buying new tripod - is Benro any good?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by gordon77, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. gordon77

    gordon77 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    hey i think its time for a new tripod. im looking for one that i can take pano's with and that is more sturdy than the cheap and nasty jessops one i have. my photo store only does manfrotto and benro. i will only buy from this shop because of their service, its awesome. i used manfrotto stands in concert lighting situations and they are AMAZING and amazingly expensive as they seem to be in photography tripods too. but what about benro? they dont seem to be as expensive as manfrotto but build quality looks to be good...

    manfotto is way out of range for me atm so here are some benro options i was thinking of. i chose one tripod and two heads, one cheaper than the other. i dont know much about tripods so please tell it like it is. what is the difference between these heads? they are both within my price range but at the same time i dont wanna spend the extra $$$ if im not going to use it... i hate to ask this but these heads will allow me to pan on the focal plane for pano's right?

    tripod:http://www.benro.cn/Product/1/A227.html

    cheaper head:http://www.benro.cn/Product/2/bh2.html

    more expensive head:http://www.benro.cn/Product/2/kb0.html#
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hi Gordon,

    The only Benro tripod I have seen in the flesh was well built, and looked like excellent value for money. They seem to be copies of Gitzo tripods. Not to be confused with Benbo.

    To make stitched panoramas you need to be able to swing the lens around its entrance pupil - that is the image of the iris (diaphragm) that you see when looking into the front of the lens. You also need an arrangement that will allow rotation in the correct plane. Because you can see the entrance pupil when the lens is stopped down you can estimate its position quite easily - it is where the iris appears to be, not where the iris is. (There is a very common misconception that the lens should be rotated about either the front or rear node, or less precisely the 'nodal point' - all are incorrect. Most of the methods given on the net for finding the 'nodal point' for panoramas actually find the entrance pupil, not one of the nodes.)

    The problem that I see with the BH-2 head is that there is no independent rotation of the head, so you would need to add a panorama plate on top of the QR plate. The KB-0 head has a separate lock for rotation, but it is in the wrong place for ease of use. For a horizontal panorama you usually want the plane of rotation to be horizontal, so you would have to set the tripod legs up with the rotation plate level - you would lose the levelling effect of the ball. It's easier for me to demonstrate than to put into words.

    Both heads would probably need a plate to offset the axis of rotation so that it was at the entrance pupil - a 'nodal slide' is such a device. You could get a longer plate to fit the KB-0, and that might work depending on how far the entrance pupil is away from the camera tripod socket, and whether the socket is in line with the lens. You would still have the issue of the rotation plate being under the ball.

    Going from bottom to top (from tripod to camera) the ideal arrangement would be:

    tripod;
    levelling device (eg a ball head);
    rotation plate;
    offset plate(s) (may have to be in two axes);
    camera.

    Of course you can just wing it. You don't always need such fancy gear, and it is worth trying some simple panoramas to find out what you do need.

    I hope that brief reply makes sense.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  3. gordon77

    gordon77 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    great reply thanks Helen B, that explains alot. i was under the assumption that you needed to rotate around the focal plane. what do you mean by simple panoramas?
     
  4. Lars Leber

    Lars Leber TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am very happy with my Benro tripod/ballhead.
     
  5. Thanks Helen_B, that was helpful. I learned something.
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, I think that I just meant trying a panorama or two without buying all the gear - maybe trying it by hand, or with the tripod you have. I was trying to avoid the 'you need all this gear before you start' kind of reply.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  7. gordon77

    gordon77 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    aahhh i see, well i need a better tripod anyways even if its just for normal shots so i thought id try get one that can do panorama shots as well. looks like this one can with the offset plate.

    Lars Leber : how long have you had it? how often do you use it?
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Rotating around the nodal point of the lens is needed if foreground and background parts are both in the image. If you only take panoramas of backgrounds like cityscapes or mountains then you need not worry about a panoramic head.

    Otherwise grab 2 sturdy right angle brackets, mix with a pint of elbow grease and some trial and error and you're set.
     
  9. gordon77

    gordon77 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    hah! now im confused again. so your sayin if was looking straight out to sea with no foreground rocks/cliffs it would be ok to use a plain ball type head but if the rocks and cliffs were in the foreground id need the panoramic head?
     
  10. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,296
    Likes Received:
    465
    Location:
    Hell's Kitchen, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That was one of the thoughts that was why I suggested simple panoramas - scenes where a small amount of movement in the centre of perspective* of the camera will not matter. Imagine closing one eye then moving your head side-to-side a little - that is the effect of rotating the camera about the wrong point. If your eye movement would not result in changes of relationship between near and far things then it wouldn't matter if you rotated the camera about the wrong axis. This doesn't have to be true over the whole picture area, only over the places where you need to stitch. That is how I did my first city roofscape panoramas - careful choice of stitch lines.

    The sea is an odd case for stitched panoramas if it is in motion as it usually is. Distant hills, as suggested by Garbz, are probably a better example. In that case you would not need an accurate rotation point if the stitches occurred in zones where there were no foreground objects to line up with the background hills.

    *The place the camera 'sees' from (ie the whole area of the entrance pupil and not one of the nodal points), equivalent to where your eye would be to see the same view as the camera. If you do choose to make an offset bracket, the fact that the correct axis of rotation is through the entrance pupil makes it very easy to estimate what the bracket dimensions should be before you start. The front nodal point is a little more difficult to find, but you don't need to find it. If data is available from the lens manufacturer, then use the location of the entrance pupil, not the location of either of the two nodal points. These are the practical reasons why there is an advantage in knowing that it is the entrance pupil, and not one of the nodal points. It isn't just being pedantic.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  11. gordon77

    gordon77 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    ok i think im understanding now :). i am good at making things so i can jimmy up an offset plate. this has answered alot of questions for me - thanks guys :D
     
  12. pechspilz

    pechspilz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello

    I own a Benro C298 carbon tripod for quite a while and I think its pretty good. I also use a Benro ball head.

    [​IMG]

    I did a review about it some time ago. If someone is interested I'm going to post the link.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
benro bpi t-800ex
,
benro t-800ex review
,

benro t800ex

,

benro t800ex review

,
benro t800ex tripod
,
benro t800ex tripod review
,
benro tripods any good
,
best benro tripod
,
is benro tripod good
,
t-800ex review