Good alternative to the 055XProB tripod


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Feb 25, 2009
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I have another thread on my upcoming purchase of a tripod and head combo. I originally picked the Monfrotto 055XProB and the 488RC2 head. However, people have suggested that I make the investment now and step up to a more sturdy carbon fiber version. Additionally, people have suggested also looking at Giottos.

I would like feedback on these options. If I can invest a little more money and wind up with a much better solution, I would do it. I have a lot invested in lenses, so the tripod choice is crucial for me. My original research led me to believe that the 055XProB would be fine and some still say it is. I just want to be sure I am getting the right tripod. If CF is a better solution at a resonable price, I am willing to do it. If Giottos is a better solution, I would like to figure out which model and head I would need. I just do not know enough about them to make that decision yet. I am researching them and would appreciate any feedback.
It really depends on what you are going to use it for. If your an outdoors/hiking kinda person then the non CF will be a little heavy (i don't mind it) and you should get the one with the spiked feet.


Here is pic of my set up with the D300/70-200mm 2.8 i have it swung out and it's pretty stable.
First having played with the Giottos brand, I dont not see them as a step up from Manfrotto. They make good equipment, but nothing better then Manfrotto for a comparable price. Manfrotto is my choice for aluminum.

Gitzo however is truly a step up, at a cost. Gitzo, owned by the same company that own Bogen Manfrotto, for composite fiber. If you are desiring to go to a composite fiber of some kind, carbon fiber being the most common, then look at Gitzo.

Also take a look at Feisol. They are a Gitzo knock off company that seems to be gathering a good name for themselves with good products at a good price. The also have some unique and interesting products including a gear cart with a built in tripod.

As for heads, unless you are willing to spend the money, then then the 488 would be a decent system. If on the other hand you would like to go to a system that will meet even you most demanding needs, then look at the Arca-swiss quick release system. The most notable makers are RRS, Kirk, Wimberley, and Acratech. A good ball head from any of them will be something that will definately last a lifetime. Of course at a cost. But it's only money, right.
I originally picked the Monfrotto 055XProB and the 488RC2 head. However, people have suggested that I make the investment now and step up to a more sturdy carbon fiber version.

I don't really think the carbon fiber one is going to be much sturdier. The main thing it's going to get you is a lighter tripod, which *could* make it less stable. I don't think it would be an issue though.

You don't buy carbon fiber for stability - you buy it for the light weight.
I also like carbon fiber for winter use. I have an 055MF3 Manfrotto carbon fiber and a Gitzo 5541LS carbon fiber. I like the twist lock legs of the gitzo better than the lever locks of the Manfrotto. Just another thing to think about....
Defy's shot is showing one thing that I have come to hate of the manfrotto design - go down to a low angle and use that arm and your camera and tripod head are not all at right angles! There is an adaptor (a rightangle of metal) to correct this, but its another part you have to put on the tripod and it only works if you are prepared before you head into the field (in the field head changes tend to take way too long for bugs at least).

The Gitzo design appears better than the manfrotto in this respect. However they command a very high price so its something to consider when purchasing.
One thing I noticed while using a Velbone carbon fibre tripod overseas, is that while it's significantly lighter than the 055XProB it is definitely not as sturdy. But then few things are. I would say it depends on what you will use it for. If you're not into hiking then get the 055XProB but if you're all about finding remote places and carrying your gear there than carbon fibre is a real investment.
Great advice from everyone. I am going with the 055XProB for now. I do not plan on doing much hiking if any at all. From what I have read and heard here, it sounds like 055XPROB and the 488RC2 head will be plenty for my gear for now.

Thanks to everyone for the help.

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