I asked B&H if they would carry the C-227 a while back and got a response today - the items they are accepting orders for right now are to test the waters. I take it they mean if the current items sell they will carry more Benro products.
If anyone is even considering getting a C-227 I strongly recommend you contact B&H and ask them to add it to their list of Benro items they sell! If they can sell the C-228 for $199.95 I would guess the C-227 would be about $179.95 which make it the tripod deal of the century.
I'd jump on it even if the price was the same as the C-228, I want a 2nd to put my larger ballhead on that way I'd have a light hiking setup and a heavier setup for when weight isn't an issue.
>>>I think most of the "oldtimers" dont want to speculate on benro due to it basically ripping off the french(gitzo) w/ their design.<<<
For every similarity between Benro and Gitzo there is also something unique between them too with Benro sometimes beating Gitzo to technical advances so quite frankly I don't in any way feel Benro is ripping off Gitzo.
Well whispers of Benro have floating around on various forums and newsgroups for a few months now, and since I happened to be in China this summer for a couple months I decided to see what all the fuss is about.
First thing, ebay is a rip off on these things. don't know who is selling them or how, but they're only half the price he's asking.
as for the tripods themselves, they are identical to the gitzo's they claim to clone with exception given to that the legs must be extended from top to bottom (isn't this how it's always done anyway?) and the base below the head mount is an angular, kind of curved triangle as opposed to the round seen on the gitzo.
as far as i can tell without running any sort of endurance tests, these really are just as good as gitzos. how can that happen, at a 1/4 the price, and in china no less?
here's the story i'm hearing about benro. gitzo was looking to outsource it's legs to china a couple years ago. they picked up on this company, yilee precision in guangzhou (by hong kong), and signed them to a deal. gitzo taught them everything, practically gave the factory blueprints. what gitzo didn't know, yilee set up a dummy corp called benro and was building an exact copy of the gitzo factory simultaneously, practically on the other side of the hill (common story for businesses that aren't careful outsourcing in china). gitzo started noticing exact copies of their gear on the shelves of beijing and shanghai, with "benro" in place of "gitzo" and got just a wee bit upset. gitzo couldn't do anything, cause it's china, and they care fark all for intellectual property, especially considering gitzo is a foreign co and benro is local. after gitzo got out, benro established itself as a legit co in china, and has got the rep as de facto proware for tripods amongst chinese photographers.
of course, you can't find benro abroad (except ebay or grey market) cause most places abroad, especially the developed world, would shut benro down before they even leased a warehouse on patent infringement intel theft, etc
that said, i wouldn't say that the benros are equivalent to the real gitzos. just cause you have the manual and tools doesn't make up for years of experience in precision. i can't say if these tripods will perform as well as their gitzo counterparts 1, 5, or 10 years from now. but in the store they seem the real deal as far as i can tell.
real enough for me to buy one. at 1/4 the price of a gitzo, if it only last me 2 years i'll have gotten my money's worth.
of course, this also brings up qualms some may have about china's policies on pirates.... but i'm a student i consider myself exempt for any such moral dilemmas
when was what you quoted written? I have little doubt that Benro may have started out with close copies of Gitzo but not so much these days.
Also, Benro has gained recognition for producing some of the highest quality carbon fiber in the industry when they began their latest line of C series (n6) which is 8 thin layers comprised of more carbon fiber and less resin than any other at the time. I keep hoping I'd find the article again as it was written by a reputable source and what led me to my Benro purchase. If I could remember who I'm sure I'd find it.
>I asked B&H if they would carry the C-227 a while back and >got a response today - the items they are accepting orders >for right now are to test the waters. I take it they mean >if the current items sell they will carry more Benro >products. > >If anyone is even considering getting a C-227 I strongly >recommend you contact B&H and ask them to add it to their >list of Benro items they sell! If they can sell the C-228 >for $199.95 I would guess the C-227 would be about $179.95 >which make it the tripod deal of the century. > >I'd jump on it even if the price was the same as the C-228, >I want a 2nd to put my larger ballhead on that way I'd have >a light hiking setup and a heavier setup for when weight >isn't an issue.
These seem like old models. I couldn't seem to find them on Benro's site.
>Benro was going to change their model numbers by changing >the 2nd number (from a 2 to a 5 for example) but for >whatever reason they never did it except on their website.
So you believe the 228 is actually the 258 on Benro's site? Which Gitzo do you believe is the most comparable? I have been thinking about the Gitzo GT-1530.
If I pared this with a Markins head, would the Q3 be appropriate? I would like something light enough to take everywhere. I currently use a D80, SB-600, and a 18-135mm lens. I do want to eventually buy a longer zoom lens but probably nothing too extreme, maybe the new 70-300mm VR.
I read some ware that the difference in modal numbers 258 vs 228 has to with distribution. So yes the C-228 and C-258 are the same tripod. There is some difference between the M series and the C series with the same numbers.
The Benro C-228 has 4 leg sections and is comparable with the Gitzo 1258 (new Gitzo GT-2530). The C-227 has 3 leg sections and is comparable to the Gitzo 1257 (new Gitzo GT-2530).
A C-228 with a markins Q3 (or Kirk BH-3 about the same price) should be fine for your setup. I am using a M-227 & Kirk BH-3 with D80 and 80-400 VR with no problems.
P.S. dont forget about getting a QR plate that is fitterd to the D80 eaither Kirk, Markins or Really Right Stuff.
>I read some ware that the difference in modal numbers 258 vs >228 has to with distribution. So yes the C-228 and C-258 are >the same tripod. There is some difference between the M >series and the C series with the same numbers. > >The Benro C-228 has 4 leg sections and is comparable with >the Gitzo 1258 (new Gitzo GT-2530). The C-227 has 3 leg >sections and is comparable to the Gitzo 1257 (new Gitzo >GT-2530). > >A C-228 with a markins Q3 (or Kirk BH-3 about the same >price) should be fine for your setup. I am using a M-227 & >Kirk BH-3 with D80 and 80-400 VR with no problems. > >P.S. dont forget about getting a QR plate that is fitterd to >the D80 eaither Kirk, Markins or Really Right Stuff.
Thanks for the information. How do you like the Kirk BH-3? Why did you choose it over the Markins Q3 (since they are about the same price)? Do you think it is a better value or do you consider it a toss up? I have not seen either one in person.
You know how it is...sometimes we are thrilled with are decisions, sometimes we are "happy" with are decisions, and sometimes we are not so sure. Any additional advise you can offer is appreciated.
From the reviews and comments I read about Markins and Kirk I think it is a toss up. Everyone seems to say great things about the entire lines of both brands and I could find no major detractors for either one.
That said I figured that if I could get a quality American made product at close to the same price as one produced internationally I would go with the American company. Kirk is located in eastern Indiana and I also live in the upper mid-west so it’s almost supporting local workers. I have no problem buying foreign made goods if that’s the only way to get the best quality. In this case I feel that I can get equal quality materials & workmanship and support U.S. workers at the same time.
So far I am quite happy with what I have with both the Kirk head and the Benro tripod. I just got the head so I haven’t been able to put them though their paces yet. I have been testing out around the house and both seem to work as advertised.
The Benro tripod was a bit of a compromise. I was looking at getting a Gitzo but my cheapo pod broke and I could not pass up the Benro for about half the price of Gitzo. The bad thing getting a Benro is that you don’t have the life time guarantee that Gitzo has or even a useful warranty. If you buy from B&H they will probably give you a year of warranty support. The tripod seems to be very well made and sturdy.
I got mine from an ebay store Link Delight (I can send you a link if you cant find them) they have great feedback and responsive costumer service. They shipped from China (Hong Kong) in about 4 days. I have confidence that a damaged idem could be sent back for replacement soon after the sale but I would not count on them for warranty support later on.
Thanks for the additional information, it was very helpful. I believe a tripod & head will be my next purchase, but I may need to wait a while. My wife is still getting used to the idea of a $1,000 camera.
I purchased a Benro M227, shipped from china for US $249. I ordered the Markins M-10L off their website same day, 1/24 and both items were waiting for me on Monday morning 1/29 at the office.
Quality on the tripod seems very good, of course I have nothing to compare it to. Friend visiting from out of town looked at the benro, he has the similar earlier version of the Gitzo as well as a markins M10. His comments were more about the differences in the Markins head over the past two years.
Time will tell on the tripod, but I expet this to be the last tripod I will ever have to buy.
Yea, I think I am going to order the C-228 from B&H. I would rather have the 3 leg sections, but not a deal breaker for me as the 4 sections do close smaller. I spoke to some one (online live help) and they said they did not have any info on the tripods and had not actually seen them yet. I asked if they could get the ball heads and he said no. Strange since they are ordering the tripods as orders come in. I am researching there ball heads and it is very confusing. I think I have it narrowed down to a KJ-2 or a KV-2. From what I have researched it looks like the 2 knob tensioning does not really work as advertised. Users have reported that they have to use both knobs to control tension so the 1 knob is a better option. Has anyone tried the KV series? They are supposed to have a ratcheting tension control. I just hate to be the first to try something especially since the 2 knob tension does not really work. Also if B&H carried it I would feel much better. The auctions seem to very a lot (like $30 to $50) even from the same vendors. One thing I am wondering about is the following from eBay KS Series reference the structure of American Kirk Heads, operation with three knobs, the main knob and the potty knob is depart ,the damp adjustment is real time, With different set. You can adjust the main knob and the potty knob, The different with Kirk , BENRO KS Series is designed with ellipse-ball, so it has many advantages of KJ Series head, and has the follow advantages at the same time.
So what is a "potty Knob"? and why is it depart? and why is the damp adjustment in "real time"?
IMHO ballheads have some parts that may need repaired or replaced, it is also going to be harder to confirm long-term quality and ease of use. Even if I choose Benro legs I have it narrowed down to the Markins Q3 or the Kirk BH-3 ballhead.
I completely agree with the facts from the above two links. I have too disassembled my KS-1 and found the same potential problems and have listed some of them in my mini-review on this site.
For light use, I think these Benros would be more than adequate. For heavy use I expect to see problems from stemming from what looks like a soft alloy on the ball holding cup.
The other thing that I did not see mentioned was that the base is held to the rest of the head by means of, what I consider, tiny screws. I would not be surprised if the whole thing snaps-off if you have it loaded and bang the tripod/head/camera setup hard. Granted, that is not typical use, but I would not be comfortable carrying a heavy camera/lens mounted on the head and that put on a tripod over my shoulder
I had since purchased a tiny Giottos ballhead (1004 model) and was surprised at how well it locks given how small it is. It can't compare to the KS-1 at all in any way, but if it were the same size, I would think it would feel a lot more secure. But that's speculation
From an old timer...bought a Gitzo studex pro wuth a RNO.3 head in '76 and it's handled all my different cameras thought the years...It's the only piece of equip. that hasn't been replaced in 30yrs..It's heavy yes, but will handle 35mm to 4X5+....plus I don't have to put a sand bag on it..when buying a tripod buy over kill and quaility...cameras come and go but a tripod should be a one time investment
My favorite "line " in life is "I know" but since I procieve it as a "line" I must not know..But atlease I know I don't know and that's all that matters.
"Looking at how well my Benro C-227n6 is built you'd have a really hard time convincing me it won't last a lifetime. "
That's the impression I'm getting, which is why I'm leaning towards the Benro Legs/Markins Head combination. I'm going to wait a few months and try to come across more reviews on the Benro KJ series ballheads, because that interests me too, but I have a feeling I'll be a Q3 owner. The heaviest combination I'll have is a D70s, 70-200mm and SB800.
Ready...Aim...Shoot, I forgot to set my white balance.
I dislike the KS-1 because I can't lock it down without cranking down on the drag knob but find the KS-2 works better than I ever expected for such an inexpensive ballhead - neither are of the quality of ballheads from companies that specialize in ballheads but probably around par (or better) for tripod manufacturers that also manufacture ballheads.
>I emailed B&H and asked them when do they think they will be >shipping the Benro tripod. B&H said they should be able to >ship in mid-February. I will update this forum when I get my >tripod. > >Mike > >“Never argue with a fool, the people around you cannot tell >the difference.” Anonymous
I, too, ordered a Benro from B & H on Dec 26, 2006. Still have not heard from them on a ship date. Have called them twice and was trying to call again today - "computer problems"; or more likely being a Monday. It's taking too long, when they "promise" 7-14 business days for shipment. This does not speak well of B & H's customer seervice, although I have been happy with all of my previous orders. Just wish they would keep us informed on this new product from China. Sounds as if they waited for several orders before contacting China.
I'll also agree with the initial views regarding quality legs and average performance from the KS1 ballhead. I bought a M258-n6 and KS1 combo. (Same as the 228) http://www.benro.cn/Product/1/pa2.html
In testing, I had a to lock it extremely tightly to try and prevent 'droop' when swapping to a 70-200 on a d70 mounted to the ballhead.
Now I know that it's not the recommended way of mounting for using long lenses but I wanted to see what the head limits were.
Using the mount on the lens's foot delivered pleasing enough results and satisfactory stability.
I too would recommend this set up with an eye to upgrade ballheads as soon as you understand what you needs require as the very difficult part of buying a tripod is probably knowing what your work/hobby will require in terms of support. I fear many people will overspend to cover the eventuality of needing a heavy support set up when they will only use it 5% of their time.
I carried mine for several days in a hike of the Whale Trail in South Africa over decmber and found the kit great for carrying - quite light - and perfect for my attempts at macro work and lower light evening/sunset landscapes. It's rugged and withstood plenty of bashing and sea sand. No gritty feel to the actions at all and smooth operation throughout. The labels peel off quite easily, but judging from the views on the thread so far, I don't think anyone will be worried about that.
I've been using a KS-2 ballhead for 3 months. I too was a bit scared reading the post where the KS-2 was disassembled. But, I have to say that the KS-2 performs the way I was hoping and it was definitely a major improvement over what I had been using--a Bogen/Manfrotto 486RC2. My heaviest rig is the D200/MB-D200/300 f4/2x converter/sb-800 with flash extender, so I realize I'm not exactly testing the head weightwise.
Movement is very smooth to me and of course I'm enjoying the extra functionality and movement the KS-2 offers over the simple locked or loose, one-knob option of the 486RC2.
Honestly, only time will tell whether the KS-2 holds up considering its questionable construction and materials. I can say that from the outside, it looks fine, the finish is very nice and it operates like its supposed to. It feels like it can hold a lot more weight and for anyone on a budget, the cost differential between the Benro and the other more highly-rated ballheads has to make it an option.
For peace of mind, I won't take it apart and look inside.
The limiting component of the Benro ballheads, at least as described in the 'disassembly review', seems to be the aluminum panning base/bearing housing. I imagine one could simply take this part to a local machine shop, pay a small sum, and have this part machined out of a better material. The total cost of the head and the machined part may still be less than a Markins or RRS, etc. Of course some machine shops might charge so much that it wouldn't make economic sense to go this route.
Very interesting. I've been looking at a Gitzo for some time, but the price on a Gitzo is high. Although I've never had a carbon tripod, I do have lots of experience with carbon fiber bicycles. As long as the glue used to bond the fiber sheets together and to the lugs are good, then all should be well. I think China has experience with carbon since many Giant bicycles are now made there (I believe). The only drawback for carbon would be if a sharp rock hit the legs. That would reduce its strength (at least in a mountain bike it would cause eventual failure). Not sure this would be an issue since a tripod takes a lot less stress than a mountain bike!
Good observation. Having a Gitzo CF, I assume that if I fractured a tube that I can get a replacement. That is a good research issue when looking at Cf tripods in general since it would not be fun to break a leg and then be unable to replace the broken part. Of course, same applies to aluminum legs- they just bend instead of fracture and shatter when abused.
Just a "heads up" for those who ordered a Benro tripod from B&H. I received an e-mail notification today that my Benro is on the way. Have a tracking number to boot. Hopefully, others will receive their's as well.
Best to all and as I posted on dpreview, don't everybody post a review at the same time...but your opinion on the Benro is welcomed by me and I am certain by many others on this forum.
I ordered mine on Dec. 26, 2006...over two months ago. I have read on the net that some had cancelled their order(s). I also notice that B&H is closed this Sunday. Don't know the reason, but if they have 1000+ tripods to ship (just guessing a number), maybe they are having a "shipping party."
The Benro tripods have been on "back order," so with release of the shipment from customs, maybe they are expediting their shipments with "all hands on deck" shipping these orders. It definitely has to add to their shipping department workload. Just a thought.
B&H is a conservative Jewish firm and is always closed for business on the Jewish Sabbath, from Friday evening through Saturday evening and also this coming Sunday which appparently is a Jewish religious holy day (hope I got that right, I'm not Jewish). So I presume they will be beginning to ship on Monday to the rest of us (if they received enough to go around).
I think we need to have an "order date seniority list" to determine who gets their Benro tripod first (just kidding).
After reading all the comments here and at another online forum, I am confident we who have been patient will be getting a super deal. I saw the Benro C-258 and also the "Induro" branded C-214 model (both the same as the C-228, it appears...same specs, etc.) at a Canadian dealer for $350 Canadian ($298 US) and $460 Canadian ($392), respectively.
I have read with great interest the comments online about the Benro being a ripoff of Gitzo (I used to be in marketing and these product questions as to who stole whose ideas is always facinating to me). Of course, I can't make an informed comment myself since I have only "played" with the Gitzo's in Glazer's Camera in Seattle and Yodobashi Camera in Japan, both great shops.
However, I think this might be good competition to improve the quality and features on all brands of tripods. It is important for all companies to always be looking over their shoulders as to what the competitors or even startups in foreign markets might be up to.
I have been researching and looking for a quality tripod for several years as I approach retirement and get more serious about photography. Althought the Gitzo's are obviously the cream of the crop, I noticed they seem to be somewhat slow at new features such as the non-rotating legs. Maybe the French/Italian engineers at Gitzo have become inspired by the competition. I have noticed a progression from the 1228 to the 1258 and now to the 2540 in a very short time.
Another person posted this link from an interview with Mr. Liu, Chairman of Benro (Yilee). I thought his response to the question as to whether the Benro was an imitation of Gitzo was interesting.
Count me in as a happy owner of a Benro. I walked into my local shop to purchase a Gitzo Explorer and while playing with it in the store the leg angle locks would not lock down. I was told the whole shipment was returned as many were bad including one purchased by a staff member at the local store. I had sold my Bogen 3021 and needed a pod so I went on ebay and took a chance on the C297. 4 months later with some rough handling including being strapped on the back of my motorcycle for 3000 miles the Benro is going strong. I have used it in water 3 feet deep, on the beach in surf (salt water) The leg locks are quick and secure with a hiss of air when you push them in. "The sand and water and use have not affected the smooth operation at all. Only one small glitch in that the leg lock broke my built in compass when I was opening up the pod for some real low to the ground stuff. (replacement on route from Canada as we speak) I had my shipped in from Canada in less than a week with UPS ground to Florida. My local dealer still has not gotten the Gitzo's in as of yesterday. I have supported a D200/300mm f2.8/2xTC/Sidekick combo with rock steadyness and I feel the weak point is the Sidekick to Acratech Head connection not the tripod. It's really bad that there are no American built tripods (I was able to get an American Head-Acratech is amazing for the weight) but I remember when I first saw a Honda motorcycle or a Toyota or Datsun car. I thought what junk compared to my 59 Chevy Wagon. It's a changing world economy. I feel like I paid for a Hyundai and got a Porsche with this one. Look at the effect of the Chinese stock market on ours last week. Uno mundo.
I ordered at the end of January. B&H respondes to my inquiry on Friday that they do not have delivery date at this time. Here are their exact words - "Unfortunately it is still backordered by the manufacturer with no definite available date." I'm getting a little tired of waiting to tell you the truth.
>I also notice that B&H is closed this Sunday. Don't know the >reason, but if they have 1000+ tripods to ship (just >guessing a number), maybe they are having a "shipping >party." Sunday this week is a Jewish holiday and B&H is run by Orthodox Jews. It's Purim. http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm
I ordered my c228 around February 4th or so. I called them thursday morning to see what was going on, aand the sales rep said that they had JUST received them and that they would be shipping them out in the next day or two. Surely enough, on friday, I received a confirmation e-mail with tracking information. I will receive my tripod on friday!
I set my alarm to get up at 6am (9am New York time) and give B&H a call to find out where the heck my order was since I ordered it on 1-21-07 and need it by next Wednesday.
Miraculously, I checked my computer before calling and I had an e-mail that B&H sent 23 minutes earlier, that they had shipped the tripod with tracking. I guess that the thought of having to talk to grouchy old me was enough to move them to immediate action!!!!! I'll have to remember to try that strategy more often.
Ordered mine 2/14 and got the shipping notice today too!
Btw, what ballheads are you guys gonna put on your new Benro tripod? I am debating between going all out on a Markins Q3 ($270) + Markins D50 plate ($50)... or going conservative for now by using a Manfrotto 488rc2/488rc4. Do you guys think the 488 ballheads (1.4 lbs) is a bit top heavy for this lightweigh tripod?
Please advise or sharing your current plans for this tripod. Thanks in advance!
Recieved my Benro C-228 this morning. After reading some of the above posts, I ordered the 228 and a 028 on Saturday 3/3 at 7:30pm. Got an email yesterday that it was picked up by UPS at 9:30pm...arrived at 11:00am today.
Couple of notes: specs say 20.9" closed, actually measures 22". Weight listed at 3lb 9.6oz, actual weight 3lb 13.2oz. Hook on bottom of center column screws in and is not spring loaded. Legs do not have an 'anti-twist' feature as listed in the specs, but do unlock and lock easy enough.
Quality does look pretty good for the price. I've never handled a Gitzo. Looks like I'll use it mostly withpout the 4th leg extended...a bit long and flexible. Rather raise the center column 2/3 max height, seems plenty ridged that way and gives me acceptable height.
Just got another email that the 028 will ship tonight so probably get it tomorrow. I'm a bit more excited about this smaller and lighter tripod for hiking...we'll se how it checks out.
In response to 'tgf_beta'. The tripod I just received is marked C-228 and the grips look like the old style in the link you provided. I have unscrewed and separated a leg and I don't beleive there are any dust shields. Looks exactly like the one pictured in the B&H ad.
I for one am not too happy with what I read above, even though my Benro C-228 is not scheduled to arrive until next Tuesday.
I just attempted to go the B&H website and it is down. I wanted to see exactly how they worded the features on the C-228. Maybe they have gone out of business?
Seriously, I think I remember it specifically mentioning the non-rotating legs as well as the retractable feet. If that is accurate and the tripod they ship is an older model without same, then that would seem to be a misrepresentation. This would also seem to void any of their policies about not being able to return for credit a special-order type item.
If by the day of delivery I see that all of the ones shipped are older discontinued tripods and not according to the description on the B&H site then I will seriously consider refusing the shipment and filing a request with my credit card company (the superb USAA Federal Savings Bank) for a dispute on the charge.
I hope anyone receiving their tripod will give us still waiting as much detailed information as possible on the actual features as compared to what is stated on the B&H site. I would never have ordered this if it was listed as a discontinued closeout model.
The Benro C-228 Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs is a high-quality tripod which uses advanced 8-layer carbon fiber material for its leg construction. This 2nd generation carbon fiber tubing is stronger, lighter and as resistant as traditional type tripods.
The tripod offers many advanced features. Its sliding, reversible center column has a grooved design to eliminate unwanted column rotation, and features a locking wing nut to ensure smooth and safe operation. One top leg section features a closed-foam coating to provide better handling in extreme weather.
• The anti-rotation leg system prevents each leg from rotating during setup.
• The C-series adopts Benro's latest 2nd generation 8-layer carbon fiber tube technology which is 40% stronger than the 1st generation carbon fiber tubes.
• Adjustable leg angle stops allow the legs to be set individually at 24°, 55° and 90° to cover every angle you want to shoot.
• Spring-loaded retractable hook on the bottom of the center column provides a place to hang a stabilizing counterweight such as camera, sand or water bags.
All the C series have had the anti-rotation legs. The anti-rotation feature should be applied to all but the last leg sections were it is not necessary.
The feet should be interchangeable spikes or rubber not retractable. They should give you a set of spikes and a set of rubber feet and you choose which to use.
For the price you are getting a very good tripod even if it is not the most up to date C series. I paid $240 (including shipping) for my M-227n6 and it was well worth the price a C series would have been much more expensive.
A follow-up to my previous post. Here's some more details on the 2 Benro tripods I just received from B&H. The C-228 and C-028:
Both tripods are as pictured in the B&H ads. They do not have the following features as listed in their specs:
C-228: No anti-twist legs locks or seals. No set screws on head platform. No changeable feet. The rubber tips are not removeable. No spring on weight hook. Weight is 3.85 lbs. (specs=3.6) Folded length is 22" (specs=20.9) Length all legs extended w/ center column down 58.25" Length all legs extended w/ column highest 66.25"
C-028: No anti-twist, No changeable feet, No spring on hook. Has 3 set screws for head. Weight is 2.26 lbs. (specs=2.4) Folded length is 18.3" as spec'd Length all legs ext. w/ center column down 46.75" Length all legs ext. w/ center column heighest 56"
I have no idea if the tubes are indeed 8x carbon.
Called B&H and after 20 minutes of 'holds' I spoke with the 'tripod expert' and long story short, they were basically clueless to what I was concerned about. I informed them that the tripods are as pictured and indeed are labelled with the correct product numbers, but the specs as listed on their site are apparently from the 'newer' models; ie: C-258n6 and C-058n6 from the Benro site....didn't mean anything to them. He did say he'd forward my message and get someone to correct the site?
Anyway the tripods are nice for the price. But if anyone was 'hoping' to get the newer spec'd model with the most important feature (anti-twist and seals), well I guess we get what we paid for. You could get the Induro brand from Adorama, looks like they are the same as the Benro models/specs (different #s). But you'll, pay the price. B&H Benro C-028=$140, Adorama Induro C-014(Benro C-058n6)=$286. B&H Benro C-228=$200, Adorama Induro C214(Benro C-258n6)=$384.
I almost wish I'd bought the Adorama Benro C-114/C158n6 for $327. Fits between the 2 I bought, weighs 3lbs, holds 11lbs, folds to 19.7". But I do like the 2 I bought. The smaller one with a Markins Q3 makes a nice hiking setup. Pretty light, the ballhead base fits the column base perfectly, and it appears stable enough with the skinnly 4th legs extended 1/2 way and the column up 2/3's.
Thanks Kris, I really appreciate your detailed post.
I for one ordered the Benro C-228 as a cheap alternative to the Gitzo 2540 which I just can't afford anytime in the foreseeable future. I wanted one single tripod that would, as best as possible, handle general travel (fit in my carry on bag...just barely, at an angle, about 21" max with head removed), people, macro flowers and day hikes (guite a requirement). I thought the 2540/C-228 size was the best bet for me. The folded length and weight were very important to me as well as the non-rotating legs and interchangeable spikes, etc. I knew I would be comprimising some in stability due to the 4 leg sections and the "stoop" factor versus the 3 section tripod.
I don't think B&H purposely mislead us in their description of the C-228. However, the point is that their description clearly points to the new model due to their listed "features" and "specifications". Here is the one single statement, a direct copy from their website, that really makes the case:
"• The C-series adopts Benro's latest 2nd generation 8-layer carbon fiber tube technology which is 40% stronger than the 1st generation carbon fiber tubes."
The key word here is "latest". This implies that this tripod is the latest Benro model as Benro does not list different model levels with this new CF technology. In fact, presuming we all get the identical C-228 that you received, then this is a misrepresentation, even though probably not intentional. This C-228 is obviously not the latest model and has an older feature and specification set.
The latest Benro models are the C-228n6 and C-258n6. The 228 and 258 are the same exact model. Note also that some times the n6 designation is left off the model number by dealers as it is with Vistek, a Canadian dealer. The only things the B&H site does not mention are the n6 designation and the dust resistance rubber grips. I reasonably presumed from all the other information on their site that this was the NEWEST Benro C-228 model.
I don't consider the displayed photo that important as many dealers occasionally have incorrect photos. I determine what product they are selling based on their listed features and specifications, etc. When I ordered my new Markins M10L-NQS yesterday, they confirmed that the photo on their website is not of the latest model with indented pan base, which I would in fact be receiving. I ordered directly from Markins North America in Langley, BC, Canada after finally cancelling my order with the Nikonians Photo Pro Shop (what frustration...but that's another post).
I called B&H after seeing your post. They instructed me that I can either refuse the shipment and they will refund my money less shipping costs (I'll argue with them about the shipping costs later) or if I am unable to refuse the shipment then I can return the tripod for a refund. They have already e-mailed me a return authoriazation form. Many kudos to B&H. I will contunue to buy from them as I have many times in the past.
I really think this is still an excellent buy as shipped but not what I had in mind. I know the reduced weight, shorter folded length, anti-rotation legs, interchangeable spikes, etc. might seem not to be worth it to others for the extra $100 or so I will have to pay for the correct latest Benro model. I think it will be worth it for me it in the long run.
I am currently looking at Vistek in Canada and a website (shamino123) on E-Bay that seems to be a good source from Hong Kong for the newest Benro branded models.
I never saw the benro as a cheaper alternative to the gitzo tripods,
I saw it as a lighter aluminum tripod. If I didn't purchase the benro, I would have purchased a 3021 or a 3001, both are tripods which cost about 150$ just for the legs.
Now, I paid 200$ from b&h for these legs, and they're definitely quality, sturdy legs, very comparable to the gitzo's that I've seen in stores. Are they as nice or fancy or feature packed as the n6 version? No, they're not.
But, now consider this: the benro n6 is at least 250$. I only found one seller on ebay who was shipping from the US, and that's been gone for a while now. Most of the available benro's can only be bought from people like link-delight who are located in hong kong and charge 45$ for shipping, so now, you're looking at 300$ for the n6 version. Am I willing to add on another 100$ for the n6 version, maybe? But then why not ask yourself from there, why not add on another 100$ for a genuine gitzo?
The question that you guys have to ask yourselves is what did you expect? I too was hoping for the n6 version, and the specs that BH listed did seem to imply that it would be so, but then we would have been getting these tripods for 50$ less than the HK distributors are able to sell them for, which definitely didin't seem right to me.
What is your reference point? If you're like me, and your reference point was the 3021 or another tripod of that sort, I think that you'll be very happy. If you let your reference point become the n6, or you were expecting a 500$ gitzo in a 200$ package, then yea, you will perceive this as a loss.
Either way, you still made out with a great tripod for 200$.
I've carefully considered the responses by Kris, Chuck, and "yellafella"... and I do agree with their assessments.
I am still on the fence about whether I should return my tripod on the basis that the tripod that I received is not what is being advertised (no retractable/spring-loaded hook, no spiked feet, heavier and longer than B&H specifications, etc.). And worst case, I can use these facts to ask my credit company for dispute with B&H.
Sometimes, I find myself siding with Kris's argument... sometimes I am siding with yellafella more... it really goes back and forth in my mind right now about whether I should return this tripod.
On the quality of the tripod... do you guys find the joints of this tripod to be a bit flimsy? I find that I can easily induce twist & flex of the tripod by using two fingers on a leg joint and exert a rotational torque about its longitudinal axis... it's not the same "solid as a brick" feel that I get with a heavy Manfrotto 3021 tripod... and only marginally better than my 15 year-old "department store" aluminum tripod with braces on its legs.
Is this normal for a four-section carbon fiber tripod? Does the "comparable" Gitzo 1228/1258 do this?
I know that I should not expect Gitzo quality, and this tripod is certainly not Gitzo quality. I heard with the Gitzos, the fit & tolerance is so tight that it's air-tight and you hear a "swoosh" when extending the legs... the Benro on the other hand is no where near this. BUT!!! I do expect my Benro to be sturdy... and not with flimsy leg joints that leads to tripod flex and twist with just a slight rotational torque about its longitudinal axis!
I placed an order thru eBay seller photo1818 including shipping (from San Jose, CA) for $279 for the new C-228n6 (C-258n6). He verified it is the actual new n6 model with all the claimed features and specs.
I also placed an order thru eBay seller bonnie.yl for a Benro AC-23 short center column for the C-228n6, $32US shipped. She was extremely helpful and had excellent prices also on the Benro tripods. She almost offered to drive it down from Toronto! What a nice seller. She has photos on her site that actually show that the Benro ID/model sticker on the tripod leg shows the "n6" designation next to the model number.
I think yellafella321's math is a little off. The Gitzo 2540 runs about $575 without shipping, bag and strap. I still couldn't afford this difference of more than $300.
To me the $72 more including shipping for the n6 model versus the older C-228 is well worth the difference. If Benro doesn't honor the warranty if ever needed, I'll just take my chances. To those who keep the C-228 from B&H for $199, I think you also got a very good deal.
I have decided to keep the Benro tripod. While it does not have the features that B&H advertise. I believe $199 is a fair price for the carbon fiber technology. I purchased this tripod for travel and not a replacement for my solid as a brick Bogen/Manfrotto 3221.
What I am surprised about is a company takes on a new vendor and does not verify that the vendor can provide what was contacted. It maybe Benro’s tripod error but it is B&H reputation that is now being challenged.
Let's put our new tripod to work and take some photos
“Never argue with a fool, the people around you cannot tell the difference.” Anonymous
(Edit to fix typo)
“Never argue with a fool, the people around you cannot tell the difference.” Anonymous
Thanks for the reassurance. I can't wait to get it in my hands and play with it.
I see you own the Markins Q3. How does it seem to handle your heaviest load? (which appears to be the 70-200 2.8). My heaviest lens is currently the 70-300VR so I am hoping this will be a perfect match.
BTW, I saw one concern posted earlier about the small "sweet spot" with the Q3, but then I realized it was just at 30 degree angles with a 91oz. lens!
>FYI- I can confirm the Induro versions do have all of the >latest features. I had the chance to compare the Gitzo and >the Induro in Baltimore,MD at www.servicephoto.com today. >
I looked at the Induro C214 today and it does have all the latest, but it's twice the B&H price and not any more stable than the B&H Benro C228. Yes, it has the anti-rotation legs, retractable hook and spikes and is otherwise just like the C228. Does that make it worth $200 more.
>In fact, I was so impressed that I bought one of their >aluminum models today for $119.
Their aluminum models are indeed impressive. The A214 is the same as the C214 except for the material. It weighs about 1/2 pound more but otherwise has the same features for $141 including the nice padded case. Compared to the Manfrotto 3021 it's quite a bargain.
Glad to hear Service is carrying them. Great store.
The LinkDelight ebay C227 is the latest also. I got one of those, and LinkDelight does offer a 1-yr. warranty (better than nothing...).
>FYI- I can confirm the Induro versions do have all of the >latest features. I had the chance to compare the Gitzo and >the Induro in Baltimore,MD at www.servicephoto.com today. > >In fact, I was so impressed that I bought one of their >aluminum models today for $119. I just ordered the Markins >Q3 from the pro shop this evening! > >For those of you who are not local, www.indurogear.com does >have a dealer locator and www.adorama.com?kbid=912610 does carry their >products. > >-- >Doug
That was my first visit to the store. The gentlemen who helped me was great. In fact, if I didn't buy something I would have felt guilty! I will definitely stop by and visit again. They were the closest Gitzo 5 star dealer from my house and it was invaluable to see everything in person.
Since I thought my visit was to confirm the need for the Gitzo (and prepare my wife for the $900 investment), I had not researched the Induro's specifically. So before I bought, I just asked the salesperson (maybe owner) if they were competitive. He said they should be in line with any reputable seller. So I bought it. Sure enough, it was the same price as Adorama and I had the thing in my hands the same day. Can't beat that!
The Induro offers the 2 year warranty with an extension to 5 years with registration.
*smiling* ... me too. I ended up buying just a cable release during my visit. The guy must have spent close to an hour talking to me about tripods mostly, on a relatively busy Friday afternoon. I don't remember his name, but he was an older fellow with a ponytail. The Induros weren't on the market yet at that time.
>That was my first visit to the store. The gentlemen who >helped me was great. In fact, if I didn't buy something I >would have felt guilty! I will definitely stop by and visit >again. They were the closest Gitzo 5 star dealer from my >house and it was invaluable to see everything in person. > ... > >-- >Doug
Based on the previous posting re: eBay seller photo1818, I bought a C-228n6 from him and it has all of the 'missing' features except for the retractable hook (don't really care about that). I haven't measured or weighed the tripod so I can't vouch for those.
>C-228: >No anti-twist legs locks or seals. >No set screws on head platform. >No changeable feet. The rubber tips are not removeable. >No spring on weight hook. >Weight is 3.85 lbs. (specs=3.6) >Folded length is 22" (specs=20.9) >Length all legs extended w/ center column down 58.25" >Length all legs extended w/ column highest 66.25"
>Based on the previous posting re: eBay seller photo1818, I >bought a C-228n6 from him and it has all of the 'missing' >features except for the retractable hook (don't really care >about that). I haven't measured or weighed the tripod so I >can't vouch for those. > The description from photo1818 doesn't say much and I have had no response from emails to them about the product. Was there any delay is their shipping it to you? Did you have any correspondence with them before purchase?
> The description from photo1818 doesn't say much and I have >had no response from emails to them about the product. Was >there any delay is their shipping it to you? Did you have >any correspondence with them before purchase?
The seller is local to me so I emailed asking to pick up the tripod instead of having it shipped. He replied yes within a working day so I drove over and got it.
BTW, I checked benro.cn and the tripod I bought has every feature highlighted. It turns out that the spring loaded hook which B&H specified, isn't described as being spring loaded.
The C-228 I ordered from B&H on January 21st arrived today via UPS. I refused the shipment as intended and mentioned in my post above.
I ordered a C-228n6 ($279 shipped) from eBay seller Photo1818 last Thursday evening, the 8th, at 11:00pm after my e-mail questions and his quick response within a couple hours. It was picked up the next day, Friday, by UPS at 3:00pm as he promised. It also arrive today, Tuesday, the 13th.
My only complaint is that he simply placed a shipping label on the Benro box and shipped it. It was not double boxed as the B&H shipment was. The box was slightly bent. Perhaps this is the reason the compass on the tripod seems to not work smoothly. However, I really don't care about the compass.
Otherwise, everything is in good order. The tripod, carrying case, strap, spiked feet, tools, features and specifications are exactly as described on the Benro website. The owner's instructions are in Chinese and English. The center column hook is there and is removable (threaded) but not retractable or spring loaded. The Benro label on the leg indicates model "C-228n6" (exactly the same as the model C-258n6). From what I can see, the C-228n6 is the same as the Induro C-214 for about $392 shipped from a New York camera shop (not my favorite dealer). Note that Benro also makes a less expensive M-series carbon fiber tripod. They have a 6 layer CF instead of 8 layer CF, have a less expensive spike/rubber foot system and have an aluminum instead of CF center column.
I weighed the tripod with my wife's precision kitchen scale. It weighed at exactly 3.570 lbs. The spec is 1.62kg/3.6 lbs. 1.62kg converts to exactly 3.571 lbs. I would say that is pretty close!
I measured the folded length at exactly 20.875" long (not including the short stud on top, about 1/4" long.....the rubber feet can be unscrewed if desired shortening the length by about 5/8"). The spec is 530mm/20.9" ... 530mm converts to 20.866" long. I would say that is also pretty close!
I only mention this because the folded length was very important to me since it needs to fit in my carry on bag which has exactly 21" of space. The tripod is a nice snug fit in my bag with ballhead removed, perfect! The older and slightly longer C-228 would not have fit as measured by another poster.
The included padded bag (which has enough extra room for my Markins M10 w/RRS lever clamp attached) and strap are of very nice quality. The tripod seems to be of excellent quality set up in my living room. I must say so far that I'm extremely pleased with what I see. The non-rotating legs, folded length and other make it a deal clincher for me.
PS ..... OK, I just re-checked the hook and it seems that it has a very slight spring to it. Not significant in my opinion. I many times use a bungi cord loop to my foot from the hook for extra stability. Don't laugh, I used it on my old Slik and have had excellent results. I'll explain in more detail sometime in another post.