I’m hoping to take a trip to Europe later this year and wanted to carry a tripod. It’s not my intention to carry one all day, but leave it in the luggage until evening, then pull it out for night-time HDR shots. My Manfrotto weighs in at over six pounds, which was more than I wanted to carry. There is a weight limit to the luggage, and I didn’t want the tripod eating up a big portion of that. Not to mention that it is probably too long for the luggage. This started my quest for finding a smaller, light-weight travel tripod. After much research, I decided on the Benro C1692TB0 Carbon Fiber Tripod Monopod Combo.
The items that attracted me most were the legs folded 180 degrees up, alongside the center post. This shorted its size by several inches. It weighs just over 3 pounds! This model only has 4 leg sections instead of five, which offers more stability without the tiny, thin lower leg section. I wasn’t sure about the twist locks, but they are extremely fast and hold well. An extra bonus is one leg unscrews and connects to the bottom of the center post for a monopod. I don’t use one much, but this might come in handy. I wouldn’t suggest taking a tripod apart if you needed a monopod frequently, to avoid wearing out threads; buy a separate monopod if you need one regularly.
After using it a few times, I’m going to have to swap quick release mounts on one of my tripods. I prefer the Manfrotto RC2 mount because it’s fast and has a ring for my Black Rapid strap to connect to. Finding a mount without changing the entire head ou might be difficult. I’d like to keep the same head though, since it’s thin profile allows it to fold well.
Here are the published specs I found on eBay. This model was not available from U.S. distributors and had to be ordered from overseas. The U.S. models were similar, but the monopod combo was different. The head comes off and connects to the leg. While this sounds great, it makes for a shorter monopod and is too short to be used standing straight up. The extra length of the center post on this model comes up to eye level for me.
C1682TB0 Tripod Kit
- Material: Carbon Fiber
- Lock System: Twist Lock
- Number of Sections: 4 Sections
- Folded Length: 440mm
- Max. Height (center column extended) : 1590mm
- Max. Height (center column NOT extended): 1330mm
- Min. Height: 440mm
- Max. Monopod Height: 1650mm
- Self Weight: 1.50kg
- Max. Load Capacity: 8kg
- Max. Leg Pipe Diameter: 25.2mm
- Min. Leg Pipe Diameter: 15mm
- Mounting Screw Diameter: 3/8″ (the screw size that connecting the tripod and the ball head)
BO Ball Head
- Material: Metal Alloy
- Color: Matt Black
- Max. Load Capacity: 8kg
- Panoramic Ability: 360 degrees
- Self Weight: 0.29kg
- Ball Diameter: 30mm
- Base Diameter: 50mm
- Height: 90mm
- Base Screw Diameter: 3/8″ (the screw size connecting the tripod and the ball head)
- Mounting Screw Diameter: 1/4″ (the screw size connecting the QR plate and camera)
- QR Plate Dimension: 50mm * 38mm * 10mm
- Compatibility: Arca-Swiss Standard