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08-03-2016, 02:43 AM   #1
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Manfrotto 190CX Pro3 vs. Gitzo GT1830

Hello,


I am tempted by the two tripods in the thread name. Has anyone tested one if not both of them? How do they compare?

- I am interested in it being lightweight (mainly the reason for choosing CF) .
- Max height when extended could be as low as 1.7 [m] .
- The Gitzo feet release system is very nice, but the basalt I heard is not the best series (why I ask for a possible direct comparison) .
- Camera system (for weight) , k3 with batery grip and the 50- 135 (or Rokinon 85) . Possible to change in the future to a FF (Sony or others) .

Also if you could help with a Tripod head suggestion (not the pro series) .


Thanks!


Last edited by urssu; 08-03-2016 at 03:34 AM.
08-03-2016, 05:31 PM   #2
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I have both Gitzo and Manfrotto tripods, as well as Sirui, Slik, and Velbon. My take and advice:
1) despite the number or photographers who swear by them, I think that Gitzo tripods are criminally over priced;
2) Manfrottos are good, solid, reliable tripods, every bit as sturdy, vibration-free as an equivalently priced Gitzo (but there aren't any Gitzos at a price comparable to a Manfrotto);
3) I have found twist locks (AKA collar locks) unreliable ESPECIALLY on my Gitzo, even after replacing all the friction pads (difficult to locate a supplier) the smallest leg section still collapsed unexpectedly, unpredictably;
4) I have found lever locks almost 100% reliable, even on my ancient Slik 444D.

As to tripod heads: The Sirui K20-X at $128 (B&H PhotoVideo) is hands down the best bargain in a ball head. Beautifully made, wonderful smooth progressive lock, rock solid when turned to lock. For less money and a smaller head, the K10 X is more that capable of holding the equipment you've described. I use one routinely with K3 or K1 and 60~250, 300 f4; 200 macro, and even 150~450 and it does not slip - ever. Absolutely wonderful heads, outstanding bargain prices, every bit as good if not better than the highly touted big RRS ball head.
08-03-2016, 08:46 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Hello,


Thanks for the reply.
Unfortunately here in Europe it is hard to find many of the tripod heads you have mentioned.

Questions about the leg release system for the Manfrotto:
- Does it hold (the legs don' t collapse alone) ?
- Did it get loose in time and meeded retightening?
- Also, did you get dust, sand, leaves or whatever in the clamping system?
- If so, how easy was it to clean?

Another question:
- Is there a Slik tripod in the same price range (weight and height) with the Manfrotto but with screw system quick release system (like the Gitzo) ?
Thanks!

Last edited by urssu; 08-03-2016 at 09:59 PM.
08-04-2016, 08:47 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by urssu Quote
Questions about the leg release system for the Manfrotto:
- Does it hold (the legs don' t collapse alone) ?
- Did it get loose in time and meeded retightening?
- Also, did you get dust, sand, leaves or whatever in the clamping system?
- If so, how easy was it to clean?
I think those questions are addressed to me so:
1) my Manfrotto is a 3221 purchased maybe later 1970's. The lever locks on it have never slipped, do not slip now, and they do not have adjustments;
2) my Slik 444D is even older, the lever locks have never slipped, do not slip now, and they do not have adjustments;
3) I have two relatively new tripods with flip locks: A) a Giottos carbon fiber Silk Road ultra light and compact tripod I use when traveling by plane; the flip locks have loosened and can be tightened with a supplied Allen wrench; B) a steel Sirui which is larger and heavier, with very similarly designed flip locks which is my preferred general-use tripod locally; the flip locks are nearly identical to those on the Giottos but have never needed retightening despite the fact that the tripod is used more;
4) the Gitzo 1228 carbon-fiber tripod with collar locks from the outset needed a very hard twist to insure the legs would not start collapsing. Eventually it became almost impossible to prevent the smallest leg section from sliding back in, so after several weeks of searching I finally found a source of new friction pads (in the UK). I dismantled all the legs, cleaned everything thoroughly, reassembled with the new friction pads but still the smallest leg section is prone to slipping back unless the collar lock is given a really hard twist. Because of that, I almost never extend that small section and rarely use the Gitzo any more because I don't trust it (what if it started to collapse while my back was turned?).
5) Slik makes a wide range of tripods, legs only and with a head, steel and carbon fiber, mostly collar locks but some flip lever. Best way to see the line is go to B&H even if you cannot order from them, and search "Slik tripod."

If I were advising on a tripod and price were no object, I'd say that Manfrotto's 190 and 055 series are the best currently available (Slik is lower priced, and as noted, at least here the prices for Gitzo are absurd). Which of the many models to select?
1) for lightest weight and most compact: the 190 with 4 leg sections in carbon fiber;
2) for maximum stability at most reasonable cost: the 055 with 3-leg sections in steel.
3) get the tilting central column if you anticipate a lot of flowers, insects, ground-level and the like; otherwise do not pay for it.
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, I would take flip locks over collar locks. IMHO they are quicker and more secure. If you have flipped the lever, it is locked, but how much tightening of a collar is enough? Does the smallest section need a firmer twist than the largest? If you are tightening a smaller section, have you tightened the next larger section enough to prevent that section from turning instead of the collar locking? I DO NOT LIKE collar locks.

For a ball head i would recommend considering: 1) Sirui; 2) Manfrotto hydrostatic; 3) FLM (wide range of prices, chose by weight capacity* and include an adjustable friction control); 4) Benro.

*a rated capacity of about 17 pounds is more than sufficient unless you anticipate using a 300mm or longer telephoto, BUT, the higher the load capacity, the easier it is to lock a head securely, and a head with a larger ball is usually a little smoother/easier for framing.


Last edited by WPRESTO; 08-04-2016 at 08:54 AM.
08-20-2016, 09:53 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I think those questions are addressed to me so:
1) my Manfrotto is a 3221 purchased maybe later 1970's. The lever locks on it have never slipped, do not slip now, and they do not have adjustments;
2) my Slik 444D is even older, the lever locks have never slipped, do not slip now, and they do not have adjustments;
3) I have two relatively new tripods with flip locks: A) a Giottos carbon fiber Silk Road ultra light and compact tripod I use when traveling by plane; the flip locks have loosened and can be tightened with a supplied Allen wrench; B) a steel Sirui which is larger and heavier, with very similarly designed flip locks which is my preferred general-use tripod locally; the flip locks are nearly identical to those on the Giottos but have never needed retightening despite the fact that the tripod is used more;
4) the Gitzo 1228 carbon-fiber tripod with collar locks from the outset needed a very hard twist to insure the legs would not start collapsing. Eventually it became almost impossible to prevent the smallest leg section from sliding back in, so after several weeks of searching I finally found a source of new friction pads (in the UK). I dismantled all the legs, cleaned everything thoroughly, reassembled with the new friction pads but still the smallest leg section is prone to slipping back unless the collar lock is given a really hard twist. Because of that, I almost never extend that small section and rarely use the Gitzo any more because I don't trust it (what if it started to collapse while my back was turned?).
5) Slik makes a wide range of tripods, legs only and with a head, steel and carbon fiber, mostly collar locks but some flip lever. Best way to see the line is go to B&H even if you cannot order from them, and search "Slik tripod."

If I were advising on a tripod and price were no object, I'd say that Manfrotto's 190 and 055 series are the best currently available (Slik is lower priced, and as noted, at least here the prices for Gitzo are absurd). Which of the many models to select?
1) for lightest weight and most compact: the 190 with 4 leg sections in carbon fiber;
2) for maximum stability at most reasonable cost: the 055 with 3-leg sections in steel.
3) get the tilting central column if you anticipate a lot of flowers, insects, ground-level and the like; otherwise do not pay for it.
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, I would take flip locks over collar locks. IMHO they are quicker and more secure. If you have flipped the lever, it is locked, but how much tightening of a collar is enough? Does the smallest section need a firmer twist than the largest? If you are tightening a smaller section, have you tightened the next larger section enough to prevent that section from turning instead of the collar locking? I DO NOT LIKE collar locks.

For a ball head i would recommend considering: 1) Sirui; 2) Manfrotto hydrostatic; 3) FLM (wide range of prices, chose by weight capacity* and include an adjustable friction control); 4) Benro.

*a rated capacity of about 17 pounds is more than sufficient unless you anticipate using a 300mm or longer telephoto, BUT, the higher the load capacity, the easier it is to lock a head securely, and a head with a larger ball is usually a little smoother/easier for framing.
Hey there,


I bought from eBay the Manfrotto 4 legged CF (190 CX) with a hybrid ballhead.
I hope I didn' t get scammed on eBay.
Maybe I' ll get back with my opinions.


Thanks again for you time!

L.E. :

Quick impressions:
- just as heavy as my previous Al Fancier tripod
- leg release mech. is just as hard to open (maybe from not being used enough)
- much easier to handle in cold days
- taller then the old one (so the weight is not a dissadvantage)
- legs don' t come out as smooth as my Al one; once you started slidding the leg out, you can' t just push with some force to slide out completely; it gets stuck a lot. Not a big issue as I can learn but the time spent for this is something new.

So, biggest drawback for me would be the legs release mechanism. I thought that being the brand it is, the system would be smoother. But I understand it needs to hold the legs by pure pressure.
The rest, quality.


I am content with the purchase.



Thank you again for your help!
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