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 Post subject: Manfrotto
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:28 pm 
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I just bought the Manfrotto 055ProB plus matching 808RC4 head (which is spring loaded in 2 dimensions) for a little over 200EUR. I did not even test it at a store but relied on many a users comments in internet forums. And I was right:
The manfrotto 055ProB is a rock solid tripod, goes to my hight (176 cm without head)
The 808RC4 is a sturdy head and has smooth movement.
The combination is not the lightest, but every 300 Grams less costs quite a bit as you has to go for carbon. As I don't see me carrying that tripod around a lot (it's more for inhouse use) that was ok with me.
I didn't go for the 804RC2 head because there were some discussions about manufacturing quality and resulting smoothness. It is made of plastic whereas the 808RC4 is metal.
Links:
055ProB http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/op/previ ... C69&idx=71
808RC4 http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/man ... |81&idx=82

B.t.w. the 055ProB has a very nice feature, quote "The tripod has a special centre column support that easily re-fits as a horizontal lateral arm, this allows the camera to be offset from leg position, and provides the simplest way possible to shoot from directly overhead."

So let's open this thread as to the pros and cons of Manfrotto gear...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Ok, here goes!

I use a Manfrotto 190 for general purpose work. It's a basic set of 'legs', but they're sturdy and well-built, and of course you can of 'upgrade' by fitting different types of heads. The only thing I really miss on this model is a 'winch' to raise or lower the column in precise steps. With this, you just untighten the screw and push or pull the column.

The original head I bought ended up infurating me, so I upgraded to a 460MG magnesium alloy model. It's a really good general purpose head and very light. I'd recommend it for general basic use.

I also have a 410 geared head which I use for our precision tests. It's a fantastic piece of kit with three geared axes allowing really precise adjustments, but be warned, I had to change it 3 times before getting one with a very smooth motion and no 'play' in the gears. The first one I tried was quite poor in this respect - quite loose and wobbled on the gearing with a heavier camera. I thought 'that's not right' for a pricey piece of kit from a 'quality' manufacturer, so took it back and tried another which was better but not perfect. The third one was perfect though, so it's definitely worth checking if you're not happy!

I also bought a 714SHB as part of my eternal quest to find a really good light tripod for travel use, but it ended up being too big and heavy for really light travel, and insufficiently sturdy to support anything other than an entry level DSLR or compact. Bah!

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Yeah, sometimes Manfrotto seems to have some quality probs.
In a big German forum the 804RC2 head was viewed as quite a mixed blessing: Some complained that the movement of the axis was not smooth enough. Whichwas one of the reasons that I invested in the heavier and full metal version 808RC4.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:05 pm 
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Hi folks.

Up until now I've been using a small Velbon tripod. It's served me well but in the past the most it's had to support is a compact. Now with the D80 and lens it doesn't feel so safe. To this end I'm looking at a new tripod and I've kinda settled on a Manfrotto. Question is, which one? And which head?

I will be using it for landscapes in the main and I'd like it to be as light as possible (I'm lazy). I'd also like it to be as cheap as possible too. The heads are confusing too. Do I just need a ball & socket or do I need the kind with levers? Whichever one you guys think is best also has to be able to go flat easily as I can see some macro work on the far horizon (funds for a new lens permitting).

So far the only one I've seen in the metal was the 190B and I was duly impressed. The build seemed really good, certainly when compared with my old Velbon anyway.

Loads of questions, sorry. I do like to do some research before I buy anything and you guys obviously know what you're talking about.

Gordon.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:13 pm 
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Hi Zorro, I can recommend the 190 legs and the 460MG head - this head is very very light and of a good standard...

PS - are you a Gordon too?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:16 pm 
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A Gordon for me, A Gordon for me.
If you're no a Gordon yer nae use tae me.

Indeed I am.

Thanks for the heads-up on the head (geddit?).

I'm searching right now.

Got it. Works out at £153 including postage from Warehouseexpress.com.

I had hoped to pay less but it does look like it would do the business. I'll need to run it by my manager (wife) first though. I'll let you know what I decide to do.

I do have one concern. I can't seem to find the 190 legs on the Manfrotto site.

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/man ... =68&idx=68

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 10:59 pm 
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Mine are labelled 190, but they are a few years old, so could be a discontinued model...

PS - Nice poem! I think I'll use that in a sig file somewhere!

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:00 pm 
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Hi Gordon. Have you ever used a D80 and battery grip on that tripod? Or any other SLR and grip? How does it perform? I almost ordered the combo you suggest and then I thought about my battery grip and how it might adversely affect stability.

Zorro.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Looky here: http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/man ... f/pid/1799
BUT the 190 only carries 4-5kg. That sounds ok, but you have to add everything incl. the head, battery grip, flash etc.
So if you are as concerned as me with the stability of your tripod (carrying some very valuable gear) more than the portability, upgrade to the 055pro http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/man ... |69&idx=71 which carries an additional 2kgs and is sturdier than the 190.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:58 pm 
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Hi Thomas.

Thanks for that. There's only £10 between the two tripods so what you say makes sense. The weight difference is only half a kilo too, so that's no big deal. What do you think of the 460MG head? Which head do you use and why?

Sorry for all the questions folks. I'm pretty tight with money you see, lol.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:04 pm 
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See my sig!
Has two load springs that prevent the cam from tilting brutally.
See my first entry in this thread!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:25 pm 
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Hmmm, I've had soem pretty hefty cameras and lenses on my 460MG, but it is quite a small mounting, so for greater confidence, you might prefer something heftier. I have an alternative geared head for shooting the charts and it feels much more stable.

As always it depends not just on how much you want to spend, but how much you want to carry around...

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 11:25 pm 
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It's getting confusing.

I can see looking at my camera that using the battery grip gives me a greater attachment area on the baseplate. I think it might be wise for me to utilize this and find a head with a larger top-plate. I don't think I need one of those heads with all the levers and Gordon's right, I don't want to be lugging around a tonne weight. I actually need to weigh my camera all-in just for reference. The 18-135mm kit lens is remarkably light imo and so the overall weight might not be as high as you'd think.

I need more research. Thanks for all the help guys.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:55 pm 
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Hi Zorro,

another thought: if you want stabilization to carry around, go for a monopod, that eliminates the worst wobble.

but if you really go for something that keeps upright by itself and you need to angle it high and lo (e.g. for macro shots near the ground) take the 055pro and some stable head!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:34 pm 
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Ah now. Funny you should say that. How slow do you think it's possible to go with a monopod? Shutter speed-wise.

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