Benro Go­plus Clas­sic TGP 17C

Digital SLR Photography - - Gear -

TGP IN THE name stands for Trans­formable Go­plus, in­di­cat­ing Benro's tilt­ing and swiv­el­ling cen­tre- col­umn mech­a­nism. There's also a de­tach­able mono­pod fea­ture, mak­ing this one of the most ver­sa­tile de­signs, promis­ing high per­for­mance with Benro's high grade nine- layer car­bon- fi­bre and known build qual­ity.

It's pretty light too at 1.38kg, con­sid­er­ing the ex­tra bits and pieces in­cluded, and reaches a de­cent height ( 132cm) be­fore ex­tend­ing the cen­tre- col­umn. With three leg sec­tions ( more rigid than four) it can only close down to 62cm.

The ar­tic­u­lat­ing cen­tre- col­umn pop- ups eas­ily, and un­like the Man­frotto that is locked hor­i­zon­tal, the Benro can tilt through 180° de­grees from straight up to straight down, and even a lit­tle be­yond. You can point it pretty much any­where with ease, even putting the cam­era on the ground. It's not quite as rigid as the Man­frotto, but more than up to most tasks.

The ar­tic­u­lat­ing col­umn also seems to have had a slight im­pact in the sta­bil­ity tests, with scores of 58% for wind- buf­fet and 60% for mir­ror- shock, giv­ing an av­er­age of 59%. These are good fig­ures, though judg­ing by the ro­bust­ness of the legs with their beefy col­lar locks, the num­bers might have been higher with­out the tiny amount of ex­tra flex in­tro­duced.

The mono­pod fea­ture is equally easy to set up – just un­screw one leg, pull out the cen­trecol­umn and bolt them to­gether. The mono­pod ex­tends up to a mas­sive 171cm, ideal for over­head shots. Other de­tails in­clude rub­ber feet than can be swapped for spikes, a car­ry­ing hook, 3/ 8in ac­ces­sory port, spirit level, and a foam rub­ber warmer on the mono­pod leg.

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