-My Tripod, A Love Story-
I originally published this review on Photography-On-The.Net. Since then I have gotten quite a few friends interested in Horus Bennu tripods. More than a dozen people who have seen mine bought one for themselves and love it just as much! I am reposting my review here on my blog to share the love. If you are looking for a new tripod or ball head, this is a brand to seriously consider! I've had mine for about two years now and going strong. Oh and before you ask, no, Horus Bennu isn't sponsoring me or paying me for this. I just love my tripod and really feel that it is an amazing bargain. Without further ado...
Review of: HorusBennu C-3540V Carbon Fiber Tripod & LX-5 Ball Head Combo
I ordered the HB C-3540v and LX-5 set on 8/8/11 from the eBay.com seller Imkstore. With the expedited shipping option, the set was sent out the next day from their site in Korea and arrived to me in PA on 8/12/11.
C-3540v Tripod Stats:
Folded Height / Ext Height / Ext Height with CC: 21.26in (54cm) / 56.69in (144cm) / 65.74in (167 cm)
Weight: 3.41lb ( 1.55kg)
Leg type: 9x Carbon fiber, Anti-rotational legs standard
Leg sections: 4 sections @ 31mm, 28mm, 25mm, 22mm
Max Load: 26.45lb (12kg)
Feet: Variable spike standard
Bag: Yes, zippered, handle & removable padded shoulder strap
LX-5 Ball Head Stats:
Height: 4.13in (10.5cm)
Weight: 1.34in (610g)
Max Load: 26.45lb (12kg)
Ball size: 44mm
Ball head to Tripod attachment: 3/8, 1/4in dual screw
Type: Knob (not QR lever),
Includes: Plate, and blue logo velvet pouch slip cover
As promised, here is my review of the HorusBennu C-3540V Carbon Fiber Tripod & LX-5 Ball Head Combo. Im going to expand upon my initial review as seen in the Horus Bennu Products thread. This is my first serious professional tripod so I cant use extended experience to compare it to its peers. Im going to try my best to give a thorough review of it. I was looking for a tripod (and head) for a long time and checked out the Feisol CT-3441s as well as the usual Manfrotto 055prob, Benro C585, etc. It ended up being a close one between the Feisol and HB. I chose the HB because: it comes with anti-rotational legs standard, the kit with head is considerably cheaper than just the legs of competitors, and it has variable spike feet.
My experience with the eBay seller Imkstore was excellent. Ive heard that other sellers are bit more difficult to deal with but I had no issues. Imkstore was quick to respond to me and I had no trouble understanding them. I went with them because they offered expedited shipping that was calculated as taking less than a week. Other seller’s expedited shipping is quoted as taking almost the same time to arrive as their standard shipping (several weeks) so it makes no sense to me. Also, Imkstore had the “make an offer” feature and I was able to save a bit on the price by haggling. This set does come straight from Korea so if any I issues do arise, it isn’t as easy as walking into a local store for a return or exchange.
I’ll start off by saying that the legs on this tripod are really thick! The skinniest section is 22mm and the largest section is 31mm diameter. Despite having such thick legs, the tripod is extremely light. Weight was an important factor in my tripod selection and I had no trouble carrying the C-3540V while hiking yesterday. Overall the set up really exceeds expectations. It is very solid and stable and comes across as high quality. In fact it looks very much like a Gitzo, wink wink.
The tripods that Ive used in the past had flip locks on the leg sections so the twist locks were a new thing for me. I was surprised to find how quickly I got used to them. They require no force to open or close, and once closed stay snug. The build quality on the locks is pretty good, but they are plastic so I wouldn’t be too rough on them.
The 9x carbon on the tripod legs impresses me, but Im not so sure about the matte finish on them. The legs aren’t rough or bumpy, rather its almost like the feeling of a chalk board. It could just be that Im used to aluminum tripods and my inexperience with cf models. Its not terrible its just odd and I am nit picking every little thing I can think of to give a full review. Ill update if I ever figure it out.
The height of the tripod seems to be pretty spot on. Im pretty short at 5ft 5 inches, any shorter and I would have some trouble. Without the center column extended, I have to stand up a bit tall (not quite tippy toes) to look through the camera. So this works almost perfectly for me and I think taller photographers would have no issue, especially if you extend the column.
The C-3540V does have 4 leg positions: closed, standard, macro, and almost flat. When using the macro position you need to raise the cc just slightly. When using the flat position, you must raise it almost all the way. All of the positions are very stable and I didn’t notice any excessive vibration or wobble. There is a drop down hook in the cc where you can hang a bag or weight for added stability. Also, with the variable spike feet, you can alter your traction as needed.
The ball head also feels very solid and the movements are buttery smooth. With a 44mm ball it is very strong but has a large footprint. (I don’t see this head being able to be used on most of the travel tripods that fold inward onto themselves.) It locks up tight with my 7d + 70-200mm +1.4xTC and definitely could handle much more. There is no droop, and I don’t have to crank the knob to tighten it. The red color put me off at first but it’s a muted red and it doesn’t bother me as much as Id thought. I do still wish that it was black but Its not a big deal.
At first, I wished that the LX-5 had a quick release plate, but after using it I find that I like the knob better. It feels more secure. In general the knobs of the head are very secure and don’t require force to open or close. The rubber grips on the knobs aren’t fixed to the knob itself and will rotate if you force it closed too hard. I don’t really consider it to be a negative thing or a con to the design, as it saves you from over cranking the knob. They don’t rotate until you turn it when there’s no more to turn. I hope that makes sense.
All in all I feel like I can trust this tripod with my gear and not have to worry about it. The only things that I don’t like about it are cosmetic and pretty inconsequential. Im very happy with it thus far and Ill update with any thoughts or issues as time goes on. If anyone has any questions or requests for specific pictures of it, please let me know. Thanks for reading!
Summary AKA Read from here to skip wall of text:
I love the set and highly recommend it because: very light, great price, anti rotational legs, carbon fiber, several leg settings, 44mm strong ball head.
Recap of Cons:
1.) As far as I know you can only find this set up on eBay straight from Korea, therefore if you have any issues they will be more complicated by a distance and language barrier. I haven’t had an problems so far, thankfully, so I cant speak on their customer service.
2.) The finish on the legs of the tripod is very matte, to me it feels a bit odd but it could just be how cf tripods feel.
3.) The ball head is red, it is a muted red, but its still red. I find now that I have it that the color doesn’t bother me.
Pictures! My pc is down so this entire thing was put together and uploaded from my phone so please forgive my unprocessed images and typos!