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In this blog post, we review the lightweight travel tripod we have been using since 2018. If you are a travel photographer, you are probably looking to buy an inexpensive but durable tripod. That was us when we were packing for our Iceland ring road trip and needed a lightweight tripod.
While searching for a travel tripod, we discovered that many of them were either too expensive or too cheap. After reading many reviews and checking prices, we bought a travel tripod by Bonfoto from Amazon.
While Bonfoto sells both aluminum and carbon fiber tripods, we chose the carbon fiber version. Carbon fiber can better withstand various weather conditions compared to aluminum. The aluminum version is 30-40% cheaper compared to the carbon fiber version.
Bonfoto Travel Tripod Specs
|Compatibility||1/4″ screw thread|
|Head Type||Ball Head|
Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod on a Budget
The first thing you get with Bonfoto’s tripod is quality at a reasonable price. Their carbon fiber version costs around $100. Prices for travel tripods by well-known brands may start at $200 or $300. This was reason number one.
Weight and Height
Bonfoto’s cabon fiber tripod has a weight of 3.22lb and a minimum height of 21”. You can downsize the tripod even further by folding it. This makes its height 15.3”. The tripod comes along with a carrying case. We use the carrying case to pack the tripod into our luggage or carry it around. The tripod with the case occupies pretty minimal space.
The tripod’s legs are extended using the four rotating leg locks. You can also extend the center column using the two rotating locks. The tripod’s maximum height is 59”. This presumes that you shall extend the center column. We rarely do so because this reduces the steadiness of the tripod. If you do not extend the center column, the tripod’s height is around 49”. This is how we use it 90% of the time.
Bonfoto Travel Tripod Ball Head
The tripod comes along with a ball head that can rotate 360 degrees. There is a small opening on the ball head that allows you to take photos at a 90 degrees angle. But, be careful with putting your camera into this position, as it makes the tripod less steady. The ball head can rotate horizontally for panning shots as well.
This tripod has a quick release mounting plate with a standard 1/4″ screw. This makes it easy to attach or remove a camera from the tripod. When we attach the mounting plate to the camera, we use a coin to tighten the screw.
The tripod has bubble level on its ball head, which can help you find the balance. We rarely use it. Instead, we rely on our in-camera level tool for alignment.
According to the manufacturer, the tripod has a loading capacity of 26.5lb. This means that you can load quite heavy equipment on this tripod and it will still be steady. But, this loading capacity likely presumes that you do not extend the center column.
To be honest, I would be very cautious with loading heavy items on it. We often attach our Nikon D850 DSLR camera with a 70-200mm telephoto lens on our tripod. This configuration weighs about 5lb and the tripod handles it with no problem.
The carbon fiber tripod’s center column comes along with a hook. You can attach weights or your camera backpack to improve the tripod’s stability. We use this feature and it helped a lot.
Adjustable Legs and Monopod
The tripod’s legs are adjustable to different angles depending on the environment. We used this feature many times. You can even turn your camera upside down for ground level shots.
One of the tripod’s legs has a foam cover for easy handling. Also, the tripod can be converted to a monopod. You need to remove the center column first. Then, unscrew the leg with the foam covering and put the center column with this leg together. We almost never use the monopod though.
Bonfoto Travel Tripod: Negatives
As for the negatives, I would not say it has any major flaws. My only minor complaint about it is the plate. You need a coin to tighten the screw when attaching a camera. Otherwise, the screw becomes loose. This will not cause the camera to fall off, but it will not hold it stationary. For this reason, we always carry a coin for snug tightening.
Another minor drawback of this tripod is the inability to extend the legs fast. The tripod has rotating leg locks, which take a little bit of time to open them up. But even so, extending the legs is easy, but not super fast. This is something we can live with. The premium tripods with faster opening locks are 3x-4x more expensive compared to this tripod.
This is by no means an ideal travel tripod. I wish that it was even more lightweight and compact when folded. But even so, at this price for a carbon fiber version, the Bonfoto carbon fiber travel tripod provides excellent value.