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Thread: Manfrotto 055CXPRO4

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    Manfrotto 055CXPRO4

    Want to change my tripod currently have a Gitzo CF 3 section with centre column find it not useful for macro work and thinking about getting the 055CXPRO4. Thoughts
    Dwarak Calayampundi

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    I have the CX055PRO3 and love it.

    'Nuff said ?
    Cheers
    Kev

    D800 & GAS

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    keen learner of new tricks.
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    I have one...not sure of Pro 2-3-4? A year and a half old. but its very good. To get down low though you might also get the short centre column. I need one also.
    Graeme
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    Thanks for the replies guys think my decision is made monfretto is the way to go esp. from the price point half the price of a gitzo

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    I have a gitzo 3532s and the manfrotto 055cxpro3, the gitzo is a much better tripod. I'd suggest adding a macro rail to the gitzo rather than switching to the manfrotto.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    You haven't stated which model Gitzo.

    Is it a 2 series, 3 series .. etc.
    The thicker the leg tubing, the more stable it is.(higher initial numbers indicate thicker leg tubes, and I'd recommend a 3 series if you want a stable platform.

    Note that I was in a photo store yesterday(getting other stuff) and browsing through some tripods whilst waiting.
    I noted the new CF Manfrotto 055's and it seems they still use some sort of plastic material for the top plate!
    This was probably my major annoyance with my older aluminium 055 and why it isn't as stable as the 3series Gitzo I have.
    But in saying this, the 055 is more than capable for general photography, it's only if you want higher magnification or longer lens(+slower shutter speeds) where it's losing out somewhat to the 3 series Gitzo.

    Like Hakka said tho, and depending on what your current Gitzo model is ... maybe some rails to do macro may be a better way to get more flexibility for macro. Maybe not so much dedicated macro rails(which cost a fortune) .. just some rails to allow you to place the camera with more flexibility.

    If you have a 2 series Gitzo tho, then maybe an 055 is a good way to go, but for value for money, a 3 or 4 series Benro is probably better.
    3 series Benro again is a minimum leg thickness you may want to consider.

    Also note that centre columns on tripods always add to instability/vibrations .. and not just when they're extended too!
    Even in the shortest position, there are more inherently more vibration issues with tripods that use centre columns .. something to do with the less stable connection interface at the centre column.
    Whether these vibrations affect your images is the variable question tho. For most, it's a non issue, but as your lens gets bigger, heavier, or produces more magnification, that extra vibration may manifest itself in your images.
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    Hi I have a Gitzo GT3541 which is a 3 series quiet sturdy but the only issue is the centre column so cannot get low to the ground was also thinking about the Gitzo systematic tripods they look sturdy and can get low to the ground upto 3 inches

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwarak View Post
    Hi I have a Gitzo GT3541 which is a 3 series quiet sturdy but the only issue is the centre column so cannot get low to the ground was also thinking about the Gitzo systematic tripods they look sturdy and can get low to the ground upto 3 inches

    Aha!

    if the problem is that you can't get low enough with your 3541, there is a solution.
    The centre column can be removed from the tripod, and the head plate then reinserted back onto the top plate.
    I have the 3531 and have done this a few times myself.

    The next part is kind'a hard to describe accurately, but it does work, and is a feature of Gitzo's later tripods(with centre columns)

    At the bottom of the centre column is a stainless steel hook and the rounded flat end should have a rubber ring.
    With your hand, one holding the centre column and the other holding the rubber ring, you should be able to remove the stainless steel hook assembly(this is normal).

    Remove this hook assembly, the loosen the top centre column holder and the entire centre column will slide out.

    If you have done this, the next step is to remove the head from the centre column, again just using your hands. The connection between head and column doesn't need to be tight to the point where you can't loosen it all by hand.
    As you unscrew the head from the column, you will see the double threaded spigot bolt that connects the two. There is a hexagonal centre of this spigot bolt with seats into the hex recess in the top plate part of the centre column.

    Once you have loosened the centre column from the head, you should keep the head plate( and head of course!!) the spigot bolt and the stainless steel hook assembly.
    The only thing you won't replace is the carbon centre column rod!

    To put it all together again:

    1/. make sure the spigot bolt is just roughly inserted into the head firstly.. just a couple of threads only!

    2/. Then you mate up the head plate, so that the hex section of the spigot bolt sits into the hex recess of the top plate.

    3/. Now guide the head and head plate through the top plate of the tripod, whilst from the bottom side you will be lining up the stainless steel assembly, so that it screws up into the small amount of threads poking out of the bottom of the head plate.

    You should have about 1cm of threads poking out of the bottom of the head plate. If not, you have screwed the spigot bolt in too far. With mine, I sometimes find that reversing the spigot bolt can help.
    It makes no real difference as to which way the spigot bolt is used, unless you have a head with a small mounting thread(which I assume you don't).

    The idea of this system(if you try it) is that the head plate and the stainless hook assembly make a firm grip between themselves and the tripod's top plate.

    Last thing to note about this clamp grip tho. If you have tightened the hook assembly as far as your hand strength allows and the assembly is loose, then you need to "loosen" the centre column holding collar to create a larger distance between the top of the top plate and the bottom.
    Looking down onto the tripod, anti clockwise rotation of the column collar is loosening and raises the collar. Don't over do this and allow the collar to come off(there is a bit of grease on the threads and you probably don't want to get it on anything).
    Clockwise rotation of the collar makes the distance smaller between top and bottom(and hence why the head assembly may be loose) and you can rotate in this direction until it comes to a stop.
    (I usually do this before I start to put it all together again .. but this isn't an important step in the process .. just something I do.

    Once you have it all tight(hand tight!!) you now have a tripod with no centre column, and you can splay the legs out to their lowest level.

    If you use the arca swiss clamp and rail system, you can get rail and clamps accessories quite cheaply to allow you to get right onto your subject .. and a fair way out and away from the centre of your tripod.

    Note that you can also purchase a shorter centre column for the tripod and it's about half the length of the normal one. It still doesn't allow you to get to the lowest setting the tripod can achieve tho.

    Hope this helps.

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    Thanks for all the advice Alan I will give it a go thanks and I do have the arca swiss head and pano rail which is can kind of use as a macro rail

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    The Gitzo Explorer can go pretty low. Don't think the Manfrotto 055CXPro4 goes lower than that...


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