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Benro S2 Video Head (S2)
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- The S2 is a video head capable of supporting cameras weighing up to 5.5 lbs.
- Features a 360 degree panning rotation for smooth camera movements.
- The sliding quick release plate moves forwards and backwards to effectively balance the camera.
- Ideal for location shooting or for studio use.
- Limited 3-Year Warranty.
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Compactness and light-weight performance are the key to the design and features provided on the new series of Benro Video Heads. The Benro S2 Video Head supports up to a 2 Kg video camera.
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The only quibble I have is that the tilt lock also controls the tilt tension so that it is easy to make loose. I wish it had two separate controls, but it's just a matter of getting used to it.
My rig is very heavy as you can imagine in the provided shots and the S8 balances it very well. Again, a more expensive head will have more options but im not complaining at all here.
My ONLY gripe is the plate. I wish it were metal so I do recommend you purchase another plate that is of metal construction. Otherwise, I fully trust my $5,000 worth of equipment on this head.
Second - the head itself. one star off because there seemed to be some chipping on the finish - but at least the chipping was perfectly circular :) and this was purely cosmetic as far as I can tell. It is about the same size as a Manfrotto 502 but has significantly better ergonomics - with all the major controls on the left side and higher weight capacity - specs closer to the 504. My setup consists of either a 5D2 or 7D with a Tamron 24-70, or a similarly sized prime in a cage with an external monitor, a Tascam DR60D, a standard generic mattebox, together with external batteries, clamps, arms, and the plate - probably coming up to about 5-7kg.
> nice drag on pans and tilts
> stronger counter balance than even the 504
> extendable handle gives you good control esp. if you mount it significantly higher or lower than a comfortable height
> smaller than expected - smaller than the 504 and probably slightly smaller than even the 502
> last but not least price for both the head and the plates which cost 1/3 of the Manfrotto plates
THE NOT SO GOOD:
> Finish is not as - for lack of a better word - refined as the Manfrotto video heads but this is just a cosmetic/subjective observation not a comment on quality per se
> Tilt drag almost always gets set to maximum anyway to be able to hold the head and offset the counterbalance.
> There is some initial resistance to making adjustments at the extreme ends of the pan drag
> Both pan and tilt locks do not really lock down as tightly as say locks on an arca swiss or sunwayfoto head - at least not the ones I've had (which is not to say they're loose in the Benro - they will hold the weight of the rig in any given position as long as there is also some tilt drag and counterbalance - but with movement with any leverage - esp. if you mount a slider, it is still very much possible to move the head even with the pan and tilt locks engaged)
> Coating of the plate is a bit coarse making movements to set balance of your rig not that smooth.
> Intermediate setting for counterbalance between 1 and 0 would be nice - Counterbalance at even 1 is still too much when mounting a bare camera plus say a Videomic Pro when shooting light. Counterbalance at 0 + max drag is not an easy way to work with bare cameras.
> Extra plates are unavailable - needed to be sourced through B&H. :)
For the price, the list of negatives above are fairly easy to overlook. There is no single perfect head for all uses.
Will not be mistaken for a Cartoni or Sachtler or OConnor or even Benro's own H8/H10 heads.
From a quality perspective, not even the video equivalent of Sunwayfoto or Markins or other high quality still heads. But clearly, unequivocably better than what Manfrotto or anyone else has at the same price point/model range
I give it three stars because with the counter balance and the drag set to the maximum the movement was good and it has a lot of features for the price. I might be OK with a lighter camera. I sent it back and am going to look into the Manfrotto 502 or maybe the Benro S8.
The one thing I noticed is that there's a bearing inside the tension dial that has a tendency to pop loose and I've had to repair it 3 times already. Not complex, but a bit of a pain.
Most recent customer reviews
One GIANT gripe I have with this though, is that the screw to tighten the QR plate, and the arm of the head, get in the way when the camera...Read more