Benbo Trekker Mk 3 BEN107C

Half the weight of its big br other

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

£125, $220

We wouldn’t class this as a true travel tri­pod, as its folded length is 86cm, but it’s much lighter and eas­ier to carry than the Benbo 2 kit. The legs and cen­tre col­umn are thin­ner and shorter, giv­ing a max­i­mum op­er­at­ing height of 170cm. This is more sim­i­lar to that of other tripods on test, al­though the Trekker legs have the low­est max­i­mum load rat­ing in the group, at five kilo­grams. The same ap­plies to the ‘Com­pact’ ball head.

The de­sign is es­sen­tially a scaled-down ver­sion of the Benbo 2 and in­ter­me­di­ate Benbo 1 kits, but the Trekker Mk 3 boasts a cru­cial up­date: its main joint, which en­ables move­ment of all three legs and the cen­tre col­umn, has splined in­ter­nal sur­faces. This makes the tri­pod less prone to sag­ging, es­pe­cially when spread­ing the legs wide, and means less force is re­quired when tight­en­ing the lock­ing levers.

While the de­sign of the main clamp is an im­prove­ment, the scaled-down ball head is a dis­ap­point­ment. It lacks a quick-re­lease plate, ad­justable fric­tion damper and pan­ning re­lease. Its 1/4-inch mount­ing thread pre­cludes fit­ment on tripods with a 3/8-inch stud.

Per­for­mance

Per­for­mance of the legs is good, thanks to enor­mous po­si­tional ver­sa­til­ity, but it’s let down by the head, which fails to give solid sup­port to D-SLR and lens com­bi­na­tions that are well within the load rat­ing.

Ver­dict

Features Build/han­dling Per­for­mance Value for money

Over­all

The im­proved clamp de­sign is wel­come, but the ball head is poor.

Specs Max­i­mum op­er­at­ing height: 170cm Folded height (with head): 86cm Weight with head: 2.2kg Max load (legs, head): 5kg, 5kg Leg sec­tion di­am­e­ters: 27mm, 23mm Piv­ot­ing cen­tre col­umn: 360º Ball head: Benbo Com­pact Head mount di­am­e­ter: 42mm Lock­ing leg an­gles: Any an­gle Feet: Spiked rub­ber

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