I finally found the (almost) perfect tripod for me. I decided to go for the Benro HVC Flexpod C-298n6 with a Benro KS-0 ballhead for the following reasons:
- Lightweight (legs made of carbon fiber)
- Extractable/reversible center column
- Maximum load of tripod and ballhead is 8kg (17.4 lbs)
- Maximum height is 167cm (65 in.)
- Fits into my travel gear (folded: 54.5cm/21.5 in. + ballhead height)
- Affordable price tag (for a full-height carbon tripod)
The tripod has head screws for 1/4″ and 3/8″ ballhead mounts. The C-298n6 even sports a compass and a spirit level. Benro also includes three steel spikes that can be replaced with the rubber feet. There are three small screws to additionally secure the ballhead from below.
Unfortunately, there are two disadvantages with this tripod:
- You can hardly pull out the center column without scratching its carbon surface.
- The tripod fits barely into the bag. I already ripped off both zipper sliders while trying to pull the zipper over the tripod. The sliders are made of aluminum or some other soft material. They bend and break very easily.
Benro KS-0 ballhead
I bought both items on eBay for the total price of US$ 420.– (shipping & local taxes excluded) from shamino123’s store.