Looking for a tripod head that does not wander

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP boblite Regular Member • Posts: 121
I give an A+ to the Benro GD3WH Geared Tripod Head

My purpose in getting the Benro GD3WH geared head was to get the best precision I can for setting my Nikon DF-M1 dot sight that's great for zeroing in on distant objects or taking photos of flying objects or anything else that's moving fast. Step 1 was to choose a distant object with some kind of natural bullseye, zoom in on the distant object, then adjusting the Benro to aim the camera until the center mark on the LCD monitor was covering the bullseye of the distant object. Step 2 was to adjust the dot sight until the dot precisely covered the bullseye.

I give the Benro an A+ for doing this in a test that used a bullseye 450 yards away, namely a circular window with a square center pane. It typically came within six inches of the bullseye (assuming the bricks are standard 8" bricks), and I attach photos that I took at various zoom levels up to 12,000 mm with my Nikon P1000, showing the center point with a superimposed cross, showing that the Benro came very close, but the fine tuning was not quite fine enough to exactly fix the center point on the LCD monitor on the center point of the window. But still, extremely close, and certainly good enough for calibrating my Nikon DF-M1 dot sight to the center point of an LCD monitor.


I found the Benro control knobs unpleasantly difficult to twist so I tried a Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Tripod Head and found it to be about the same level of unpleasantness. I think manufacturers could reduce unpleasantness and improve tuning accuracy if they would include a short lever for each of the three control knobs that would attach to the end of the knob -- at right angles with respect to the knob's circumference -- I attach a photo of a screwdriver that approximates what I am suggesting.

The Manfrotto 410 Junior quick release mount got some bad reviews on Amazon for unreliability. The Benro QR mount looks much more robust.

The Benro advertisements are misleading when they imply the QR mount is Arca-Swiss compatible. None of my Arca-Swiss plates would fit. However I was able to attach a Neewer adapter (called rather verbosely Neewer Aluminum Screw Knob Clamp Arca Swiss Compatible Mini Quick Release Clamp for QR Plate (38mm)) to the Benro quick release plate, which now allows me to use my various QR plates, allowing me to balance long lens cameras. Though the Benro GD3WH seemed to have no difficulty handling the P1000 at its longest zoom using its own very short quick release plate that allows sliding the camera about 2 inches along the rails.

 boblite's gear list:boblite's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 900 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 Nikon Coolpix P1000 +1 more
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