133 of 137 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2013
I was worried this tripod wouldn't hold up to my main tripod that is a full-sized carbon-fiber manfrotto with a Really Right Stuff BH-40 head but I have been really impressed with it. I have been using the full-sized tripod for a while and was afraid that I would be making some sacrifices for size of the MeFoto, however that has not proven true.
After a solid week of shooting in Costa Rica plus a number of small time uses here are my thoughts:
- Super compact and relatively light. I only brought one large photo backpack bag to Costa Rica and this easily attached to the outside without notice, something other tripods can't do.
- Relatively easy set-up. Not the biggest fan of the screw legs (my only design complaint), however you can open them all and close them all at once when they are in the collapsed position.
- Held a Nikon D200 + 70-300 vr with absolutely no problems. Big bodies with anything larger then 70-200 may struggle at full extension, however without the very last leg section expanded it is significantly beefier.
- Monopod is super convenient and an awesome feature I use all the time now that I never knew I wanted/needed.
- Easy to take apart the legs and clean sand out of every crevice
- Ball-head is decent, obviously no RRS BH-40 but not bad for being included and held everything just fine.
Overall I would say this is nearly competes with tripods that are significantly more expensive but the size and portability makes me just want to use it from now on.
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
I purchased this tripod after a year trying to use my cheap tripod with a Canon t3i. I wanted a tripod that I could easily carry with me on a hike and since I found myself often in situations where I wanted a monopod, the ability to convert to a monopod was also a feature I wanted.
When I first tried this tripod out I was immediately impressed by how much of an improvement a ball head makes. Positioning me camera is easy now and it locks firmly in place without any sag. I like that the ball head is removable which means that if I later feel the need to upgrade (which as a hobbyist seems unlikely) I can do so in stages either by replacing just the ball head or just the tripod legs.
The legs extend quickly and lock firmly but were a bit stiff when adjusting the angle but this was quickly fixed with the included allen wrench.
The tripod also includes metal spikes which can replace the default rubber pads when necessary. Simply unscrew the rubber feet and screw in the spikes. I did miss them when I first pulled the tripod out of the box because they are in an inner pocket of the carrying case which is somewhat easy to miss if you don't know its there
With all sections of the legs extended the tripod can flex a bit and loses a little of its stability but I found that hanging my camera bag from the hook on the center post helped quite a bit.
Finally, converting to a monopod is reasonably quick, requiring that the leg with the foam pad be unscrewed, the hook assembly unscrewed, and the center post is then screwed onto the leg.
In summary I am very pleased with this tripod and it fulfills my travel need nicely
82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2013
Purchased this tripod to take on an international trip. For work at home I have both Manfrotto and Slik tripods that are very good — and very heavy. I own another very lightweight Benro tripod with a ball head and although it's not a "serious" tripod, I liked it well enough for what it is that I was willing to give this MeFoto a try. And I like it very much.
Its main virtue is portability. It fits into a bag so small I can get it into my suitcase. And it's (pretty) lightweight.
Of course portability would have no point if the tripod weren't usable, but it definitely is. You have to accept some compromises here, obviously. To keep the tripod very packable, Benro broke the legs into several sections, and of course it's lightweight, too. It is simply not as stable as my heavy Slik tripod—but I don't expect it to be. Nevertheless the Benro is quite stable, very satisfactory, even holding a full-frame camera with a biggish Sigma lens attached, plus a flash for remote triggering.
One last point: I haven't used ball heads a lot in the past and this one took me just a little getting used to, but I rather like it. The different control knobs let me get the camera oriented exactly right, and fairly quickly. And the ball head locks tight—no worries there!
I'm rating this one five stars because it's a champ IN ITS WEIGHT CLASS and in consideration of its affordability. You can certainly find better tripods that are more stable, but you'll be hard pressed to find one that's better than the MeFoto and is also this lightweight, this inexpensive, and this compact.
70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2013
The MeFoto tripod is not a cheaply manufactured tripod. I bought it based on all the glowing reviews and the fact that I need a light and transportable tripod for traveling and walking around. I have a Slik tripod that weighs about 3 times as much and is much bigger folded and in general size. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised.
My concern was finding a tripod that was A) lightweight and good for traveling and carrying around without much fanfare. B) can hold a full-frame DSLR comfortably with a decent size lens without fear of bending or toppling over and can support up to 20 lbs. (Nikon D700 with grip + bigger lenses) C) can support any ballhead and/or comes with a decent one that truly can support some weight. The MeFoto happlily meets all my criteria!
The ballhead the tripod comes with is removable and you can easily screw on any head you want. I tried one of my "ballheads" (more like a ballhead with pistol grip) which I love, and it just didn't make sense on this tripod. I found the ballhead on the MeFoto to be more than adequate to hold my D700 with Grip + Tamron 70-300 lens without a slight budge. This small ballhead is incredible. It is smooth, easy to operate, and I am in love. I wish I could find the exact replacement ball head for my other tripods and monopod. I'd buy a few. If anyone knows of a replacement only available for purchase, please hit me up here!
The Road Trip comes with 5 extendable legs. I was leary about "twist" legs, coming from the lever type, and I find i really do love these legs! The legs are easy expand or collapse and hold in place firmly. I can easily get these legs out and setup before my old slick tripod with the "lever" type of legs. I find I prefer to setup by expanding 4 of the 5 legs, and leave the last segment collapsed. It seems to keep the tripod a little more steady when using a heavy setup. Not that I wouldn't setup all five legs and trust them. Just for my purposes of testing and use, this works for me so far. If I extend the column I can see fine through the viewfinder without much discomfort and may have to bend a little. I am 5' 10" and have no problems with it.
A nice nylon zipped carrying case comes with this package. Inside the case is a little pocket for storage. This pocket also contains a set of spiked leg caps for rough landscape terrain like water, sand, snow, dirt, ice and mud. There is an allen wrench for making adjustments as needed.
There is a hook at the bottom of the column that you can hang a bag on for stability. I have used this and hung my 20 lb. camera bag on it without any problem. This allowed for great anchoring of the tripod and limited movement in windy situations. The monopod idea is also an awesome idea. I have tried to assemble the tripod by unscrewing the padded leg and column and putting it together, which took 30 seconds tops. I haven't tried using it for any real world projects yet, but I see no issues with it.
The Slik stays in my truck and can go on small excursions or landmarks close by. I want a tripod I can attach to a backpack or throw into some luggage without taking up a lot of room and creating a lot of weight. I want a tripod that is sturdy and doesn't cause me any worry. I want a tripod that will prove to be durable and easy to use. The MeFoto Road Trip is that tripod. You'd be hard-pressed to find a tripod within this class and price-point featuring this fit, finish, usability, and features. I'd highly recommend the MeFoto Road Trip series for most DSLR's out there!
For pictures of the MeFoto set up and size, please see the comments section of this post.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2014
This was my first non-crap tripod. I still have it and use it.
Tripods that won't drop your $1000 camera aren't cheap. This one folds up pretty small and extends to a large size.
The ball head has two knobs, one to get it snug and the other tightens progressively. If you are careful, you can loosen it just enough to fine-tune your camera position without it going all loosey-goosey on you. This takes practice.
It uses an Allan wrench to lock the foot onto the camera. It comes with this Allan wrench. The foot tightens less-than-adequately on the camera. It will become loose if you twist the camera without loosening the tripod's pan-lock knob. Not all tripod feet let go this easily. It won't happen if you remember to loosen the pan-lock knob when you want to pivot the camera.
The leg extensions have twist-locks. This is an easy and elegant solution for several reasons. However, if you are the type of person who forgets to tighten one of these, there is no visual way to know it isn't tight until you see your tripod falling over from the unlocked leg-section telescoping down. Always use your hands to feel if they are locked tight. The alternative is to get a tripod with lever-locks on the legs. Not an option with this MeFoto product. Know your gear and use it correctly ;^)
You can remove one leg and use it alone as a monopod. I have not tried this.
This light-duty tripod has held my Nikon D7000, Canon 71D, Pentax K-3, and a Mamiya C2. With larger lenses on these cameras (and the Mamiya by itself), this tripod feels top-heavy, but has never dropped a camera.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2013
The first tripod we ever bought was the Manfrotto 055XPRO tripod and it has served us well. But let's face it, for travel use it is not the best choice! It is big, bulky and a bit on the heavy side. It is much more suited towards studio work than to travel! Not to mention that we are a husband and wife photography team with just one tripod! So in the interest of marital harmony I started looking for the best travel tripod that would be able to go anywhere with us. After much debate, research and reading of reviews I settled on a fairly new player to the scene, The MeFOTO Roadtrip ($189.00 at Amazon) tripod. It arrived in a standard brown box without any major bells or whistles. The padding was adequate for the job and it arrived unscathed. One of the first things you notice about this tripod is it comes in a sturdy, well-made carrying case One thing of not with the case is on the inside of it, in a black on black zippered compartment, is a spare set of metal spike leg ends for outdoor surfaces along with the owner's manual such as it is. It took me over a week to find these items and the only reason I did was due to a visit to their Facebook page where someone else had stumbled upon them and published their revelation there! When you remove the tripod from the case something else you notice right off the bat is that this thing is LIGHT at a mere 5.6 Lbs! There just is not a lot of weight to it at all. I was initially concerned about its ability to hold our cameras with the "L" lenses we normally use. Another thing was its size. Completely collapses it measures just 26 inches long, which is a perfect size for travel. As for its load bearing capabilities, we have used it at photo shoots both at a waterfall and at an outdoor art exhibit and at both locations the tripod held both our Canon 6D and 5D MIII cameras with 24-105 /4L USM lenses without difficulty. Another really nifty (does anyone even say that anymore?) feature is that you can remove one of the legs, then remove the center post with the ball joint and mounting plate, screw the two together and you have a monopod! I actually used this feature recently at a football game I was covering for the local newspaper using a Canon 7D with a 70-200 /2 lens and the only real problem I had was ensuring the twist locks on the "leg" was tight enough to hold the total camera/lens weight. I did have it start to slide down a few times when I leaned too much on it. But I am also not a small guy! And this brings me to...... not really complaint but just something I would like to have had different with this item. The mounting plate is an Arca-Swiss style compatibility quick release plate with a flat head type screw mounting system. To me, coming from a RC2 Rapid Connect type adapter/plate it feels a little light weight. But they do have it where you can swap out the adaptor with whatever your own preference is, so that is what I did. Also the adjustment knobs on the head could have used some labels or coloring but the main pan/tilt knob is bigger than the rest so it may just be a matter of learning what knob is where and does what by feel. But considering the overall quality of this tripod I consider these few items to be minor gripes. This is a solid recommended buy for anyone needing a good, solid travel tripod. Oh, and by the way, this DID NOT help increase martial harmony. Now we both fight over who gets the MeFOTO!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2014
I have finally found a tripod I will actually use. My former tripod was a Manfrotto 055XPROB, but it was so heavy, it lived in the trunk of my car and never saw the light of day.
And now we have the MeFoto. Light enough that I won't mind toting it around with me, yet rock solid, even with a gripped Canon 7D and 300mm f/4L IS lens on it.
The best part? It folds up so compactly that it fits in my wheeled backpack that I use as a camera bag/carry on when flying.
I even love the variety of colors available. I went for the red, white, and blue one, only because it was cheaper than the other choices. But no matter what color you choose, you sure can't beat the price for what this tripod is.
Thank you Benro for the wonderful selection of MeFoto tripods.
**Update August 8, 2014
Would also like to thank the seller: aSavings!! Excellent customer service when I thought there was a problem with the tripod (there wasn't. It was me!!) Like others have reminded, check and double check to make sure you have those twist locks locked down tight.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
For years I have used tripods from Manfrotto, Giottos, and lately, a number of Induro tripods for various projects. I rank the MeFoto right alongside all the others I have used; provided you recognize upfront this particular model, though called a "Roadtrip Travel Tripod" is, in my opinion, too heavy (at about 4 pounds) for serious backpacking but more than suitable for travel or short backpacking excursions otherwise. In short, it represents a perfect "step up" from cheap tripods, without moving into tripods costing $200 or more.
The MeFoto (made by Benro by the way), comes packaged very well and includes a carry case. The build quality of the tripod is very solid, no different than much more expensive tripods. All tripod controls are precision and feel good. There is no "loose" feeling in any regard. The tripod leg release and adjustments are easy to adjust and lock into place even though they are twist lock, as opposed to level locks. The build quality supports a maximum load weight of 17 pounds, which should more than sufficient for most end users at a maximum height of 61 inches, which is a good height (you really don't want to have to crouch down to look through the viewfinder).
The design of the tripod is also a critical aspect that is well thought. The tripod legs fold inverted for storage and travel, making the tripod itself much shorter than otherwise possible, while not absurdly reducing the circumference or stability of the legs. Also of relevance is that the legs fold over the ball-head as well. For comparison, the folded height is less than my very portable (Carbon Fiber) Manfrotto 190MF4 or 190MF3 when the ball-head is attached. However, both the weight and diameter of the MeFoto is larger by comparison, which makes the Manfrotto 190 a better option for serious backpacking due to the total diameter (costs about $100 more however) but not weight; the 190 weighs in at 3.1 pounds, without ballhead as shipped (a 1/2 pound difference to the MeFoto with ballhead). I personally found the tripod very steady and MeFoto provides a spring loaded recessed hook, located in the bottom of the center-column. This allows you to hang additional weight from the tripod's center of gravity for increased stability and it works very well, especially if you find yourself in windy conditions (you can use a camera bag, sandbag, or waterbag). The ability to convert the tripod to a monopod is one feature that will likely win over many end-users, especially at the non professional (i.e. Commercial shoots) user level. The monopod assembles by screwing together the removeable center column and tripod leg, a fairly easy process. The monopod measures in at 64" extended which is right where you want it to be (or taller). Do not under estimate the need for height in either a monopod or tripod.
MeFoto includes a Q series ballhead. The ballhead would be an additional cost in purchasing most other tripods. The Q series ballhead is a quality ballhead by any measure and includes separate pan and head locks, a feature you will use. I found the ballhead very smooth and precise in use with the ability to lock into place even with a heavy load, though you will have to deal with minor (very minor) shift as you lock in, as with nearly every other ballhead.
MeFoto includes an arca-swiss style receiver and plate as well as a very good quality carrying bag so you can use it right out of the box.
Overall, the MeFoto Roadtrip is a very strong buy. I was impressed with the tripod and find that I am using it over my Manfrotto. I intend on dedicating this tripod for used with my Fuji XT-1 setup.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
Headed to Costa Rica for New Years and really wanted a tripod I could take with me on the plane. Have a Nikon DSLR and took a 50mm lens and a 55-300 zoom. Worked perfectly for me! Folded up and fit in my backpack, easy to assemble - had to adjust to the difference type of head compared to me full-size tripod. The MeFoto held my zoom lens with no problem. It moved around with me easily and just my become my go-to tripod. Highly recommend if you want a sturdy travel tripod. I am 5'4" and weight slightly over 100#.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
I've been using two Bogen 3001 tripods for over 20 years. I wanted something that was a little lighter and which I didn't have to remove the tripod head to get it to fit within a carryon suitcase. When I saw this tripod I thought I'd give it a try. I've only used it a few times but let me say it's very sturdy and easy to handle. I've never used a ball-head before but I've found it easy to get used to and very simple to adjust to.
Pros: Light, small, very stable, extends to a good height (I'm 6'2"), holds my Canon 7D w/the 70-200L lens easily, easy to carry and pack, converts into a monopole (I have a monopole and this unit is actually better). Cool red color ;)
Cons: None that I can find yet.
One question I have is about small rubber gasket on the center shaft. It keeps the shaft from sliding too far and I'm wondering how long that will last. Could be forever or it could break in a few months. I guess it depends on how hard I am on the tripod. The gasket looks pretty common though so I bet I could find a replacement at ACE hardware if needed.
So far I'm very happy with this tripod!