I recently got a Benbo Mk2 and am wondering how best to carry this on a hike.
I am looking to use it for some MF wildflower images this spring (which it should be PERFECT for), but with the spread of the legs being so wide, I can't figure out how best to carry this beast.
I used a Benbo Mk 2 for years and when on a hike I always carried it with the camera left on and set ready to shoot with the legs in the open position but with the centre column pushed back at the same angle as one of the legs. I then placed it across my shoulders with two legs one each side of my head over the front and the third leg and centre column hanging down my back. All legs are withdrawn to the minimum height. With a little practice you will find that you can balance it so that you don't have yo hold it leaving your hands free. I found it surprisingly comfortable because the weight was spread, but the real benefit was that when photographs presented themselves the camera and tripod were ready for virtually instant use.
You have got yourself a really versitile tripod even if it can be a brute. I credit the Benbo with getting me at least one image every time I went out that I could not have got with any other tripod. I still have mine but don't use it because of the weight and the ravages of getting old so I retired it and purchased the Gitzo Mountaineer carbon fibre tripod simply because of the weight difference.
Get the Gitzo strap, it has two loops, one at each end. Best way to carry a tripod. I am not a fan of carrying the camera on the tripod, have seen and heard many horror stories.
I dropped my Kodak 2D 5x7 off my tripod once and I caught my camera with my foot. That saved the day.
I recently replace the centre column on the benbo 2 with a centre-tilt bracket. This makes the tripod lighter but even more difficult to carry. I resort to simply carrying it in my hand and constantly changing hands!! I would dearly love to see a Benbo 2 in carbon-fibre!!!!