Thoughts on this tripod / head?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by TwoRails, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    After reading around, Manfrotto comes highly recommended. My experiences with tripods is minimal (cheapo free unit that came with a camera bag) but with playing with ones in stores I've discovered I can't stand those levers that come out of most of them: they seem like they are for video cameras, not still cameras, as I can't get my body comfortably close to the view finder.

    I do like, however, my monopod's ball socket mount. I can get close and it's easy to control with a simple twist of a knob.

    I looked at a bunch of tripods on B&H and the ones in the price range I'd like to spend are way too short for me. The taller ones are pricer but I found a couple that'll fit my size and not too much out of my budget.

    The first one I'm liking a lot. It is the 055XPROB Pro. It's rated at just over 13 pounds but has a feature that could come in real handy: the center post can go horizontal. It comes with a 486RC2 ball head:

    Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)

    The next option is pretty much the same as above, except it's not the 'pro' unit so no horizontal feature. For the small price difference, the above seems like a better deal:

    Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 055XDB Tripod Legs (Black) with

    Finally, the last is the same tripod as #2, but with a more traditional head, but with knobs instead of long levers sticking out. Without levers sticking out I imaging I'd have no problem sticking my body up close, but it seems too complicated compared to a simple and easy to use ball head:

    Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 055XB Tripod Legs (Black) with 056

    Any / all thoughts, recommendations, comments, traditional versus ball head, etc., are welcome! :)

    TIA

    TR
     
  2. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    First off, it's known as the "055XPROB" - B&H just adds on the "Pro" part to make it look more attractive to buyers or whatever.

    As you can see in my equipment list, I've got one, and it's a very nice, steady set of legs for light camera equipment. For just my D80 and a light prime lens, it's rock steady so long as there isn't a huge gust of wind or whatever. Assuming that the combined value of what's on your tripod is less than $2,000, you'll be happy wit that pair of legs.

    Personally I'd go with the 488RC2 head though, it better suits the legs, i.e., makes no sense to lay a concrete foundation and then build up with paper. Not that the 486RC2 is comparitively paper, it's a stable head to be sure, but I'd rather build wood up (bricks would be one of those $500 heads).
     
  3. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    I have the 055XPROB and the 322RC2 ball head. I use it with my 100-400mm all the time and its solid as a rock. Whether to use the 322RC2 or the 488RC2 head is really more to do with functionality. I set my 322 up so the grip is used with the left hand and my right hand is on the camera read to shoot. I can pan and shoot or pan, lock and shoot. It works great for me.
     
  4. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    That's good logic, blash, but in looking, that combo would add almost $70 to the pair pushing it up to $274 versus $207 for the combo above: (and I was hoping to stay at around $150...)

    Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)

    If my budget were better, I'd go for it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    That's basically all I want, davebmck: pan, shoot & pan, lock when needed. I didn't find a 332 B&H but I imagine it's similar to the 486.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Excuse my ignorance, but what is the second knob for on the 488?
     
  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Manfrotto 322RC2 head. Very good head. I got the 488RC4 first, but had shoulder surgery and bought the 322 for one handed operation.... haven't put the 488 back on yet. That's not to say the 488 isn't a good head.

    How tall are you? If you are vertically challenged, the 190PROBX legs might suit you better.



    EDIT: On the 488, the knob locks the ball (mounting plate) and the lever locks the panning.
     
  6. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    Wow, that 322RC2 is a monster! I'm 6'4" which is one reason I looked at the 055XPROB which goes up to 70" if I remember right. My "Google Foo" must not be good as this is the closest I found to the 190PRPBX:

    Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | BO190XB503HD 190XB Pro Tripod with

    which goes to only 50". That, and the 322RC2 are sadly out of my price range, though. I'm really stretching it at around $200 as it is. :(
     
  7. uplander

    uplander TPF Noob!

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    For the money if you go with the 055XPROB, get the 322 ballhead, you'll be set unless you stert going to super tele primes. The combo works great up to and slightly beyond the 100-400 L shown here. The 055 is extremely versatile.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I like to use mine (322 head) in the verticle postion as it gives great one hand ball head control with either hand and is as intuitive as aiming a pistol.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the photos, uplander. They reinforce that the horizontal feature would be desirable to me. I've read up on the 322 pistol grip and, even if I could afford it, I don't believe it would do what I want: even though it is loaded with features, it locks up once you take your hand off the grip from what I read. One of the things I'm planning on doing is going 'railfan' shooting with a friend of mine. I've never done it but he regularly goes and shoots fast moving trains as they are whizzing by. So I would need the free form movement of something like the 486 where it will stay unlocked when desired for panning, but also lock up when taking scenic / flower type shots.
     
  9. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Two thing. I own a 322 and use it a lot for studio/portrait stuff. It shines there. I am not a fan (sorry uplander) of using it in the vertical mode as it looses stability. As a horizontal grip it is great.

    To solve the problem you mentioned this is the adaption I added to mine. Love it.
    FEISOL Panning Base PB-70

    Granted it is more money, but a useful little add on.
     
  10. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    Interesting link, gryphonslair99, thanks. I noticed they even have a horizontal accessory. Pretty nifty.

    I thought this was going to be an easy question; now there's more choices than ever! :)
     
  11. TwoRails

    TwoRails TPF Noob!

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    Well, my 'railfan' friend mentioned above, after I told him I was looking at tripods, came over with his two Manfrottos: Boy-howdy are they nice!! He also has a 488 ballhead, which is very nice, also. I went ahead and ordered the combo in my first link, with the 486. I figured for the $70 difference, if I discover I do want a separate pan feature, I could get the adapter in gryphonslair99's link and save $$ to boot.

    Thanks Everyone for your posts!!! Very informative and I learned a lot :)
     

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