Monday, July 02, 2007

Manfrotto 055PROB

I've been wanting (needing) a new tripod for some time now. I have owned a Bogen 3021 for many years and it is starting to fail me. The legs simply will not hold position any longer. True, you are supposed to be able to tighten them but, I have not had any luck with this. If I tighten them enough so the legs will hold - they WILL hold and then they are too tight to loosen. If I back off the tension just slightly they will not hold at all (two out of the three legs). I can't seem to get the right tension no matter how much time I have dedicated to curing this problem.

So, today, I purchased the Manfrotto 055PROB Tripod which is essentially the same as the Bogen 3021 BPRO Tripod. The Bogen is simply the U.S. version. There are no differences between the current 3021 and the 055PROB. What I don't understand, though, is how the current 3021 and the older 3021 share the same model number. They are two very, different animals to me.

The new 3021 has a slightly different design to it's leg locks and it appears to be better. The tubing in the newer version has an anti-rotation design which the other lacks and I feel this is a HUGE improvement. The head design is totally different. There is a bubble level in the new design which the other lacks. The new Bogen comes with two(2) foam leg warmers (why not three?) while the older has none. The most obvious difference is in the center column functionality. The new tripod has a feature which allows for the repositioning of the center column into a horizontal orientation. I believe this feature is totally unique to Manfrotto/Bogen.

By enabling the center column to be horizontal, in combination with the ability to spread the legs so far, one can essential position their camera at ground level. The camera would not be upside down in this configuration, which is a common solution with most set-ups.

I chose this tripod without a head of any kind. This is because I purchased a new ball head a while ago, which I am totally dedicated to. I think the Slik SBH-550 Ball Head and the Manfrotto/Bogen Tripod will be an awesome combination. The only thing lacking in my support needs now, will be in a good quick release system. I still haven't found a quick release but, it is high on my list. If anyone has any suggestions for a good QR system, please let me know.

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