Benro C49TBS4 monopod kit ------
the best combination of flexibility , stability and mobility
Recently, I got a chance to try out C49TBS4 monopod kit which was developed by Benro, the leading photography accessories producer in China. This monopod kit, which offers photographers and videographers near-tripod stability with the benefits of flexibility and superior mobility, is a little bit different from those we used before due to the innovative folding 3 feet at the bottom of the first section.
C49T carbon fiber monopod with S4 hydraulic head, three levers for adjusting, locking and setting, instruction and warranty card are included in the carry case.
holding gesture with camera screwed on C49TBS4
Now I’ll show you my use feeling in detail.
Exterior and specification
This model reaches a height of 1995mm and closes down to 680mm. It weighs 1.58kg, yet can hold up to 4kg. Monopod height can easily be set by twist lock leg grips, which combined with anti-rotation leg sections enable fast and fumble-free set-up.
Made of Benro’s innovative QIHM-8X high intensity carbon fiber material, the biggest tube has a diameter of 36.5mm and even the smallest diameter is 21.8mm, which make the tube is strong and sturdy.
Compared with the C48TBS4, another model of this series, which has much thicker tubes but having a longer closing down length and a shorter extensive length, C49TBS4 has 5 sections, having a much shorter closing down length and a longer extensive length. The 1995mm extensive length is available to most of photographers, even you has a height above 1800mm.
The very top of the monopod is designed with a plate with both 1/4" and 3/8" camera screws, which can be adjusted with the Allen key when screwing the head on. A thick layer of closed-cell nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) at the first section provides a comfortable yet firm grip when carrying you're the Benro monopod, also includes hand strap for extra security.
S4 hydraulic head
The monopod comes with S4 hydraulic head which is versatile, sturdy and easy to operate.
Left side of S4 head
Right side of S4 head
The Benro S4 head features a large interchangeable pan bar handle which can be fixed on the left side for photo and right side for vedio. The ergonomic pan bar handle makes smooth 360° panning easy and allows a tilting range of + 90 / -75 degrees.
a tilting range of-75 degrees
a tilting range of+90 degrees
The matched removable QR6 Quick Release Plate adopts dual insurance and can be adjusted with a 50mm sliding for better camera balance.
QR6 Quick Release Plate
Interchangeable camera screws
There is a spare 3/8" camera screw on the head for special equipments. It is a considerable design.
Hydraulic folding 3 feet base
The system's most striking feature is the folding 3 feet at the bottom of the first section; they're indispensible in slippery conditions or with longer lenses. The base of the feet allows tilting for accurate leveling.
Folding 3 feet base
The folding base supports gear more stably and can be fixed only by putting one foot on one of the feet.
Extensive 3 feet base
Bottom details of 3 feet base
Made of high-performance engineering plastic and matched with metal shelf, the folding base is sturdy and durable. The rubber pads at the end of the 3 feet make the monopod much sturdy for use on slippery ground or grass lawns.
Press the metal button on the side of the foot to release the three feet and the base will lock itself automatically after opening.
adjustable hydraulic cartridge
The spherical joint of the monopod rotates in the hydraulic cartridge and the damping can be adjusted by the complimentary Allen Key.
Use in practice
Flexible S4 hydraulic head
Except for the text description, I’ll show you the use in practice.
Firstly, I’ll show the use of the S4 hydraulic head. I shot some images in Beijing Zoo and the matched gear were Canon EF300mm F2.8 L II lenses and Sony 70-400mm II lenses in G series.
There are some indoor exhibition areas which have poor light and need lower shutter speed. The monopod showed its charming performance for the shooting.
Focal length:400mm Aperture: f/6.3 ISO: 6400
Exposure time: 1/200 Exposure compensation: -1EV White balance: auto
The tilting range of + 90 / -75 degrees the S4 head allows completely meets the shooting need. The tilt drag lock lever and the pan drag lock lever operate smoothly and easily. I screwed the EF300mm L on and it stood on it without any unbalance.
Focal length:300mm Aperture: f/2.8 ISO: 200
Exposure time: 1/1600 Exposure compensation: -1EV White balance: auto
Flexible head joint
Focal length:400mm Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 125
Exposure time: 1/500 Exposure compensation: -0EV White balance: auto
Compared with tripod, monopod is more flexible and easy to move. It is easy to adjust gear and lock target. The Benro S4 hydraulic head makes smooth 360° panning easy and is designed with locking pan bar. When shooting, you’d better set and lock the tension control at a moderate degree which is neither too tight nor too loose. Cooperated with tilting adjustment, the head runs very flexibly and smoothly in both horizontal and vertical direction.
Folding 3 feet base
Secondly, I’ll show you the use of the folding 3 feet base. The spherical joint at the bottom of the monopod rotates easily and smoothly in the hydraulic cartridge. The monopod can make a range of 360 degrees rotating in the horizontal direction with an inclination of 15 degrees, which meets most of the shooting needs.
360 degrees in horizontal with an inclination of 15 degrees
Focal length:400mm Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 6400
Exposure time: 1/1000 Exposure compensation: 1EV White balance: auto
Focal length:400mm Aperture: f/5.6 ISO: 800
Exposure time: 1/1000 Exposure compensation: -0EV White balance: auto
Though there was a little noisy when rotating the monopod for the first time I used it, the flexibility and damping were not affected. It still worked excellently. I think the noisy can be avoided if add more lube to the hydraulic cartridge.
1. The folding 3 feet base is convenient to operate and increases the monopod’s stability. The feet can be folded up and is not troublesome when moving. It is a scientific and considerable design.
Quick opening and folding
2. Though the removable QR6 quick release plate with a sliding adjustable for better camera balance is satisfying , it is more perfect if there is a matched wrench (tool similar to Allen Key) to screw the quick release plate instead of using one coin, I think.
Using coin to screw the quick release plate
3. The S4 hydraulic head is versatile and can be removed to be screwed on tripod. The built-in bubble level allows accurate leveling to prevent uneven pans in setting up level horizons.
Focal length: 300mm Aperture: f/2.8 ISO: 200
Exposure time: 1/100 Exposure compensation: 0EV White balance: auto
Focal length:300mm Aperture: f/2.8 ISO: 800
Exposure time: 1/50 Exposure compensation: -1EV White balance: auto
Totally, Benro C49TBS4 monopod kit is really wonderful support equipment, especially when we need lower shutter speed, it is an essential assistant. Maybe someone think when the shutter speed is 1/1000s, the monopod is useless. Of course not. Usually telephoto lenses are 2-3 kg, plus cameras, the gear are beyond 3kg. It is not an easy work to support the gear only by our hands. Monopods are the suitable assistants to you, making the shooting more comfortable.