In a previous post on October 13th, I stated that "I'd never buy a new tripod". I was wrong. Near the end of October hiked up a gorge up here in New England with my photo backpack and my Miller wooden tripod in hand. I love the Miller but with a head on it measures over 40" in length. Too long to attach to my photo backpack. (Stuck up above the backpack and constantly was catching it on branches). Not a light tripod and when attached to the side of the backpack, threw me off balance, especially when walking on wet rocks. I have a Gitzo from the 1980s that folds up to a compact size but it's pre "Carbon Fiber" and anything but light.

I was looking for a compact Carbon Fiber tripod to always keep in the back of my car and easily attach to my photo backpack. Largest camera I probably would ever use on it a Whole Plate Chamonix. Would be my main tripod for my FX Nikon when hiking in the woods or hiking to a location. Considered a Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod, but couldn't justify the price cause 90% of the time I use a Ries tripod with a Ries head on it.

Decided to purchase a Benro TAD28C Series 2 Adventure Carbon Fiber Tripod. Published specs told me it was very light compared to my older Gitzo. Prefer the flip lock levers to tightening collars. The Benro has a center column, but I rarely use a center column so it's there if I ever need it, but will probably never use it. Tripod has three extendable legs, but extending only 2 of them gets me to my desired height most all of the time.

In use... Just great. Fast to set up and easy to use. I swear that I can extend all three legs in the same time it takes me to extend one leg on my older and much heavier Gitzo. I am amazed by how solid it is, very, very little flex in the legs even when fully extended. Sized just right for attaching to the side of my photo backpack. Have used it in the snow and in an icy brook without a problem. Holds my whole plate Chamonix without a problem. Also used it with my 8x10 Chamonix and was surprised at how rock steady it was. Bottom of center column has a screw on cap which I intend fabricating another cap with a hook on it to hang my photo backpack onto and make the tripod even more stable. Currently use a Manfrotto 410 head that has been modified (easy mod to do) to take on a Kessler Crane Kwik Release Receiver.

Comments welcome...