Photography News 100 - Web

First test

PRICE: £480


Most long-lens users would benefit from a gimbal, and support experts Benro recently introduced this model with a unique folding design – making it perfect for travel Benro GH2F

IF YOU ENJOY aviation, action and nature photography with long lenses, your pleasure will be enhanced by a gimbal head. They are really useful devices, although probably not as widely recognised as they should be. Perhaps it is one of those accessories that needs to be deployed in real situations before their usefulness is fully appreciated. Gimbals are available in a wide range of prices and, as is often the case, you get what you pay for. The Benro GH2F sells for £480, so it sits towards the higher end of the market. What you are splashing out on with

GH2F is its fold-up, space-saving design, ideal for travel. The unit comes in two pieces – three if you count the camera plate. Screw the gimbal onto the tripod, then loosen the twist lock so the bracket arm can be brought upright and dropped into place, before securing with the lock. You can do this off the tripod, too. Once locked in place, you can attach the camera and lens fitted with an Arca-Swiss plate. Or you can fit the supplied L-bracket, which also folds to save space, and the working position is achieved by pushing a button and folding out the arm. This bracket gives more flexibility in terms of camera/lens height on the gimbal. Whichever option you take, the camera/lens set-up needs balancing. Slacken off the rotating head (which is quite taut even when fully loosened) and the camera plate knob so you can slide the kit back and forth. Obviously be careful as you do this and keep hold of your kit. You know when you have the centre of gravity when the kit stays level in position even when you are not holding it. Tighten the camera locking knob and you're ready to shoot. Be aware that if you are using a zoom lens, its centre of gravity will vary (unless it’s an internal zoom) depending on the focal length, so set the length you intend shooting with – of course, you can also quickly adjust this when shooting.

SPECS ›  Price £480

›  In the box GH2F, padded case, PU100N camera plate, 1/4in and 3/8in threads ›  Max load 10kg

›  Material Aluminium ›  Dimensions (wxhxl) 10x19.5x17.5cm ›  Weight 1.13kg ›  Contact

When the subject appears, the camera/lens can be swiftly moved to frame the shot or pan with it, without having to unlock anything first, so you get great stability with freedom of movement. It is worth stressing that the engineering quality of the gimbal means operating locks and making adjustments is a delight. Plus, there are extras like 1/4in and 3/8in holes for adding extra accessories to hold. For example, a monitor. There’s also a bubble level and scales, to easily replicate set-ups – provided you keep notes of settings. I used the GH2F set up on a Tortoise TTOR24CLV carbon tripod with three camera/lens combos: Nikon Z 7/Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary with 1.4x converter; OM Systems OM-1/300mm f/4; and a Canon EOS R5/RF100-500mm. Each combination worked perfectly on the GH2F. Setting up was simple and the fluid action of the gimbal smooth. If anything, the head’s action was a tad too taut and I’d prefer very slightly less friction when the head was slackened off, but that is a personal thing. I had nothing heavier, but the gimbal worked perfectly, so bulkier loads up to the quoted 10kg max limit shouldn’t be an issue. WC

GET TO GRIPS Big locking controls make for simple handling and secure locking, even with gloves on

BROKEN DOWN A big sell of the Benro GH2F is its foldable design, making it a unit easy to pack for travel – while set-up is fast and straightforward

Verdict The Benro GH2F is a very fine piece of kit, beautifully engineered and robust. It also handles really nicely and the foldable option is brilliant for portability. It’s not a cheap device, but being so portable gives it an extra appeal so it is worth the investment. PROS Folding design, fast and easy set-up/pack away, good payload rating, beautiful build CONS Nothing

PAYLOAD MATTERS The GH2F’s rated max payload is 10kg, so will easily cope with lenses much bigger and heavier than the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary pictured here

72 Photography News | Issue 100

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