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I also have the Gitzo explorer and find it a superb tripod and would recommend it to anyone and is certainly a lot easier to use than a benbo. If a Benbo can get in more positions than a Thai lady boy. Then the Gitzo explorer can get in more positions than 2 Thai lady boys and a couple of friends they brought along for company (how did we get on the subject of Thai lady boys)
I would consider the aluminium version rather than the carbon one due to the price difference. I don't think the extra money asked for it is worth the weight saving gained.
I Think it is worth spending as much money as you can afford bearing in mind the price of the camera gear that sit on top of it. Also a cheap/bad tripod will put you off using one for life but a good quality one is a joy to use.
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We'll all defer to your evidently vastly greater knowledge of Thai lady boys, Phil
I'd rather it be on Gitzo explorer tripods.
I use a Benbo Mk. 1 tripod,and have done for the last five years.It is quite a bit steadier and more substantial than the Trekker models.I also own a Benbo Trekker which I've hardly ever used as it's not really sturdy enough to support my 100-400mm lens comfortably.
The benbo's are incredibly versatile,and ideal for natural history photography because of the infinate number of positions they can be used in.
If your longest lens is a 300mm or less,and/or weight is a consideration then the Trekker may be ideal.If you use or plan to use,longer glass then I'd definatly go for the Mk 1 or Mk 2 versions,and if you really feel like treating yourself,then go for the Gitzo 1548 (carbon fibre) or the Gitzo 1348,expensive,but the best.
It's a long time since anyone had anything to say on this topic. The Benbo is tricky until you get used to it. The trick is to putt the centre one of the three legs in place before putting the other legs out and locking them into place. Certainly the Trecker is a bit short and even so is as long as most other tripods when folded up. When I got mine about 16 or 17 years ago, it had no bag. I have managed to find a bag off another brand that holds it although the head is outside. I too found the standard ball head to small and have a pan and tilt head from another (broken) tripod a friend had,
I also have a Weifeng 3770, an inexpensive very standard tripod but is quite solid although it doesn't have the versatility of the Benbo. What I find somewhat annoying is that every manufacturer seems to have their own design of QR plate. It would be nice if they could get together and come up with some standard plate design that everybody uses so you would only need one plate irrespective of which tripod you may be using
Quote: It would be nice if they could get together and come up with some standard plate design that everybody uses so you would only need one plate irrespective of which tripod you may be using
The Arca Swiss plate design is the closest to a standard that there is. Heads using that design don't come cheap, mind. Neither do the plates. Really Right Stuff, Acratech, Kirk, Foba and of course Arca Swiss all make compatible heads.
The major brands, Manfrotto, Gitzo, etc. all go their own way. And Manfrotto don't even have compatible plates across their own line-up. Crazy.
I have three Benbos of varying sizes and once you get used to them they are solid and versatile. First time you fold them up though it is like wrestling with a set of bagpipes.
Would certainly let you do a wedding and is probably the best solution for low level work - but don't leave the purchase till the day before the wedding because you need to practice.
I have an oldish Gitzo too and whilst it is a good piece of engineering, the current list prices are totally unrealistic in my opinion. It is possible to get identical results from pretty much any Manfrotto/Giotto etc. tripod. I would never suggest that you shouldn't get a Gitzo - but never has the law of diminishing returns been better illustrated. They do after all, cost as much as some secondhand cars. The Gitzo GT5562LTS Series 5 6X Traveller has a list price of £940 without a head! (If I had a brace of Leicas and Hasselblads I would naturally stick them on a Gitzo to keep the boasting coefficient high)
I have a Uniloc for landscapes but wouldn't dream of using it at a wedding - far too slow and fiddly...
The Benbo/Unilocs are great in the field for low level work or when you prefer to get comfortable on the ground and set the tripod up around YOU - far more comfortable than traditional tripods!
I think the original poster might have actually got a tripod by now. The post is 8.5 years old!!!!!
More than likely, several
Quote: I think the original poster might have actually got a tripod by now. The post is 8.5 years old!!!!!
The OP may be an extreme procrastinator
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