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Benro introduces convertible Travel Angel tripod/monopod  
Thursday, October 28, 2010 | by Rob Galbraith
Benro has introduced a compact, travel-friendly tripod that can be changed into a monopod without the use of tools. Called the Transfunctional Travel Angel, in the U.S. the convertible camera support comes in three different models and both aluminum and lighter carbon fibre versions. Each features a 180° foldup leg design, centre-column hook and soft case.

In addition, the regular Travel Angel line has been reworked to provide improved leg locks, a more durable finish and better dust resistance.

If the new Travel Angel and Transfunctional Travel Angel match the quality of the previous Travel Angel model, which I've personally used on the road for the past 18 months, both should be impressively sturdy and well constructed for a travel tripod. That's understating it: my aluminum A-269M8 with BH-1 ballhead has been absolutely great and is far more solid and functional than I was expecting before buying it back in 2009.

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Upright: The Benro Transfunctional Travel Angel, left, and Travel Flat tripod. Click photos to enlarge (Photos courtesy Benro)

The new Travel Angel and Transfunctional Travel Angel models are already shipping to dealers in the U.S., though it may take some time for the various models of each to make it into online store listings and onto store shelves. If you're considering a Transfunctional Travel Angel, note that the extended length of its monopod is somewhat shorter than a typical standalone monopod and is not likely to replace a standalone unit for those who shoot with a monopod regularly or with bigger lenses. If it works well, though, the Travel Angel's monopod could prove useful when traveling without a proper one.

The table below lists the Travel Angel and Transfunctional Travel Angel sizes and manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) for the U.S. market.

travel_angel_table.jpg

Travel Flat

Benro has also taken the wraps off a new Travel Flat tripod line that, as the name implies, folds flat when collapsed. In the U.S., the line is made up of four different models in both aluminum and carbon fibre versions; each model is comprised of a set of fold-flat legs and a centre column plus a soft case. A prospective purchaser would choose a head separately.

Travel Flat tripods are not yet shipping in the U.S., but are expected to start landing at U.S. dealers in roughly the second half of November. The Benro USA website has not yet been updated to include the Travel Flat series, though there is some information on Benro's China site.

The table below lists the Travel Flat sizes and MSRPs for the U.S. market.

travel_flat_table.jpg

More information is in the press releases below. Also note that Benro's line of monopods have seen the same improvements as the Travel Angel series including improved leg locks, a more durable finish and better dust resistance.

Press Release

 

Benro Introduces New Travel Angel and Transfunctional Travel Angel Tripod Kits
Featuring a super compact design and the ability to easily convert to a monopod,
the perfect travel companion just got better!

Elmsford, NY – October 28, 2010 – Benro, manufacturer of tripods, monopods and heads designed for today’s demanding professional photographer, announces today all new Travel Angel Tripod Kits and Transfunctional Travel Angel Tripod Kits, enhancing its most popular collection of tripods.
Featuring the same super compact design in which the legs can be inverted and folded back for easy packing and carrying, the new line of Travel Angel tripods has an improved leg locking system, even better dust resistant technology, and an enhanced double protective finish.

And now, added for even greater versatility, the new Transfunctional Travel Angel Series features all the same great and improved features of the standard Travel Angel, plus the ability to convert from a full size tripod into a compact monopod quickly and easily – without tools.

“Utilizing the strongest materials and featuring innovative designs, these new Benro Travel Angel Tripods will set a new standard for photographers,” said Jan Lederman, President of MAC Group. “These super-compact tripods feature legs that fold back 180 degrees making them ideal for photographers on the go. And the quick switch to a sturdy compact monopod is an added bonus that we’re sure photographers will appreciate.”

The new incredibly affordable Benro Travel Angel Tripod Kits come in a variety of sizes and include a precision matched BH-Series Ballhead along with reverse folding Twist Lock Aluminum legs.
The new exceptionally versatile Benro Transfunctional Travel Angel Tripod Kits are available with a choice of either Carbon Fiber or Aluminum reverse folding Twist Lock legs and include a precision matched B-Series Ballhead.

About Benro
Originally founded in 1996 as a cooperative tripod manufacturer, Benro developed and began marketing its own brand name - Benro Professional Tripods and Heads - in 2002. Since that time Benro Precision Photography Industry Co. Ltd. has received numerous accolades and praise for product and design features.

Benro continuously strives to develop lighter and stronger award-winning products to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. By gathering input from photographers worldwide, Benro has been able to engineer photographic products designed for use by working professionals.

Benro’s mission statement is simple: our products are designed and built to provide value and performance for any photographer and to meet or exceed the needs and demands of professional photographers worldwide. To see the complete selection of Benro products, visit www.BenroUSA.com.
Benro products are exclusively distributed by MAC Group (www.macgroupus.com) in the USA.



Press Release

Benro Showcases New ‘Travel Flat’ Tripod Series at PhotoPlus Expo 2010
Engineering achievements help create most compact professional tripods ever


Elmsford, NY – October 28, 2010 – World-class tripod manufacturer Benro announces its new ‘Travel Flat’ series of professional tripods at this year’s PhotoPlus Expo 2010. The new Travel Flat tripods utilize the finest Aluminum, Carbon Fiber, Magnesium and Stainless Steel components to deliver strong support with the added convenience of ultra-compact design and rapid deployment, making the Travel Flat series ideal for demanding photographers on the go.

Benro’s Travel Flat tripods feature an innovative, patent pending design that changes the traditional tripod model of triangular profiles, adopting instead a flat unified “spider” or connecting hub, which contributes to its compact size and ultra portability when folded. And, the Travel Flat series incorporates a new dust- and water-resistant structural leg-locking system based on proven Benro technology. Additionally, the new Benro Travel Flat series includes an accessory center column, which adds approximately 8 to 12 inches of extra extension and adjustment.

“The new Travel Flat series of professional tripods are lighter, shorter, more stabile, stronger and faster to operate than any other tripods in this class,” said Jan Lederman, President of MAC Group. “We’re confident the Travel Flat tripod series along with our entire next generation of tripods, monopods and camera support gear represents such significant engineering breakthroughs that they will, once again set new standards of value and performance for any photographer.”

About Benro
Originally founded in 1996 as a cooperative tripod manufacturer, Benro developed and began marketing its own brand name - Benro Professional Tripods and Heads - in 2002. Since that time Benro Precision Photography Industry Co. Ltd. has received numerous accolades and praise for product and design features.

Benro continuously strives to develop lighter and stronger award-winning products to meet the needs of the most demanding professional photographers. By gathering input from photographers worldwide, Benro has been able to engineer photographic products designed for use by working professionals.

Benro’s mission statement is simple: our products are designed and built to provide value and performance for any photographer and to meet or exceed the needs and demands of professional photographers worldwide. To see the complete selection of Benro products, visit www.BenroUSA.com.
Benro products are exclusively distributed by MAC Group (www.macgroupus.com) in the USA.


Revision History
October 25, 2010: Added price and shipping info.

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