Review: Benro monopod MC-96m8 (carbon fiber)

M8, that’s how Benro calls its carbon manufacturing process for its latest carbon monopod & tripod series. According to a press release, the difference between the older N6 and the new M8 process is:
“Based on Benro’ Generation ll C-series N6 Tripod , the new Generation C-series M8 Tripods use updated QIHM-8X Quasi Isotropic technology, providing 20% greater strength. Magnesium and Carbon materials are used to produce a tripod that’s 10% lighter”.

At least from the outside there’s no visible change between M8 and N6 (I also own an N6 series tripod) but then I am certainly not an expert in carbon fibers. When comparing the MC-96m8 monopod data with the older MC-96n6 model the only difference is that Benro doubled the maximum load capacity from 10kg to 20kg. No difference in weight (shouldn’t it be 10% lighter too?). Anyway, with 740g (26 oz) it’s still a lightweight.

Benro MC-96m8 monopod with additional quick release clamp
Benro MC-96m8 monopod with additional quick release clamp

Sections: 4
Weight: 740g (26 oz)
Max. load: 20kg (44 lb)
Normal height: 56.5cm (22 inches)
Max. height: 173.5cm (68 inches)
Max. diameter: 3.6cm (1.4 inches)

Benro’s anti-leg-rotation system which is quite similar to Gitzo’s is also present on the MC-96m8 monopod. It sports a nice and comfortable foam grip on the top leg section. Three retractable, aluminum fold-out legs are stowed in the last leg section of the monopod to provide additional stabilization if the situation requires it. The fold-out legs work pretty well for additional stabilization but never leave that monopod standing alone with camera equipment mounted because it will trip over easily. Use a rubber band to tighten the fold-out legs together if you don’t like the rattling noises when moving the monopod around.

monopod-stabilizers monopod-stabilizers-folded

I didn’t want to put a ball-head on the monopod because I don’t need most ball-head features on a monopod anyway and it also makes the monopod a lot heavier. Screwing the camera or lenses directly to the mounting plate wasn’t an option too as it’s way to inflexible. The most flexible option was to use a Wimberley C-10 quick release adapter on top of the mounting plate. I’m only using Arca-style plates on my camera equipment so the Wimberely C-10 was a perfect addition to my Benro monopod even though the price tag for that adapter is quite high. The total weight of the MC-96m8 monopod with the Wimberley C-10 clamp mounted is 855g (30 oz).

benro-monopod-wimberly

In short: the Benro MC-96m8 carbon fiber monopod feels good, looks good, works good. It’s a solid monopod with no apparent weaknesses apart from the fold-out leg noise which can be fixed with a rubber band (see below). However, be prepared to shell out some more cash for an adequate mounting system. The quality of the Wimberley C-10 quick release clamp is excellent. I paid around US$ 230 for both items including shipping.

Below are a few images of the monopod in action on various lens and camera combinations.

benro-monopod-24-70 benro-monopod-300 benro-monopod-300-close-up

Fold-out legs restrained to combat rattling noises.
Fold-out legs restrained to combat rattling noises.

7 replies on “Review: Benro monopod MC-96m8 (carbon fiber)”

  1. Actually I find it very convenient that the legs are always there (stowed away and almost weightless) and can be fold out whenever I need them, without having to screm them in! As for the height: they add maybe an inch or two depending on the weight you put on the monopod.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  2. It’s unfortunate they aren’t screw-in as with other manufacturers. One other question: Does the maximum height include the fold-out legs, or just the normal extended height? I’m just trying to figure out if the shorter 91 model is tall enough for me.

  3. Can the fold-out legs be removed (non-destructively) if you don’t want to use them?

    1. Chris, if you don’t mind leaving the lower end of the monopod open – yes. If not, you could remove the legs from the cap but it it looks like there’s some force needed to push the pins out.

      Cheers,
      Jan

  4. What is the name or gadget that you have in the picture with the Benro that you are using to clamp the lens? Where can I get one of those clamps to go on the C-10?

    Thanks! Awesome setup.

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