Why I Sleep With My Benro Mach 3 Tripod!
For a lot of my journey in photography I have always, like most other togs have been fascinating over camera gear, bodies, fast prime lenses and speedlights. I have moved from one camera system to the next until my ambassadorship with Panasonic Lumix has grounded me, possibly overlooking the importance of not just what the subject is but also what anchors my camera to the ground.
Since I first picked up a camera I’ve always had a tripod of sorts, cheap plastic ones, you know the ones where they only come in grey and black and the levers creek when you tighten them. They never filled me with confidence but they did the job of holding the camera still, along with my speedlights when I went out and shot BMX with my mates. Fast forward a number of years, I was still investing in cheap tripods and while my later purchases were a lot better they really lacked the refinement and quality when I really needed something I could count on.
For the past 15 months I have had my Benro TMA28C Mach 3 carbon fibre tripod equipped with the B2-PU60 Ball head. It’s been up the top of mountains getting bashed on rocks, submerged in the sea and in the freezing arctic. I take it pretty much everywhere and it’s become one of best and most reliable pieces of gear I have.
No matter what the conditions are or what the elements I’m shooting in it just does what it’s meant to do and very well. I love the simplicity of the build and especially the twist lock legs. I was a little skeptical of these as my previous tripods with twist lock legs started to wear and became ever more of an effort to extend as time went on, but these are still as silky as the day I got it!
The head itself still locks and unlocks as smooth as butter. I love the friction control that you get with this as it saves unnecessarily loosening the grip right off if you just need to tweak your horizon levels or composition a little. The bonus for me is that it’s arca swiss compatible. I have been using Peak Design straps and their capture system along with my L- bracket which allows me to easily take it of my shoulder strap to then place it on the ball head.
Being carbon fibre the weight saving is a big bonus and still has a great balance of being sturdy enough. For the most part I have been using the Lumix G9, so a pretty light setup in terms of camera system which may have been a little overkill but with the introduction of the Lumix S Series it has really felt perfect for the bigger camera setup.
Since moving to the Brecon Beacons 18 months ago, I have been wild camping a lot, not just here but also in Snowdonia. It’s no easy hike considering I am carrying a few days worth of kit, warm clothes, food and water, Camera body, 3 lenses and tripod. I’m normally ascending anything from 500-1000m but it’s totally worth it when your rewarded with views that no Air BnB can buy. There is something very humbling when your carrying everything you need on your back for a few days in the mountains. The carbon fibre construction helps keep the weight of the setup to a minimum but also still giving the sturdiness I need, as it can get pretty windy up on the mountains.
Finding some quiet time in the mountains is what I have loved when wild camping, it gives me the chance to slow down as I’m not rushing to get to the location trying to beat the light. By pitching up in the evening near a composition and enjoying the view, you can also find some time to enjoy it for yourself and then simply having a beer, a dram or a hot chocolate (maybe even all 3!) before climbing into your tent, to get a few hours sleep and wake up for some early morning light. There’s nothing more rewarding than brewing up a coffee on the side of a mountain with a view that stretches as far as the eye can see.
I hope you like my insight into how my journey so far has been with the Benro TMA28C and the B2-PU62 Ball head. Like I have said I can’t fault it and I’ve not been kind to it yet still everything is as plush as it was coming out of the box, I have even yet to tighten any of the bolts! So if your looking to upgrade your current tripod then look no further than the Benro Mach 3 range.
If this has inspired you for your first wild camp or you also enjoy a night away in the hills then take a look at a small film me and a good friend put together with Lumix https://vimeo.com/305007394
Find out more about the Benro tripod range here
P.s I don’t actually sleep with my tripod, It comes into the tent with me but we keep things strictly professional between us!