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Alex Uzan

Overkill tripod for mirrorless ?

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@webrunner5 Yes, I was just about to edit my post when I realized what you meant. :) The Benro is adjustable to 0 kg, so you can mount a DSLR or mirrorless camera no problem. 

With the slider, tripod head and camera attached, it would take a bulldozer to knock this bad boy over!

I like gear. I appreciate fine craftsmanship. If I'm out in the field, I want something that's going to protect my investment. I might have as much as $3,500 or more sitting on top of those legs, and I don't want some unsupervised child running into my setup and see it crashing to the ground.

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Your setup is a bit overkill, but the S8 price is a steal.

When I consider equipment these days, I have weight and size in my mind, that's why I went mirrorless, that's why I went APS-C, that's why I prefer native mirrorless lenses than adapted EF and EF-S lenses most people seem to prefer.

When I do some no budget things, I have to carry everything on my own so I become more careful about my sweet spots.

How you level the head with the tripod's legs? 

You certainly need a "riser", for in between the tripod and your camera. I have one on my camera at all times, it also gives me more height to change batteries and sd cards without taking the camera out of the tripod, and gives me betternhandling and working height of the camera. Also, a bit height (5-10cm, depending the design) that I feel that improves my ergonomics. Also, you can build from there and put a cheap plastic matte box (around 20$) if you want a permanent parasoleil for whatever lens you put there, or more advanced stuff (real matte box, focus wheel, etc).

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2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Your setup is a bit overkill, but the S8 price is a steal.

When I consider equipment these days, I have weight and size in my mind, that's why I went mirrorless, that's why I went APS-C, that's why I prefer native mirrorless lenses than adapted EF and EF-S lenses most people seem to prefer.

When I do some no budget things, I have to carry everything on my own so I become more careful about my sweet spots.

How you level the head with the tripod's legs? 

You certainly need a "riser", for in between the tripod and your camera. I have one on my camera at all times, it also gives me more height to change batteries and sd cards without taking the camera out of the tripod, and gives me betternhandling and working height of the camera. Also, a bit height (5-10cm, depending the design) that I feel that improves my ergonomics. Also, you can build from there and put a cheap plastic matte box (around 20$) if you want a permanent parasoleil for whatever lens you put there, or more advanced stuff (real matte box, focus wheel, etc).

I level the camera using the bowl or ball (not sure what it's called!) supplied with the tripod. You can see a picture of it on the previous page, with the read handle just below the head. When I set up the head this afternoon, the knob that tightens the QR plate interfered with the camera, but I discovered while watching the following video that it can be pulled out and moved out of the way. Like tripod manufacturers, boys out on a first date and just about everyone else, some tripod head companies overstate their capacity, and the S8 is no exception. But the worst part for small camera users is that, even though the counterbalance is supposed to be adjustable to 0 kg, in reality, it is not, and because there are only four settings on the dial, which may increase by 2.5kg increments (not sure), this particular head might not be ideal for something like a BMPCC or A6300 with no rigging. When I got home from the coffee shop this evening, I put my Fuji X-T2 with 16-55mm f/2.8 and battery grip on the head (a pretty heavy combination), set the counterweight to '1' and added some drag and it seems fine. With just a Lumix GH4 and a pancake lens, I don't think it would work. I do think it will be fine for what I intend to use it for most, and that is panning while on a slider. But as the reviewer in the following video points out, the Benro S8 has a lot of issues, there are better heads available, but it's also true that they cost a lot of money. And yes, if you're lugging lots of gear around without any assistants, you don't want to be carrying around a 3 or 4 kg head. I learned a lot from this video, and if you're suffering from insomnia, I recommend having a look. :)

 

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On 12/12/2016 at 1:54 PM, jonpais said:

You could just slap a Crane on the tripod and pan remotely. :) 

It's not a bad idea :grin:

But I can't take the gimbal everytime. So after reading and and seen a lot of reviews, I think the manfrotto 502 is the good one.

Of course it's kinda overkill for a A6300, but it's still useable and ready for next gear.

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Hi Alex, I have the MVH 502A head and it's a good light weight head, and as long as you don't try and load it up too much, or go too long on the lens it should be good. I don't use it a lot for my needs these days, but I can recommend it.Think you can get flat based verions as well. I tried to remove the half ball on mine once and it wouldn't budge.

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On 12/11/2016 at 2:45 AM, Alex Uzan said:

Hi there,

I need to buy a new tripod head to use with a A6300 (and maybe the bmpcc 2 :grin:)

So I was looking to a Benro S8, but man, this head is big :astonished:

Is that not  to big for a mirrorless ?

My main use will be at home.

 

Thanks

 

I've had the S8 with the carbon sticks for a year, been shooting mirrorless for years. The head is big, but for the price you're not going to find a better head, its far better than the Manfrottos and others (IMO after trying everything in the same range at B&H). It also has extra mounting points for an arm, wireless receiver and so on. Its a great head.

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7 hours ago, xenogears said:

I don't know how I missed this one. It's the perfect fit for mirrorless.

But a the same price as the 502, with a plan to use it indoor only, I'm not sure it's a better deal.

3 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

I've had the S8 with the carbon sticks for a year, been shooting mirrorless for years. The head is big, but for the price you're not going to find a better head, its far better than the Manfrottos and others (IMO after trying everything in the same range at B&H). It also has extra mounting points for an arm, wireless receiver and so on. Its a great head.

Good to know.

But actually, the offers at Benro is kinda confusing : too much references with no true explanation about why they exist.

s2 - s4 - s6 : ok they're quite the same, but for different weight: no drag ajustment or counter balance.

s8 : flagship with drag ajustment and counter balance, but really big and made for heavy stuff.

s7 : succesor of s6 with counter balance and drag ajustment

bv4 - bv6 - bv8 : New heads with step drag ajustement and counter balance (more weight = more steps)

That's too much choice for me.

  1. Why to buy a s6 if a s7 is available ?
  2. Why to buy a s*head if the bv*head are better and at the same price ?
  3. Why some video tripod are only available in kit, while you can buy a head separately ?

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1 hour ago, Alex Uzan said:

I don't know how I missed this one. It's the perfect fit for mirrorless.

But a the same price as the 502, with a plan to use it indoor only, I'm not sure it's a better deal.

Good to know.

But actually, the offers at Benro is kinda confusing : too much references with no true explanation about why they exist.

s2 - s4 - s6 : ok they're quite the same, but for different weight: no drag ajustment or counter balance.

s8 : flagship with drag ajustment and counter balance, but really big and made for heavy stuff.

s7 : succesor of s6 with counter balance and drag ajustment

bv4 - bv6 - bv8 : New heads with step drag ajustement and counter balance (more weight = more steps)

That's too much choice for me.

  1. Why to buy a s6 if a s7 is available ?
  2. Why to buy a s*head if the bv*head are better and at the same price ?
  3. Why some video tripod are only available in kit, while you can buy a head separately ?

It's intentionally confusing is why.

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S2, S4, S6, S7, S8 are all different and offer different things for different users and cameras. Official prices in my European south-east country.

S2 is the cheapest/smallest for a simple video tripod with a tension control system (very basic but it is very cheap as a kit, with leveling head and legs). 0.4kg and max load 2.5Kg 70-80euros

S4 a little bigger, slightly more expensive, usually ok for a cheap monopod configuration. Looks more serious than the S2 a little better pan motion. 0.7Kg weight and max load 4Kg 120euros

S6, here is starting get serious, actually I own this one. first of all illuminated leveling bubble (something I really miss on the cheap Sachtler Ace!)! Then, it has posi-step counterbalance (same as the more expensive ones), fluid drag control (like the more expensive ones) and some drag in the pan movement but NO other pan options, just the one it is. 1.2Kg weight and max load 6Kg 180-190euros

S7 It also has fluid drag control for the pan movement 1.43Kg and 7 max load. 240-250euros

S8 2.4Kg and 8 max load. 290euros

The BV4 has  1.9Kg weight and 4Kg max load and it is bigger than the S series, and much more heavier! It seems (from reviews) there are some issues with the drag which I have notice in most Chinese tripods (E-Image included). My impression is that this kind of tripods are targeting more traditional video tripods (with old school video legs).

All in all, S6 and S7 seem like the best options for me, for monopod and photographich style tripod legs. For heavier loads, I would look to something more expensive.

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Thanks Kisaha for these details :)

I bought a Manfrotto 502 for christmas, and it's big. Really bug for an a6300. But with the GH5 comming in few months, I don't worry about the head size :grin:

 

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I'm no expert but I went down this road looking for a reasonable sized fluid head for mirrorless ... doesn't exist IMO.

They are all crap unless you get a heavy one :) 

None of the smaller ones I tried (inc the Benros) seemed that great. Not very "fluid" for tilts and pans.

I used my friends Miller AIR and that was just in a different universe ... absolutely beautiful to use !! Doesn't seem there is any escape from using heavy fluid heads if you want smooth action.

If your always inside it probably wouldn't matter that much anyway. Cheers.

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2 hours ago, Dean said:

I'm no expert but I went down this road looking for a reasonable sized fluid head for mirrorless ... doesn't exist IMO.

They are all crap unless you get a heavy one :) 

None of the smaller ones I tried (inc the Benros) seemed that great. Not very "fluid" for tilts and pans.

I used my friends Miller AIR and that was just in a different universe ... absolutely beautiful to use !! Doesn't seem there is any escape from using heavy fluid heads if you want smooth action.

If your always inside it probably wouldn't matter that much anyway. Cheers.

You're probably right. Not many true fluid video heads by reputable manufacturers for lightweight cameras, either. They say fluid head, but they're actually friction. 

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

You're probably right. Not many true fluid video heads by reputable manufacturers for lightweight cameras, either. They say fluid head, but they're actually friction. 

Hey Jon, just a thought, but I think a pinned thread, or sub forum for sticks and heads wouldn't be a bad idea. Not sure what the boss thinks ?

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1 minute ago, Stanley said:

Hey Jon, just a thought, but I think a pinned thread, or sub forum for sticks and heads wouldn't be a bad idea. Not sure what the boss thinks ?

I like it! I happen to be very interested in tripods as well. Perhaps a sub forum for sliders, tripods, jibs, etc. Let's see what we can do.

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I'll throw in my Benro experience. I've done the typical keep-buying-a-pricier-tripod-every-few-years-thing, first with an HV30, then DSLR/mirrorless. Started with an awful RC-4 mount (I think, tilt mechanism was one-sided like the Benro S2) Manfrotto, then a 701, then the S6, and now a Sachtler Ace L. I've also used various mid-level Manfrottos (501, 502, etc).

The S6 was pretty good, performance-wise. Same or slightly better than a 501 or 502. Seemed smooth at the time, and adjustable drag and counterbalance on tilt was a big step up from the 701. It worked- it wasn't awesome, but I could shoot with it. 

Just really cheap touches to the construction, though- plastic knobs, weird/poor fit on a couple things, cosmetic badges fell off from cheap glue, and the pan lock knob broke off. Zero response from Benro "customer service" on that, BTW- on my own and through the dealer I bought from. So be warned that it seems like they're going for a "disposable" sales model. And I'm in the US! In Vietnam or elsewhere I would expect it to be even worse.

The Sachtler is another class- and it's not even a "real" Sachtler, haha. So smooth, great finish and controls. Well thought out. Smooth! Solid! Supple! Can still mount to slider etc, as the bottom of the bowl is flat. I actually look forward to using my longer manual glass now, instead of being worried about getting jiggles or overshooting my landing... hell, I look forward to using it with any glass, period. It's actually a little smaller than the Benro in width/depth, but is taller, because of the bowl. Although the Benro + ball leveler is bigger and probably heavier overall.

 

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18 minutes ago, aldolega said:

I'll throw in my Benro experience. I've done the typical keep-buying-a-pricier-tripod-every-few-years-thing, first with an HV30, then DSLR/mirrorless. Started with an awful RC-4 mount (I think, tilt mechanism was one-sided like the Benro S2) Manfrotto, then a 701, then the S6, and now a Sachtler Ace L. I've also used various mid-level Manfrottos (501, 502, etc).

The S6 was pretty good, performance-wise. Same or slightly better than a 501 or 502. Seemed smooth at the time, and adjustable drag and counterbalance on tilt was a big step up from the 701. It worked- it wasn't awesome, but I could shoot with it. 

Just really cheap touches to the construction, though- plastic knobs, weird/poor fit on a couple things, cosmetic badges fell off from cheap glue, and the pan lock knob broke off. Zero response from Benro "customer service" on that, BTW- on my own and through the dealer I bought from. So be warned that it seems like they're going for a "disposable" sales model. And I'm in the US! In Vietnam or elsewhere I would expect it to be even worse.

The Sachtler is another class- and it's not even a "real" Sachtler, haha. So smooth, great finish and controls. Well thought out. Smooth! Solid! Supple! Can still mount to slider etc, as the bottom of the bowl is flat. I actually look forward to using my longer manual glass now, instead of being worried about getting jiggles or overshooting my landing... hell, I look forward to using it with any glass, period. It's actually a little smaller than the Benro in width/depth, but is taller, because of the bowl. Although the Benro + ball leveler is bigger and probably heavier overall.

 

What model is the Sachtler, I've wondered about these type of Sachtlers. I've got about 4 heads and the one I use is a 50 year old Miller that was constructed foe 8 mm film cameras. It is far superior to my Manfrotto 502, and Miller DS5 that came with the sticks I bought. You're spot on about looking forward to using a long lens with a good head, and that's what led me to seeking out a good head for smaller cameras. The Miller DS5 is a real fluid head, but doesn's have varible friction adjustments, they're fixed, and I can only use a short handle on a long lens. I also have a big Miller head that can fit 100 -150mm bowl, but it needs work and no one can service it, weighs an absolute ton, but I'd use it in a heartbeat if I could find someone to work on it!

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