Although nowadays the trend is for Ball heads, especially the Arca-Swiss® style which by all means are more versatile and convenient to use, there is still a need for the classic 3-Way heads.
And this need may be described by one word "Precision".
When it comes to Macro Photography, Lab Photography or any other work that requires precise placement of the camera a 3-Way Pan and Tilt Head is more convenient.
HD-38 is on the top of Benro's line of 3-Way heads, which makes it the bulkiest and heaviest of three models but also the sturdiest.
The reasons I picked this model are:
a. It was best fit to the Benro A-298 EX Versatile Tripod,
b. its capability for a 12 Kg (26.46 lbs) load and after a short test
c. its rock-solid quick locking in all planes.
My intention was and is, to use it for Macro work, product and still photography.
|Product specifications and a QC stamp come are printed on a shop-display card..|
The Quick Release
|The PH-10 QR plate measures 5.9 cm x 6.6 cm ( 2.32"x 2.6") has two long rubber anti slip pads and an 1/4"-20 captive screw running in a 3.0 cm captive slot.|
The screw may be replaced with an optional 3/8"-16 captive screw.
|The captive screw can be tightened easily by the D ring, a flat screwdriver or a wrench.|
Next to the screw there is a rubber tap that permits the removal of the screw and/or its replacement with a 3/8" one.
|The double release lever, when opened stays put and automatically locks when the plate is inserted and pressed back in place.|
|Top view, shows clearly the Quick Release security twin-lever lock and the horizontal bubble level.|
|Left view, where the lateral movement graduated scale is shown.|
|Front view showing the tilting and panorama scales.|
Here it is clearly obvious that even the edge of the quick release plate is not above the pivoting point of the panning base and that affects the center of gravity. For most uses this off center attachment of the camera, may be a disadvantage with heavy equipment so I point it out.
However, for me that rises no problem but a benefit for Macro work and I will explain why in Fotomate LP-01 Geared Macro Rail Review which is another review that follows.
|Driver's sit, or Back view (where we usually stand to operate the head).|
|The panning base has a 3/8" thread to be mounted on tripods with similar screw stud.|
|With the addition of a Fotopro QAL-500 Arca-Swiss® compatible Quick Release clamp...|
|The head may acquire two more attributes.|
1. It accepts Arca compatible camera/lens plates especially for Macro lenses with foot and long lens plates
2. Adds a second bubble level for portrait position.
This review is meant to describe the benefits and shortcomings of the Benro HD-38 head as it is the base for my idea in: Create an Economy 5 Way head which follows.
I hope you found this review useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2010 S.C.Vlachos
Price and Availability:
The Benro HD-38 3 Way pan-tilt head had been replaced by HD-3 head available from Amazon, or from eBay.
If you are interested in the above product(s) or any other product please consider using the relevant link(s) to make your purchase and help support this site. Your support is needed and greatly appreciated.
Benro A-298 EX Versatile Tripod Review
Fotopro QAL-500 5cm Quick Release Clamp
Fotomate LP-01 Geared Macro Rail Review