Benro MMA28C Monopod Review

Introduction

My transition from Nikon DSLRs to the Fujifilm X mirrorless system has made my camera bag and main camera and lens combination significantly lighter. As I discuss in my blog post, it has been liberating being able to use the Fujifilm X-H1 and 100-400mm lens attached to a shoulder strap rather than lugging around a heavy and inconvenient tripod and head. That said, it is still useful to have some support, especially when working with a specific subject over a period of time.

While working in South Africa in 2017, I found a monopod to be useful when photographing from their open-sided and roofless style of safari vehicles. Tripods aren’t suitable for use while sitting in vehicles, but a monopod can easily be used to take the strain when the camera is focussed on a subject for a longer period of time. My old metal monopod was rather heavy, weighing in at nearly 1kg and unfortunately its flip locks seemed to fail and it needed regular and significant maintenance.

Back in March I visited the UK Photography Show and felt impressed with the Benro range. They felt lightweight, small when collapsed, good build quality and were available in twist locks rather than flip locks. As my 2018 African photo safaris approached, I decided it was worth investing in a new monopod. After a bit more research, I opted for their MMA28C model.

Benro MMA28C

To give it its full designation, the Benro MMA28C Mach3 9X Carbon Fiber Monopod. It is part of their Mach 3 Collection which according to Benro, feature 9 layers of carbon fibre for increased rigidity, have magnesium fittings and rubber twist locks. Let’s look at the key specs…

Maximum Load: 12 kg (26.5 lbs)
Maximum Height: 154.5cm (60.8in)
Minimum Height: 53.5cm (21.06in)
Weight: 0.47Kg (1.04lbs)
Leg Locks: Twisting
Leg Sections: 4

The MMA28C monopod is shipped in a blue drawstring fabric bag and comes with a spanner to make adjustments to the pivot foot attachment and head bolt. The fabric bag is okay for storage, packing in a larger case or car boot, for example, but it isn’t a strong bag I would use in more demanding circumstances. But, I don’t think it needs one anyway!

The three twist leg locks have rubber grips which feel reassuringly ergonomic. They help make the monopod quick and easy to deploy and offer a good level of resistance when making minor height adjustments while the camera and lens are attached. The foot has a ball pivot mechanism to ensure it remains firm on uneven terrain and the foam sleeve and wrist strap help make it easy to carry and handle.

Benro MMA28C Monopod

I used the MMA28C extensively in Kenya and South Africa this year and I am happy to say it absolutely fulfilled its purpose. It took very little room up in my hold baggage and didn’t cause any weight issues. When it was collapsed it was small enough not to get in the way of camera bags and feet in vehicles. In use it was adjustable to a perfect height to use in a sitting position or when kneeling on the vehicle floor.

I’ve been using this monopod together with the Benro B1 ballhead.

Pros:
Strong, easy and quick to deploy and use, comfortable foam grip for handling, pivot foot, lightweight, twist locks

Cons:
None I can think of!

Another Year Later…

Edited: 13th November 2019.

I’ve been continuing to use the MMA28C and I continue to be pleased with it. I’ve done a fair bit of travelling over 2019 and it’s small size and lightweight has been incredibly beneficial. I’ve also used it on a couple of our Kenya photo safaris with a mixture of gear, a Fujifilm GFX50s medium format and 250mm f/4 lens, the Fujifilm X-H1 with a 200mm f/2 as well as the X-H1 and 100-400mm lens.

When sitting in safari vehicles and using cameras with any form of articulated or folding out rear monitor, I’ve found it very useful to stand the monopod between my thighs with the lens pointing out to my left or right. The rest of the lens rests on my lap and I can easily compose photographs and control the camera while benefitting from this lower angle.

I’m yet to have any grumbles with this monopod, all fixings and fastenings remain strong and easy to adjust and the foam grip is in as good condition as when it was bought.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt the need to use a tripod anymore for wildlife photography, happy days!

More Reviews

For more reviews, click here!

2021-02-24T13:51:17+00:00December 7th, 2018|Blog, Equipment, Review, Wildlife|22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Richard Pieterson December 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    What are your thoughts on the ballhead? I thought you were using it with a Uniqball tripod head when you were using it in South Africa last year?

    • Alan Hewitt December 7, 2018 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I used a Uniqball with my old monopod in South Africa in 2017 but this year I used the Benro B1 ballhead. The Uniqball is a bit over engineered for use on a monopod I think. The Ballhead works well with the monopod. It seems well engineered and does the job.

  2. Alan December 7, 2018 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Is this the monopod you were using on your Northumberland Birds of prey workshop day?

    • Alan Hewitt December 7, 2018 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      Yes, it’s the one you wanted to take away with you!

  3. Jim Roseforth December 7, 2018 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Good read, thank you. Since I got rid of my bigger lenses I’m looking to use a monopod a lot more too. Will it fit into the supplied bag with the B1 attached?

    • Alan Hewitt December 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      I think so but I will check and let you know for certain. EDIT:……. Yes!

  4. Steve December 7, 2018 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    You miss the most obvious ‘con’ – you can’t let go of a monopod like you can a tripod.

    • Alan Hewitt December 7, 2018 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      You’re right, but it’s kind of obvious and it isn’t really a negative of this particular monopod over other monopods. If I were comparing tripods to monopds I may have mentioned that.

  5. Andy Howes December 8, 2018 at 4:13 am - Reply

    Thanks Alan good read and always useful to know why you prefer certain equipment and why.

    • Alan Hewitt December 8, 2018 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Thanks Andy, glad you find it useful.

  6. Anne Chadwick December 8, 2018 at 10:21 am - Reply

    I have the same monopod, brilliant write up and I’d buy one again! Do you have any advice on how to clean it?

    • Alan Hewitt December 8, 2018 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      I’m probably pretty bad at this! If it is necessary I may use some compressed air or even put in the shower to clean dust or sand away. I haven’t had it long enough to feel it is necessary strip it down and see what needs to be cleaned in the locks etc. I might have a look and see what Benro advise and if I do a more thorough clean and some maintenance, I’ll let you know.

  7. Tom December 8, 2018 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I can remember chatting to you on the Farne Islands a couple of years back. You were using your big Nikon lens with a massive tripod and a gimbal head. Do you not use these any more and why did you prefer these to a monopod then?

    • Alan Hewitt December 8, 2018 at 7:12 pm - Reply

      Yes I still have all of that gear. The Nikon lens and camera etc were rather heavy to be handholding all day so I preferred to use it on a tripod. I did use my old monopod now and again on the Farne Islands but due to the weight it was easier to use on gimbal type head which in turn I feel is better on a tripod than a monopod.

  8. Pete Wishart December 8, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    What monopod did you used to have? Do you use a Benro tripod to?

    • Alan Hewitt December 8, 2018 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      I used to have a Manfrotto monopod, can’t recall the model. Sorry! I don’t have a Benro tripod but if I needed to replace either of my existing tripods I’d certainly look at the Benro options.

  9. Theo Jones December 8, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Did Benro give you this for nothing? If so maybe you should add this to your review as a statement of interest. I’m tired of reading gushing reviews from photographers who write good stuff from companies who give them things for free.

    • Alan Hewitt December 8, 2018 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      No. I bought the monopod and the ballhead, I said in my review I ‘invested’. If it was rubbish I would say so and I would also say why.

  10. Liz Kenny December 15, 2018 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    What shoulder strap do you use with the Fuji XH1 / 100-400mm combination? I’ve just bought the 100-400 lens for my XT3 and haven’t yest settled on a strap…

  11. Don Vawter January 21, 2019 at 5:16 am - Reply

    I recently purchased this and am using it in Australia. So far I really like it. My rrs 55mm Ball head is overkill but I don’t want to carry multiple heads. I like the twist locks better than the flip locks on the old Manfrotto. Thanks for the recommendation, Alan

    • Alan Hewitt January 21, 2019 at 11:21 am - Reply

      Great stuff Don, I too like the twist better than the flip locks. They feel so much more secure! I’ll have my Benro ball head B1 in Kenya so you can try that if you wish.

Leave A Comment

Go to Top