Benro IT15 tripod - first impressions

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by anibap, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. anibap

    anibap
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    First of all, I am not a tripod shooter as such...I am lazy. I was using a Hama Star 62 with my D3100 and D5100. The last album I shot with the Hama and D5100 is this.

    I am posting this so that other members may find it useful if they are looking for a budget good tripod for their DSLR.

    After buying the D610 and some FX lenses, I was looking for a decent not so expensive tripod for occasional use and mostly for travel. I was looking at BEnro, Sirui, Manfrotto befree, Velbon and the Mefoto tripods. Most of these are around £90-£170 in price range. I tested the manfrotto in Calumet and felt it was bit wobbly when legs extended to full. The problem is not the Manfrotto rather the compromise on weight for any tripod under 1.5 kg. My eyes were on the Mefoto backpacker, but I was not sure about investing and not using much, so I was looking for something less expensive, but without compromise.

    It was then I came across the Benro IT15. originally priced at just over £100, this is now discontinued, but after seeing some reviews and reading online I realized that this one IT15 and the IT25 (slightly heavier and taller) were in the same price and performance bracket as the ones I was interested.

    The IT15 weighs 1.26 KG and can hold a max 4 kg. Max height is 147.5 cm and min height is 39.5 cm. It is compact and comes with a ball head with a rated capacity of 6 kg load. Quick release is Arca swiss style and the head is controlled with only one lever for movement and panning.

    I found the IT15 at £59 from Premier Ink and Cartridges and thought of giving it a try as it is not as expensive as the other ones in that performance range. Amazon has it at £68.

    The tripod arrived yesterday and I attached my D610 with the 24-85 VR lens and tried a few combination of setups from lowest height to tallest and and with extended legs etc.

    Impressions
    The quality is pretty good and the tripod seems well made. The leg clamps are not metal, but the legs are made of good Mag-Alum alloy. One leg has a padding for support. The tripod folds is legs for storage and the minimum height on closing is 39.5 mm.

    My D610 and the lens feels well stabilised (at home so far) and I don't see any moving or stooping as it happens with the Hama. The legs have sections to extend and widen the legs at angles giving flexibility in setting up. It has a hook under the main column (I dropped the idea of Manfrotto for missing this). The tripod feels quite safe and stable.

    Downsides or compromises
    1. When on the tallest setup, the last set of legs won't be be as stable and that is understandable from the weight of a travel tripod. Adding some weight on the hook will help. I saw the same issue with Befree as well.
    2. Tallest height is 147.5mm, hence it is not ideal for anyone over 6 ft.
    3. Plastic clamps on legs. Not sure if this is somethig to worry.

    Here are some pictures of the Tripod. I will do some moe testing by shooting outdoors and share my thoughts here later. Taking it for a spin to Thames this evening with a 10 stop Haida filter. test for both :D

    The laptop is a Lenovo X230 12.5 inch version, so you can get an idea of the folded size.
    [​IMG]Benro by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr

    [​IMG] by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr

    [​IMG] by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Benro by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Benro by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr
     
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  2. roll1later

    roll1later
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    Thanks for taking the time to post, a tripod is one of a few things on my list so very useful, thanks :thumbsup:
     
  3. snerkler

    snerkler
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    Looks good, I considered one but it's too short for me. Plastic clips is not uncommon, in fact I don't think I've tried one that has anything other than plastic clips/twist locks. But then I've only looked at sub £250 tripods.
     
  4. anibap

    anibap
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    I did some initial casual test yesterday with the Tripod and my new Haida 10 stop ND filter. We went to London Southbank and I thought of taking the Benro IT25 and the Hadia filer with me and see if I get a chance to shoot.

    It turned out more of a family funtime than taking photos. Anyway, I managed to get a couple of shots in a casual manner much to the annoyance of my family setting up the whole thing.

    Thoughts on the Benro IT15
    I am very happy using it and it was easy to operate and quick to set up. I used the tallest configuration on the Golden Jubilee Bridge and it was windy, but the tripod was very stable with the D610 and the 24-85 VR. With a heavier lens, I am not sure how it would hold up in windy conditions, but I can always add a weight on the hook.

    Overall, impressed so far although I need to use it more to do a proper review. The 1.2kg weight and compact size is a huge bonus and the bag that came with it is also well made and great to carry.

    On the Haida 10 Stop ND Filter
    I ordered it to try long exposure shots and found this one getting rave reviews from users and pros. At £52 for a 77mm one, it was not too expensive to try.

    I misjudged the shutter speed compensation by 10 stops and landed up somewhere around 12 stops. Should have used the known formula. The light was low and hence I used F6.3.

    I am adding two pictures I took, but before that my first impressions on Haida 10 stop as this is my first filter of this kind.

    Good points
    The colour shift is very minimum and has a very mild bluish tinge. This is excellent considering the reviews and videos I have seen from other filters. Very impressed. Less work on pp.
    Ns apparent sharpness or resolution loss and I am quite impressed
    Attaching the filter is easy. I am using a step up ring and 72-77 mm on my 24-85 VR lens

    Not so good - well, don't have any so far on limited testing.

    Other observations
    1. Was expecting a better box to carry, but not much to complain.
    2. There is some vignetting, but that is common from what I have seen with these kind of filters. The effect is not bad and can be easily fixed.

    WIll shoot more images and post later.

    Now pictures. Bear in mind these are just casual shots and due to shutter speed calculation mistake, I underexposed by around 2 stops, so had to bump exposure adding bit of noise.

    1. Without the Filter
    [​IMG]
    ANI_4268
    by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr

    2. With the 10 stop Haida ND
    [​IMG]
    ANI_4274
    by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr

    3. Another shot with the 10 stop Haida ND
    [​IMG]
    ANI_4275-2
    by Anirban Acharya, on Flickr
     

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