The Benro 3-Way Geared Head (GD3WH) is a great tripod head, I think it's ideal for MSM tracker star alignment.
Maximising the success while taking MilkyWay photos is and always will be a fine balance between Polar alignment and camera stability and if you don’t do both to the best oh your ability then the final image will suffer.
The Benro 3 Way Geared Head ticks both box’s stability and ease of use.
controlling the polar alignment with the BENRO GD3WH Is supper easy as it offers easy to use fine adjustments on all 3 axis’s without sacrificing stability or quality. it is fantastic quick and easy to use,.
as a result of using Benro 3 way Head my polar alignment has a precision thst I have never been able to achieve on a wedge or a ball-head and the quality of my final image has improved.
The biggest plus this compleat package brings to me personally is if I want to change my shooting position part way through I can, using the Benro 3Way Geard Head and the Move Shoot Move laser I compleat polar alinement in less lab 2 minutes.
Only used this item a couple of times but pleased with the results so far and have no reason to complain.
Works well for my pretty heavy camera.
Exactly what I was after.
A solid X, Y, Z gear head that is solid, until you want to move the setting.
I didn't get to touch a geared head before buying, but I thought this would suit my style. It allows fine adjustment and no drifting or sagging even with large lenses. I was enjoying this, and then when I took it out to capture the lunar eclipse, I found it awesome to be completely zoomed in with a longer lens and be able precisely and continuously adjust to position my shots, all quickly. Loved it! Something you just can't do with a ball head.
The build quality is very good. That being said, it is kinda heavy and bulky. But is expected for what it is. Know that if you are using a tripod without a column, you will most likely need Benro's or someone elses tripod spacer(1 1/2-2"), to allow for full range of adjustment.
This isn't for everyone, or every situation, however is a great choice if it suits your needs.
My only slight gripe is the large adjustment knobs(quick release?) seem to require an excessive of amount of force to engage. This may very well ease with more use. I did eventually touch a Manfroto version that seemed much easier to engage. However it is much more expensive.
I use this 3-way gear head between the tripod legs and the MSM rotator to adjust for polar alignment. It has 3 sets of knobs which control position in 3 planes. The large knobs are used for large changes in position. The knobs are stiff and a bit difficult to use, but once you get things in the ball park position they stay put and you can make fine adjustments with the fine tune knobs and it's much easier than trying to adjust a ball head. The rotator, upper ball head, and camera are all installed over this gear head so things can be top heavy and I find the resistance helpful in getting things aligned.
I labeled the knobs because it can be confusing and require trial and error to figure out which knob does what.
An added bonus is that if you look up your latitude on your phone compass app, you can then set the latitude reading on the elevation scale with the appropriate knob on the 3-way head and already be at the level of Polaris when you start aligning.
This gear head is a must have for easy and fast alignment. I use it with both the laser and scope. Can’t imagine not having it.
When I bought my MSM, I thouht that ball head will be OK.
First two photo sessions using my Vanguard head were a bit tricky. I am not patient person and correct polar allignment with ballhead was really difficult for me. So I ordered this geared head, tried it and immediately felt in love with it. Gears are pretty precise, I did not have any problems with allignment. Overall build quality is great, I love quick release for gears, which allows fast position of head followed by precise fine tuning. So, if you are impatient person too, this head will save you a lot of frustration with polar allignment. And I think, this is a must have, when you will use polar scope.
An eye-opener. I love the Benro 3-way geared head. Great to use in all kinds of photography: macro, astrophotography, landscape. Very easy to micro adjust!