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Benro adds colorful, convertible travel tripod/monopod to MeFOTO range

By dpreview staff on Oct 1, 2012 at 19:17 GMT

Benro has announced the MeTOTO Transfunctional Travel Tripod, an travel tripod that can be converted to a monopod without tools. The latest addition to the MeFOTO range, whihc sits just below the Travel Angel series, it is available in five colors and can be converted between a 1.5m (61.6") tripod and a 1.62m (64") monopod. It folds down to 40cm (15.4") and weighs 1.6kg (3.6lbs). Despite this small size, it is rated for supporting cameras up to 8kg (17.6lbs). It features an Arca-Swiss style quick release mount and plate and includes a carry case a shoulder strap in its $229 list price. No European pricing is yet available.


Press Release:

Benro® Introduces New MeFOTO™ Transfunctional Travel Tripod Kit

Available in a choice of modern metallic colors, the stylish new MeFOTO Travel Tripod Kit quickly and easily converts to a monopod

North White Plains, NY – October 1, 2012Benro, manufacturer of tripods, monopods and heads designed for today’s demanding professional photographers and filmmakers, announces today the eye-catching and very versatile new MeFOTO Transfunctional Travel Tripod Kits. This new tripod provides photographers with a reliable camera support for sharp photos and videos while allowing them to express their individual style when choosing from a selection of brilliant Red, Green, Blue, Gold and Titanium Metallic colors.

Offering even greater versatility, the new MeFOTO Transfunctional Travel Tripod provides all the same great features of the Compact MeFOTO Travel Tripod kit, plus the ability to convert from a full size tripod into a 64” monopod quickly and easily – without tools.

“These colorful, well-built and modern new Transfunctional Travel Tripods are the perfect addition to the MeFOTO product line,” said Jan Lederman, President of MAC Group. “While the Compact MeFOTO Travel Tripods are ideal for any general picture-takers using lightweight point-and-shoot digital cameras and compact interchangeable lens digital camera systems, this new Transfunctional model provides photographers with dependable support for larger camera bodies and lenses.”

Utilizing a Reverse Folding Leg system based on the popular Benro Travel Angel kits, the new MeFOTO Transfunctional Tripods, available in one size with a choice of five colors, are only 15.4" when folded yet 61.6" extended. The MeFOTO Transfunctional Travel Tripod weighs 3.6 lbs. and can securely support up to 17.6 lbs.

Aluminum alloy material is utilized extensively in the construction of these tripods to take advantage of cast, forged and CNC machining techniques, all accentuated by an elegant series of robust surface treatments accented with color.

Features include:

  • Travel Compact – Reverse Folding Leg system
  • Quick Twist Rubber Lock Grips with Anti-Rotating Legs
  • Two Position Leg Angles
  • Tool free conversion from Tripod to Monopod
  • Recessed Center-Column Hook
  • Precision Matched Dual Action Q-Series Ballhead with Arca-Swiss Style QR Mount and QR Plate
  • Separate Head and Pan Lock
  • 360-degree Pan Index
  • Integral Bubble Level
  • Compact Carry Case with Shoulder Strap

The new MeFOTO Transfunctional Travel Tripod Kit is available now. Suggested retail price for the new Tripod Kit is $229. For more information visit www.BenroUSA.com

Comments

Total comments: 60
Downpour
By Downpour (Oct 8, 2012)

Hmmm, now where have I seen that design before...

http://www.horusbennu.com/product/product_list.html

http://www.sirui-photo.com/EN/frm_ProductInfo_En.aspx?ProductID=98

http://www.fotopro.cn/en/products001.html?proTypeID=100105751&proTypeName=Color%20tripod%20

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Craig from Nevada
By Craig from Nevada (Oct 6, 2012)

DP Review has to stop publishing stuff like this. It usually ends up costing me money.

BTW--My transfunctional in blue arrived yesterday.

1 upvote
kjbkix
By kjbkix (Oct 3, 2012)

The Travel Angel series is great - this should be no different. I have the A2691T which folds up really small and can fit in my backpack, but also gets up close to 6 feet in height and as low as 12-15".
The monopod feature is really handy also...only a few twists to convert to that feature. Pretty stable too..best with a weight hanging from the center column

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Oct 3, 2012)

Why not to post also kg, sm, meters here, on Dpreview?

1 upvote
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (Oct 2, 2012)

Benro has produced the most dramatic tripod advert of all time. I love the choral music and bells at the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p-1NIb-ZIk

2 upvotes
karlwitt
By karlwitt (Oct 2, 2012)

I have one and seems to work good. My camera is OMD em5 so its light but works good with this tripod folds down small and is fairly light.OOO I have the travel version of this one.

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Oct 2, 2012)

Cool looking but I hate those screw turn legs.

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Oct 3, 2012)

Especially when there are so many of them. To get the tripod to full height, you have to turn 16 collars, or 17 if you include the center column. That's a lot of screw turning.

1 upvote
xlotus
By xlotus (Oct 3, 2012)

Agreed. That's really a stupid design - 5 segments per leg.
Not only that it takes time unscrewing and screwing each segment, but the tripod itself becomes highly prone to vibration due to using small diameter tubes. I prefer 3-segment tripods.
Btw, it seems that only Gitzo makes shorter tripods (below eye level when fully extended) with large diameter legs.

0 upvotes
RP McMurphy
By RP McMurphy (Oct 3, 2012)

On my 3Legged Thing Tripod (same design) it's actually pretty easy as the 5 can be all loosened with one twist
Yes the more sections the less stable but when I bought the 3LT trripod my concern was a tripod I would actually carry with me as my other tripod remained at home all the time

These things are some 40-42cm - you can't do that with 3 leg sections if you want decent hieght - you want 3 leg sections then dont be looking at tripods designed to be very compact, it's obvious really

But the stability isn't a problem. Of course the more stable the better but if you want perfection dont buy a tripod designed to be carried about

These things fit in back packs and can handle 8kg+ as good a compromise as you can get - some people have wholly unrealistic expectations

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
rondom
By rondom (Oct 2, 2012)

i want hasselblad lunar tripod...

0 upvotes
RP McMurphy
By RP McMurphy (Oct 2, 2012)

Looks like a copy of the 3 Legged Thing range of Tripods from UK to me, exactly the same it looks like

Happy with my 3 LT - especially as the release plate is compatible with the BlackRapid strap

0 upvotes
Kulvinder
By Kulvinder (Oct 2, 2012)

I noticed a similarity to the Giottos VGRN Vitruvian tripods. The VGRN9225+5310-630 model seems to be the closest.

edit: the link in the article takes you to the mini travel range, hence my initial (wrong!) comparison to the VGRN9225+5310-630.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
RP McMurphy
By RP McMurphy (Oct 3, 2012)

Very similar to the Vitruvian and there is also a Feisol similar but loving my 3LT, the only tripod that routinely comes with me on each excursion

0 upvotes
Felix E Klee
By Felix E Klee (Oct 2, 2012)

Way too heavy! Why does't someone release a compact and light weight tripod for high quality compacts and for mirrorless system cameras?

Read: It *does not* need to be cheap!

I am looking for a replacement of the Bilora Biloret 2017, which weighs around 500 g (ca. 1 lbs), and can be extended to something like 120 cm (ca. 50"), with ballpoint head. Folded it fits into a handbag. Of course it's wobbly and not made for windy weather, but often it's way better than having no tripod at all. I am aware of the Gorillapod and the Zipshot but they force me to make compromises concerning framing and perspective. With zoom lenses they may be OK, but not with primes.

1 upvote
Blaise06a
By Blaise06a (Oct 2, 2012)

I own Benro tripods and like them.

I purchased a mefoto as a secondary tripod, mostly for my videos, and am not too happy. In the first days a leg came apart and I struggled to put it back together. Certainly not the same quality as the Benro.

0 upvotes
comoxbrit
By comoxbrit (Oct 2, 2012)

Who's telling the truth? Benro's web site states the tripod can only extend to 51" and carry 8.8lbs.
The above specs states 61" and 17lbs !!!!

0 upvotes
chilliLOUNGE
By chilliLOUNGE (Oct 2, 2012)

The above specs are for the NEW Transfunctional Travel Tripod and I think you're looking at the Compact Travel Tripod

8.8Lbs = http://www.benrousa.com/products_catalog_MeFoto-Compact-Travel-Tripods.html

17Lbs = http://www.benrousa.com/products_catalog_MeFoto-Transfunctional-Travel-Tripods.html

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Oct 2, 2012)

what's the relationship between Benro and Sirui?

0 upvotes
franzm
By franzm (Oct 2, 2012)

They are made in the same town in China. Looking at the wording on their websites and product details one could assume they are under the same ownership?
Who knows?

0 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Oct 2, 2012)

or share the similar blueprints (with many other whatever brands too)

0 upvotes
pilsenerfan
By pilsenerfan (Oct 4, 2012)

OK, I happened to be looking at tripods in my local camera shop and got the lowdown as far as my very limited Chinese and the salesman's limited English allows. Yup, I live in China, about 30 km (20 miles) from tripod central, as it turns out.
Benro/Mefoto, Sirui, Velbon (that's right, the Japanese Velbon) and a local brand (Oho?) whose name I don't recall, are all made in the modern manufacturing city of Zhongshan in Guangdong Province. Twenty short years ago Zhongshan was but a dusty town. Now it's a thriving city of 5 million. History buffs might know that it's named after Dr. Sun Yat Sen (otherwise known as Zhongshan) "the father of modern China". Zhongshan is also part of a mega-city centred on Guangzhou (Canton) that is home to 44 million people. This manufacturing juggernaut has room for plenty of tripod factories. The skinny? Sirui and Benro are definitely under different ownership in the Detroit of Chinese tripods.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
EmmanuelStarchild
By EmmanuelStarchild (Oct 1, 2012)

I don't see a minimum height listed here. Anybody know if this goes low to the ground?

0 upvotes
golfgti2012
By golfgti2012 (Oct 1, 2012)

http://english.mefoto.cn/ProductList/tid/200/sid/198/pid/94/l/1

it is not low, Benro travel flat is pretty low

http://www.benro.com/Products.aspx?cid=208&pid=209&nid=247#

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

http://www.benrousa.com/products_details_A1350Q1T#specs

0 upvotes
photosen
By photosen (Oct 1, 2012)

Anyone know of an ugly, unfashionable, stable, light and cheap or the cheapest possible (less than a manfrotto 055CX) tripod for a 1.80 meter guy? For a max 3 Kg ultra wide angle setup.

That's a 5.9 feet guy and 6.6 Lbs setup for you imperials, I guess.

0 upvotes
landscaper1
By landscaper1 (Oct 1, 2012)

Slik has a carbon fiber model that's really light and will get up to around 64 inches or so before you add a ballhead. I've been using it for a couple of years and I'm satisfied with it.

0 upvotes
photosen
By photosen (Oct 1, 2012)

Thank you! And that's without extending the column?

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (Oct 2, 2012)

If you want to be properly imperial, you can't say 5.9 feet. You must say 5 foot 11 (5'11") or the imperialists (yes, I know that's not the right word for it, but it is more fun to use) will think 5 foot 9, which is 175cm.

1 upvote
RP McMurphy
By RP McMurphy (Oct 3, 2012)

Look at 3 legged Thing tripods - I am not associated with the company but bought one this summer and is just about perfect for me, the ball head is very well engineered and carbon fibre too.

However remember the maxim, you can have cheap and light, you can have light and stable, you can have cheap and stable, but you can't have cheap, light and stable

0 upvotes
rockjano
By rockjano (Oct 1, 2012)

Looks like HorusBenu from E-Bay.

Just cost a lot more...

1 upvote
mremonen
By mremonen (Oct 2, 2012)

Exactly my thoughts. I dunno, you cannot tell these c-manufacturers apart. I'm sticking with Gitzo...

0 upvotes
golfgti2012
By golfgti2012 (Oct 1, 2012)

it sells for $100 in China and rip US people off for $229?

0 upvotes
driftnomore
By driftnomore (Oct 2, 2012)

here in athens, the transfunctional is 230 euro.WTF..

0 upvotes
VivaLasVegas
By VivaLasVegas (Oct 1, 2012)

Does anybody know if this is made in China?

0 upvotes
golfgti2012
By golfgti2012 (Oct 1, 2012)

BENRO is a CHINESE BRAND, DESIGNED AND MADE IN CHINA

0 upvotes
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

With a japanese-like name (benri means "convenient" in japanese, and "ro" at the end of a verb means "let's do it") in order to throw off the scent. That's why some of us sometimes ask for the origin of this or that.
Reversely, the famous japanese tripod company Velbon uses as a name a fusion of an english word and a french one.

0 upvotes
rogerstpierre
By rogerstpierre (Oct 4, 2012)

I read somewhere that BENRO, a Chinese Manufacturer, used to be a sub-contractor to Gitzo, hence the many similarities in design and construction. Don't know if this is true or not.

0 upvotes
ottovds
By ottovds (Oct 1, 2012)

Sorry but, I was more impressed by the new redget lineup that was presented at Photokina. And I own a (bigger) carbon transfunctional benro tripod right now...

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bunyarra
By bunyarra (Oct 1, 2012)

That design looks almost identical to the 3 Legged Thing's Brian travel tripod ....

0 upvotes
Steve Balcombe
By Steve Balcombe (Oct 2, 2012)

I thought the same at first (I have one) but actually this one is a lot smaller.

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
RP McMurphy
By RP McMurphy (Oct 3, 2012)

not much smaller 40cm v 42cm

I have the Brian too, very happy with it

0 upvotes
Downpour
By Downpour (Oct 8, 2012)

There are a whole bunch of tripods that look exactly like this. Search for Horus Bennu, Fotopro, etc, to see what I mean. 3LT didn't come up with that design, I think it was probably Gitzo who did it first, then some Chinese manufacturer ripped them off, and 3LT just put their logo on it.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
CopCarSS
By CopCarSS (Oct 1, 2012)

Benro must have hired Pentax's marketing team...

5 upvotes
RonHendriks
By RonHendriks (Oct 1, 2012)

I miss the yellow one to go with my K-01 Yellow!

0 upvotes
guido v
By guido v (Oct 1, 2012)

" and lbs ... how strange !!! Can you translate these local measures to the international meters and kilograms, please?

8 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Oct 1, 2012)

You want us to fetch your coffee, too? Look it up!

3 upvotes
dara2
By dara2 (Oct 1, 2012)

1.6kg It is in header below the title

1 upvote
Yoki Lin
By Yoki Lin (Oct 1, 2012)

>,>

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
BoJangles
By BoJangles (Oct 1, 2012)

I just bought the red version at my local shop, Pro Photo in Irvine, CA for $139.00 while using it this past weekend. It's very well constructed supporting my D800, weighs practically nothing saving costly luggage pounds, all with a very smooth fluid ball head and easy operation. One very impressive tripod for the price.

0 upvotes
chaking
By chaking (Oct 1, 2012)

The 139$ appears to be the old version that cannot turn into a monopod. Can you confirm?

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Oct 1, 2012)

Good to see Pro Photo Irvine is still open. Haven't been there in years.

0 upvotes
BoJangles
By BoJangles (Oct 1, 2012)

@chaking, You are correct. I did purchase the old version that is 10.4" shorter, a pound lighter, no monopod option, supports 8.8 few pounds, and $90 cheaper.

1 upvote
Light Pilgrim
By Light Pilgrim (Oct 1, 2012)

Benro rocks....I have a Carbon tripod and it is awesome!

0 upvotes
Henry Falkner
By Henry Falkner (Oct 1, 2012)

Very pretty - but how stable are they?

2 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Oct 1, 2012)

Well, obviously, the colors make the tripods less stable than the previous black ones. ;)

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
dara2
By dara2 (Oct 1, 2012)

always loved benro

0 upvotes
Zavodenka
By Zavodenka (Oct 1, 2012)

Quelles belles couleurs!

1 upvote
WilliamJ
By WilliamJ (Oct 2, 2012)

Mais aucun trépied camo. Dommage, les photographes animaliers se seraient jetés dessus comme la misère sur les pauvres !

1 upvote
Le Kilt
By Le Kilt (Oct 2, 2012)

Deux bombes de peinture, et hop !

2 upvotes
Total comments: 60