View Full Version : Please help with choosing a tripod!

04-12-2011, 10:15pm
I have been doing a lot of research on tripods and I have narrowed it down to Manfrotto 055xprob or 190xprob legs with the 804rc2 pan/tilt head or the 327rc2 ball head. I want to use the tripod for landscapes, water (to get the silky effect), portraits, macro and general photography. At the moment I only have a Canon 550D and 18-55mm kit lens but I plan on getting more lenses in the future. Which combination do you think would best suit my needs and can you tell me why? I have read so much about tripods in the last week that I’m sure I have them swimming around in my head. :scrtch: Thanks in advance!

Pentax Pete
05-12-2011, 7:11pm

I have the Manfroto 190xprob tripod together with the 804rc2 head, the only problem I find with this setup is the need to use 3 handles on the head, have seriously consided a pistol grip head which would allow faster action, just my opinion.

Pentax Pete

05-12-2011, 8:27pm
If extra weight is not an issue I would suggest the 055xprob. I purchased the 055xprob over the 190xprob as it was heavier/sturdier and it stood taller than the 055xprob without extending the centre piece (I’m 184 cm).

I don’t have a pan/tilt head but I suspect it would be better suited for precision alignment as you can align the camera 1 axis at a time and I suspect the leverage of the arms would give you finer control.

I find when I loosen the ball head (I have a 498RC2) I have to fiddle around in all 3 axis trying to get the alignment correct. When you adjust for horizon the yaw or pitch sometimes moves as well. This means it takes 2-3 goes before I get it right (or close) but this could just be due to poor technique on my part.

My tripod setup has no problems with my D90 fitted to my largest lens, the Sigma 150-500mm (about 3kg total).

Hope this helps.

05-12-2011, 8:38pm
I have the 190xprob tripod. It is sturdy even with the centre piece extended. Have not tried the 055xprob.

I have the 322rc2 ball head and it works very well. It is able to support a heavy camera / lens comination with no drooping or slippage but is easy to adjust as well. I agree with brownie that getting the camera level using the ball head takes a little practice.

I like the versatility of the ball head as as Pentax Pete has said, it is much quicker than using a pan / tilt type head.

06-12-2011, 1:28pm
A ball head is a lot easier to carry around and is far more compact as you don't have 3 big arms sticking out all over it.

A piece of advice.
Whatever you get, get yourself one of those hotshoe mounted 3 way bubble levels.
They work really well and I find mine to be extremely useful when the camera is on a tripod.
It makes setting up just so much quicker and easier.
Some of the Chinese web sites have them for under $10, so to me, they are a no-brainer and a must for every photographer.

Re tripods, I've got a Vanguard Alta pro 263AT, and I find it to be very good.
Quick to set up, and the column can be mounted at any angle quite quickly and easily.
It is strong enough to hold my gripped Canon 60D, with a 100-400L lens and converter and a video light on it, and holds it steady as a rock, yet hardly weighs more than most C/F tripods and the price is reasonable too at around $150 off the web or under $200 if bought locally.

06-12-2011, 3:05pm
Thanks for all your replies. I think I will get the 005xprob legs and the 327rc2 ball head. The extra weight in the tripod legs doesn't bother me and there isn't that much difference in price (the 190xprob is $50 cheaper) but it seems to be a taller/sturdier tripod. I also like the idea of the ball head as I think it will be quicker to put into position (without having to adjust handles) though I may need a bit of practice in getting it perfect. I think I will look into getting one of the 3 way bubble levels, it might make adjusting the head that little bit easier. Thanks again for your replies, they were very helpful.

11-12-2011, 8:51am
Good choice, I have the 055XPROB (came with 308RC ballhead). Got a good deal (used in excellent condition). Height without extending the centre column is a huge bonus. Puts my eye almost right on the button with the 1D (I am 6"). Strong build and without the need to go carbon fibre, still easily managed as far as weight goes. I might replace the 308RC ballhead with something a little more substantial in the future if I feel the need.