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PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:05 pm 
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After having tried these at the Photokina in Cologne I ordered this pair of 3 section carbon fiber tripod C4770TN from Benro:

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For more large and informative photos of the tripod head over to Benro Sverige.

and the hydro-static ball-head 468MGRC4 from Manfrotto with one of the highest holding powers and best dampening of any ball-head:

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I just set it up and the combination indeed looks and feels very stable.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:51 pm 
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First impressions of the Benro C4770TN tripod:

- Very stable. I purposely selected the version with only 3 sections (and without center-column) because the less sections you have the more stable the tripod is. And I selected the version with the fattest legs (apart from the C5790TN): 36.2mm in diameter at the top. The version 4780 with four sections is 60g heavier (which no-one would really recognize), is more expensive and has really only one benefit: it folds down smaller (610mm instead of 705mm).
- Despite the large diameter legs, the tripod weighs only 2.6kg (without a head) because the legs are made of 8x carbon fiber. My Manfrotto 545B Pro heavy-duty aluminum video tripod of similar stability weighs in at 3.5kg
- The tripod carries a load of 25kg which seems overkill for any reasonable load that I could throw at it, but: The more load the tripod can carry the more stable it has to be build. And that is normally an indicator of how resilient the construction is against vibrations. It also means that you can hang a lot of stuff from the hook (supplied) under the mounting plate to stabilize the tripod even further.
- It has a large anodized aluminum base-plate of 95 mm diameter, that can be rotated (although not smooth) and even taken out completely. You can mount other gear instead for example the geared center column from Benro but make no mistake: This is not your standard 100mm interface bowl, so no chance to mount a standard 100mm half-ball in there.
- The spider (the thing at the top that holds the three legs) is pretty wide to accommodate the 95mm base-plate and has a bubble spirit level to get a good horizontal set-up of the tripod.
- The legs can be folded nearly horizontal so that the base-plate sits only 130mm above ground. Pretty impressive!
- The legs can be extended by twisting the locks and have 60x50mm feet of hard rubber. The feet tilt, swivel and turn in (almost) any direction that you might need. Just make sure they are firmly and flatly (!) placed on the ground. As far as I know the feed can be replaced by spikes if you wish. But the rubber-feet have 12x10mm holes in them through which you can drive some nails into the ground should you need to fix the tripod firmly on/in the ground. You can also take the rubber-feet off which reveals a metal ball-end - for all those people who distrust anything flexible or soft on a tripod.

All-in-all the construction looks deceptively simple but makes a very good and stable impression on me.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:43 pm 
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First impressions on the Manfrotto 468MGRC4 ball-head:

- I would have never believed that a ball-head can be fixed so easily in any position and stay there without breaking a sweat. Even if you try with all your might!
- Well, "any position" that is possible by the construction. That is (a) rotating full circle, (b) bring into portrait-position (more on some snags with this one later) and (c) tilt a full 90 degrees up or down as long as you move in the slots of the construction. Otherwise it's about 20 degrees for and aft.
- more impressions coming soon...

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:03 pm 
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********** Warning: Dont' try this at home**********
Just supported my full weight of 90 kg on the combo: It held!
I did the test only at the first (of 3) angles that the legs could be tilted and only with none or one of the sections extended and the ball-head was fixed upright.
As the carbon tubes get thinner with each section, I didn't dare to extend the last/thinnest section.
And the warning above is no joke: a broken carbon tube can be as sharp and deadly as a knife, so please don't try to prove me one better with your own body!

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