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Afetr a recent disaster with my tripod and S2, i was thinking of buying a Benbo Trekker Mark 2.
I like to do nature, wildlife and landscape photography and i am going on holiday to Scotland in August, i also, in a moment of madness have agreed to do a wedding in September.
Is this tripod suitable for all of the above?
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I used to use a Benbo for weddings at my last studio, and it is ideally suited to nature, wildlife and landscapes due to it's octopus legs...
I wouldn't recommend it for wedding work - much better a fixed Manfrotto 058/055 or Gitzo. The you will spend less time @rsing around with the legs and more time concentrating on the B&G
But as an allrounder - and if weddings are not your main thing then it should be good...
I've had a Benbo since they first came out in the early 80's and have only used it about a dozen times.
I much prefer my Slik 88 or Manfrotto tripods.
The Benbo comes in handy for overhead shots or creative shots where you want to move the camera in an arc while firing the shutter ( motion trails ).
I have a Benbo Trekker Mk1 and use it for nature / landscape work. The flexibility is great and opens up lots of low level opportunities that most tripods just wont "support".
I saw one advertised on eBay recently as Benbo Trekker - gets you into more positions than and Thai Lady Boy!"
The standard head is not to great but Speed Graphics are clearing the Uniloc 35 with quick release and separate rotation for 35 and this improves thing a great deal. The Mk1 has the ability to have the head on either end of the main arm and for this reason IMHO makes it better than the MkII with the hook and goose neck.
There are a number on ebay at any one time with good one at around 80-100.
I love the idea of Benbo Trekker, but perhaps you should ask yourself whether YOU can get into more positions than a Thai Lady Boy - because although the Trekker might be able to, I certainly can't! That blasted "having to look through a viewfinder" is such an irritation.
There is one at MXV for 75 in Exc++ condition.
Great for macro and low level photography. Mini Trekker (which I had) is not the best support IMO for telephoto shooting. Well I swapped mine for Manfrotto 55. I sometimes miss the octopus and wonder about getting one of the mini versions for macro/fungi
Great tripod in my eyes,BUT !! you need 3 pairs of hands when setting up the legs,
Master the legs and your on to a winner believe me.
I've always used a Benbo, as most of my work is with shorter lenses and usually a wet environment. Ideal for rock pools.
I had a look at the Gitzo / Manfrotto range during Focus, but decided to wait until I have a 500mm F4.
My usual mode of working with the legs is to have 2 going forward, one coming back and the centre column between the two front ones. Left hand is on the locking u-bolt and the right steadies the centre column / camera.
If centre column not steady then prepare for some heart stopping moments as the camera tips forward, or some pain as it collides where you would rather it not :-(
Hmmm, reason for needing new tripod is that last one gave way, ending with S2 needing new case.
Does anyone know of somewhere where i can actualy handle the tripods. Our Jessops has about 2 on the shelf.
I live in High Wycombe by the way, so any where fairly close or near the M25?
I have a Benbo Trekker MK1 that is surplus to requirements. I'm in Cheshunt, Herts.
Email me to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange for you to have a play with it and see what you think. I have moved to heavier kit and being petite found it hard to handle the heavy kit in one hand while I attempted to adjust the Benbo with the other. I use a Gitzo Explorer G2220 with the off-centre ball head and it is a superb tripod. Has the flexibility of the Benbo but is much easier to control. In fact, if I let you see both, you can judge for yourself before making a purchase. There was a s/h G2220 in this week's Amateur Photographer for 95. They are about 160 in the shops now.
i have and use the benbp mk2 and find it no problem at all, very solid peace of work.
I own a Benbo Trekker that i bought new about 3 years ago. It takes some getting used to, but is very versatile and i have heard proffessional wildlife photographers (including Heather Angel, & also Stephen Dalton i think) saying that they use Benbo tripods & think highly of them. Personally i find it quite fiddly though and was wondering whether i should have bought a Gitzo Explorer instead (so interesting to see Jo's comments above).
I have a Uni-Loc Series 1700 (the other brand of "Randy Octopus" to Benbo. Works great for Nature, wildlife and landscape (the only problem is the nut behind it). Have never used it for weldings, but wouldn't imagine it's the best option
Oops, haven't used it for weddings either !!
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