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I Decided For The Manfrotto 055 Tripod

I already hinted in an earlier post that a decent tripod was on top of my priority list when it comes to upgrading photography gear, that means I researched already a lot over the last weeks. Some days ago I made a final decision because after watching tons of tripod reviews I fell in love with the Manfrotto 055 series that is probably also known as “MT055XPRO3” or “055XPROB” in earlier versions.

I saw this tripod on a website of a local tech store and decided to go there as I had the amount saved in cash, I was disappointed when they told me that they don’t have it on stock locally. I checked out the common and not so common online stores but they could not beat the price I saw on the website of the local store I visited.

I decided to order the product on their website but marked the option to pick it up locally until it arrived there. I did that because it’s now sunday and they will see my order on monday morning. Apart from that I didn’t want to deposit my saved cash to the bank on monday because then my order would take one more day. The store is very close to my home anyway, I just need to wait for the confirmation email to find out when I can pick it up, I guess it will be in two days or so.

But now let me talk about the tripod and why I decide for that one. Let me say first, there are all kind of awesome tripods and brands, don’t see this post as a personal suggestion, it’s just me chatting about my personal preference and the product I was looking for. After researching I found out fast that it’s the same with almost any other product, you need to know what you want to set your own criteria, that is what I did over the last weeks.

First of all, the tripod you see in the embedded video is the carbon fibre version but I ordered the aluminium version. The aluminium tripod is pretty much less expansive, it’s more weighty but it might be more tough. If you ask me, I don’t trust carbon fibre, I could imagine that it could get brittle. Sure, I will carry more weight with the aluminium tripod but this could also mean that the tripod is more steadfast, after researching I found a lot of people saying the same.

So, the only real advantage of the more expansive carbon fibre tripod is less weight but I don’t care about this. Yes, I want to use it outside, maybe even on hikes. The aluminium tripod has a weight of 5.51 lbs or 2.5 kg, I don’t see a problem with short hikes at this point because I carried a lot more with me sometimes. They do also offer tripod bags, that is something I will order the next month. But overall I will use this tripod in our garden or at home.

My demands are more about what the tripod can carry. The weight of the D7100 with the kit lens is negligible, but at some point I might want to upgrade to a lens that is much heavier. The tripod I want comes with maximum load value of 9 kg or 19.84 lbs. I guess this is a lot and I probably won’t have to worry about lens and accessory weight too much in future.

Speaking of accessories I didn’t even think about it that some tripods can carry extra photography gear. This tripod for example can do it and this might be very handy in the future. You can attach stuff to the tripod like arms where you can put on further things like flashes and what not. There is a connector where you can attach the things, they call this feature Easy Link, it’s really cool and I might use this at some point too.

But what really got me interested was something different. Apart from the tripod legs there is a column in the middle that you can extend too, but there is a mechanism that basically allows you to use the column horizontally as well. I want to do macro photography in the future and I think it will be magic if I set the column to horizontal because I will get much closer to the subject on the ground.

Depending on how the legs are extended, this will also work to take pictures of things you have on a table just to name one example. About the legs, I believe there is a version with 4 segments, but I ordered the version with 3 legs. I had to research about it but my conclusion is that 3 segments will be more stable than 4 segments. So, I made this choice only because of the stability again.

Apart from that, it can do what a tripod is supposed to do (laugh). They mentioned in many reviews that this is a more sturdy tripod. I really want something where I don’t have to be afraid that my camera falls to the ground. I rather want to invest more for a tripod than crying later about a broken camera, and even if there are other good brands with awesome tripods, I saw also some tripods that looked like anything but not sturdy.

I think the only other thing I looked at was the specs like different heights setting of the tripod. Changing the leg angle makes it possible to get a minimum height of 9 cm, combined with the horizontal column setting it will probably be super cool for macro photography. You can set it in between, but maximum height is 170 cm. But I will need to buy a head for the tripod and the one I want has a working height of 12.5 cm, which means maximum height would be a little more then.

Talking about the tripod head, I want to have the Manfrotto Midi Ball Head with the RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter and the Manfrotto 200PL Quick Release Plate. I have read this thing is nifty because you can attach it permanently under your camera and then you can connect the camera quite fast to the head on the tripod. I didn’t expect that much rocket science about tripods, it’s awesome.

Now I can not await to pick the tripod up in the local store when it is arrived. I will purchase the ball head anywhere else online via PayPal as I have the other part of money there. But to be honest, I will use the tripod, but this is more an investment for the future especially for macro photography. But yes, I see there are much more areas of application for a tripod apart from macro photography. I will check this all out, it’ll be fun I guess.

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4 Comments »

  1. You investigated all the details so well. Good tripod is very important. I use Slik’s tripod which is very standard but works well. I definitely need tripod for night photography when I adjust the shutter speed very slow. Even just one second, I can’t hold the camera very still. You made a very good decision for good tripod.

    • Hi Sato! 🙂 Yes I have read a lot about it to make a decision. It might hurt a little when the cash is on the table but on the otherside it’s a nice investment for the future.

      Yes, there are so many good tripods that are enough and worth to consider, what matters is that it works. The Manfrotto got me only sold due to the macro photography features. I guess I won’t have a macro lens before next year, but I’ll save for it, and with this tripod it’ll be fun I think.

      You make a good point. I can not discover evening and night photography until I don’t have a tripod, it’s so hard… evening works in some cases but I didn’t get decent night shots handhold. Yep, anything with slow shutter speed does not really work well without.

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