Benro C-298 n6 Carbon Fibre Tripod
This was my first Carbon Fibre tripod purchased several years ago when the price of a Gitzo seemed just too expensive. Benro were around half the price or less and looked like real Gitzo’s albeit Chinese clones. The Benro C-298 is a 4-section carbon fibre tripod which seems to be modelled on a Gitzo Explorer tripod with the offset centre column. However, even though Benro refer to an offset centre column, it is not actually offset, and runs through the centre as normal. The centre column clamp can pivot however, allowing you to pull up the centre column and position it at an angle. All in all the Benro C-298 seemed like a very versatile, light weight, and reasonably stable tripod at the time.
The Benro C-298 tripod performed OK and was stable if the centre column was used just partially or un-extended. However, if the fully extended and/or positioned at an angle, it was prone to vibrations even with slightest tap. I ended up with many blurred shots before I realised what was happening, but these were the days before Live View. After a couple of years use, one of the leg joints began to cause problems and eventually ceased fully open. Taking the joint apart I found the nylon bushing inside had worn down and just about disintegrated. To cut a long story short the tripod leg could not be repaired as Benro (UK agents Kenro) no longer stocked spares for this model.
To be fair, Benro have evolved considerably since then, manufacturing both Induro and the recent MeFoto brands of tripod, and I’m sure the quality control and design have evolved too. However, they still do not have a base in the UK, and Kenro are still the UK agents. I purchased my C-298 tripod new from an eBay seller, but in hind sight that was probably not a wise decision.
It’s difficult to recommend Benro after what happened, but if you do buy one in the UK make sure it’s through a large retailer then at least you’ll get a standard 2 year EC warranty. Their MeFoto range offers a 5 year warranty. Personally I’d rather buy a make you can get repaired in the UK and has a much longer warranty. This however, may cost considerable more, but be worth it in the long run .
You can read my full review and details of the problems encountered in my blog posting by clicking the link below:
The C-298 n6 has now been replaced with the Benro C-2980F Versatile Transformer tripod.
John R. Birch (05.07.2013)
The C-series carbon fibre tripods are the first choice for professional photographers. They offer the ultimate strength, lightest weight, fastest action and reliable performance demanded by pros worldwide. The C-series n6 adopts Benro’s latest 2nd generation 8-layer carbon fibre tube technology which is 40% stronger than the 1st generation carbon fibre tubes.
2nd Generation Carbon Fibre Tube
The 1st generation of BENRO carbon fibre tubes utilized a pull and compression manufacturing technique. With a tube wall thickness of 1.5mm, it provided strength, rigidity, vibration reduction and anti-twisting characteristics that rivalled the best tripods in the business. Upon its release into the market, the 1st generation carbon fibre tripods became very popular amongst professional photographers and serious advanced amateurs.
Employing its strong research and development team, Benro utilizes the latest technology and manufacturing procedures to achieve superior quality products. Benro was the first company to develop and apply 2nd generation carbon fiber tube technology. The new tubes are 1.0 mm in thickness yet perform with the highest intensity of strength by incorporating the latest rolling and compression manufacturing technique. The 2nd generation carbon fibre tubes offer the same strength, rigidity, vibration reduction and anti-twisting characteristics that the 1st generation (1.5mm thick tubes) at 30% less weight. The tripod’s overall weight is reduced by 15% as compared to the 1st generation carbon fibre tripods.
Compared with today’s top competitive carbon fibre tripods, Benro’s 2nd-generation carbon fibre tubes are 40% stronger in load pressure and 80% stronger laterally. In total Benro carbon fibre tripods are 60% stronger that all current competitive brands. The 2nd generation carbon fiber tubes also perform much better under high impact. Utilizing more fibres and less epoxy, Benro eliminated the brittleness and easily crushed tubes of competing designs. Independent laboratory testing results indicated that, the intensity of competive carbon fibre tubes had a breaking point of 84.4 kgs, while that of the Benro 2nd generation carbon fibre tube reached an amazing pressure of 134.1 kgs. Presently, Benro holds the top position for offering the strongest, highest intensity carbon fibre tube technology within a tripod design in all global markets.
Adjustment Leg Angles
Benro tripods provide adjustable leg angle stops. Each leg can be set to the desired angle (24, 55 or 80 degrees) for convenience and flexibility. Low angle shooting is also possible by pulling out the sliding stops and setting each leg to the lowest angle stop.
Column knob with wing nut
The wing nut column-locking knob ensures smooth and quick operation when adjusting the height of the center column.
Leg Section Locking System
Benro tripods offer a completely new Anti-Rotation leg system, which prevents each leg from rotating. Each leg section will not rotate even if they are unlocked. Quick and fast setup is possible in less time without the struggle of loose or rotating leg section while locking or unlocking the leg section.
Reversible Centre Column
The centre column can be quickly inverted, offering more flexibility to meet your needs for different shooting angles. The grooved-design of the column eliminated unwanted column rotation.
Patented Water Resistance
Benro avoids using paper bushings that eventually absorb moisture. Instead, they employ tap lock plastic leg lock bushings. They provide a water resistance positive lock system for each leg section.
Head mounting setscrews
Three setscrews, are threaded in the mounting plate, and provide an additional secure mounting of a tripod head. Once they are secured into place, the setscrews prevent the tripod head from rotating during normal panning or general use.
Spirit Level and Compass
In or out doors the spirit level helps to ensure that the tripod is level. In addition, a built-in compass provides useful coordinated for recording the exact direction and location that the image was taken in.
Stainless Steel Spike or Rubber Feet
As shooting locations and conditions change, Benro tripods offer screw-in rubber feet or stainless steel spiked feet. Rubber feet give excellent protection and grip on smooth floors, while spikes ensure better ground stability in soil, sand, rocky cliffs or similar terrain. Both rubber and spiked feet are included.
An increase of stability can be realized by hanging extra weight on the hook.
Closed Foam Grip
The closed foam grip is made from NBR (Nitrile Butadiene Rubber) giving a comfortable and firm grip. On cold days, the cold resistant NBR acts as an insulator between the cold tripod leg and your hand.
Benro bags are made of top quality materials, providing great protection for your tripod.
Shoulder Strap and Carry Case
The patented shoulder strap works with the tripod and the tripod bag. The strap and case are included with the tripod.
|Carbon Fiber Pipes||Angle Adjustment|
|Multi-layered carbon fiber, guaranteed high strength & durability; excellent vibration absorbance; extremely light weight||Flexible and simple angle adjustment|
||Offset Center Column||
||Anti Rotation Leg System|
|Discretionary angle & height, best for macro||Innovational Anti-Rotation-Leg system, provides idividual section rotation, super fast one-hand operation|
||Spirit Level and Compass||
||Patented Dust & Water-Resistant Locks|
|Incomparably convenient for instant horizontality & directions||Effortless maintenance|
|Interchangeable rubber feet and stainless steel spikes, adaptable to any surface||NBR spongy cover, gives comfortable and firm grip as well as avoiding collisions|
|C-298 n6 Carbon Fibre Tripod Specifications|
|Number of Leg Sections:||4 Sections|
|Leg Diameter (max):||28mm (1.1″)|
|Leg Diameter (min):||19mm (0.75″)|
|Maximum Height:||1665mm (65.6″)|
|Maximum Height (Centre col. extended):||1665mm (65.6″)|
|Maximum Height (Centre col. down):||1355mm (53,3″)|
|Minimum Height:||200mm (7.87″)|
|Length Folded:||535mm (21.3″)|
|Maximum Load:||8kg (17.5lbs)|