B-2 head.. Any regrets not getting the B-2 over the B-1?

Also did you get the quick release plate? Hows that?

I also was considering getting the 4 section model, but found that with the C-269 even with 5 sections the tripod is super stable. When I had the C-169, the tripod was not quite as stable due to the smaller diameter legs. If you are debating between the C-168 and C-169, the C-168 would definitely be more stable due to only having 4 sections. On that model it really was the 5th leg section that seemed a bit too thin if you really wanted stability. On that note, however, it was not like if I felt that the C-169 wasn't solid, because it was. It really depends on how much weight you plan on using with it. If you decide to go with the larger 269 model, I think you'll find that it is plenty stable with 5 sections plus you get the added benefit that it folds smaller.

I feel that the B-1 is plenty for my needs, and did not even really consider the B-2 model. In terms of size the B-1 ballhead is roughly the same size as the Markins Q3 (according to specs). I am sure the Q3 is a much better ballhead, but for my needs the B-1 works fine. What is the camera setup you plan on using?

I also got the PU-50 (I believe) quick release plate, as it came with my tripod setup. I believe it is a standard Arca type connection system, which basically is a sliding dovetail type design. Here are some pictures.

Head without plate attached.

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Picture of the plate (top and bottom).
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5D2 | 35 f/1.4 L | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 580EXII | Sony RX100-III

  
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panda-R
Member
79 posts
Joined Sep 2008
     
Mar 20, 2009 09:52 |  #7

symby wrote in post #7561695 (external link)
Do you think the 4 section C-168 would be much more stable than the C-169 that you had? I'm current debating between the C-168 and C-268. With a B-2 head.. Any regrets not getting the B-2 over the B-1?

Also did you get the quick release plate? Hows that?

benro pretty much designed the C-168/169 to fit with the B-0 and the C-268/269 to fit with the B-1. With these combos the legs close properly. With a B2 they might stick out a little on the 269 and definately stick out on the 169.

I have the B1 on a 169 and its definately capable of holding a 5D2 with 24-105/24-70 lens. Telephotos might pose a bit of a challenge.


I am Dark.
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symby
Member
134 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Halifax, NS
     
Mar 20, 2009 10:02 |  #8

Thanks very much for the info - there is next to no info on these tripods around. Its greatly appreciated.

I figured it would be better to go a bit overkill on the head. I only have an XTi for now and heaviest lens is a 70-200 f4. If the B-1 will hold a 5d2 with a 24-70 then it should be more than enough for my needs.

I kind of prefer the 4 section tripods since they should be easier to set up. The difference in folded length between the 5 section and 4 section is less than an inch so I'm ok with the extra bit of folded length.


Canon 50D | Canon XTi | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4L IS | Sigma 10-20 | Canon 430EX

  
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5teve
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Member
156 posts
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Joined Nov 2008
Location: San Ramon, CA
     
Mar 20, 2009 10:24 |  #9

symby wrote in post #7562273 (external link)
Thanks very much for the info - there is next to no info on these tripods around. Its greatly appreciated.

I figured it would be better to go a bit overkill on the head. I only have an XTi for now and heaviest lens is a 70-200 f4. If the B-1 will hold a 5d2 with a 24-70 then it should be more than enough for my needs.

I kind of prefer the 4 section tripods since they should be easier to set up. The difference in folded length between the 5 section and 4 section is less than an inch so I'm ok with the extra bit of folded length.

You're welcome. I'm glad my review was helpful.

I was also concerned before I purchased this tripod that the 5-sections may be a hassle to setup. After using the tripod for a bit now, however, I can tell you that it is not a big deal to setup, and in reality probably only takes a few seconds longer than it would to setup a 4 section model. I really like the twistlock legs in this regard as you are able to untwist all leg sections at once with one hand when the tripod is collapsed. Then all you need to do is pull out the entire leg and tighten down the locks. Simple, fast, and easy :).

Yes, the 5 section model is not that much shorter, but the difference is more than an inch. The difference between the 168/169 model in folded length is around 1.5" and between the 268/269 is around 2.1".


5D2 | 35 f/1.4 L | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 580EXII | Sony RX100-III

  
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symby
Member
134 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Halifax, NS
     
Mar 20, 2009 11:11 |  #10

If the difference is that big I might change my mind on the 4 section one. My info is coming from the link below. Its the only place I can purchase Benro from in Canada. I don't even see the 4 section ones listed on Benro.com. Where did you get your measurements from?

https://www.benphoto.c​a …1e7d337810f0584​86d6a643ad (external link)


Canon 50D | Canon XTi | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4L IS | Sigma 10-20 | Canon 430EX

  
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5teve
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Member
156 posts
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Joined Nov 2008
Location: San Ramon, CA
     
Mar 20, 2009 12:15 |  #11

symby wrote in post #7562724 (external link)
If the difference is that big I might change my mind on the 4 section one. My info is coming from the link below. Its the only place I can purchase Benro from in Canada. I don't even see the 4 section ones listed on Benro.com. Where did you get your measurements from?

https://www.benphoto.c​a …1e7d337810f0584​86d6a643ad (external link)

I got all my measurements from www.bhphotovideo.com (external link). I checked the link you provided and also compared to the benro.cn website, and believe I found where the difference in measurements are from. You were looking at the measurements for the tripod only not including the head. It seems in that configuration that the center column is slightly longer than when bundled with a head (from looking at pictures and specs), but the overall folded length seems to be closer between the 4 and 5 section model (not sure how this can be since the same head is being considered even on the package deals). In any case, a better indicator of folded length would be to look at the bundle that includes the head, since you will need one anyways. I took the table that included the head from the Benro site and converted the mm to inches as well below. These measurements coincide from what I found on the B&H site as well as when I measured the tripod myself (at least for the C-169 and C-269).

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5D2 | 35 f/1.4 L | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 580EXII | Sony RX100-III

  
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symby
Member
134 posts
Joined Apr 2008
Location: Halifax, NS
     
Mar 20, 2009 12:56 as a reply to  @ 5teve's post |  #12

Yeah there does seem to be an inconsistency on B&H's website. Without the head its only a 1.1" difference between the 268 and 269. With a head its all of a sudden 2.1" difference. Head should be the same height for both..

Oh well. I'm just as undecided as I was. :)


Canon 50D | Canon XTi | Canon 50 f/1.8 | Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 | Canon 70-200 f/4L IS | Sigma 10-20 | Canon 430EX

  
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xchric
Junior Member
24 posts
Joined Oct 2008
     
Mar 28, 2009 14:28 |  #13

Any one owns Benro C269 or C168 + Markins Q3T can tell me how the tripod legs fold with the ball head mounted?

My Q3t is on the way but I am still looking for a tripod. I am now kinda regret that I sold my Feisol CT3442.

Thank you




  
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5teve
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Location: San Ramon, CA
     
Apr 26, 2009 14:43 |  #14

I thought I'd add an update on how well this setup holds a 5D2 along with the 70-200 f/2.8 lens. The setup holds this combination great! I am able to angle the lens and the head holds the position without any problems at all. The tripod legs still remain super stable even with the additional weight and do not seem stressed at all. I find that this setup is the perfect combination for someone who is looking to just have one tripod. It is light and travels well, but also has the stability necessary for heavier lenses.

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5D2 | 35 f/1.4 L | 24-105 f/4 L IS | 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II | 580EXII | Sony RX100-III

  
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EternalLife
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Joined Apr 2009
     
Apr 26, 2009 15:34 as a reply to  @ 5teve's post |  #15

Can someone tell me why you would want 5 leg partitions instead of 4. I'm looking for a good setup and this looks like one. I just don't know why I would want 5 over 4 or 4 over 5.


Camera: Canon 50D w/ Grip - Canon Rebel XT
Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS - EF 24-105mm f/4L IS - EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS - EF-S 17-85 f4-5.6 IS - EF 50mm f/1.8
Extras: 430ex - Full Size & Mini Tripod - Extra Batteries - CF Cards - LowePro Sling 200 AW

  
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Review: Benro C-269 Tripod with B-1 Head (and pictures)
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