Benbo 2 BE N102C

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

Dif­fer­ent by de­sign, and with an XL build Specs Max­i­mum op­er­at­ing height: 256cm Folded height (with head): 114cm Weight with head: 4.1kg Max load (legs, head): 10kg, 10kg Leg sec­tion di­am­e­ters: 35mm, 29mm Piv­ot­ing cen­tre col­umn: 360º Ball head: Benbo Pro­fes­sional Head mount di­am­e­ter: 50mm Lock­ing leg an­gles: Any an­gle Feet: Spiked rub­ber

£250, $360

A bit of a mon­ster, the Benbo 2 kit weighs a hefty 4.1 kilo­grams and is a lengthy 114cm when folded. It rises to a tow­er­ing 256cm at full stretch, re­quir­ing the ad­di­tional use of a step lad­der to look through the cam­era’s viewfinder. It’s cer­tainly well suited to high­level shots, but is equally adept at low-level shoot­ing, thanks to the unique Benbo de­sign.

Un­like reg­u­lar tripods, the Benbo has a sin­gle joint around which all three legs and the cen­tre col­umn can pivot. This means you can ad­just the legs and cen­tre col­umn in­de­pen­dently, to any an­gle through­out a full 360-de­gree ro­ta­tion, and lock every­thing off with a sin­gle clamp.

In other re­spects, the Benbo is quite ba­sic. For ex­am­ple, the lock­ing clamps for ex­tend­ing the sin­gle outer sec­tion of each leg are nei­ther of the flip or twist va­ri­ety, in­stead re­ly­ing on a ba­sic lock­ing screw. The ball head does have ad­justable fric­tion damp­ing and a pan­ning re­lease, but it’s the only one in the group that lacks a quick­re­lease plate. Op­er­a­tion is far from in­tu­itive and some learn­ing time is re­quired to un­leash its full ver­sa­til­ity.

Per­for­mance

Rigid­ity is very good, but the Benbo 2’s Achilles heel is its cen­tral clamp: even after us­ing great force to tighten the long lock­ing lever, the legs can slide apart when the feet are on a smooth sur­face.

Ver­dict

Features Build/han­dling Per­for­mance Value for money

Over­all

It’s big and ver­sa­tile, but the sin­gle clamp strug­gles to give a firm lock.

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