Quick Take: Benro Travel Flat Tripod Review.
We recently picked up the Benro Travel Flat Tripod model number A1190T. This was the less expensive Aluminum model. They also make pricey carbon fiber models. We have been using the Sachtler DV6 with CF legs for most of our travel jobs, however even that little tripod is a pain in the ass to carry through airports with multiple connections, etc. Not to mention the scary thought of it being subject to a gate check! We have been paying the extra dough for Group 1 boarding status when available. I highly recommend it.
We decided to go with the tiny Manfrotto 701 HDV head to complement the Benro Travel Flat. This is a good combo for video work with a few exceptions. The travel flat system is based around a pivoting front leg with two side legs. This creates a tripod like base that tends to flex at the top. This is due to the linear nature of the tripod. This is acceptable for locked off interviews but does not work so well if you have to track a subject. The tripod collapses down to a mere sixteen inches and expands to just over fifty inches or standing eye level. The range is great but to get there Benro uses four separate extensions. So for all you whiz kids out there, that means twelve steps for every breakdown and set up. Not quick! We also found it to be a little shaky with a Zeiss 100mm macro for insert shots of text and photos. However, we had no problem breaking it down and getting it into our ikan Trekker carry on bags. The Manfrotto 701HDV fits into a lens hole and the tripod fit right on top. A nifty carry case and eleven inch extension is also included. Three spiked interchangeable feet are tucked away in the case. The Benro Travel Flat tripod worked well for most of our shots and we will certainly bring it along for the next trip. I would recommend looking into the CF models if weight is an issue. This one can be found here for just under a buck fifty. A small price to pay to always have a tripod handy.
Here is the list of specifications.
Benro Travel Flat Model Number A1190T.
|Maximum Load||17.6 lbs (8 kg)|
|Max Height without Column Extended||52.6 in (1335 mm)|
|Folded Length||16.3 in (415 mm)|
|Number of Leg Sections
|Leg Lock Type
||Anti-dust and moisture seal|
||Separate, Included (+ 7.7″ to 11.8″ variable / + 0.3 lb)|
||Screw Thread M8|
|Head Mount Thread Size
|Weight||2.4 lbs (1.1 kg)|