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Old Sunday 24th May 2015, 11:30   #1
Nick Cable
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Join Date: Feb 2008
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Benro GH2 gimbal - stiff vertical movement

Hi All,
I have just bought a Benro GH2 gimbal head and and have a canon 500mm Mk1 prime with camera mounted on it.

First impressions is that vertical movement it is very stiff. In fact when you try to balance the lens on the head it just stays pointing up at any angle and will not gravitate back to the horizontal position. Not very impressed as it is almost impossible to pan around to find birds. Horizontal movement is fine though.

I also have a wimberley sidekick which I have used for years without a problem, it has a very good movement and is a dream to use with the same setup.

Has anybody experienced problems with the Benro GH2 or found a way to loosen the movement. Have I been unlucky with the one I have purchased or is this a common feature.

I would be very interested in people's comments before I send this back...

Thanks very much,
Nick
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Old Monday 25th May 2015, 20:16   #2
johnf3f
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A friend of mine had a similar problem with a different Chinese made gimbal head. In his case it was the lateral movement that was the problem. He stripped it down cleaned out the concrete (sorry grease) and re-lubed it with Moly grease. It is now every bit as smooth as my Winberley 2.
However seeing that you have paid for a decent quality head (his was only 50/60 quid) I would just send it back for replacement.
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Old Monday 25th May 2015, 20:27   #3
Nick Cable
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Hi johnf3f,
Many thanks for replying. It is going back tomorrow. It cannot take the weight even though rated at 23kg.
Just taking the weight of the lens in my hand frees the vertical movement, but I cannot balance or pan anything diagonally.

Thanks again, appreciate your time
Nick
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Old Wednesday 27th May 2015, 00:18   #4
johnf3f
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Cable View Post
Hi johnf3f,
Many thanks for replying. It is going back tomorrow. It cannot take the weight even though rated at 23kg.
Just taking the weight of the lens in my hand frees the vertical movement, but I cannot balance or pan anything diagonally.

Thanks again, appreciate your time
Nick
Very interested in your observations about this head. I have seen them and played with them (but never mounted a lens on one!). They looked reasonably robust so I am quite surprised at you comment about not being able to handle the weight of a 500 F4. I use the Wimberley 2 but a friend is on the lookout for a good gimbal and was considering the Benro for his 600 F4. After reading what you have found I will warn him off - thanks.
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Old Wednesday 27th May 2015, 12:29   #5
Nick Cable
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Hi John,
yes I was disappointed as the build quality seems good. It's the design that lets it down. I have a wimberley sidekick and used to have a wimberley mk ii some years ago, so perhaps I noticed because I am used to the very fluid movement of these. in any case if you have a lighter lens you may not notice the issue, but a heavy 500mm f4 and large camera is unworkable so I can only conclude a 600mm would be worse !
I would definitely recommend a sidekick to your friend as a cheaper alternative to a full gimbal.
Cheers,
Nick
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Old Wednesday 27th May 2015, 22:05   #6
johnf3f
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My friend is currently using an older model Jobu head. The movements are extremely good - very smooth even more so than my Wimberley 2! The problem he has is that the lens vibrates badly on the Jobu head. If you tap the lens then horizontal vibrations will carry on for several seconds. This is not through the viewfinder it is quite visible from several feet away! The Jobu head is very robust and well made but I think they may have chosen the wrong metal alloy in it's construction.
The Benro, among others, was on his list but I think we will cross it off.
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Old Wednesday 2nd September 2015, 16:56   #7
Erospa
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Hi All

I just bought a Benro GH3 Gimbal head and have exactly the same issue. I have tried it with both 600mm and 150mm lenses mounted onto my Nikon D810. It is useless and worse than a Manfrotto 3 way with resistance settings for panning with either of these lenses. For 350 it is a piece of junk.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2015, 17:14   #8
Erospa
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I sent the Benro GH3 back and have just today taken delivery of a Jobu HD Mk IV. What a difference...chalk and cheese. This is an amazing head and for just 70 or so more than the GH3 it really is worth it. My advice, borne out of bitter experience, forget Benro and go Jobu.
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Old Sunday 6th September 2015, 11:28   #9
Vespobuteo
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chinese stuff can be pretty uneven in quality, I have had the GH2, one with very low serial number, it worked quite ok, had a slight problem locking it down horisontally though, and some leaking grease, not a big issue, but eventually I sold it and upgraded to Wimberly,
if you invest in a big expensive lens, get the best support for it is my advice.

also have two Benro fluid heads on my Gitzo tripods, the Benros are ok for the price, but materials sure doesn't seem as high quality as some more expensive alternative, but I like that Arca-Swiss plates can be used om the S2p, and S4p heads, and the heads are lightweight.
but probably will upgrade those heads when I find something better with arcs-plate mounts,

as with most gear, you get what you pay for.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Sunday 6th September 2015 at 11:33.
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Old Saturday 19th December 2015, 15:37   #10
Ad B
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 25
Hi,

I bought a Carbon Nest NT-530H gimbal head.
I didn't like a few details, but I won't quite that easy...
Here's my "story":
http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=316290

Ad B
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