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Latest Review Posted Manfrotto 055XPROB
I bought this tripod several years ago, and there is nothing I can complain about. Yeah, it's heavy compared to carbon fiber tripods and even to flimsier other aluminum 'pods, but it does what it was meant to do, hold your camera and lens steady. What I like most is that the legs have 4 different set up angles, so that side hill, boulders, low walls and other difficult set ups are much easier. I've even gotten stable set ups on steep stairs! There is also a bull's eye level on the top plate to facilitate level setups for panoramic shots.
The selling point of this tripod is the ease in which the center column converts from vertical to horizontal without any tools or disassembly needed. It's a very nice feature, but as others have noted, you have to be careful not to set too far off the centerline especially with heavy lenses. I've found it best to set the horizontal directly over the nearest leg. It seems a bit steadier that way.
Because of the horizontal conversion feature there is no hook on the bottom of the center column, but there is a hook on the center plate between two of the legs so you can add weight if you feel you need it.
At 60+ I don't go on long hikes any more, but even if I was 30 years younger, I think I'd take a long look at lighter tripods for wilderness trekking. But to be truthful, this tripod was never intended for that type of photography anyway.

NaCl(sturdy, flexible setup options, but not a long distance trekker)H2O

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