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Thread started 11 Jun 2009 (Thursday) 16:36
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Benro C169M8 Tripod and the inevitable comparison.

 
Quad
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Jun 11, 2009 16:36 |  #1

Benro C169M8 Tripod

Two weeks ago I purchased a Benro C169M8 Tripod from B&H Photo. The tripod arrived defective, an anti rotation lock was broken. The tripod was returned and exchanged for a new one (see possible follow up story about how my B&H return cost me money but I want to give them a couple of days to fix the situation before I complain in public, hey wait I just complained in public, oh well). I write this as there have been changes to the tripod. I am fairly certain the previous tripod was an older model as the new one is improved in a couple of ways and worse in another way.

First the improvements. The leg locks feel (much) better on the new tripod the rubber is more substantial and is fitted better. The old one gave the feeling that the anti rotation locks were about to give way. Indeed one was completely broken. The broken leg locked but you had to tighten the upper lock first. The older legs locks felt a lot cheaper than my Gitzo GT2540. On the new one the leg locks feel closer to the Gitzo but do not lock with as short a turn. The rest of the tripod looks better as well but I do not have the old one sitting here to compare. The new one has two screws in the upper and lower part of the center column to hold bits in. The old one had one screw in the bottom and none in the top as I recall.

I wrote the difference off to the differences to the Gitzo as that between a traveller tripod (I looked at the Gitzo traveller once and I was not impressed) and a regular tripod. Now I feel the quality is much closer. I can tell by small signs in the finish that the Gitzo is higher quality but this is good for a tripod I will use more lightly, besides Gitzo does not make something that competes directly with this Benro (14 inches light with no head). My Gitzo need not feel that I have slighted her.

Now they have changed one thing for the worse and that is the included bag. The old one had a very good padded bag with detachable shoulder strap and accessory pocked inside. The new one has one of those cheap velvet like dust bags (better than Gitzo joke bags but still really cheap) and it barely fits the tripod so with a head this is useless. Even just for the tripod it is useless.

There are no spiked feet with this tripod as other Benro have. The head does not sit inside the legs when folded up so you must remove the head for the most compact storage. These are two things Benro should fix. They are not so established in the market that they can start customer abuse/product cheapening.




  
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panda-R
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Jun 11, 2009 16:38 |  #2

i have had this tripod before,

please post pics of everything and i can tell you if it looks out of place, especially the bag.


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Snow001
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Jun 11, 2009 16:54 |  #3

The Tri-pod should come with a padded case. The one I have although a different model, comes with the bag that you initially received with the "old model". Perhaps someone at B&H made the switched? and you could ask them to replace it.




  
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Quad
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Jun 11, 2009 17:20 as a reply to  @ Snow001's post |  #4

The box has changed to this from plain old cardboard:

The head BTW is an Acratech.




  
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fungry
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Jun 11, 2009 17:25 |  #5

Hmmm interesting. I have the same model but in 3 sections and mine is a joy to use. It came with a tripod carry bag (rather then a velvet sleeve) and also came with metal spikes.


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Jun 11, 2009 17:48 |  #6

fungry wrote in post #8092626 (external link)
Hmmm interesting. I have the same model but in 3 sections and mine is a joy to use. It came with a tripod carry bag (rather then a velvet sleeve) and also came with metal spikes.

Well that is a Hmmm interesting back on my part.

B&H's web site does say spikes not included although when I ordered the tripod I was under the impression they were included but I likely missed the "no spikes" the first time since neither tripod had them. If you bought yours in China maybe they give the local market them. I know other models do include them.

I like the new one. I am glad I exchaged it though as the other one was different in bad way.

I hope B&H fixes the problems they caused me during the exchange though.




  
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panda-R
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Jun 11, 2009 17:51 |  #7

wow they definitely ripped you on the bag.

as for the legs, they look ok to me!


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Jun 11, 2009 18:09 |  #8

panda-R wrote in post #8092767 (external link)
wow they definitely ripped you on the bag.

as for the legs, they look ok to me!

I don't think that B&H did anything shady on the bag (I think they are a very honest bunch) but I fear that Benro has decided that they are established enough to start making the included items of lower quality. The bag is really a waste of resources. No one will use it.

The legs are great (I hope I didn't leave the impression that I thought they are bad). Not Gitzo quality but quite close.




  
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panda-R
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Jun 11, 2009 19:22 |  #9

Quad wrote in post #8092865 (external link)
I don't think that B&H did anything shady on the bag (I think they are a very honest bunch) but I fear that Benro has decided that they are established enough to start making the included items of lower quality. The bag is really a waste of resources. No one will use it.

The legs are great (I hope I didn't leave the impression that I thought they are bad). Not Gitzo quality but quite close.

well the anti rotation i could understand as it's quite easy to have a bad one come out of production, but the bag is something else. I know definitely the travel angels that come with ball head kits come with the nice padded bag, never seen this any other way. Maybe the legs themselves come with that ugly bag? Not sure.


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Jun 11, 2009 20:01 |  #10

panda-R wrote in post #8093295 (external link)
well the anti rotation i could understand as it's quite easy to have a bad one come out of production, but the bag is something else. I know definitely the travel angels that come with ball head kits come with the nice padded bag, never seen this any other way. Maybe the legs themselves come with that ugly bag? Not sure.

No the defective tripod came with the nice bag but the new tripod (and with the new packaging and different construction I would say newly designed model) came with the crap bag. I asked B&H for an explanation on the bag. Lets see what they say. They are closed for today so tomorrow I will expect an answer.




  
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Benro C169M8 Tripod and the inevitable comparison.
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