29 June 2016

Benro GoPlus Classic TGP27C Carbon Fibre Tripod Review

I don't normally do reviews, but everything starts somewhere, so perhaps this will be the first of many.

Benro GoPlus Classic TGP27C Carbon Fibre Tripod
Benro B1 Double Action Ballhead

First of all a little disclaimer. Benro sent me this tripod and head for testing purposes, but that said, this review will be unbiased.

I'd been aware of the Benro name for some time, but it wasn't until the London Camera Exchange show in Southampton in 2015 that I took a serious look at them. I liked the Travel Angel tripod so much, that I purchased it on the spot, and it's proved perfect for hiking around London and travelling with.

Having kept in touch with Benro via Twitter, I finally managed to talk them into sending me a "proper" size tripod to test with a view that it might replace my existing full sized Manfrotto (055 carbon fibre model).

I'm going to start with the negative, of which there is only one... One of the legs unscrews to convert into a monopod, but this requires you to attach the centre column (which is metal) to the carbon fibre leg. Not only does this make it top heavy, it also means the foam rubber grip thingy is now half way down the monopod. It would be so much better if you could simply unscrew the head and attach it directly to the leg.

My only other negative is to do with the model name, and that it's so hard to remember.  According to Benro the breakdown is as follows - TGP27C. T=Traditional (folding legs), GP=GoPlus, 2=2 series, 7=3 sections of tube per leg (Factory logic), C=Carbon, which might all make sense in the factory, isn't exactly a great marketing name.  

Now to the positives, which is just about everything else.

Starting at the top, it has an Arca Swiss mount, which having used just for a few months with the Travel Angel, is a vastly superior system to that of the Manfrotto mount I've been using for years.

The legs have three positions, normal, wide, and stupidly wide... the final one sees the tripod centre almost at floor level, which in the short time I've been using the tripod, has been my favourite. It allows me to sit on the floor, and the tripod is ultra stable at its lowest position.

With the centre column that comes out it means you can have the camera fixed to the tripod at just about any position - including floor level.

It's built like a tank, assuming they built tanks out of carbon fibre that is, but it's still light enough to hike down to Durdle Door without it making a dent in your shoulder.

It comes in a quality bag, designed to fit the tripod with head attached. In the side pocket of the bag are some spikey feet, which you can swap out with the standard feet depending on where you'll be shooting.

I don't impress easily, but my views would have been the same regardless of whether I'd bought this for myself. I really rather like this tripod. It ticks all of the boxes and then some. I have a feeling the Manfrotto is going to be listed on eBay rather soon.

Hopefully the photos will tell the rest of the story. If you want a really good tripod, buy one of these!

Some specifications
Weight : 1690gm (Head is an extra 400gm)
Max height : 168cm (with head 177 cm)
Min height : 66cm (with head 76 cm)

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