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Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod and Manfrotto 410 geared head

 

This is a quick review of the relatively small and lightweight Manfrotto 055XPROB (new version of 3011-3021) tripod, along with the Manfrotto 410 (formerly 3275) geared head

 

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Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod
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Manfrotto 410 geared head

 

  

Manfrotto 055XPROB specs

Manfrotto 410 geared head specs

 

The combination tripod and head is available as a B&H Photo kit, although the price is about the same as buying the tripod and head separately.


 

The Combination.

 

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This is what the combination looks like as you would use it.  It's about 55 3/4" (1416mm) at the top of the column mount, and 70 1/2" (1781mm) with the center column raised all the way up.  In this case, add another 5" (127mm) or so for the head height. Weight of the tripod alone is slightly over 5.3lbs (2.4kg) The tripod has a good, to very good build quality, and is made in Italy from aluminum, with a few parts being plastic, like the leg locking tabs and knobs etc.  Included are two leg warmers and a couple of hooks at the top for a carrying strap or weight etc.  This tripod has a neat feature that allows you to use the center column in a horizontal position, see example below.
 

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Here's the center column raised slightly, and showing the horizontal mounting hole just below the spirit level.  The metal tabs are used to adjust the leg spread angles, which can be set at 23°, 45°, 65° and 88°.
 

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This stock image shows the center column in the horizontal position, probably ready to take a macro shot of something on the ground.

 

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Here's another use of the horizontal position.  Say your optimum shooting position occurs over something that can't readily be moved, like this office furniture.  You can back off another 12" (280mm) or more by setting the tripod up like this, as opposed to leaving the center column in the upright position. However, you will create an unstable situation if you move the column too far off center.  You also need to make sure you don't get the center column in the picture, which requires you to set the camera at an angle to the horizontal column.
 
If you have a pocket full of money, check out this tripod with an even better movable column design.

 

The Manfrotto 410 geared head.

 

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This is the Manfrotto 410 geared head, which uses the RC4 quick release plate.  This head is fairly heavy at 2.7lbs (1.22kg) and is capable of holding a pro 35mm camera with lens, or a medium format system with a maximum load capacity of 11lbs, or (5kg).  The 410 head is very easy to set up and adjusts quickly, but is still very precise when you need it.  For quick adjusting, rotate and hold the slim inner knobs, which unlocks the gearing, and move to the required position, and release.  Use the large knobs for the final adjustments.  The plate mounting area on top shows the release lever and safety device.  If you accidentally hit the release lever, the camera will not fall off the tripod, you must manually push in the small lever on the end of the large lever to fully release the camera.  A small spirit level is located on top.  This head secures solidly to the tripod with three set-screws.

 

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I'm confident enough to regularly use this combination with the Sony A900 and Carl Zeiss 16-35mm F/2.8 lens in any position, but I'm careful when I use it in the horizontal position.

 

This tripod is very solid on smooth flooring and relatively inexpensive, that's why I bought it.  I bought the 410 geared head for two reasons; because I wanted a stable platform for a heavy camera and lens combo, and because there are no handles sticking out to hinder maneuverability in tight areas, or when put in a carrying case shared with other equipment such as light-stands.

 

Please check out the two items using the links below if your interested, it helps keep me to keep adding useful information to the site.

 

Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod

 

Manfrotto 410 geared head

 

Click here for the combo