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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:25 am 
I had a hard time finding a good review with lots of pics so I thought I would put this together as my choice seems to be a very popular selection. One stop decision making post if you will :P

My budget for the setup was around $250.

Reading through countless post on several forums day after day for about a week I had seen countless post referring Manfrotto as the choice in mid range tripod setup.

Ok that narrows it down some but now what legs? what head? What fits my budget?

Manfrotto 488 head was by far the popular choice for ballhead. Major difference between it and cheaper models being it has a seperate control for panning. 488 has four mount options:
-no mount
-RC0
-RC2
-RC4

I was told from members here that RC2 is the best choice as far as size. For me it was between the RC2 and bigger RC4, I thought RC2 looked alittle small in the pics but I had nothing to compare it to and couldn't find the dimensions anywhere so I took the advice of forum members and got RC2. Ended up being almost perfect size (pics posted below)

Now for the legs, I had narrowed it down to either the 190xprob or 055xprob. Once again with the help of forum members from here I was told the 055 would suit me much better for my height, about 6' even.

I ended up going through amazon.com and spent a total of $277.92
-488RC2 $107.95
-055xprob $161.99
-Overnight shipping (with amazon prime membership) $7.98


Pics before final conclusion:

Came nicely boxed, wrapped in plastic and included instructions and how to register online to add 3 years to the warranty:
Image

The legs were actually much lighter then I expected. Saw reviews were people said it was a heavy tripod and def. not a carry around pair of legs, after picking this up and carrying it around I have come to the conclusion that those people are just weak :lol: Its not the lightest setup but I def. wouldn't say its heavy.

The mount is a nice design with standard 3/8" screw mount in the middle followed up by 3 set screws that you tighten with a flat head screwdriver from the bottom:
Image

Image

The legs include a built in spirit level:
Image

A hook to hang a bag:
Image

A mount for a tripod strap:
Image

And also a tool to adjust the nuts on the levers, which clips onto the legs, very handy tool, never have to dig through my bag to find it:
Image

All legs can be controlled separately and can be lock in at 25°,46°,66°& 88°:
Image

Image

Image

Image



Now on to the head.

Has nice degree grid around the bottom markings every 5° and a numbered marking every 15°. Lever on the left controls the lock for panning and the wheel on the right is for locking/unlocking the ballhead:
Image

The RC2 mount ended up being almost the perfect size.

The plate has the standard 1/4" mounting screw that has a pop up grip for screwing it in. It also has directional arrows for which way a lens should be mounted:
Image

Mounted on 40D:
Image

Image


Mounted on 40D with BG e2N grip:
Image

Image


RC2 mount features the quick clamp lever along with a safety lever to prevent accidental release of the camera (safety lever is the gold one):
Image

40D with BG e2N and 28-135mm IS USM mounted:
Image

Image

Another useful item this set of legs has is that the center column can be mounted upside down or even horizontal in a matter of seconds.

Center column being used in horizontal position:
Image


This setup is the perfect fit for my height (6' even) with the legs fully extended and center column all the way down the viewfinder is right at eye level:
Image

Image


It beats my old Velbon VE-3 by a long shot:
Image

Even with the Velbon fully extended the Manfrotto is alittle bit taller:
Image


Only two downsides I have found to this setup:

1. The black caps over the nuts for the leg levers don't fit very well, 4 fell off just moving the legs to each degree shown above:
Image

2. The 488 only has a mark on one side for reading the degree, would be nice if it was on both sides but its really no big deal as it is easy to switch the camera 180 degrees when it needs to be used.

*Sorry no pic for now I will upload one tomorrow*




So now the big question, was it worth it?


YES! I can honestly say it was very much worth the money, just the peace of mind that the tripod won't tip over is very much worth it by itself. The velbon I was using was very tippy and I almost lost my camera. The 488 head works very nicely, easy to adjust and holds the camera firmly in place. My frames for HDR's actually line up now

Overall Manfrotto def. puts out a quality product and has my business for years to come. I would recommend this setup to anyone that is looking for there first serious setup and doesn't want to spend the extra to get a carbon fiber model. For the money this setup can't be beat.


Sheba agrees, Manfrotto wins:
Image


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:54 am 
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Hi,

Great review. As you can see I've moved it across to our User Reviews forum so that it can join company with a number of other tripod reviews.

Have you considered trying something along the lines of the "tap test" I performed in my own Gitzo GT1541T user review? Very unscientific, of course, but if nothing else it gives a sense of the tripod's stability, particularly with the centre column raised.

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:34 am 
This is a great review dliveleyphotography! i want one of these bad boys now! makes me wonder if the extra cash is worth the carbon fiber. anyway i look foward to seeing more reviews from you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:35 am 
Bob Andersson wrote:
Hi,

Great review. As you can see I've moved it across to our User Reviews forum so that it can join company with a number of other tripod reviews.

Have you considered trying something along the lines of the "tap test" I performed in my own Gitzo GT1541T user review? Very unscientific, of course, but if nothing else it gives a sense of the tripod's stability, particularly with the centre column raised.

Bob.



I even checked the sub-forums before I posted to make sure I was in the right section but I must of glanced over it, can't believe I did though, I mod a paintball forum and always think "how do people not go to right section", guess I am the noob now lol.

I will try and get a tap test review this weekend, just got my phottix wireless remote so it is taking up all my play time lol.




Thanks tomis, I should actually have new review of the Phottix C8 wireless remote up in the next few days.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:55 am 
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Great work dliveleyphotography, thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Thanks for the great review dliveley! I'm still looking for a new tripod (my current one is broken and only extends halfway) and since I'm pretty tall (1.93m), I'd like a tall tripod too. This seems to match my wishes, thanks!

- Bjorn -

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:43 am 
Kudos....
The time and effect gone into that review, SUPER!!!!

Many thanks, might get me one of them there tripods.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:57 am 
Excellent review!


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 Post subject: thanks
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:45 am 
Thanks for this good and definitely well-illustrated review. I will link it to my user report of another tripod in a moment.

SnS 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:44 am 
diveleyphotography wrote:
Saw reviews were people said it was a heavy tripod and def. not a carry around pair of legs, after picking this up and carrying it around I have come to the conclusion that those people are just weak


It isn't to do with strength, but the cumbersome nature of carrying an extra 3kg - you will notice that you're carry an extra load. There are better tripods out there if you plan on carrying one around all-day "just in case". It is heavy in relation to low-end tripods. But for purposeful tripod work, it's a very good tripod.

Otherwise a solid review. Thanks for your efforts.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 9:55 am 
Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I thought it would be nice to show that these reviews are really helpful.

I've been looking at tripods a while now and was pretty certain I'd go for a Gitzo. But since those are just too expensive I decided to carry a little more weight and get almost the exact same combination as reviewed here.

This review was really helpful and so today I ordered a Manfrotto 055XProB with the 488 head (no mount). Will be picking it up on Saturday.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Thanks for the review! Very helpful

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:19 am 
great reviews. helpful!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:33 pm 
Nice review!
I got the same tripod, and I love it :P even though its too heavy...


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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 5:37 am 
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I have a Cannon camera, and dliveleyphotography your pic are posts are very nice and beautiful. Cannon camera results is so good. Thanks dliveleyphotography for sharing.

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