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Accessory Review: Manfrotto 190 Carbon Fiber Tripod

By dpreview staff on Dec 13, 2013 at 06:00 GMT

Lauded as a compact semi-professional model and constructed of cross-woven carbon fiber, the new 190 ($409.88 body only) would be an eye-catching addition to any camera kit. Manfrotto made several improvements to the new model, but do they place it far enough beyond the old 190, which cost $259.95, to justify the price hike?

Comments

Total comments: 71
RUcrAZ
By RUcrAZ (5 days ago)

There is an obvious market for $500 tripods, but I envision monster things that weigh a ton, extend to 3 meters and carry 2-3 large, heavy vidcams. Not simple small devices with three legs.
(I saw them at B&H in New York, with $3000+ pricetags.)
For $500 I would want, as a minimum, lifetime guarantee not only for defects, but accidents, theft, insurrections, and any other mishap in existence. Including, a motorized head, a racking device, auto-levelling, and someone to carry and set it up for me, every time I need it.
(My little, very light, expensive "$70" Gioto tripod with a milkbottle full of water hanging from it is very steady and seems to fit my particular need.)
.... but then again I am happy with my BMW, do not need a Bentley. :-)

0 upvotes
babart
By babart (1 week ago)

God, I love my aluminum Giottos (two of them.) I saved over $200 compared to this carbon model by Manfrotto. The weight difference is 6 ounces and they hold the same payload.

BAB

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jase
By jase (1 week ago)

I've had a Benro M168M8 which I loved and now I use a Three Legged Thing Brian and a Velbon Ultrek UT43D with a Benro B00 head as it packs down so incredibly small..... of course I have a Manfrotto as well, I just dont use it for photography.

http://g3.img-dpreview.com/5954084FD26C4F4F89C6A1DD5EDFB100.jpg

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
1 upvote
alexwgreen
By alexwgreen (2 weeks ago)

"The odd thing was that the leveling bubbles were centered, but the camera was visibly tilted, and that's something that needed to be remedied for smooth pans and tilts. When I tested this with the bubbles centered, my footage tilted slightly to the right during pans and tilts. Perhaps a redesign of the mounting plate needs to be addressed, since the camera has to be mounted with the plate perpendicular."

Interestingly, I returned a head back with this very problem. When switching to "photo" mode, the mounting plate was simply not perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the pan. It was exchanged and the replacement is properly flat. What is annoying though is that the bubble level on the tripod and the one on the head don't match up.

0 upvotes
MPA1
By MPA1 (3 weeks ago)

I owned a couple of Manfrottos.
Then I bought a Gitzo....and never went back.

0 upvotes
MisterBG
By MisterBG (1 month ago)

I've been told that a lot of the lower end carbon fiber tripods are actually thin aluminium tubes clad in carbon fiber.
The only company that uses pure carbon for their legs is Gitzo, which is reflected in their prices.
Is that true in this case?

0 upvotes
khuon
By khuon (1 month ago)

That's absolutely not true. I have several CF tripods from various brands and they're full CF. I've never heard of a CF-wrapped Al tripod. That wouldn't even make sense. It'd actually be more expensive to manufacture.

0 upvotes
Northoceanbeach
By Northoceanbeach (1 week ago)

It's not true for the manfrotto 190. But that is a common sneaky technique they use is road bike parts. Some of the lower end ones are aluminum tubes wrapped in carbon. So it must be cheaper. I wouldn't be surprised if some photo companies do it too. Especially since manfrotto points out theirs is full carbon.

0 upvotes
tbcass
By tbcass (1 month ago)

Nice but I would opt for the aluminum version to save quite a bit of money. The extra weight doesn't bother me a bit.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (1 month ago)

One alternative might be the 458B
- it is quick to set up and the legs do smooth out after a bit of use.

It has most of the features of the 190 and looks quite similar to it. Upside down, wide legs, copy stand etc.

http://www.manfrotto.com/neotec-pro-photo-tripod

Well worth a look and many of my pics were taken with one :-
http://photohounds.smugmug.com

It is very easy to use and fast to set up.

You can hang your camera bag off the centre column, of course but a 4 degree AOV is probably the limit unless you get a cradle style head. (300mm MFT - or - 600mm in 35mm terms).

I also use a Nodal Ninja head for panoramas (in the panoramas section of course)

I wouldn't use it for REALLY long lenses - even with a cradle style head.

0 upvotes
KZMike
By KZMike (2 months ago)

I agree with 'wetsleet', that DPReview would/could/should have more [read more timely] 'accessory' reviews, especially tripods. . . I made my purchase in July of 2013 prior to the review I'm new to having a need for a quality- study tripod [timelapse] and ended up getting a Manfrotto 190XPROB [aluminum] with a 3-way [804RC2] head. . . which is great EXCEPT for TL projects requiring an up angle more than the +30° [alt+248] up angle that head allows. I have had to mount the camera backwards [ a real pain] to get the up angles I need in those situations. . . as 'luck' seems to be happening, more projects are requiring 60°+ angles. [sigh]

Also reading some of the issues [plastic tabs, etc.] noted here, seems to indicate I made a poor decision. . . hoping a different head will help

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ericwestpheling
By ericwestpheling (4 months ago)

I own a set of Manfrotto CF legs (055MF4) that had ONE plastic locking tab break off after 6 years of use. This was 1 of 9 small plastic tabs, so it was bound to happen.

After searching I found there were no spare parts available online (either from the vendor or 3rd party).

I sent the legs to Manfrotto for repair and waited over 3 weeks for a reply. I was quoted $70 to do the repair: replacing a small plastic tab.

I asked for the parts to be sent to me and I could do the replacement and was told that was not an option. I was offered to replace my product with a new version with a $40 discount. This would cost $300 out of pocket.

I was told that 6 years was "A long time" for this set of legs to have lasted.

If you are working with gear, do the math: investing $300 every 4-6 years adds up.

$70 for a small plastic part is not acceptable.

I implore you to avoid Manfrotto if you like your gear and don't want to needlessly replace it when THEY say its beyond its lifespan.

8 upvotes
ericwestpheling
By ericwestpheling (4 months ago)

Just FYI- I purchased my new set from Sachtler.

Look around when you are working- you'll see Oconnor, Cartoni, Sacthler equipment thats 30+ years old, still getting it done flawlessly, and still able to be serviced!!

They may cost a LOT more but you won't be paying more than once!

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
matthewhuck
By matthewhuck (2 months ago)

That is messed up...70 bucks for a little plastic bit. I might not buy a Manfrotto when I need to replace mine. It's an old bogen/manfrotto aluminum tripod from the early 90's. It's been run over by a car. Still works. Even the original mini 3D head. But, there's also no plastic on it. It's a tank, and heavy like one too.

0 upvotes
Joe
By Joe (1 month ago)

I shared that sad experience with a Manfrotto. I've used a 3021 and 3221 for decades without problem, although their friction locks do require periodic adjustment with a wrench. But their locks are metal. My Manfrotto with plastic friction locks broke under normal use, and there was no possibility for economically feasible repair. So I JB-Welded the leg in the extended position for the rare time when it may be handy. Or, when it goes into the recycle bin. The Gitzo tripods, long and well used, are still like new, really beautiful and smooth. And the carbon fiber Induro I bought last week gives me the impression that it will outlast me many years. I did not seriously consider buying another Bogen/Manfrotto.

0 upvotes
Joffun
By Joffun (1 month ago)

I have a Manfrotto 718SHB on which 5 out of the 9 plastic clamps have broken. The tripod has had very little use. It is possible to buy replacement parts but at $40 a clamp I won't be doing that.

I do have a larger Manfrotto which has lasted a long time, but I now need to look for another travel tripod and an unlikely to buy Manfrotto again

0 upvotes
victorian squid
By victorian squid (1 month ago)

Weird, I looked up the part, and it's ₤7
http://www.gitzospares.com/index.php?route=product/product&keyword=r190.396&product_id=927 so what, less than $20 shipped? Just guessing on shipping costs. They sell Manfrotto/Gitzo everything. http://www.manfrottospares.com/ - the part number took me to a URL that say's gitzo (some folks just don't want to know). I've got a Bogen and a Manfrotto - and will keep them as long as they provide service. I wonder if some of these newer companies will provide parts in the future at all. I've gotten a Sirui M3204X recently and love it - but parts? TBD!

1 upvote
57even
By 57even (4 months ago)

I had a 190 4 section carbon and the mounting plate detached from the centre column while I was unpacking it. I reattached it, but the design was so poor than no amount of tightening would convince me the same thing would not happen in the field when the column was anything but vertical.

On top of that it really was not very stiff, was quite heavy for its load capacity and not very compact when folded up. But it was cheap.

I hope they have fixed some of those issues, because this one is far from cheap.

1 upvote
Chris J Newman
By Chris J Newman (4 months ago)

I was seriously considering the new 4-section 190CXPRO4 (the old version was too short for me), but I noticed that the 055CXPRO4 offered similar height, weight, features and price, with larger diameter tubes that should give a more rigid tripod unless the joints are inadequate. But I subsequently decided that turning the column 90° would give very little advantage over being able to work without the centre column, or invert it. For real flexibility my Benbo (which is very cumbersome for carrying) allows me to put the centre column at any angle. I can set it parallel to the lens axis and use it for coarse focusing for macro work. (I think the Gitzo Explorer offers this in a tripod that can match the Manfrottos for portability, but at a price.) I am currently considering the Redged TSC-425, which is much lighter and folds rather shorter than the Manfrottos. It can be used without the centre column, or with the column reversed, but the column can’t be angled.

Chris

1 upvote
ZAnton
By ZAnton (4 months ago)

The price is just INSANE. I wonder what do they mean under "semi-professional". One must earn a hell of a lot of money with photography to buy $400 tripod. Or be a Abramovich son. Or an idiot.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
gonzalu
By gonzalu (4 months ago)

Some folks spend $10,000 on Golf gear, another $15,000 yearly on trips to go golfing and make ZERO money doing it. Some spend $10,000 on a telescope for Astrophotography and make NO MONEY doing so... it is for the love of it we do it... to achieve a better result for ourselves. It does not have to be spending because one's rich.

If you see the work that goes into the making of a Gitzo, you understand why the price is so high. But they do deliver on Value for your money. Same goes for quality glass. It makes a hell of a difference!

5 upvotes
Just a Photographer
By Just a Photographer (2 months ago)

Don't be a fool 400 dollars is next to nothing for good gear.

Now without having seen this tripod for myself its hard to decide how good it actually is, but if it comes close to any Gitzo then 400 dollars is even cheap.

0 upvotes
jerrymend
By jerrymend (4 months ago)

I bought the 190cx pro 3 (carbon) last month. Is this a newer version ?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

an old version doesn't necessarily mean a worse version.

1 upvote
jerrymend
By jerrymend (4 months ago)

Thanks---You are right. I was just curious. The new version is heavier and more expensive by over $125. I am quite satisfied with the one I have.

0 upvotes
Bob Tullis
By Bob Tullis (4 months ago)

The only reason Im not using the 190CXPro3 now is for the need to go lighter, smaller when collapsed, and with as much stability as this model offers. Lost a little functionality and a significant amount of change to attain that, but what isn't a compromise when choosing some sort of photographic gear?

If the weight/size/capacity specs fit (not forgetting some may have strong feelings about twist v flip locks), this IS a fine choice that will take some reasonable abuse and endure.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MAKfoto
By MAKfoto (4 months ago)

If you want serious stuff Gitzo or Really Right Stuff mostly fits , otherwise if you are shooting with APSC basic models then even a Benro does good job like their Benro travel angel type series.
Manfrotto is asking more money for the name only ,a Sirui is much better built as seen and tested by me.
I own 9 tripods ranginging from 3KG to 40 KG capacity.

What I'm saying is that just don't fall for the brand name, now you have a LOT of options in this very competitive market.

21 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (4 months ago)

This is good advice.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (4 months ago)

Does DPR have a decent Tripod group review? I've done a quick search, but only scattered individual reviews. Maybe you could write a piece - you clearly have a good stock of tripods. I'm keen to know what kinds of build and features suit which activities and purposes. For such a conceptually simple device, the tripod hides many subtleties.

5 upvotes
ZAnton
By ZAnton (4 months ago)

I have just ordered a Sirui tripod with head. I totally agree, for the same money Sirui is lighter and shorter and cheaper and it has proper height (for me at least) and it has lots of extras (monopode from a leg, hook...). Have not compared the quality yet, but all reviews are highly positive.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
57even
By 57even (4 months ago)

I agree, Sirui and Feisol seem to offer a lot for the money and I cannot fault the quality of either. I have a Feisol Traveller and Sirui ballhead and both are nicely made and very robust, light, decent capacity and very good value for what you get.

0 upvotes
JosephScha
By JosephScha (4 months ago)

I have an older - not carbon - 190X PRO B. It weighs more than the camera I mount on it. But it is a fantastic, flexible tripod. And: the plastic latch mechanism has adjustable tension and it comes adjusted, you don't have to push or pull hard enough to trouble the plastic. Nothing on this tripod has broken or disappointed me in any way in the several years since I bought it.
The ability to move the center pole to horizontal position, and point the camera straight down or close to it, has been a feature I didn't know I needed until I had it. It's come in handy on several occasions!

2 upvotes
nstam
By nstam (4 months ago)

i have the same tripod... in my silliness partying endeavours, I opened the legs in the shortest height allowed without laying on the ground and stood on the tripod near the center column... it only broke after the third hop on it. (okay 160 lbs/72kg isnt the chubbiest) but it held me for a long time! just got the part from UK to fix... cannot wait to get her back together!

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

When I look at a Manfrotto tripod, the first thing I ask is, are those latches plastic? They seem like such a nice idea and made out of the right material, they would be. The airlines really don't like 'em, though.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (4 months ago)

I own this for a few years and like the convenience and the design. I got the pistol grip package on sale and it cost a lot less a few years ago. I use a blackrapid straps and beats swapping the base plate. Actually the base plate never leave the camera, and I bought a few for all my main camera. I stupidly too this to the beach and got sand in the leg. no problem 2 hours later I deta he'd the leg and cleaned it. It isn't the sturdiest tripod but it is light and portable. The 3 sections is sturdier then the 4. The horizontal position can be weak if legs r unextended.

0 upvotes
Spectro
By Spectro (4 months ago)

Sorry for grammar error wrote this on cellphone, can t edit.

0 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (4 months ago)

I agree about the horizontal position. I just tried it again this week and found the best position is to the have the horizontal pole in line with one of the legs. Plus have the legs extended at least one section as you mentioned. Great feature though, as I do a fair bit of close-up work.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Erick L
By Erick L (4 months ago)

Those leg locks are an annoyance for nature photographers. They catch on everything.

2 upvotes
Spectrum2007
By Spectrum2007 (4 months ago)

That may be true but flip locks set up quicker. up is open, down is locked, whereas with threaded locks you have to screw them in and then you cant tell visually whether theyre tightened, you have to actaully check each one to prevent a leg from drooping. Vangaurd locks lie pretty flat so I cant see those catching on much.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Richard Murdey
By Richard Murdey (4 months ago)

@Spectrum2007 Having used both I don't share that view. Its just one continuous action: unscrew, adjust the legs, tighten. The locks are never left loose, so whether they are tight or not is never is doubt. I find the screw locks better under field use than the tabbed locks, overall.

1 upvote
Erick L
By Erick L (4 months ago)

Newer twist locks are faster as they can be unlocked all at once. I've had several flip-locks tripods and they were nothing but trouble. On top of catching on branches and twigs, I got pinched fingers, broken levers and the constant need to tighten them. Twist-locks don't have these problems by design.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

The head is a good concept. Switching between my ballhead and fluid head is a complete drag. The problem as I see it is that Manfrotto plates are not compatible with the more common Arca Swiss plates and L-brackets. And really the best way to use a ballhead is in concert with an L-bracket. That way switching to the vertical orientation, you don't ever have to use the awkward drop slot of the ballhead. The video plate of this head is a bit of a non-starter for this reason.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Lightexpeditions
By Lightexpeditions (4 months ago)

I purchased the 190CXPRO4 yesterday. I plan to make at least one photo trip every year and I need the compact size of this tripod to fit in my luggage. I am coupling it with an Acratech ball head for lightness and mobility (both were made for each other). The ultimate plan is to cross over to the mirrorless technology because my Gitzo and my D800 and three lenses are not getting any lighter.

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (4 months ago)

See my comments below about owning a 190cxpro4 :-)

0 upvotes
johndill
By johndill (4 months ago)

I am buying this tripod in the near future. I don't do much video. I have a 5DIII and I use a Black Radio strap. I'd like some sort of compatibility between the tripod head and the Black Rapid strap. My budget for a tripod head is $250 or less. What would be an excellent head for this tripod

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (4 months ago)

A word of warning if you buy any lightweight carbon fiber tripod.
Because they are so light, when a camera is attached they are very top heavy with a high center of gravity. One slight knock and they fall over REALLY EASILY. Just ask my 24-70mm lens that has taken a header into the concrete twice. :-/

Out on location, I hang the camera bag from it as ballast, or in the studio I hang a sand bag from it. Now I can bump into it all day long and it stay's solid.
Due to the narrow attachment lug on the tripod, I had to purchase one of these:

http://www.niteize.com/product/S-Biner-Stainless-Steel.asp

If your buying this tripod I recommend you do the same.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
SwampYankee
By SwampYankee (4 months ago)

thanks for that. I'll consider myself advised. Might even consider Aluminium. I really don't carry a tripod around, but I do like it n the car truck

0 upvotes
Chris Noble
By Chris Noble (4 months ago)

"Oversized" leg angle locks? Is that a defect or just a marketing fluff-word?

0 upvotes
Bill Bentley
By Bill Bentley (4 months ago)

Neither. I have the 055X-PRO-B and the angle locks are 1/3 the size of this model. Being larger makes it a bit easier on the fingers when using them. Wish mine were oversized.

2 upvotes
ornitho1
By ornitho1 (4 months ago)

I am not a professional photographer
This tripod is sure eye-catching but you would have to give me solid reasons to convince me to pay that much money for a tripod
Convince me!!

4 upvotes
Hugo600si
By Hugo600si (4 months ago)

it saves you more than 70% from a Gitzo with RRS ballhead ;)

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

and Manfrotto tripods have lower quality than some Japanese and Chinese brands.

3 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (4 months ago)

The short answer is, "breakthrough" digital cameras come and go, obsolete in a year or two. But a really good tripod like Gitzo, RRS or Sachtler will never be obsolete and will last a lifetime. People are still getting good use from tripods made in the 20th century and earlier.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> good use from tripods made in the 20th century and earlier.

same can be said for tables, chairs, and toilets.

btw, I believe the reason why Manfrotto tripods break easily is because the metal materials they use are of low quality. they don't only break at the weakest points but quite randomly at other places, too.

Comment edited 14 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

or it could be poor casting process that Manfrotto have been using consistently over the years.

0 upvotes
JakeB
By JakeB (4 months ago)

No.

0 upvotes
Jerry Ci
By Jerry Ci (4 months ago)

Ornitho1, that's a good question ... even more so with the prevalence of Image Stabilization. I have a Gitzo tripod that cost more than this. I don't use it often, but use it when there may be camera sway or movement and sharpness is critical. Since IS mitigates the same camera movement, I wonder if IS will eventually render the tripod obsolete. There is one unavoidable fact: tripods are a pain in the ass to carry and somewhat time-consuming to set-up.

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (4 months ago)

@Jerry Ci

Photographers will always need tripod's. Just IS mean's they won't be used as much.

...I do 30 seconds to an occasional 10min exposure's when landscaping

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (4 months ago)

@ornitho1

If you drive to your subject matter or do studio shooting, then a tripod like this is pure decadence. If your treking the hill's, riding a bike, travelling through country's and/or have Airline weight restriction's. Then this Tripod makes perfect sense.

Im demanding of my equipment and contrary to the 'Manfrotto poor quality' remark's posted here, I have been 100% happy with my purchase of the older model and it still works like the day it was bought.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Fingel
By Fingel (4 months ago)

I have used a Manfrotto tripod for years. I think it is the 3001 aluminum. I bought it so long ago I don't remember. Never had any quality issues with that one, sorry to hear the brand has dropped in quality over the last 20 years since I bought it. I have mounted everything on it from a tiny Panasonic GX-1 to my old Deardorf 8x10. It has never let me down.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

not every Manfrotto breaks. accurally only a very small fraction of them do which is enough to make them significantly worse than rivals.

hope someone (lensrentals.com?) could give accurate figures.

0 upvotes
Paul Amyes
By Paul Amyes (4 months ago)

I have a Manfrotto ART 190 3 section aluminium tripod that I bought in 1988. It has been all over the world with me and used in water, snow, and sand. Apart from a few scratches on the legs it is still as good as the day I bought it. I've got a 055 that is nearly 20 years old and not a problem. Throw into the mix all the lighting stands, clamps, arms, and heads and I've not had any problems with any Manfrotto product in thirty years of professional use. The college where I taught photography also used Manfrotto because they were "student" proof. They are easy to service and Manfrotto have a full range of spare parts that they sell through their website in the event of any problem.

0 upvotes
Rod McD
By Rod McD (4 months ago)

Thanks for the review. It looks good, apart from the feet - it needs retractable or (even better) fixed metal points for field use. I'm not sure how the standard rubber/synthetic ends are fixed onto the CF legs, but on the old aluminium models, they'd get pulled off if you pushed the tripod down into sand/ice/mud and then lifted it out.

The 190 is available in a four section leg version as well as the three section one shown here. (No-one ever mentions is how long it takes to put up a tripod with four or even five leg sections (like Sirui) when you're in a hurry. It seems take an age and I recommend buying the three section models unless you're very, very desperate for the space saving.)

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (4 months ago)

Four legs take's an age to put up? It takes longer than 3 legs, but all of about 3 seconds extra.

Unlock all three lock's, pull all section's out in one motion, relock lock's, repeat for the two remaining legs..

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Fingel
By Fingel (4 months ago)

When I'm out in the field, I don't bother collapsing my tripod at all. I just through it over my shoulder fully extended, usually with my camera still on it, like an infantry soldier and go to my next spot.

2 upvotes
mantra
By mantra (4 months ago)

Hi
but the head is a ball head or video head

thanks

0 upvotes
Clueless Wanderer
By Clueless Wanderer (4 months ago)

I have the previous version of the CX190 pro4.

When you splay the tripod totally flat, the last section collars are touching the ground and not the feet (circumfrence too small)

Because the bottom of the center column has a release button, they have a bag hang lug on the crown. The hole in this is so thin that you have to buy a specialized thin carabina to hang the bag from.
Other than these two niggles, the tripod has been great. I would buy it again in a heart beat.

I got mine for travelling and treking and it fold's down to a perfect size for fixing to the outside of the ruck sack and if you remove the head it fits just perfectly in a medium size (20kg full) suitcase.

Now I am going into portrait's it is a little short (in height) for a six foot model and the 055 would be better suited for this.

Occasionally, i have had a Nikon D700 with 70-200mm on top with an 8kg bag slung below, there was a little bow to the legs, but it was fine and has been fine ever since.

1 upvote
JamesVo
By JamesVo (4 months ago)

I carried the alu 3 leg version on my backpack for years. Recently sold it and got the carbon 4 leg for reduced weight and more compact folded length. I use it with a ballhead for landscape and macro with D800 and lenses up to 100mm. The design is great for positioning the camera almost anywhere, even a few cm from ground level. At full stretch the 190 is just tall enough for eye level shooting on flat ground.

The innermost section of the 4 section leg is VERY thin. 2 problems : 1) it is definitely less stiff than the old alu 3 leg tripod when extended and 2) the optional metal spike feet for the thinner leg section are much more difficult to find.

IMO this tripod is suitable for entry level and mid level DSLR with lenses up to about 150mm focal length. If you don't need the portability and will be using longer focal lengths or a pro size DSLR or you want eye level positioning on uneven terrain then rather go for the taller stiffer 055 or 057 series

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nukunukoo
By Nukunukoo (4 months ago)

I have the 55 and I was seriously considering the Carbon Fiber one for lightness. Thanks for the info.

0 upvotes
Prognathous
By Prognathous (4 months ago)

Isn't the 055CXPRO4 a better buy? It's currently cheaper than the new MT190CXPRO3 ($340 vs $410), it's more stable (maximum load 17.64 lbs / 8.0 kg vs 15.4 lb / 7.0 kg), folds shorter (21.46" / 54.5 cm vs 24" / 61 cm) and opens taller (66.93" / 170 cm vs 63" / 160 cm). All of this for the negligible added weight of (0.15 lb / 100 gram).

Shared disadvantages of both: The column doesn't have a bottom hook to hang a bag for added stability, and features that other brands provide at this price are all extra - No retractable spikes, and no bag or strap.

I'm currently considering the 055CXPRO4 but haven't made up my mind yet. There are too many other tripods that are appealing and provide different tradeoffs. I would very much appreciate comments and suggestions in the thread that I opened here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3591013

Thanks!

3 upvotes
babola
By babola (4 months ago)

I was in the same boat as you, considering MF 055CXPRO4 among others. Settled eventually with an Induro CT214 and couldn't be happier.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 71