My review of the Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs
Product Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 26 inches ; 5.3 pounds
At the time of this writing, these legs have a full 5 star rating on Amazon. These are very popular tripod legs among many photographers. The head mounted on this tripod is the Vanguard SBH-250.
After a while, your gear naturally becomes an extension of you. I've used these tripod legs for over a year, and have probably taken North of 30,000 pictures using these legs. So this review is going to be as "real world use" as it gets.
I recently forgot my tripod on a shoot, and luckily had a friend who had some Gitzo legs I could use. I really liked how the Gitzo could get right to the ground, but I disliked the overall mechanics, and much preferred the Manfrotto legs.
The legs easily slide up and down for fast set-up and take-down
The legs easily lock into 5 different positions to allow for stabilization in uneven terrain (e.g. setting one leg against a boulder, and the other two against the ground). A very intuitive push-to-adjust, and release-to-lock system. The Gitzo legs I tried required the user to pull out a metal piece, adjust the leg, and then push the piece back in: All in order to perform this same basic function.
Rugged, parts replaceable
Center column allows for low work and versatility (You can get the camera on the ground with this tripod, it just requires a few steps)
The legs are tall fully extended.The maximum height is 70.3". Surprisingly, the Gitzo legs I tried were much shorter than these legs. I'm a pretty tall guy, so a tall tripod is important to me.
Center column makes getting low to the ground a multi-step process, and it can get in the way.
I've taken these legs out in the extreme cold, blazing heat, and everything in between. I've been through canyons, waist deep in the ocean, in rivers, and on high bluffs. The legs have been completely submerged; broken even (I once ordered a replacement leg from Europe and was able to replace the bent leg).
This is a rugged piece of equipment that is always up to the task. It is an extremely important piece of gear for my photography.
I would recommend these legs to anyone.
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