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12-21-2013, 06:55 AM   #1
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Benro Trekker Tripod

I do most of my shooting mounted on a tripod. A lot of that is doing closeups of flowers and greenery typically not 1:1 macro. I have a Manfrotto 055xPROb tripod which works very well for this.

I ran across some information recently on the Benro Trekker tripod. I'm not sure it is even made anymore as I only found a couple vendors that have any. Also the reviews seemed to be limited. Of those reviews I did find, I saw that this Trekker was a bit of a bear to handle being that when you release the one handle for adjustment, all the legs and column come loose together. I am still intreaged by this tripod and found where B&H stocks the mini version which is the one I would want anyway. The mini has non-adjustable legs which of course would limit the height if using it in a conventional fashion.



I did a search here on the forum and found nothing about this tripod. Anyone out there use one of these? I guess I would like to know if there is an advantage to the Trekker compared to my 055xPROb.

12-21-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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All I could think of is it being lighter. As you are aware the 55xprob is sturdy and stable with just about any lens on it, is built like a tank and adjusts lower than the Benbo could hope to achieve. I don't mind the added weight.
12-21-2013, 09:19 AM   #3
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Weight is not an issue for me. To know that the 055 gets lower than the Trekker can is enough for me to just keep using what I have.

Thanks!
12-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #4
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I did forget to mention the Benbo Trekker does have the ability to raise and lower the center column where as the Manfrotto as you know doesn't. When I need to angle my center post I adjust the legs.

12-22-2013, 12:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
the 55xprob is sturdy and stable with just about any lens on it, is built like a tank and adjusts lower than the Benbo could hope to achieve.
Hi Oldbayrunner,

Is this from experience, or are you just guessing from pictures? Bent bolt design tripods (Benbo and Uni Loc) can be locked in positions where the legs are very close to parallel to the ground, and the center column angle is not fixed in relation to the legs, so I'd imagine it can get the camera lower. Also, since we're talking about positioning, the legs aren't fixed to a 120 spread, so it's possible to get the camera much closer to the subject in a lot of awkward situations around immovable objects.

Stan --

I don't know about the Mini Trekker as I've never had one, but I do have an original Trekker and a Uni Loc System 1700 that I use when exact positioning is needed, especially when there are immovable objects that make foot placement difficult with a standard tripod. With the small Trekker, you might need some pretty extreme balance weights to keep it solid with a DSLR, depending on the lens. In any case, my bent bolts can position my cameras in places that my other tripods can't even approach. The setup hassles usually cited -- "like wrestling an octopus" -- are mostly an inside joke among bent bolt users as these tripods are a whole different ball game from any others. After a little practice, they're very easy to set up. One tip though -- always have a good grip on the camera or center column when you unlock the mechanism.

Historically, some of the Benbo's locking mechanisms were prone to slippage -- this was quite a while ago -- I remember seeing DIY mods on the 'net that cured the problem. This was quite a few years ago, and the one I have never has shown this problem.

B&H sells Benbo, and have a liberal return policy. It might be worth buying one to try, and return it if it doesn't deliver.

Scott
12-22-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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I stand corrected on it's legs not being able to get close to paralell to the ground, I hadn't seen anything as yet showing the ability of the legs going perfectly parallel to the ground so I was under the wrong presumption. Still and all I don't see given the stablity and the flexability the OP's Manfrotto has and enjoys now it being worth the added expense outside of wanting a lighter tripod. Plus at a max height of 61" vs 70" means one has more stability by not having to raise the center column. I'm 6'4" and with my ball head on my Manfrotto 055xPROb my view finder is a tad off eye level without raising the column at all and yet I can take it down to parallel 3" off the ground. But hey that's just my lines of thinking.
12-22-2013, 03:57 PM   #7
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To avoid confusion the Trekker line is made by Benbo.

FWIW I have always wondered if the company that makes Benro chose such a similar name to try to capitalize on Benbo's stellar reputation...

Chris

12-22-2013, 04:03 PM   #8
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Your input is always appreciated Scott!

As Oldbayrunner has pointed out, I really haven't found my current 055 tripod limiting - that was until I saw a picture of the Trekker with the center column being adjustable in the horizontal position.

Your suggestion of trying one from B&H is a good idea - just that I hate sending stuff back unless there is a problem with it. I know B&H is great about returns - I've used their return policy a couple times as I have absolutly no way to try any gear hands on where I live.

I really like my 055 tripod and agree with Oldbayrunner - I am 6'1" and have never had to raise the center column in the upright position which is important as far as stability is concerned.

And as I would like to try the Trekker, that would also mean the purchase of another ball head. My current ball head is the Manfrotto hydrostatic 468MG which I just love. I don't want to have to switch heads all the time and just don't have the extra funds to buy a second one right now.

Thanks to both of you for your valuable insight. I may just try one out from B&H if I can find a decent ball head to put on it that I can afford.
12-22-2013, 04:55 PM   #9
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Many years ago I watched a photographer using a Benbo and wanted one, the versatility was unlike anything else available at that time. Back then, early 1970's, I was using a hideously expensive Gitzo which is superb, and still used today. But I liked the ground level ability, the way one or two legs could point skywards, of the Benbo.
Eventually I got one, only last year. At first I wondered why the hell I'd bothered to spend good money on this metal octopus with a mind of its own. I even offered it to a friend for half what I'd paid for it. He didn't like it either.
I persevered, I trapped my fingers once or twice, cursed it plenty. But slowly I came to love the stupid thing and realised that it is actually the ideal tripod for a nature photographer. Now, I wouldn't part with it. I still have the old Gitzo, and a few other tripods, but the Benbo is now my 'go to' tripod.

It just takes some getting used to, it's different and demands a different way of handling. Once mastered it's superb.
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