Benro C1182T first shoot (long)
There have been a couple of recent threads about travel tripods where I stated I was going to take mine out for a spin. I finally got a chance to do so today.
My philosophy on a travel tripod is simple. It's what I take along after I've lightened up on other equipment and still can't fit a standard sized tripod into my kit. This usually involves air travel, and even then I'll try to rent a full-sized tripod if I can. For an upcoming trip to Alaska, neither is an option. This is a small boat cruise -- passengers are advised to carry duffle bags because there's no room to stow suitcases. Here's a comparison shot of the Benro and a full-sized Vanguard (with appropriate ball heads):
I think that pretty well tells the story. However, unless a tripod gives me better results than handheld, why carry it at all? So out I went with my D800, a 70-300mm VR lens, the Benro and two different heads. The first was a Vanguard GH-100 pistol grip head. It's typically about a $100 item, but I got it for ~$10 as part of a bundle at Adorama. The second was a Markins Q3 "Emile," which a great combination of light weight and high performance, but not as quick to use as the pistol grip.
I started with my standard "brick wall" shot of my local public library. This is a north facing wall and was in shadows, so at ISO 100 and f/10 I was in the danger zone for mirror slap. So here are the "best case" 300mm results, using mirror lock-up and a remote release.
Here's the "pub" in "Public" at a 100% crop:
Next, it was time for a little rock and roll. I set the camera to CH mode, cranked the ISO to 320, shot a series of 6 shots, and compared the 1st and 6th shots in the series. Not surprisingly none were as good as the MUP shot, but all were acceptable.
I also did a quick comparisons of the two heads. The Markins performed wonderfully as expected. The Vanguard did fine horizontally, but when I tried to shoot verticals with the D800/70-300mm combination things fell apart. Simply put, the round "anti-slip" plate couldn't handle the torque imposed by the lens. (No tripod mount on a 70-300mm). With the weight of the camera over the mount, no problem. But with it on the side, the GH-100 wasn't up to the task.
A "tap test" of the C1182T/Q3 combination gave me about a 1.5 second result. This isn't optimal and to me indicates that this is only barely acceptable for a 70-300mm. I'm not even going to try to mount my 70-200mm or 300mm f/4 on this thing -- again, that's what the big tripod is for.
As for the trip, the Benro and Markins are coming along for the ride. I think the GH-100 will probably stay home.
If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins. Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses. - Margaret Bourke-White
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#1. "RE: Benro C1182T first shoot (long)" | In response to Reply # 0cockers Nikonian since 25th May 2006Fri 18-May-12 09:17 AM | edited Fri 18-May-12 09:21 AM by cockers
Thanks for the infomative test drive of your new Benro. Looks like a good travel tripod option. As to your tap test I think the 70-200 and 300 f4 might actually do better due to their tripod mounts offering better balance over the head.
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