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Will it work with a tilt/shift?

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by SqueamishOssifrage, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    Having felt the weight of the classic Benbo, I bought the Benbo Trekker as my first proper tripod. When I got a more portable, conventionally designed carbon fibre Redged tripod, I realized that having the Benbo’s upper sections narrower than the lower ones was what made it so bouncy! The Redged is much easier to manage, far lighter, and much more suitable for my 6’+ frame. But I missed the versatility of the Benbo for macro, etc, and now also have a Gitzo Explorer I bought at a discounted price when, tragically, they stopped making them. Compared to the Benbo it has rock-like solidity. But I’m relieved I survived the Benbo without its legs swinging together on my knuckles like a nutcracker when I was setting it up or taking it down.

  2. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    None of your description fits with my experience over the 20 years I've been using the Benbo and the UniLoc. They're both rock solid when I use them.
  3. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    And, +1 for me with my experience of 2 Benbos (my first has shiny legs, and then I bought a black legs version thinking it might be better for bird photography) & a Uniloc System tripod. I had the Uniloc modified by the designer/maker shortly after purchase, and this added an extra degree of adjustment to the head. But sadly that was 20 years ago and my stamina isn't what it was. I'm now grateful for my carbon fibre Manfrotto.
  4. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    I guess that’s the difference between the heavyweight Trekker and the super-heavyweight standard Benbos.

  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I suspect it has more to do with the fact that the Benbo, as someone pointed out to me earlier, needs to be done up really tightly before it becomes rigid. Tight enough really isn't any good, tight enough and another half turn is about right and all the bouncing stops.
  6. ChrisNewman

    ChrisNewman Well-Known Member

    No, tightening was never a problem. I thought it looked as though it might be a potential issue with the design, but in practice I was impressed that the joints on my Trecker never slipped. I’m reminded with this on my Gitzo Explorer; instead of the Benbo’s substantial friction plates and lever on the tightening nut, the angle of the centre column is set by two discs with interlocking teeth. So the assembly is smaller and lighter than the Benbo’s, is guaranteed not to slip, but needs to be loosened and retightened rather more to change angles. Also it only offers a finite number of discreet angles, but that isn’t much of an issue in practice, because the legs can be locked at any angle, allowing indirect fine adjustments to the angle of the centre column if needed.

    Where the Trekker’s lack of rigidity frustrated me most was when carefully tying to set a precise position for a macro shot, where the centre column needed to be extended and was nearer horizontal than vertical. When I handled the camera to make adjustments, the pressure of my hands on the camera would move it down or up, so when I released it to try to take the shot, it would spring out of position. In truth, I think a more rigid centre column would have brought a much greater improvement than more rigid upper leg sections. This problem got worse when I switched from the relatively lightweight Pentax Super A manual focus film SLR with 50mm 1:2 macro to heavier DSLRs with longer focal length 1:1 autofocus macro lenses. My Gitzo Explorer is far more rigid under these loads, and carbon fibre also seems to damp vibrations more effectively than aluminium.

  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I used to think my Benbo was tight but that extra half turn made a considerable difference however, mine isn't a Trecker and that may well make a difference.

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