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1,348 of 1,358 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Practical Review
Isn't it both amazing and quite frustrating that we as consumers must weed through what seems like hundreds of reviews just to gather enough information about a single product that ONE review should be able to produce? After literally reading hundreds of reviews for a camera body, lenses, tripods, etc, I feel like the work and time should go towards saving someone else...
Published on February 3, 2009 by David Darick

versus
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Manfrotto tripod review
Nice tripod, but watch out, and don't even think of over tightening the center height adjustment. Strips out very easily. After buying a second, and being careful not to do this, it happened again. I guess, shame on Manfrotto for making this part so cheaply, but shame on me for buying it again.
Published on June 9, 2011 by Jennifer Tutor


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1,348 of 1,358 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Practical Review, February 3, 2009
By 
David Darick (Baltimore, Maryland) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
Isn't it both amazing and quite frustrating that we as consumers must weed through what seems like hundreds of reviews just to gather enough information about a single product that ONE review should be able to produce? After literally reading hundreds of reviews for a camera body, lenses, tripods, etc, I feel like the work and time should go towards saving someone else from the toil of doing the same.

First of all, if you're like me, you're out looking for the tripod recommended by Scott Kelby's great, simple book, The Digital Photography Book. He recommends the Bogen 3001BD as the most affordable tripod which is still of good build quality. This recently has become the Bogen Manfrotto 190XPROB which is very, very similar to the 055XPROB. The differences are as follows:

055XPROB - can support 15.4 pounds
190XPROB - supports 11 pounds

055XPROB - leg diameters 29.4, 25, 20 mm
109XPROB - leg diameters 25, 20, 16 mm

055XPROB - min/max. height 3.9"/70.3"
190XPROB - min/max. height 3.3"/57.5"

055XPROB - weighs 5 pounds
190XPROB - weighs 4 pounds

Otherwise, they are the same basic tripod. Both are made out of patented aluminum and have the same features such as Bogen's fold-down center column which allows you to get great macro shots as close as a few inches from the ground and they both have the newer flip type leg locks which are a little stiff when new but hold the legs nice and tightly.

In summary, if you're looking for the best, cheapest tripod for your point and shoot or entry level digital SLR, I'd recommend the 190XPROB for the few dollars in savings, the pound you save in weight, and all of the professional quality and features of a Bogen tripod. If you are like me and are using that entry level DSLR and are looking to upgrade in the future with a larger camera body, larger lenses, flashes, etc, I'd recommend the 055XPROB for it's larger size (I'm 6'1"), heavier construction and higher load capacity. All in all, they are both excellent tripods that are nearly identical. If you ask me, I'd go with the 055XPROB regardless; is the fifteen dollars and the pound in difference really worth gaining, in sacrifice of a sturdier tripod? I don't think so. I hope this helped.

I purchased this product from Amazon on Jan 13th. The shipping was amazingly fast and the price was the best I could find on the internet, hands down. The one I ordered actually shipped from one town away so it arrived next day! It was a perfect transaction.
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163 of 167 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good news is it's heavy and sturdy; bad news is it's heavy and sturdy., November 6, 2007
By 
Denise Fisher (Norfolk, VA & Columbus, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
This tripod has the flip type of leg locks (which I like SO much better than the twist-screw leg locks) and has the weight and stability to hold your camera securely in whatever position you lock it into. There is no perceptable "play" in any of the tripod components. It has a sturdy but smooth resistance, so you can make micro adjustments easily, and wherever you lock it, it stays exactly there. It also has individual leg adjustments that allow you to extend one, two, or three of the legs beyond their usual locked position (which I've used more than I thought I would). The center post also pulls out to slide into a horizontal position, should you need the additional stability. Only a couple of minor drawbacks: It would have been nice if it had a hook at the bottom of the center post, and a handle for carrying it in the collapsed position would have been an added bonus. If you're going to travel with this tripod, be aware that it's too tall to fit into your carry-on luggage (even with the head removed). You'll either need a tripod case, or you'll have to put it in your full-size check-in luggage. It also weighs a ton when you're carrying it with all your other stuff ... until you get ready to use it - in which case, the weight ceases to be a detriment and becomes more of an asset. Other than that, I love this tripod. It's solid.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Choice, August 5, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
I purchased these tripod legs along with the 488RC4 ballhead, and I've been very happy with both.

I use this 'pod with a Canon 40D with a battery grip and a variety of lenses. No problems--this tripod holds everything fine, even in horizontal position.

The tripod offers great flexibility--I chose it because of how easy it is to flip the center column horizontal. This is a must-have feature if you're into macro, and very helpful for everyone else too. Makes ultra-low angle shooting a breeze. There's a built in bubble level which becomes redundant if using the 488RC4 head, but if you opt for a head without any levels it could be useful, although I should point out it's way easier to adjust your head to be level than your legs, regardless of brand.

The 055XProB is rated to something like 15.4 lbs--so of course it's a little heavy. I don't get why so many complain about that--if you need this level of support and you don't want the weight, sorry--you just have to fork over the $$ for a carbon fiber.

Quick Summary:

-Great Value
-Ability to flip center column horizontal
-Bubble Level
-Felxible (4 different angle options for each leg, individually adjustable)
-Easy to set up/ break down
-Supports over 15 lbs

It's a great, pro-level tripod that will handle just about any DSLR equipment you can mount on it. Also use it with your medium format gear, and I think it could even handle some large format equipment.

I did tons of research before buying this. There are some other good options out there if you aren't particular about the horizontal column thing, namely the Slik 700 Pro DX. Check it out. It's got rave reviews, and is considerably cheaper. Also there are Induro tripods which have the center column option. I have tried some in a camera store, and they are very sturdy.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tripod if your over 5'8", ok tripod if 5'8" or below, August 1, 2008
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This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
I have owned one tripod prior to purchasing this bogen, a cheap slik with a built in head. I have to say that this is a fantastic improvement.

My first impression of the tripod was weight, this is not a light tripod, and while I hiked with it, I wouldn't recommend it for backpacking. The second thing I noticed, when I switched the center column from vertical to horizontal is that the collar around the mount is two pieces and seperates when you do this, While it has held up so far I worry that this piece may break if I repeatedly switch the columns direction.

The following is a description of my field test conditions and conclusions.

I field tested the tripod on an 11 day photography vacation to the national parks, Navajo parks, and monuments in the four corners area (petrified forest/painted desert, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, etc.) My kit included a Markins "Emille" Q-ball head and quick release plate, and a Panosaurus panoramic system.

Conclusions:
General:
Overall this is an excellent tripod, it stood up well to daily travel and hiking and survived the occasional scrape against a rock without any visual scratches or dents. The leg closures are easy to open and close and I never pinched my fingers. In one situation I did get some sand in the closures but some compressed air (the kind you use on computer keyboards etc.) fixed that problem handily. The presents on the legs made adjusting the height fairly simple and switching between horizontal and vertical orientation is a quick process (more on that later)

Specific:
1. I've read many places that the shifting central column is nothing but a gimmick as it moves the center of balance off of the support and negates a lot of the support the tripod provides. For the most part this is true, however when shooting close to the ground (flowers, bugs) the center of balance is so low that the tripod remains extremely sturdy despite the fact that the column is in a horizontal orientation. This setup lets the tripod lie completely flat allowing you to get the camera around 4" off the ground.

2. Many people have mentioned that this tripod is good if you are a tall person, I would argue that in fact it may be less than ideal if you are 5'7" or shorter (depending on the size of the head you are using). I am about 5'8" and was just at eye level with the camera when the tripod was at its full height (without raising the center column). If the ground in front of me was an inch or two above where i was standing then I had to be up on my toes. Using the Panosaurus the tripod was way to tall.

3. This is a heavy tripod, 5.3 lbs didn't sound like that much to me but when your hiking with it, its a lot. I rarely left it behind but I would need something lighter for backpacking.

Let me reiterate that this is a great product, it would have been perfect if I had been about 6' tall.
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87 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the job but room for improvement., January 8, 2008
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
I use it combined with a 488RC4 ballhead. This tripod is a good one: stable, sturdy, reliable, flexible. I like the leg warmers, the built-in low angle system and level spirit but it still has some caveats:
- The paint scratchs easily--even the first time I used it--no big deal though. So that a tripod bag is recommended but...pricy. Got myself the MBAG80P; it fits the tripod and 488RC4 ballhead.

- One of the multiple plastic caps that hide the screws cracked and felt the second time I used it.

- It's supposed to have legs that do not turn (more reliable and robust); this is not true: the lowest sections turn--disappointing for the price.

- The knob of the center column is made of super cheap plastic. I believe it is not gonna be reliable on the long term. I need to look for a replacement one--just in case. Too bad!

- Quite pricy. Wish they had used either carbon or a better leg locking system (not plastic) for this price and provided the leash, standard.

Other than that, nice tripod; it does the job and--so far--looks professional--meaning sturdy but flexible and convenient. Not sure it's a travel tripod but with a tripod bag it's easy to carry around. Nice tripod, you'll like it!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Manfrotto tripod review, June 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
Nice tripod, but watch out, and don't even think of over tightening the center height adjustment. Strips out very easily. After buying a second, and being careful not to do this, it happened again. I guess, shame on Manfrotto for making this part so cheaply, but shame on me for buying it again.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Manfrotto 055X PROB tripod, September 18, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
This is the second Manfrotto 055X PROB tripod that I have owned. I lost the first one and because I liked it so much I purchased another one just like it. Although not as light as a carbon fiber, it also does not cost as much. Besides, I'm 70 years old and I figure if a few more ounces are to much for me,, then I'd better start working out at a gym or do needle point instead of photography. Whatever you do, don't buy a cheap tripod. In a short time ,you'll forget how much you saved ,but you'll always be sorry you didn't get a better one. I use a Nikon D300 and a 80-200 f2.8 lens. Not the lightest combination but the tripod works perfectly.
The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because on this new one they changed the center post to a one piece post ,about 16 inches long.
With the prevvioue model I could screw off a 3/4 section of the post so as to splay out the legs and go to ground level.
With the new model I have to raise the post all the way up ( not an easy job with a camera and long lens attached )and then slide it back in sideways to a horozontal position so I can get to ground level. In this position with the camera off to the side of the tripod it is not very stable and is about impossible to pick up and throw over my shoulder. If this bothers you after using it for a while, do like I did and just cut the post down to about 4 inches. I think they had a great new idea but in reality I liked the old post where I could just screw off part of it.
But don't let this stop you from buying this tripod. It may not bother you at all and if it does , it's easily corrected.
If you want a great tripod I wouldn't look any farther. Get this one, start shooting and don't look back. You'll love it.
By the way, I've been doing photography for 35 years and have gone thru my share of cheap tripods. So get a good one like this and go out and have fun taking photos instead of pouring over any more reviews.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sturdy, dependable tripod, February 22, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
Bought this tripod after a disastrous day with a tripod which flexed and caused many soft shots. When this came out of the box it seemed like it weighed a ton. After a couple of days' use, it now feels solid and comfortable, like an old friend. Very stable, easy to set up and use. Would be a bit much for hiking, but does the job I bought it for, and seems less heavy as time goes on. Highly recommend.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 055XPROB was called 3021BPRO, a great tripod, October 21, 2007
By 
Chun Li (Anywhere, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
It is a great, sturdy tripod. The only down side is it is a little heavy. But this is what you pay for being sturdy.

Bogen/Manfrotto recently changed the SKU# from 3021BPRO to 055XPROB. Until 1-2 months ago, Amazon had 3021BPRO listed, with dozens of glowing reviews. Unfortunately, amazon seems to have removed the 3021BPRO from its database and gone with those reviews. Too bad for the consumers and amazon's business. But you can search the Internet for reviews of 3021BPRO.

PS. I posted my original review under the product 055XPROB. But amazon moved it to 055XB. So I re-post it with the update.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid construction; handles multiple tough environments well; center column a bit flimsey; a touch heavy though, September 6, 2008
This review is from: Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black) (Camera)
In terms of the "Cons" related to this product, the #1 is (quite obviously) that it is a heavy tripod and not something you'd want to lug around when camping or such. Of course, if you're looking for a light tripod, then go for the carbon fiber line of products (and shell out 2-3 times as much as this Manfrotto).

The only other "negative" aspect of this tripod is in relation to the center column. I guard my remarks because each and every single tripod I own (even $800+ carbon fiber legs) have a relatively weak center column. Nevertheless, point is that the center column should only be used in conditions that are relatively mild (e.g., wind not blowing, steady, etc). Otherwise, you'll have lousy photos given the slight wobble that occurs.

On the flip-side, the "Pros" relating to the 055XPROB tripod are legion. First and foremost, I was exceptionally pleased to find this tripod operated (e.g., the legs dis not slip and gripped well) flawlessly in the various challenging climates I put it through. That is, I shoot weddings and portraits professionally and many times I'm on the beach with a lot of salty spray coating the legs or perhaps getting sand in/around the locking mechanisms for the legs. Even with these elements that have proven to otherwise cause other inferior products to fail (i.e., after clamping a leg down the leg would nevertheless slip when the slightest bit of weight was applied), this Manfrotto remained solid as a rock. In fact, I have a Manfrotto monopod and in identical shooting conditions as I described above, it's locking mechanisms constantly fail.

In sum though, this is the most solid, reliable, and sturdy tripod for it's price (or 2 x it's price for that matter). Highly recommended.
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Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)
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