The Practical Review
Isn't it both amazing and quite frustrating that we as consumers must weed through what seems like hundreds of reviews just to gather enough information about a single product that ONE review should be able to produce? After literally reading hundreds of reviews for a camera body, lenses, tripods, etc, I feel like the work and time should go towards saving someone else from the toil of doing the same.
First of all, if you're like me, you're out looking for the tripod recommended by Scott Kelby's great, simple book, The Digital Photography Book. He recommends the Bogen 3001BD as the most affordable tripod which is still of good build quality. This recently has become the Bogen Manfrotto 190XPROB which is very, very similar to the 055XPROB. The differences are as follows:
055XPROB - can support 15.4 pounds
190XPROB - supports 11 pounds
055XPROB - leg diameters 29.4, 25, 20 mm
109XPROB - leg diameters 25, 20, 16 mm
055XPROB - min/max. height 3.9"/70.3"
190XPROB - min/max. height 3.3"/57.5"
055XPROB - weighs 5 pounds
190XPROB - weighs 4 pounds
Otherwise, they are the same basic tripod. Both are made out of patented aluminum and have the same features such as Bogen's fold-down center column which allows you to get great macro shots as close as a few inches from the ground and they both have the newer flip type leg locks which are a little stiff when new but hold the legs nice and tightly.
In summary, if you're looking for the best, cheapest tripod for your point and shoot or entry level digital SLR, I'd recommend the 190XPROB for the few dollars in savings, the pound you save in weight, and all of the professional quality and features of a Bogen tripod. If you are like me and are using that entry level DSLR and are looking to upgrade in the future with a larger camera body, larger lenses, flashes, etc, I'd recommend the 055XPROB for it's larger size (I'm 6'1"), heavier construction and higher load capacity. All in all, they are both excellent tripods that are nearly identical. If you ask me, I'd go with the 055XPROB regardless; is the fifteen dollars and the pound in difference really worth gaining, in sacrifice of a sturdier tripod? I don't think so. I hope this helped.
I purchased this product from OnlineShopDealer on Jan 13th. The shipping was amazingly fast and the price was the best I could find on the internet, hands down. The one I ordered actually shipped from one town away so it arrived next day! It was a perfect transaction.
An excellent Choice
I purchased these tripod legs along with the 488RC4 ballhead, and I've been very happy with both.
I use this 'pod with a Canon 40D with a battery grip and a variety of lenses. No problems--this tripod holds everything fine, even in horizontal position.
The tripod offers great flexibility--I chose it because of how easy it is to flip the center column horizontal. This is a must-have feature if you're into macro, and very helpful for everyone else too. Makes ultra-low angle shooting a breeze. There's a built in bubble level which becomes redundant if using the 488RC4 head, but if you opt for a head without any levels it could be useful, although I should point out it's way easier to adjust your head to be level than your legs, regardless of brand.
The 055XProB is rated to something like 15.4 lbs--so of course it's a little heavy. I don't get why so many complain about that--if you need this level of support and you don't want the weight, sorry--you just have to fork over the $$ for a carbon fiber.
-Ability to flip center column horizontal
-Felxible (4 different angle options for each leg, individually adjustable)
-Easy to set up/ break down
-Supports over 15 lbs
It's a great, pro-level tripod that will handle just about any DSLR equipment you can mount on it. Also use it with your medium format gear, and I think it could even handle some large format equipment.
I did tons of research before buying this. There are some other good options out there if you aren't particular about the horizontal column thing, namely the Slik 700 Pro DX. Check it out. It's got rave reviews, and is considerably cheaper. Also there are Induro tripods which have the center column option. I have tried some in a camera store, and they are very sturdy.
055XPROB was called 3021BPRO, a great tripod
It is a great, sturdy tripod. The only down side is it is a little heavy. But this is what you pay for being sturdy.
Bogen/Manfrotto recently changed the SKU# from 3021BPRO to 055XPROB. Until 1-2 months ago, OnlineShopDealer had 3021BPRO listed, with dozens of glowing reviews. Unfortunately, onlineshopdealer seems to have removed the 3021BPRO from its database and gone with those reviews. Too bad for the consumers and onlineshopdealer's business. But you can search the Internet for reviews of 3021BPRO.
PS. I posted my original review under the product 055XPROB. But onlineshopdealer moved it to 055XB. So I re-post it with the update.
Solid construction; handles multiple tough environments well; center column a bit flimsey; a touch heavy though
In terms of the "Cons" related to this product, the #1 is (quite obviously) that it is a heavy tripod and not something you'd want to lug around when camping or such. Of course, if you're looking for a light tripod, then go for the carbon fiber line of products (and shell out 2-3 times as much as this Manfrotto).
The only other "negative" aspect of this tripod is in relation to the center column. I guard my remarks because each and every single tripod I own (even $800+ carbon fiber legs) have a relatively weak center column. Nevertheless, point is that the center column should only be used in conditions that are relatively mild (e.g., wind not blowing, steady, etc). Otherwise, you'll have lousy photos given the slight wobble that occurs.
On the flip-side, the "Pros" relating to the 055XPROB tripod are legion. First and foremost, I was exceptionally pleased to find this tripod operated (e.g., the legs dis not slip and gripped well) flawlessly in the various challenging climates I put it through. That is, I shoot weddings and portraits professionally and many times I'm on the beach with a lot of salty spray coating the legs or perhaps getting sand in/around the locking mechanisms for the legs. Even with these elements that have proven to otherwise cause other inferior products to fail (i.e., after clamping a leg down the leg would nevertheless slip when the slightest bit of weight was applied), this Manfrotto remained solid as a rock. In fact, I have a Manfrotto monopod and in identical shooting conditions as I described above, it's locking mechanisms constantly fail.
In sum though, this is the most solid, reliable, and sturdy tripod for it's price (or 2 x it's price for that matter). Highly recommended.
055XPROB a Terrific Buy
After much deliberation, I chose to purchase the Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs from OnlineShopDealer, along with the Manfrotto 486RC2 Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release.
- Super sturdy with nice thick leg construction and sturdy leg locks.
- Easy leg adjustment with 4 leg-angle settings
- Perfect height (for person 5'11") without even raising center column, which means a much sturdier shot
- The horizontal center column feature is much sturdier than I had anticipated, and provides for some amazing angles
- The independent legs, leg-angle settings and quick leg locks make for quick and easy setup on uneven terrain
- Without paying over a G for a carbon fiber tripod... a sturdy tripod means a heavy tripod
- This tripod does not have spiked feet for loose terrain, but they are available extra for a price.
This is a fantastic tripod. The 486RC2 Ball Head is a perfect addition. The ease of use and ability to customize for your shots is unparalleled. I am more than happy with my purchase!
Before purchasing the 055XPROB I thought the horizontal center tube to be a superficial selling point, but I find that it comes in handy more often than not.
When positioning the tripod very low to the ground with legs spread, it can be tricky to get close to the camera while strattling the tripod legs. The horizontal center tube eliminates that by putting the camera off to the side, so at most you will strattle one of the legs.
Well priced Tripod, that looks good outside and in the studio.
I have bought many tripods througout the years. Lightweight tripods, a sweet carbon fiber tripod, and several that have proved to be nothing more than junk.
In all that time, my favorite go to tripod is this Manfrotto Pro Tripod. It is well designed, looks great, and holds up well with extensive use.
I go hiking 2-3 times a month, and use my tripod several times a week outside, I also use it inside some.
The benefit of this tripod is, it is built like a tank. It can support your heavy body camera with a heavy telephoto lens.
Please note that this tripod is a professional tripod, and as such, they expect you to have your own head. I highly recommend this Head, as it is the most versatile out there, and works perfectly with this tripod. Manfrotto 322RC2 Horizontal Grip Action Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect Plate (3157N)
Recently I went shooting with a friend in the mountains, I had my camera with battery grip hooked up on this tripod and head taking photos of some ice formations, when the wind started blowing hard, my friends tripod flew out from underneath him, causing his camera to drop and break (always wear your neck strap, you use it to protect your camera, its not a fashion statement!) my tripod didn't budge.
The only downside to this tripod is the weight, and the fact that it does not come with any carrying device, meaning you need to carry it with your hands (how much would it cost to throw in a cheap bag?) must we have to pay 25 for a strap? 90 for the bag? But I digress.
If I had to do it over again, i would always buy this tripod. If it got stolen, or fell off a cliff, there would be no choice. I love this tripod, you cannot go wrong with it, and I highly recommend the head I mentioned above. It will support a heavy camera with a long lens. They also look well together, as if they were designed to be together =).
5 out of 5
ps, another cool feature, is the tripod has "hand warmers" meaning when your out in the cold freezing, the grips do not freeze your hand off, so you can still work with and touch your tripod (but try not to touch the cold metal!).
Overall I'm really impressed with this tripod. I do not think you can do better. If your wanting one for the studio, you could use this one as well, it will be harder for little kids to accidentally knock it over. (but can still happen) but it will NOT turn over because of a breeze. I mainly use my on nature hikes and trips.
I recommend buying one of the following if you go hiking (I own both)
Manfrotto Tripod Bag Padded 80Cm or Manfrotto 3044 CARRYING LONG STRAP - Carrying strap - gray
055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs Rock!
Just a brief review here: Having demoed the 055XPROB at a local camera store, I made the decision to purchase it because of both its sturdiness and flexibility. Ease of use was an added benefit. So far, it has exceeded my expectations. I added a Bogen-Manfrotto 322RC2 Horizontal Grip Action Ball Head which adds to the versatility of my setup. I shoot a Canon Canon Digital Rebel XTi with a variety of medium sized lenses, for comparison. In summary, I think the 055XPROB is perfect for the prosumer: durable, versatile, reliable, and affordable. Hope this helps!
Good light-weight versatile tripod
I have only just received my new 0X55PROB Tripod for which I have also received concurrently, a 808RC4 3-way Pan Head with Quick-Release Plate.
I had visited some camera stores and checked out the difference between Carbon Fiber and this aluminum tripod and hey, the aluminum 0X55PROB is light enough. And yes, it is a versatile tripod. Compared to the Vivitar 2250 I purchased in Hong Kong back in 1978, this tripod is not only larger, but more easily adjusted, more adaptable and includes extra features. The Vivitar was by comparison, a cheap toy tripod bought a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
I had done my homework and wanted a tripod that would be sturdy and would comply with a number of wants and needs.
1) It should have independently adjustable legs, but also allow varying spread angles. The legs should allow outdoor setup on uneven surfaces and accommodation to obstacles.
2) The head mount should be reversible, allowing the camera to be mounted below and between the legs, allowing for macro shots close to the ground.
3) The tripod should accommodate different heads, different screw size cameras and attachments and if possible, lighting rigs
4) The tripod should support a reasonably heavy load.
The 0X55PROB satisfies all of these wants and needs.
The legs are independently adjustable and have spread detentes allowing for four separate spread angles for each leg, including nearly 80 degrees to allow perching across boulders or other obstacles.
The mounting/adjustment bar can be reversed so that the camera and head can be positioned low to the ground, between the tripod legs.
Further the mounting/adjustment bar can swing out horizontally, allowing downward or upward shots, off-center from the tripod. With the bar horizontal, lighting and additional fixtures can be attached to the opposite end of it. Nice.
Now the lamentations ...
First, Manfrotto's packing leaves much to be desired. The tripod arrived in a box without cushioning, floating around freely in the box during shipping. It's a wonder I received it without damage and I now understand fully why I have read some people rating Manfrotto products low due to damaged legs and such, recurring even after the replacement is shipped. Some bubble wrap would do wonders, but alas, it was not in the box with the free-floating tripod when received.
Second, A hand crank on the mounting/adjustment bar would be nice. With heavy load on top, loosing up the lock to lower or raise the head can result in a surprise! The head will plummet downward under its weight and gravity. Rotating a crank would prevent that surprise. Else, yes, it is easy to adjust ... just maintain a firm grip.
As an aside, one might need to have the common sense to realize that with the bar horizontal and extended far off center, the weight of the camera and head load will cause the rig to be unstable to the point of flopping over. This can be countered in a couple ways ... 1) Open the legs up wider to give the tripod a wider support base, 2) Extend the bar in the direction of and directly over one of the legs and 3) provide a counter-balance or other support for the bar. No tripod that I have read about or investigated overcomes this limitation in any other way that what can be done with the 0X55PROB as it comes.
None of these lamentations leaves me unhappy with the product. It does after-all fulfill all the wants and needs I had and it did arrive in one piece. :)
It's a good tripod and I look forward to putting this puppy to good use.
If you are on the fence about spending a lot of money on a tripod just remember that you may never have to spend another penny on it if you buy a really good one now. I know quite a few people who first went with a really cheap tripod then broke it or grew out of it, then got a slightly better one, outgrew it once again after purchasing better lenses and bodies and then finally got the tripod they should've had all along. Just skip all those unnecessary steps and make one of the best purchases an avid photographer can make.
Honestly though, if you are not the type who enjoys carrying a lot of weight on your back, this may not be the tripod for you. Simply put: it's heavy. Once it's outfitted with a solid head, it becomes really heavy. Though that's actually the reason why I bought it. A really heavy tripod means lots of stability. I did consider getting a carbon-fiber one, but it just felt too light for my taste. I am aware that carbon-fiber is better at dampening vibrations, but it won't do you any good if your camera gets knocked over by a strong gust of wind or a heavy surge of water if you happen to be near such place.
In any case, this happens to be one of the best metal tripods you can buy. If the weight is not an issue then buy with confidence. Otherwise I would suggest going with a carbon-fiber model unless your camera gear is really light. A good rule of thumb is to buy a tripod rated for handling about twice as much weight as your heaviest camera and lens weigh now. Firstly it's because you don't really want use it at its maximum load capacity for prolonged periods of time, and secondly you want to leave a little room for growth in case you buy a heavier lens/camera later.
Lastly don't forget to spend at least half as much money on a decent head (some say you should spend at least just as much). A tripod is only as good as its head and vice versa. Saving money on this essential equipment can lead to ruined shots as well as ruined gear.
awesome tripod, build quality is the best. using this with my d700 for outdoor and studio stuff. I guess this isn't the absolute best tripod out there, but I know those that do buy the carbon fiber stuff will shrink from using their overpriced and overdone tripod in water, ice, sand, etc... not this one. for the price, this is the best tripod you will find. I paired this with the new 498rc2 head. Both of which provide the best platform for any DSLR and any lens. Nobody should feel bad for using this in harsh environments as it can easily be replaced without seriously hurting your wallet
Don't waste your money on the carbon stuff. its overrated, overpriced, and does the same thing this does. The extra money is savings can go towards more important stuff.