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12-09-2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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Bogen 190 series and 055 series - advice needed

The time has come to cough up the funds for a real tripod. I currently have a Slik Sprint pro which worked fine for my 35mm OM2n and primes (think really light), but my K10d, battery grip and various fast zooms demand more gusto, especially in the portrait position.

I already purchased a Manfrotto 488RC2 ballhead (with the MSlive discount) and I'm trying to decide what my needs are for legs. I will be shooting mostly home studio type shots, night photography, and occasionally landscapes. I don't own nor do I want a "Bigma", so I don't need a tripod with a 50 lb. weight capacity. My heaviest lenses are my Tamron 90mm/f2.8 macro and Tamron 28-75/2.8.

The shorter 4-section stands have my attention -- who wouldn't want to save 4 or 5 inches in length, but I am 6'4", so I'm kind of leaning toward the 055 series for its added height. How much would weight matter for what I want to do? Would saving 8oz with carbon fiber be worth $100 or more?

I can probably afford any of those tripods with the MSlive discount...I just don't want to over-buy or under-buy if I can help it.

190XB

190CXPRO4

055MF4

055CXPRO4

Or even an unfamiliar name: Induro C214

Any advice?


Last edited by geauxpez; 12-09-2008 at 08:24 PM. Reason: Repaired Link
12-09-2008, 08:38 PM   #2
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One comment,

If you have one of the 190 or 55 PRO series with the column that can be swung out to a horizontal position, once in the horizontal position, the clamping mechanism has enough slack to allow the column to rotate.

It's a slight PIA when down low framing macro shots.

This is despite the claim of "3-faceted 100% carbon fiber center column, which totally eliminates column rotation".

Drooping centre column nonetheless, I'd go for the carbon fibre 190 or 55 four leg version!

Last edited by Dale; 12-09-2008 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Spelling of course!
12-09-2008, 10:48 PM   #3
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Regarding weight, it totally depends on the person. I tried both the 190xprob and 055xprob. I went for the 055 for the added stability and the weight difference wasn't much FOR ME. I've brought it hiking to mountains and the rice terraces dozens of times and it hasn't bothered me, while other people exclaim at how heavy it is. I spent a lot on a ballhead so i won't skimp on the stability of the legs. Rock-solid tripod at such a great price (SRP here was equivalent to $100 USD).

I also prefer 3-section tripods for stability. 4-section tripods have thinner legs.

Try them both and decide what's acceptable in weight. You're a big guy, I'm only 5'9" so I'm guessing the 055 would be okay for you.

Good luck!

edit: I think how you carry the tripod is a huge factor on how weight affects you. I either (1) attach on my backpack, (2) keep it in my strobist bag (light stands etc) over my shoulder, or (3) carry it on my shoulder (most of the time).
12-09-2008, 11:06 PM   #4
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At 6'4" I think you'll want the extra height of the 055. The 190's you'll have to extend the center column quite a bit to keep from having to stoop down when taking shots. I'm 5'10" and with the legs fully extended on the 055XPROB, 322RC head and grip attached to the K10D/K20D the view finder is dead center eye level.

12-10-2008, 03:36 AM   #5
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Thanks everyone -- just the kind of input I wanted...keep it coming.
12-12-2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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I looked at several of these tripods at a shop today. The 190 series was too short for me. That's out. They had some Induro tripods, but for the money, I could probably get a comparable Gitzo. The 055MF series just felt heavy. They had a 055cx3 that seemed really nice. They didn't have the 055CXpro3 or 4 to play with.

They did, however have one of these:
Gitzo GT1932

And I REALLY liked it. Tall enough. Very light. The twist locks on the legs seemed rock solid (I have always been leery of those).

The price is doable as well. If the Mslive thing comes back in the next couple of weeks, I may go for the 055CXPRO4, if not, the Gitzo GT1932 will work fine. A lifetime warranty is a nice thing to have.
12-12-2008, 05:54 PM   #7
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I noticed that there no comments regarding the Induro. I looked at one this week and was very impressed. Nicer and more expensive than the Bogen and well-built. I finally decided on the Giottos 9360. I may regret the 4 section legs, but was unable to find the 3 section version.

Steve
12-13-2008, 12:26 AM   #8
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Induro/Benro are EXCELLENT tripods. If you are planning to expose it to elements such as rain, saltwater get them. Manfrottos (even the carbon fiber) are very prone to corrosion. I have to disassemble and clean mine after every rugged outdoor shoot to keep it in tough shape.

The Induro/benro models have sealed joints. I'm getting one for my outdoor shoots when I have the funds and keeping the Manfrotto for studio/urban shoots.

12-16-2008, 12:21 PM   #9
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I have the Manfrotto 3011 (Bogen 055) legs and the 486 ball head and found the combo to be too heavy. I lugged it around Europe this summer and it was a pain. I even have a nice padded strap for it too. I'll probably be getting a CF tripod in the near futre, my shoulder and back will thank me later.
12-16-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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This morning I ordered the Gitzo GT1932 from Adorama. It looked like they had it for a little less than the other placed I've seen it and free shipping, then I got a (paltry but still worth the effort) 3%cashback by linking to Adorama through LiveSearch. The Gitzo is similar to the 055 series in height, but weighs 3.1 lbs. When I compared the Gitzo to the Bogen 055MF3, the Gitzo seemed MUCH lighter. And I paid about $20 more for the Gitzo after the discounts. I'm anxious to see how it will feel with my 488RC2 head on it.
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