That Benro makes a wide selection of tripods you may already know. From big studio tripods to light travel tripods, made of aluminum or carbon. But recently Benro added a new type to their lineup: the Benro Slim TSL08AN00. The Benro Slim TSL08AN00 stand out because of two things, its relatively low price and its size and weight. You can buy the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 in the aluminum version I’m testing here for 99 euro’s and the carbon version is just 149 euro’s (the carbon version is called Benro Slim TSL08CN00). In this quick review I’ll tell you more about them.
Like I said before the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 is small and lightweight. But you’ll only appreciate how small and lightweight it is when you pick it up. The aluminum version I’ve got for this review only weighs 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds). The carbon version is even lighter at just 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds. To compare that, my Nikon full frame DSLR with a 35mm prime lens attached also weighs 1.2 kilograms. When folded the tripod is just 51 cm long (20 inch). That is small, but not even that extremely small for a travel tripod, but because of the smart spider design the tripod is just 8 cm (3,1 inch) wide at its thickest point. That is really slim for a full size tripod. That makes it easy to attach your tripod to your camera bag, or even in it! Even though it is small it still offers a very good working height of 146 cm (57,5 inch). So it is tall enough for most applications.
Thanks to the study but small spider and rigid legs and head the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 can still hold quite a load. The maximum capacity is 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds). I like the fact that Benro includes a ball head with arca swiss compatible quick release and an one knob system for both rotation and adjusting the head. The ball head itself is marked with degrees to help with shooting panorama images. It also has a small bubble level to make sure the tripod is setup level. You attach you camera to the tripod using the supplied, extra small, quick release plate. That is made of metallic blue anodized aluminum, which looks very nice. The quick release plate is attached using a big screw with a butterfly nut with foldable wing. It also has a slot to use a coin or allen key to lock it in to place. Because the quick release on the head if fully arca swiss compatible you can also use your own quick release plate or L-bracket with this tripod.
Despite the relatively low price of the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 Benro hasn’t cheaped out. They could easily have left out the clever details they normally include in their tripods, but chose not to. The quick release plate and head offer center markings to make it easier to position the plate on the head for instance. Another small but great detail is the extra security pins on the bottom of the quick release plate. They prevent the camera from sliding out of the side of the quick release head when you don’t full open the locking on the head. So you don’t have to worry about your camera falling when you would accidentally forget to lock the plate in place on the head. It can move to the sides a bit for adjustment, but just won’t fall out. And just like you would expect from a high end tripod it offers a small hook on the bottom of the center column to weigh the tripod down with a bag. Because of the modest maximum load capacity I wouldn’t advise you to hang a full bag of heavy equipment on it, but weighing it down is always a good idea.
The Benro Slim TSL08AN00 features legs that have 3 extendable sections. Benro has used their twist lock system to lock the sections. That is something you normally don’t find on tripods in this price range. Even more impressive is that Benro has managed to use twist locks made of aluminum instead of plastics like you normally see. They are made of the same blue anodized aluminum as the quick release plate, adding to the cool look. I’m a big fan of twist locks on tripods as they work quick, are durable and you can’t accidentally knock them loose during a shoot. The legs themselves can be individually adjusted in three angles with a durable and fast working system, just like the more expensive Benro tripods use.
De Benro Slim TSL08AN00 in day to day use
I really enjoyed using this tripod. It is so light and compact you don’t have any reason not to take it with you when you go taking photos. For a very reasonable price you can buy a sturdy, small and light tripod made by a high end brand. That heritage shows in its design and build quality. I really like that Benro has included the small details I liked about the more expensive tripods in this more budget friendly version, making it just as enjoyable to use. I was also impressed with how stable it is. It doesn’t even break a sweat when I mount my Nikon Df with the long and heavy Nikon AF-S 105mm f2.8 VR Micro lens to it. Together the camera and lens weigh about 1,5 kilograms (3.3) pounds) and while it looks a little funny it works very well. The small ball head even keeps the camera and lens stabile while it is pointing downwards, without slacking even after quite some time.
Because of the quick release and fast working twist lock legs you can quickly set your tripod and camera up, not wasting time fiddeling with your tripod. The working height of 146 cm (57.5 inch) is perfect for landscape, urban or portrait photography. And because you can easily invert the center column you can also use it for macro photography.
With the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 Benro has introduced a great, small and light addition to their already great line up. With a modest price of just 99 euro’s for the aluminum version and just 149 euro’s the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 offers a great value for money. Especially if you factor in the durable design and how complete the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 is. Despite the low price it doesn’t feel cheap in any way. That makes it a perfect tripod for amateur photographers or starters looking for an affordable tripod. Almost all starters make the mistake of buying a very cheap tripod. And most will quickly find out that their cheap tripod doesn’t help in taking better photos but is only getting in the way. Therefor I’d advise them to spend just a few euro’s more and think about this great Benro.
But besides amateur photographers and starters the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 is also a great option for more advanced users that are looking for something small and portable in addition to their bigger tripods. It isn’t always an option to bring a big tripod when you go hiking or travelling, and that is where the Benro Slim TSL08AN00 shines. It is so small and light you won’t even notice you have it with you. By way have I mentioned you even get a nice bag with it?
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My name is Rick Roeven, I live the Netherlands. I’m an amateur photographer, tech and gadget lover and I've started this blog to share my passion with others. If you have any questions, feel free to post a reply or send me an email at rick (at) ricksreviews.org