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Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 Carbon Fibre 3 Section Lightweight Tripod
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- Four pre-set independent leg angles give the tripod great positioning flexibility and versatility
- Q90 degrees quick centre column system
- Newly designed ergonomic leg angle selector
- A leveling bubble is integrated on the magnesium top plate
- Top plate designed to maximize lightness and resistance.
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|Sold By||—||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||Amazon.co.uk||Carmarthen Cameras|
|Item Dimensions||11.51 cm x 65 cm x 1.75 m||12.7 x 73.99 x 12.7 cm||10 x 61 x 61 cm||12.7 cm x 43.99 cm x 1.65 m||12.7 x 40 x 12.7 cm||20.32 x 71.12 x 20.32 cm|
|Item Weight||1.65 kg||3.49 kg||2 grams||1.42 kg||1.1 kg||2.03 kg|
|Maximum Height||175 cm||183 cm||170 cm||165 cm||1.42 m||—|
|Minimum Height||11.5 cm||22 cm||9 cm||44.5 cm||34 cm||—|
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The tripod specifically designed for extreme outdoor assignments. the legs and the column are made of 100% carbon fiber combined with magnesium die-casting quick action lever locking collars. Each leg can be independently set at four different angle positions. This professional tripod provides great rigidity and lightness combined with the best professional features such as the patented Q90 center column system. the magnesium top plate integrates a levelling bubble. FULL TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS closed length 65.0 cm minimum height 11.5 cm maximum height 175.0 cm maximum height (with center column down) 140.0 cm weight 1.65 kg load capacity 8.00 kg color black patent patented material carbon fiber tubing + magnesium castings leg cross section round column cross section three-faceted leg sections 3 leg angles (degrees) 23 47 66 89 centre column rapid column tube diameter 28mm attachment 3/8 screw legs tube diameter 29 2 24 8 20 4 mm
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Apart from its great height, this model also has a major design improvement over my other Manfrottos - the central pillar can be re-oriented horizontally in moments. On the other models you have to unscrew a plug at the base of the pillar before it will slide out of its mount. With this model you simply loosen the retaining nut, slide the pillar up, press a small spring-loaded button, swivel the pillar, and that's it. As a consequence of the redesign, however, the carrying bracket that is mounted on the bottom of the central pillar in the other models is now absent. This means that there is only one carrying bracket, mounted near the head of the tripod. But that's a really minor drawback for a tripod that will be a friend for life.
1 Only 6 clasps to undo then tighten up instead of 9 - makes it much quicker to use - don't underestimate this point!
2 Although I could have gone for the 190CXPro3, the recent purchase of a Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 plus 2x converter meant I was on the limit of what the smaller model could sensibly support (Nikon D700 etc).
The 055 version is 150mm longer when closed & nearly 0.5kg heavier with the diameter of the lower legs being nearly doubled. It is also taller which means the centre column is less likely to need to be raised but maybe too high for shorter photographers. Each leg can be ratcheted independently into 4 angles. The steepest allows a low camera position
The lower leg sections slide extremely smoothly & the clamps work very well - I wouldn't anticipate gloves making this tripod difficult to use. The centre column wing nut IS plastic but looks sturdy. The centre column has a button that pulls in a small peg which allows it to either be removed & inverted for macro or rotated through 90 degrees without removing it. Doing so does take a little practice & should obviously never be attempted with a camera attached. If you do choose to use with the column horizontal, make sure the tripod remains balanced - there is no hook to hang a counterbalancing weight apart from the leg collar itself.
Most people will probably never bother using the tripod this way but the design is clever enough not to compromise the great stability.
I purchased a set of spiked rubber feet for my previous model. You pull off the existing plastic caps & insert the bare carbon fibre tubes into the cup part of the spikes that then are clamped around the outside therefore also protecting the tube ends. The rubbers can be screwed upwards to expose the spikes. These spikes will be available for this model as well but are substantial enough to add weight.
Once you have decided on the most suitable model which is partly determined by the weight of your camera/lens combination, you need to decide on how many leg extensions - 3 as with this model or 4 as with the 055CXPro4. This model is longer when closed (therefore more unwieldy to carry) but is much quicker to erect then dismantle - choose wisely!
I bought a Manfrotto carrying strap. One end clips onto the leg collar casting while the other has a Velcro strap & quick release. It works fine. A carrying bag is also available.
These Manfrotto tripods are not up to the same standard of quality & sturdiness of Gitzo models but are much more affordable to non-professionals. The quality of these carbon fibre tripods is still very high & look very well made indeed. Once you have decided on the exact model, all you have to decide on is what head to use. Needless to say, Manfrotto have a wide range on offer.
The legs can be set at various angles, including sideways, so this is quite versatile. Despite being quite tall, it's nice and light to carry around, and can (like all tripods) be made more stable by hanging weights from it. It seems adequately stiff for stills purposes, though will vibrate when disturbed with the column horizontal and set at a longish reach.
With the magnesium head, it feels lighter than a smaller aluminium MN190 & ball head combo - the 055 is usefully taller and stiffer. I wouldn't use it for video, even with a fluid head, except possibly with a tiny camera at a pinch.
A bit pricey - if this is too expensive, then at about half the price, you won't regret getting the aluminium version. The carbon one is quite a bit lighter and more comfortable to hold onto in freezing weather, and marginally stiffer, but the aluminium one has a reassuringly solid and more planted feel and does the job just as well in almost all circumstances. For studio use, in particular, there's little point in getting the carbon version, really, but for carrying it around, you might be swayed by the weight thing, as I was.
Generally, a versatile and sturdy tripod, I've been very pleased with mine.
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