For this latest installment to my ongoing series reviewing travel tripods, I’m looking at the Benro GoTravel 2 GC269TB2, a carbon fiber travel tripod with a load rating of over 30 pounds but folds up into a small, portable package thanks to the legs folding back on themselves, and that retails for around $525.
The legs extend in 5 sections with twist locks, and the sections slide in and out smoothly (more smoothly than with some others).
A ratchet at the top locks them in place in three possible angles, from a regular stance out to splayed wide. Unlike some tripods, the ratchet lock isn’t spring loaded–it’s entirely manual, so you need to pull it out to move it and make sure that it’s securely pushed in to lock it in place. I personally prefer spring-loaded ones, but the manual ones work well so long as you make sure it’s properly in place to lock.
The twist locks are more substantial than on some other tripods, very easy to grip, and lock tight. As with some of the other new twist locks, it’s not purely linear in the way it locks. There’s a point just before it is rotated as far as it will go that it actually locks the leg in place. I like this approach because it prioritizes securing the legs rather than requiring that the lock be twisted as hard as it will go. I’ve not run into any issues with the sections slipping–the locks have worked well.
Fully extended, the legs get the tripod to a reasonable height–about 55 inches (1.4 meters). With the head and camera, that’s not quite eye level for me, but it’s a comfortable shooting height.
As with any of the others in this class of travel tripods, the bottom-most section of each leg is narrow. To maximize stability, if I don’t need the extra height, I often leave the bottom section retracted. But even fully out, there’s not much flex in them at all.
It comes with unusually large rubber feet installed, which have an angled base to maximize grip. And the feet are removable, so you can swap them out for spikes or some other kind of attachment if you like–a set of steel spikes are included in the case pocket.
There’s a bubble level on the top of the legs. And there’s also a 3/8″ accessory mount at the top of the legs. Exactly what one might use that for doesn’t immediately come to mind–I usually use clamps when attaching things to tripod legs–but it’s there if you want it.
It comes with a Benro B2 ballhead. There are three dials on the base. One controls the lateral rotation, another is the main clamp on the ballhead, and the other, smaller one, is for controlling the amount of drag (or tension).
It comes with an Arca Swiss-style quick release plate that has anti-slip locks, and there’s a bubble level on the QR dock. The QR dock knob has a quick-release mode by pulling it out.
In basic usage, the center column works just like any other–it extends up and down, with about the only thing making it ever so slightly unique being the measurement markings along its length.
It also comes out completely, and you can unscrew one of the legs, attach the two parts, and have a monopod as well. That, in itself, isn’t that remarkable–quite a few of the current generation of tripods offer that feature.
But you’ll also notice a prominent “patented” stamp at the top of the column.
That refers to a mechanism that allows you to rotate the column 90° so that it’s lying horizontally. That can be particularly useful when shooting straight down or up, such as shooting macros of wildflowers, for example, or looking for an angle that the traditional tripod position doesn’t allow.
The mechanism that enables this is a piece of bright blue plastic inside the column. Benro calls it the Center Column Turret Pivot Mount. To make it work, you extend the column as far as it will go, push in a small button at the base of the column, and then flip it.
The whole thing is quick and easy to use. One concern I have is that the pivot mount is entirely plastic, and I’m not sure how well it will hold up to repeated use. You can feel a bit of give in it when the column is mounted horizontally. While I haven’t run into any issue with it, when looking for potential weak points, that stands out at the top of the list.
What’s in the Box
It comes with a reasonably sturdy soft case. Inside you’ll find a set of steel spike feet, an Allen key, and a counterweight hook that you can attach to the base of the column.
Maximum Load: 30.9 lb / 14 kg
Maximum Height (w/center column extended): 64.6 in / 164 cm
Maximum Height (w/out center column extended): 55.1 in / 140 cm
Minimum Height: 16.7 in / 42.5 cm
Folded Length: 16.5 in / 42 cm
Weight: 4.1 lb / 1.86 kg
Made of: Carbon Fiber
Made in: China
|Gitzo Traveler Kit (Series 2)||Gitzo GT1542T||MeFOTO Globetrotter||Manfrotto BeFree||Induro Grand Turismo CGT114||Sirui T-2205X||Benro GoTravel 2||Benro C1682TV1 Travel Angel II||3 Legged Thing Leo||3 Legged Thing Brian||3 Legged Thing Rick||3 Legged Thing Roger||Oben CT-3581||Sirui T-1024XL||Varavon Baby T3||Kirk Mini||MeFOTO Globetrotter Air|
|Model No.||GK2580TQD||GT1542T||C2350Q2T||MKBFRC4-BH||CGT114||T-2205X||GC269TB2||C1682TV1||3LLEOKIT||E3BRIAN||3PKRICK||E3ROGERBL||CT-3581||SUT1204XL||BABY T3||TT-1||GTAIRBLK|
|Made of||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Alloy||Carbon fiber||Carbon fiber||Aluminum||Aluminum/Stainless Steel||Aluminum Alloy|
|Leg Sections||4||4||5||4||4||5||5||4 (also version with 5)||5||5||5||5||5||4||3||1||5|
|Folded length||16.9 in|
|14.6 in |
|Max height||60.6 in|
|Max load||15.4 lb|
|Available w/Head?||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (not removable)||No||Yes (not removable)|
The Benro GoTravel 2 is a nicely-thought-out and well-built tripod. Its locks and overall functionality solid, and it is stable. I have only two quibbles with it. One is that I don’t love the fully manual leg angle adjustment locks, and the other is pure speculation that the special pivot mechanism might be a potential point of failure with heavy use.
Aside from those two things, I’m impressed. Even very small things, like the gripper feet and larger twist-lock grips, contribute to the overall impression that this is a very good tripod that justifies its price of a bit higher than some of its competitors. I’ve previously reviewed the Benro C1682TV1, a smaller, lighter tripod. To my mind, the GoTravel 2 is a better tripod.
I found it to be stable, comfortable holding a Nikon D810 with a Nikon 80-400mm zoom, which makes sense with a load rating of over 30 pounds.
And if you’re looking for the flexibility of mounting the center column horizontally, the patented pivot mechanism is something unique to this tripod.
Availability and Price
The Benro GoTravel 2 GC269TB2 is available from B&H Photo with a MSRP of $525.
- Allows the user to implement compact and lightweight camera support. Weighing just 3.7 lbs. and able to...
- The 5-section legs are held in place by twist locks and can be adjusted independently.
Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2021-08-04 at 22:09. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Ricoh GR III Accessories & Replacement Parts
Here are the model numbers of some of the core accessories and replacement parts for the Ricoh GR III.
- Ring Cap: GN-1
The ring cap is the small plastic ring that attaches around the lens. Chances are, it's fallen off. While you do have to remove it to attach the lens adapter, it's a poor design that tends to fall off and get lost far too often. I've lost a couple of them now.
The camera will work just fine without it. But that will leave some contacts exposed around the lens barrel, which isn't ideal.
The official replacement part is overpriced. But you can also pick up much less expensive aftermarket versions. They're also available in different colors, so you can bling up your camera with a personal touch--or make it look like the Street Edition.
- 【Compatibility】: Designed for Ricoh GRIII (only).This decoration ring is made of high quality...
- 【Easy to use & Protector】:Easy installation and removal and Protects lens barrel exterior.
The GR III has a USB Type-C connector port. When you get a cable, you can get them with another USB Type-C connector on the other end or a more traditional USB Type-A connector. Which you choose depends entirely on what you're plugging into. For example, some newer laptops only have USB-C, while most other computers have USB-A.
- The Anker Advantage: Join the 50 million+ powered by our leading technology.
- Enhanced Durability: Improved construction techniques and materials make a cable that lasts 12× longer.
Battery & Charger
- Battery: DB-110
It's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rated at 3.6V 1350mAh 4.9Wh.
There are some other cameras that also use the same battery--notably, some Olympus cameras (the Olympus model number for the same battery is LI-90B). So they're quite widely available. You can get the official Ricoh version. There are also aftermarket versions that can be much better value but work just as well.
- This Wasabi Power kit includes 2 batteries and 1 charger for the Ricoh DB-110
- Each Wasabi Power battery features Premium Grade A cells, 3.7V, 1300mAh
- Charger: BJ-11
You can charge the battery in the camera (using a USB-C cable). There are also external battery chargers available. They're especially useful if you're using spare batteries, so you can charge and shoot simultaneously.
- AC Adapter: K-AC166
This is used to power the camera for longer shoots, such as time-lapse, or if you happen to be using the camera for live streaming as a webcam. It connects via the camera's USB-C port.
Wide-Angle Conversion Lens
- Wide-Angle Lens: GW-4
- Lens Adapter: GA-1
- Wired Shutter Release: CA-3
- Easy to operate, Half-press to focus, Full-press to shoot
- Fits macro photography well, eliminates camera shake
- Standard External Viewfinder: GV-1
- Mini External Viewfinder: GB-2
- ✪LCD Screen Protector perfectly fit for Ricoh GR 3 DSLR Camera . Not for other model. Easy to install...
- ✪9H Hardness - Longer tempering time, which made the screen protector has a higher hardness. Prevents...
- Soft Case: GC-9
- Neck Strap: GS-3
- Hand Strap: GS-2
Ricoh has produced a wide-angle conversion lens that takes the standard 28mm view down to a 21mm (in 35mm equivalent). While it does add some extra bulk to an otherwise small camera, it works well and adds a more dramatic, wider view. I have an [in-depth review of it separately](https://havecamerawilltravel.com/photographer/ricoh-gw-4-wide-angle-conversion-lens/).
Something to be aware of, though, is that you will also need to pick up the lens adapter separately. For reasons I really don't understand, the wide-angle conversion lens doesn't come with the adapter, and both are required to make it work. So make sure you pick up one of those at the same time.
Remote Shutter Releases
This is the official Ricoh remote shutter. It connects to the camera via a USB cable, and it's a simple shutter release (i.e., there's no timer or intervalometer).
You can also find aftermarket shutter releases for the GR III.
The Ricoh GR III doesn't have a built-in viewfinder. But they make two versions of an external viewfinder that slides into the camera's hot shoe. It covers both the standard 28mm view as well as the 21mm view if you're using the wide-angle conversion lens. There's also a mini viewfinder; that model seems to be hard to find.
The back screen of the GR III is quite exposed, and if you lie the camera on its back, the screen comes in contact with the surface. Even if you're putting the camera in your pocket, there's a risk of keys or coins scratching the screen.
There's no official screen protector, but there are good aftermarket versions. The one I use is this one. It's essentially a consumable that protects the screen. If you scratch the protector, you can quickly and easily replace it with another from the pack.
You can, of course, use the GR III with just about any camera case or bag. But Ricoh does make a dedicated soft-case that fits snugly around the camera and offers some protection even if you're toting the camera around in your pocket. I've been using one for a couple of years, and it's held up very well, and it keeps my camera safer from bumps and scratches.
Again, there's no particular reason you have to use the official GR neck strap, but there is one. The main part is leather, and it even has a discreet, embossed "GR".
If you do use a different strap, be aware that the strap loops on the camera are very small and won't take thicker (i.e., stronger) attachment loops. So you might need to use some D-rings as well.
There's even an official "GR" leather hand strap! But, again, aside from the branding, there's no special reason to use the official strap. If you do use a different one, you might need D-rings if the thread doesn't go through the camera's small attachment loops.
The GR III doesn't have a built-in flash. It supports the Pentax P-TTL flash protocol.Pentax External Flashes: