1. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    Beauty and the Beast

    A Review Of Benro’s GD3WH & Some Thoughts On Geared Heads

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    Benro TMA28C and GD3WH on Sgurr na Stri high above Loch Coruisk on the isle of Skye

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    Benro GD3WH and it's nearest contender, the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head

    When I heard rumours of a new geared head, I contacted Scott Bagley at Benro UK. Although a die hard ballhead user, I knew this could be the Holy Grail for many landscape photographers. The killer qualities would be weight, or rather a lack of, Arca Swiss compatibility and Benro’s reputation for quality design and production.


    Little did I know how good the GD3WH would be. GD3WH, by the way, stands for Gear Drive 3 Way head.


    Much to my surprise, it soon became addictive and the positives massively outweighed any negatives. Having used the Benro TMA28C and B1 Ballhead for quite a few months, they had become so natural to use; they just worked, did the job asked, were simple, light and compact. 8 weeks ago I would never have envisioned replacing the ballhead but it simply has sat on my desk neglected all that time.


    The unconverted will ask, “so what’s the big deal with a geared head?”


    The answer, in a word, is “precision.” A geared head allows you to fine tune the composition and frame your shot perfectly. They are much favoured by top end photographers shooting macro, architecture and landscape. The primary function of a geared head is to let the photographer make large or small incremental changes to composition in an easy yet precise manner.


    Ballheads have a lot of positives; light and compact, easy to use, relatively cheap.The down side is having to adjust and get right all 3 axes of movement at once and even the best can droop slightly as they are tightened up. I accepted the negatives in return for the light weight and bulk but have suffered frustration both trying to set up the composition correctly and even worse looking at a computer monitor and seeing wonky horizons or converging verticals.

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  2. cuillinade

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    _DSC6628.jpg


    Until the advent of the GD3WH, Manfrotto pretty much had the market sewn up with a variety of models but none seemed ideal and there were lots of reports of design flaws, repairs and replacements. The only alternative was the mega expensive and complex Arca Swiss D4. All bases were covered; light weight, well designed, compact, durable, competitively priced but unfortunately it was impossible to get all these concepts in a single model so priorities had to be made. Then Benro entered the market…….



    Cost Weight Max Load

    Benro GD3WH £200 870g 6kg


    Manfrotto 410 £242 1220g 5kg

    Manfrotto 405 £532 1600g 7.5kg

    Manfrotto XPRO £195 750g 4kg


    Arca Swiss D4 £960 800g


    Fortunately I had a client booked for a couple of one to one workshops including an overnight camp for sunset/rise high in the Cuillin. Not only would this allow us some serious testing time but the client has a bad case of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) From previous visits, I knew he had a variety of Manfrotto heads so I asked if he could bring the one he thought most closely specced to the Benro GD3WH.
    _DSC6638.jpg

    Charles loves his gear, has loads of it and never sells a thing. In fact, he has all 3 of the Manfrotto heads listed above. With camping gear and a long walk in from the Sligachan, the 405 was instantly dismissed as “too heavy.” Apparently the XPro although the lightest of all was “too flimsy” so by default the 410 Junior Geared Head was to be matched against the Benro. This was ideal since some initial research by me suggested it was a very popular model with landscape photographers being a reasonable compromise of size/weight/price compared to it’s big brother.


    First impressions of the GD3WH were extremely favourable. It arrived exceedingly well packed in a bubble wrap filled box containing the trademark Benro blue box and the head itself was encased in a hefty foam cut out that looked well capable of shaking off anything that the most heavy handed courier could deal out.


    Instructions, an allen key and a blue Arca swiss plate were all present alongside the head itself which appeared to be a triumph of engineering, design and aesthetics. 10 out of 10 for eye candy appeal. Now I’m not normally drawn to mechanical things but the combination of it’s utility and the precision engineering compelled me to try it out immediately on the pier outside our house. So here’s a few product shots of the GD3WH looking out towards the Island of Raasay and it’s ferry photobombing the shots!

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  3. ecoleman

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    :agree: I've had this head for a month for so now and it's a great bit of kit. Very solid, the movement is smooth and it locks down tight with zero movement.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  4. cuillinade

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    Some initial thoughts;


    • It feels surprisingly light compared to the Manfrotto ; 870g versus 1220g so a 350g saving. Good to know when you are backpacking long distances and every gram counts. It might not sound a lot but with one head in each hand then the difference seems huge.

    • The Benro is much more compact and looks quite diminutive side by side with the Manfrotto yet can take a maximum load of 6 rather than 5kg. The 410 looks and feels more agricultural, almost over engineered. The Manfrotto plate system seems massive compared to the industry standard Arca Swiss of the GD3WH.

    • Everything operates very smoothly and the whole thing feels like a premium product. Robust is the word that springs to mind. Controls on the GD3WH feel much smoother and more ergonomically designed.

    • The clutch control that enables you to disengage the gears and make large changes of angle works really well and makes for a rapid initial set up of composition.

    • The Benro has 3 bubble levels, one on each axis as opposed to the single level on the Manfrotto.

    The GD3WH looks the business but looks counts for little when you are out in the field and a photo opportunity presents itself. A quick familiarisation with the controls and I was hooked.


    • Constructed of magnesium alloy, everything feels precisely engineered and the controls are very smooth to operate.

    • The control knobs for the 3 different axes of adjustment are very positive yet easy to adjust by very small increments; despite being so easy to adjust, the controls are totally secure so no accidental knocking of the tripod or a casual brushing of them will not alter the chosen composition.

    • Twist locks on each axis are spring loaded and allow for fast, smooth adjustments.

    • It is so easy to fine tune a composition whilst looking at the screen/viewfinder, something that can sometimes be frustrating with a ball head.

    • I am a big fan of my original Sony A7 for it’s diminutive size/weight but am also aware that I need to use best possible practice to maximize it’s output ; it only has a 24 mp sensor compared to 40-50 of newer models. This is where the GD3WH really comes into it’s own. It is so easy to get horizons and the like level and fine tune the composition so as to get things as right as possible in camera rather than in Lightroom/Photoshop where cropping will obviously reduce file sizes. I guess it’s easy to become a bit sloppy with huge mega pixel files and get things right after the event but why not maximise their potential and get things right on the tripod.

    • Such ease of use and precision certainly motivates me get things right in camera and once you are used to the dual controls it is easy to disengage the gears to make large sweeping movements then re engage to fine tune the composition. This soon becomes second nature although to start with, I must admit, I felt like a second world war sailor desperately trying to train an anti aircraft gun on a fast approaching enemy plane. Now I find it doesn’t take much longer than with a ballhead and the end results are nearer to in camera perfection so less editing time required.

    • The degree scales are useful and I find myself able to try one composition, take a note of the angle then try another with the knowledge that I can quickly and easily return to the first if necessary.

    • Like other Benro heads it has the added safety of having to pull as well as twist the knob to release the camera from the head. A great safety feature that works well.

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      Dawn at Sconser.

      Sony A7, Zeiss Batis 25mm, Benro GD3WH. ISO 100, F11, 1/60.

      24 km and 650m of ascent was the length of our walk to and from Sgurr na Stri so plenty of time to keep an eye open for photo opportunities and to discuss the merits of the Benro and Manfrotto heads. With heavy packs, we were only too pleased to stop and chat and get some moody photos on the way. Once we had gained the summit of Sgurr na Stri, the clouds started to dissipate and we hoped for a glorious sunset but this was not to be

      . _DSC9711.jpg




     
  5. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    yyyyyy.jpg
    The type of sunrise we were hoping for. Shot during earlier testing of Benro tripod. Summit camp on Sgurr na Stri as most of the snow has gone from the Cuillin.
    ISO 100, F11, 1/30. Zeiss Batis 25mm. Stitch of 4 shots.


    Being woken by the sound of rain on fabric at early o’clock didn’t bode well for the sunrise but the total cloud cover did clear to reveal a very atmospheric Cuillin Ridge and Loch Coruisk with varying degrees of cloud swirling around. Both of us were more than satisfied with the photos ; not at all what we had hoped for or expected but perhaps more moody than the standard sunrise shots (if we keep telling ourselves that then eventually we might really believe it!)
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    Benro TMA28C and GD3WH and the non existent sunrise.

    Sgurr na Stri is a classic location for breathtaking views across Loch Scavaig and Loch Coruisk to the Cuillin Ridge but our views were a bit more limited as strong winds blew squally rain showers across us, drenching us and our gear. Once again the Cuillin proved a good testing ground and threw it’s worst at us.

    _DSC9818-Pano-2-Edit-Edit.jpg
    An atmospheric view down to Loch Scavaig with a mostly hidden Loch Coruisk on the right
     
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  6. cuillinade

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    Charles and I have had several more days out comparing geared heads and also taken a lot of photos from the pier where we live in Sconser. Having used the GD3WH fairly extensively over about 6 weeks, I feel qualified to pass judgement on it. The conditions have for the most part been pretty tough for gear. An extended hot spell means everything has been dry and dusty, fires have been raging on the fringes of the Cuillin and the heat has made getting up high for photography hard work. The last week has been the polar opposite with heavy rain, strong winds and fairly cold so the gear has had a thorough testing.


    For years Manfrotto have cornered the geared head market with the 410 being popular due to it being the only reasonably priced GH with no competition. Charles loves his Manfrotto heads but isn’t adverse to mix and match and uses Gitzo legs among others. His relationship with Manfrotto is one of love and hate. He says the 410 is his 3rd or 4th (he lost count of repairs/replacements) and although his current one is good, even he describes it as “a bit agricultural.” Certainly the 410 does seem possibly a bit over engineered which may be useful for larger cameras/lenses but adds unnecessary bulk/weight for many users.


    He has a lot of love for it’s big brother, the 405, but is loathe to carry it in the field due to it’s weight. As to the XPro, he loves the weight and design but feels cautious about using it due to it’s technopolymer construction which obviously lightens things up but doesn’t have the reassuring build quality of magnesium alloy. Also he talks of vibration problems with larger lenses due to the lighter weight and material used. Apparently the 410 is smoother to use and easier to make small adjustments due to the gear ratio.
    _DSC9799.jpg


    Charles thought the Benro GD3WH to have all the benefits of the Manfrotto 410 with none of the negatives. It is smaller, lighter, smooth to operate and cheaper. Best of all it is rock solid once set up and the controls are easier to use and more comfortable. Having used it a lot, I’d have to agree with all this.


    Neither of us can really comment on long term durability but having used it in quite adverse environments, I’m quite happy to assume it will last. It’s been used in dry, dusty conditions, carried around the mountains on the outside of my pack and got soaking wet in the rain. The controls and release mechanism seem well protected and haven’t suffered the slightest from the hill top abuse they’ve endured. Benro have a good reputation for after sales support and service. Their website has a 24 hour helpline and Benro products are covered by a 3 year warranty which is extended to 5 years by registering your purchase.


    In a nutshell, Benro’s GD3WH delivers a better performance than the Manfrotto yet is almost 30% lighter, supports a greater load and is over £40 cheaper. The bottom line is that Charles has already bought one and if I’m taking a tripod then I never leave home without the GD3WH. To me, this is really strange as usually I do anything to lighten my load in the mountains but the slight weight gain is more than offset by the efficiency and quality imparted into my work. Not only has Charles bought one but I am about to sell several no longer needed ball heads.

    _DSC9049-Pano-Edit-Edit-Edit.jpg

    Sunrise after a night on the Cuillin Ridge with a client.

    ISO 250, F11, 1/25.
     
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  7. cuillinade

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    _DSC0152.jpg


    Oh, and the clincher for me is the Arca Swiss compatibility that enables me to use a RRS L bracket on my Sony. Manfrotto has always used it’s own idiosyncratic system with no cross over to the industry standard Arca Swiss. It’s good for them and ties people into their product line but does restrict people and even Manfrotto has started to introduce Arca Swiss type plates such as the 200PL. I don’t think it will work with the 410 so people have had to rely on cobbling things together with additional plates or significant modifications neither of which add anything but sources of potential vibration and added bulk/weight.


    The L bracket is perfect for flipping quickly between portrait and landscape orientation and makes handling a bit easier on the diminutive Sony A7. If I’m going climbing then it is removed but otherwise it lives on the camera. (Just a thought, Benro, but it would be great if you could produce L brackets in your signature metallic blue. I’m sure they’d sell well and would be great for brand exposure).


    _DSC0102-Pano-Edit.jpg


    Waterfall below the Bhastier Gorge with Glamaig and the Red Cuillin beyond.

    ISO 100, F11, 2 seconds.



    In landscape photography less can often be more and one of the biggest single lessons I have learned is the need to look at a scene, evaluate what works in it then decide how to focus on that and exclude anything which doesn’t add to the image. The GD3WH is a huge aid to this process and can be used to slow the process as much as you like as you experiment with small changes in angle. It’s use kind of reminds me of a photographer client, ex military, who always muttered “slow is smooth, smooth is fast” which is apparently the mantra of the US Navy’s SEALs. In photography, and, I assume, even more so in combat, speed seems important but if you move too fast then mistakes will occur. Better to move slower so that everything works smoothly.


    Just the Swiss Arca compatibility will seal the deal for many photographers looking at the Benro, never mind the light weight, price, design and engineering.


    This head works well for my style of photography and really does make my photographic life a lot easier. A good tripod and head are essential especially for some of my favourite styles such as long exposures and panoramas and the GD3WH is nigh on perfect for my needs. If you are considering a geared head then check out Benro’s. More reports to follow with updates on durability and long term testing.


    It might be advertising blurb but Benros words certainly ring true; “You asked, we listened. Lightweight, arca compatible and a 6kg max load.” The GD3WH does exactly what it says on the tin.

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    The Cuillin from Elgol.

    ISO 100, F11, 30 seconds.


    This review and others are available as free PDF downloads at https://allthingscuillin.co.uk/benro-gd3wh-review
     
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  8. HoppyUK

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    Benro GD3WH is pretty good, better than the Manfrotto 410 overall thanks to the weight saving and a nice Arca-Swiss clamp with a fast-thread locking knob (goes from open to closed in half the usual number of turns). The movements are not as super-smooth and precise as the much beefier Manfrotto 405 but that would be asking too much for £200 and the 405 is really too heavy for walkabout.

    For 95% of applications, the geared controls are smooth and plenty accurate enough, similar to the 410 but not quite so stiff. Coming from my Manfrotto 405 though (more than twice the weight and cost) when it comes to really critical fine adjustments (maybe macro) the Benro can be a little sticky and vague. Also, like the Manfrottos, there is no solid lock to the movements and it holds position through natural resistance in the gears so there is a little flex in those. But that's being picky and most people will probably never notice it with shorter focal lengths for landscape and architecture. It's way better than a regular 3-way head.

    The Benro's ace card is its low weight for a metal cast-magnesium geared head, much lower than either of the heavy Manfrottos (excepting the wobbly plastic XPRO) and the good news is it's even lighter than claimed. Benro states 870g but the head alone weighs only 695g with the Arca-Swiss plate supplied at 47g extra. So Benro's figure is a bit of a mystery yet over the years of reviewing products I've found these errors are actually not uncommon. Manfrotto 410 weighs a claimed and accurate 1220g (plate extra) and the 405 is 1600g.

    Benro appears to have designed the GD3WH to be used with the QR clamp release knob on the right. This leaves all the controls to the left hand while you hold and adjust the camera with your right, which makes perfect sense. It's also the only way you can tilt the head forwards to point straight down (eg copying etc) and still retain geared movements in all three planes. However, Benro has not thought this through as the camera clamp then runs fore/aft whereas it's wanted left/right most of the time. Judging by YouTube videos etc, users seem to be reorienting the head in various ways to get around this, and that's fine but hardly ideal, particularly if you want to use the controls instinctively. If you have it with the clamp knob in front of you where it should be, then the up/down tilt control is around the back, the camera is shifted off-centre, and will only tilt down 30 degrees. To get the full 90 degrees down you have to turn the whole thing around and reverse the camera (clamp knob under the lens) but then one movement plane is doubled up and one is cancelled out.

    TBH I can't fathom Benro's thinking here so I'm using a workaround with a short 100mm nodal rail to sort things out. With the clamp knob on the right, this effectively turns the camera clamp 90 degrees so it runs left/right and brings other handy advantages: it adds a couple of inches fore/aft adjustment (macro?) so you can slide the camera back and put the camera/lens balance point over the top pivot while bringing the camera closer towards you, and it also uncovers the round bubble level (accurate) so you can actually see the thing (y) The rail adds 105g to the total weight but it's still well below the claimed figure.

    Lots of these rails on Amazon/ebay from around a tenner, or if you only want to turn the camera 90 degrees then a QR clamp with an Arca-Swiss dovetail cut into the base will do the trick and save a few grams. Couple of links below. Then there's the option of adding a panning top-clamp that would bring additional versatility but choose carefully to ensure all-round clearance and the more robust ones can add a bit of weight.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Andoer-F...025387753?epid=9020810998&hash=item41e5a0b0e9

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Scr...=1530793562&sr=1-12&keywords=aRCA+SWISS+CLAMP
     
  9. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    Thanks for all that extra info, Richard. I can understand the need for super fine adjustments especially with macro photography but as you say, for it's price point, the Benro is superior to the Manfrotto 410 whilst not being as good as the 405 which does have the penalties of being twice the weight and cost.

    Interesting point about the weight of the Benro. I must weigh mine and see the result. When it first arrived I compared it to the Benro B1 ball head that I'd been using and it didn't seem too much heavier, a fact that your figures seem to confirm.
     
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  10. HoppyUK

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    "...the Benro is superior to the Manfrotto 410 whilst not being as good as the 405..." That pretty much sums it up, which is quite an achievement with such a big weight saving, plus Arca-Swiss compatibility. Comparisons with the Manfotto 405 are only relevant because of design similarity but that's really a completely different proposition with a different purpose, ie studio.

    The claimed weight error is one of the biggest I've ever seen, after reviewing dozens of tripods and heads. As I said, errors are not uncommon but it's amazing how they never seem to get checked. Good news though - for the first time, here we have a quality geared head that's both affordable and doesn't need a sherpa (y) The orientation of the camera plate is another mystery that Benro should really address, but the addition of a short nodal rail (as described above - cheap and light) is a good solution IMHO :)
     
  11. Peter123

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  12. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    Looks an interesting product, Peter. A good weight but £150 more than the Benro.
     
  13. simonbarker

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  14. sk66

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    Interesting point... my macro lens is mounted by the lens foot, so the clamp orientation would be perfect. However, this type of head isn't generally used with long lenses/lenses w/ tripod collar, so the orientation is 90* to where it should be.
    That said, IMO it is easier to convert the orientation with the smaller/lighter setups, and probably safer as well.
     
  15. Peter123

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    Maybe. I’ve never seen or handled a D4 but for my use I am happy.
     
  16. sk66

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    Yes, kind of a baby brother to the D4. Depending on the kind of work you do, the lack of a 3rd geared axis can be a deal breaker IMO.
     
  17. cuillinade

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    Richard, you are spot on with the huge weight difference between Benro's listed spec of 870g. I don't know why but I just accepted Benro's figure as a given but it did feel strangely not too much heavier than the B1 ball head I'd been using. Conversely, it did feel much lighter than the Manfrotto 410. Since seeing your post, I weighed mine on our kitchen scales and the Benro GD3WH was c.650g without the arca plate. Not sure of the accuracy of the scales but anyway it's significantly lighter than the stated 870g.
     
  18. simonbarker

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    Such a large difference, is it perhaps package weight?
     
  19. Peter123

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    I've just weighed the Sunwayfoto and it is 800gms.
    Spec. states weight as 750gms!
     
  20. cuillinade

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    simonbarker, it does seem a huge difference and the question has been raised with Mar Hoskins at Benro UK and it appears the specified weight was based on pre production models. H has since weighed a couple of production models and they were both circa 740g including the area plate. 740g or there abouts means Benro's GD3WH is definitely the leader in geared heads both on weight, value for money and functionality. It's lighter than the Manfrotto XPRO with it's polymer construction, nearly 500g lighter than the Manfrotto 410 and even a shade lighter than the Arca D4.
     
  21. HoppyUK

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    My scales are calibrated, though TBF modern digital kitchen scales are amazingly accurate. I'd expect different production samples of the Benro to vary by maybe handful of grams.

    I always check product weights and dimensions. Cameras and lenses are generally spot-on but things like tripods where you can take things off and, if a manufacturer wanted to be devious, there are different ways of measuring height. I checked one tripod that could only achieve the claimed weight with the centre-column removed. I've also seen weights etc for different models mixed up; simple human error is probably the most common culprit.

    Even the best manufacturers can be guilty of being 'unhelpful' with specs. A common one is tripod heads that are available with different camera mounting options. My Arca-Swiss P0 has a claimed weight of 280g, but that's without a QR clamp (or camera plate) so in reality the working weight will be about 100g more than that. But for a manufacturer to dramatically understate the weight, particularly when it's a primary feature, I've never seen that before.
     
  22. HoppyUK

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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  23. cuillinade

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    Thanks for the link to the thread, Richard. Very interesting.
     
  24. sk66

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    My current recommendations would probably be:
    Budget all arounder- Benro GD3WH; add a panning clamp adaptor and you're well set.
    Architecture/landscape- Benro GH-Pro, or Arca Swiss D4 if you have the wallet.
    Studio/best all arounder- Manfrotto 405Pro; also adding an arca swiss clamp/panning clamp if desired.

    Having a panning top clamp is a benefit with all of them IMO (integral on the GH-Pro/D4), but I've never known them to lock in place terribly securely. The GH-Pro (more-so the D4) is a bit hard for me to recommend due the cost and somewhat limited functionality.
     
  25. HoppyUK

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    Anyone interested in the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro had better be quick. CameraGearUK only had a very small delivery with just one left now. No news of when, or if, new stock will arrive.
     
  26. HoppyUK

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    I just made my Benro GD3WH much nicer and easier to use.

    The control knobs were smooth enough, but quite heavily weighted and a bit stiff. A bit of enthusiastic twiddling seemed to free them up a bit but there was inconsistent stiffness that I noticed was only when turning a knob anticlockwise. It's because the knob is held with slight pressure against the star-shaped quick movement release and when going anticlockwise it can bind up very slightly and increase the friction.

    It seemed like a dab of lubricant might smooth things out and so it proved - all the knobs are now much lighter in both directions, and a bit smoother too (y) I just applied a single drop of oil to the joint between the rubberised knob and the star-shaped quick movement release, gave it a good twiddle to spread the oil all the way around, and wiped away any residue. I let it stand overnight and then gave it another wipe just to make sure (a little oil goes a long way) :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  27. tonybassplayer

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    Many thanks for this comprehensive review.

    I nearly bought a Manfrotto 410 not long ago but after walking up Pen-Y-Ghent in very hot conditions I decided to go down the lightweight route and bought a lightweight Benro tripod which has been excellent and this appears to be the sensible next purchase.
     
  28. cuillinade

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    Sounds useful advice, Richard and maybe i should do the same after a little grease oozed out during the recent heatwave. What sort of oil did you use, please?
     
  29. sk66

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    I would suggest silicone grease, it is more compatible with more types of rubber.
     
  30. HoppyUK

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    I just used a drop from a little can of 3-in-1 oil that I've had for about 20 years and it has a nice pointy dropper for ease and accuracy. I wouldn't be too fussy though, a drop of engine oil would do just as well, but in that case I'd dip something like a small screwdriver into it and apply from that. You only need a tiny amount. And don't use WD40.

    Grease would be better, but hard to get right into the face of the joint where it needs to be. Oil pretty much runs itself around and penetrates naturally.
     
  31. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    Thanks, Richard. Got 3 in 1 and by default that's what i"d have used but good for the confirmation.
     
  32. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    sk66 likes this.
  33. Brazo

    Brazo

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    Great review and it made me want one (having been hovering over a 410 for some time). At the same price I think I’d take the Benro every time but I just found a ‘nearly new’ 410 for £100 so it was ‘alas’ a no brainier!
     
  34. Peter123

    Peter123

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    Well my 410 is still available if this falls through.
     
    Brazo likes this.
  35. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    Think there are going to be quite a few 410s on the market, Peter.
     
  36. simonbarker

    simonbarker

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    I wouldn't worry about it, new products take a while to gain traction and even then Manfrotto is the most well known brand which counts for a lot to customers.

    I'm still amazed by how many photographers (fairly successful ones too) who give me blank stares when I mention Godox.
     
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  37. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    Have Manfrotto just reduced the price of the 410? I always thought they were £230-240-ish. The OP quotes £242, but most mainstream dealers are selling them for £179.
     
  38. simonbarker

    simonbarker

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    The Manfrotto site normally has the full RRP price, it's £242.95 there currently.

    Wex looks to have the 'better' retail price of £194.95 but they've temporarily discounted it to £179 which I'm guessing is some summer promotion from Manfrotto as there's several other large shops with the £179 price.
     
  39. Brazo

    Brazo

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    Possibly but at less than half the price of the Benro it’s a no brainier!
     
  40. cuillinade

    cuillinade

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    Having been in contact with Benro UK Brand Manger, Mark Hoskins, it seems the new official weight of the GD3WH is 740g so 130 g lighter than the previously specified weight. Apparently the discrepancy is due to the prototype (which weight was quoted) being cast in aluminium whereas the production model uses magnesium. So, less is more
     

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