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Thread: Gear advice please! Tripod/head (Benro) and some lighting stuff

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    Member azz's Avatar
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    Gear advice please! Tripod/head (Benro) and some lighting stuff

    OK I know my post count is low, but I would be super grateful if someone would be able to chirp in before I go spend my money at *removed - read the site rules (3-7) * tomorrow I have about $600 to spend on the lot and have quite a shopping list:
    Tripod
    Ball head
    Softbox OR dual purpose umbrella (translucent with reflective silver cover)
    Speedlite accessories (gels, snoot, mini softbox, mini reflector, hotshoe mount, mini honeycomb)
    Light stand

    The bulk of the budget will be going towards tripod and head, the rest is just for me to experiment with.

    I've done about 6 hours worth of research and I'm sold on the Benro CF tripods. Portability isn't that much of a concern as I don't do much travelling interstate/overseas (unfortunately) so I'm looking at either the classic C2570T ($280) or versatile C2970T ($295) models. From what I've read, 3 section tripods are generally less prone to vibration. 12kg load capacity on both models. The versatile model looks more... well, versatile, but it also has more moving parts. In my hours of research online I could not find a comparison between the two, only a favourable review for the versatile model. I'm leaning towards the C2970T for its versatility (heh). Height wise the camera viewfinder would be just on my eye level at nominal height on both of them when mounted on a Benro B1 ball head, with the B2 giving me an extra 10mm. Has anyone had experience with these tripods? Is one favoured over the other?

    Ball head. The Benro B2 fits within the budget, but is rated at 20kgs whereas the B1 is rated at 12kgs, matching the tripod. Is it worth the extra money to go with the larger ball diameter for stability, ignoring the weight rating? At the moment it will be supporting a Canon 60D, EF-S 15-85mm F4-5.6 and 430 EXII but future plans may include a 70-200mm (or maybe even 70-300mm) telephoto and battery grip. I won't be touching the super telephotos (300mm+) for a while, if ever. So the question is, B1 ($135) or B2 ($160)?

    Last main query: I will be shooting flash both indoors and outdoors. The stand I'm getting is el cheapo, but I'd keep this in mind and would avoid the wind like the plague. *removed* has a 60x90 speedlite softbox for $45 or they have a dual purpose white with black/silver cover umbrella for $30. The umbrella can be used both shoot-through and reflective. Eventually I'll get both, just trying to keep things within budget for now. Is there a dramatic difference in light intensity/quality between the shoot-through umbrella compared to the softbox? Is one recommended over the other for first-time strobists like myself who will mainly be using family and friends as subjects?
    Last edited by ricktas; 23-04-2013 at 6:59am.

  2. #2
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    What did you buy?

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I've got the Benro C3580T, Benro C48T, the B3 and the GH-1

    I'm very happy with all of them, although the ballhead is definitely not as good as the tripod is (i.e. if you compare the benro to the Gitzo and the ballhead to a premium ballhead). I can't comment on your models of tripod, but I'm very happy with mine. My suggestion is to go for the heaviest capacity you can in case you upgrade your body and lenses later.

    I bought the C3580T/B3 combo on ebay (because I couldn't find it locally) and the C48T and GH-1 from Photoshopstudio.
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji X-E3, Fuji X100T, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Fujinon 60 f/2.4 Macro, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T, Mefoto Q00
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/atholhill
    http://www.theoverratedphotographer.com
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    I ended up getting the C2970F (he only had flip locks, no twists) and the B2. Coming from an Inca tripod with a flimsy plastic 3-way head to this combo is amazing. Having never used a ball head before, I now see why they are generally preferred - so easy to compose! Not saying other heads don't have their uses, but I'm not quite at the stage where I can afford the other equipment with them anyway! Baby steps.

    I also ended up getting both the umbrella and the softbox, figured I'd need them both eventually. Plus I managed to fit a set of mini white balance cards and a 5-in-one reflector into the $600 budget thanks to a 10% discount That should give me more than enough toys to play with for now.

    Shots taken using the gear are here: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...apes-Turimetta

    On a side note, I've already had to take the tripod apart and put it back together because I got sand in the flip locks Oh well, at least I got to admire the engineering up close.

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