Tripods are of great importance members in photography accessories family because of their main function of supporting and fixing steadily cameras and are catching more and more photographers’ attention. In many important photo situations such as star trail photography, water photography, night photography, static photography, coupling shot, macrophotography, etc. tripods play vital roles and help make spectacular shots. When shooting with single-camera mode, tripods are necessary too.
BENRO, hearing from my friends, has been committed to the R&D of such photography accessories products as tripods, heads, camera bags, filters, dry-cabinets and so on for 19 years and has won high reputation for the high quality products.
Couple days ago, I got a chance to photo birds which should use heavy gear. It happened to me having a BENRO C3770TN tripod and S6 fluid head, both of which are announced officially to be designed for supporting heavy gear and photography like birdwatching is just one of the suitable situations. Lots of friends tell me BENRO’s tripods are popular and high quality, so it a good chance to test those claims. The very next following is the tripod’s specifications.
BENRO C3770TN tripod
Max leg diameter: 32.5mm
Min leg diameter: 25mm
Max height with center column extended: 1810mm
Max height without center column extended: 1460mm
Min height: 150mm
BENRO S6 fluid head
Materials: magnesium alloy
Counter balance: 3-step
Tilting drag control: stepless
Pan adjustment: fixed
Ball diameter: 60mm
The legs are made from QIHM-8X carbon fiber materials and the 3-section design is popular for its stability and portability. The closed-cell nitrile butadiene rubber on one of the legs provides a comfortable yet sturdy grip even when carrying in extreme weather.
The all terrain shoes (the leg feet) has a rubber exterior and the hole on it can be used for a second fixation by tent nails to increase the stability even upon soft and slippery surfaces. The ballhead in the middle can be rotated at will to adapt to the uneven ground.
The rubberized twist locks for leg setup and the pull-out button for leg position adjustment offer quickly tripod set up and multiple shooting angles. The top bubble level provides accurate level adjustment.
S6 Fluid head
The S6 fluid head has 6 adjustment knobs, the separate pan, tilt and QR plate locks, etc. The left side tilt drag control knob is used to adjust the drag control for smooth camera moves. Just a little bit strength can move the camera to the wanted angle and when you let your hands go, the head is gonna back to the original position and keep static.
The right side has a counterbalance drag control knob which features 0, 1, 2, 3 four stops. When taking a photo and changing the shooting angle, just leave hands and the setting will back to the original position.
The removable telescoping pan bar features adjustable length and angle for both accurate shooting and personal usage habit. It can be mounted on either side of the head.
When taking videos, the S series fluid heads are essential for such practical functions as the pan and tilt locks, tilt drag control, drag control and four-step counter balance control. The four-step counter balance system is very important when photographing birds.
The bubble level on the S6 head is a slight different from those that on the tripod. The bubble level features build-in power and light and can help to level the head even in the dark. It is especially essential when photographing star trail.
These pictures are taken with the Canon 1DX about 1.55kg and 200-400 lens about 3.6kg. When fixed on the BENRO C3770TN tripod + S6 head tripod kit, the camera and lens are very stable without any wobble.
During the shooting, whether it is the pan adjustment or the tilt adjustment, the tripod kit features stable drag control and moves smoothly. When referring to longer time and bigger angle changing, we can quickly change and re-fix the angle of the telescoping pan bar by the flip-lock, and then keep on taking photos.
The adjustable drag control makes it easy to move the gear horizontally and vertically and ensures the wanted object in the center of the viewer, making it possible to shoot with the strongest focus and focus area.
Wide aperture, anti-shake, high ISO, tripod, flash and cable release can’t replace each other. If we want to get fabulous shots, we’d better use them together properly. For instance this time, both the camera and lens I used was heavier, long object distance and dynamic goals, so it’s necessary to shoot with tripod and high ISO. If the goal is a static one, then it’s fine to shoot with cable release, and if it is short object distance, then much better to shoot with artificial light.
Advantages: stable, advanced, easy to operate, anti-dust and all weather and terrains suitable. It supports up to a professional camera with 600mm f4 lens. The included drag control and flip-lock make it easy to adjust and operate.
Expectations: It’s much better if it can be a little lighter thought it’s the most suitable support equipment for extra telephoto lens and heavy camcorders/cameras.
Many people are not willing to take tripod for the extra weight and inconvenience. However, after the shooting, it is easy to find that the photos are defocus or virtual because of the lack of unstable support to the camera and lens.
A stable tripod can help decrease aperture to control depth of field, solidify dynamic images with slower shutter speed or bulb, shoot original image with daylight and take sharp images, especially when take such serious photography as business and landscape photography. Once you take accurate and sharp images with the support of tripod (beyond the support ability of camera and environment), you’ll be immediately addicted to the new shooting style and the tripod will be one essential photography accessory. It’s true. BENRO C3770TN tripod and S6 fluid head are that important products when referring to photograph birds.