One of the things that I have most eagerly awaited this year is the release by Manfrotto of the new 055 tripod line, together with the new three-way head. When I saw an email from Manfrotto telling me my shipment had left the warehouse… I was as happy as a kid in a sweetshop.
I must say that both products are immensely beautiful. The unpacking of them was like discovering a pearl in an oyster, really!
I don’t want to be too enthusiastic, but really the design, that I’d had the chance and good fortune to see some time ago, had a wonderful impact when first seeing the product.
I had always needed a strong three way head. Up until now, my options were they were very light, but too weak for my camera, 804 head, and the 808, a nice three way head, but quite heavy to travel with (1,39 Kg). For my daily use I do a lot of interior, landscape and night photography, so I desperately need a support system which can combine practicality and lightness..Manfrotto has always succeeded in providing their clients, (professionals or simply passionate hobbyists), the best tools to develop their creativity and do their job in the best possible way. As soon as I had my hands on these jewels, I felt this was again a success.
Because I travel a lot, and walk a lot, the option for me has always been carbon fibre legs and a very light head with great performance, (so I can use my 5D MKIII with 70-200 2.8 with confidence). My head of choice then had been the 468MAGRC2 hydrostatic head, very light and strong. However, I don’t really like ball-heads. They are never as precise and handy like a good three way head.
You can understand how happy I was when I saw the specs of the new MHXPRO-3W; 8 kg payload, for just 1 kg of weight!!!
The new MHXPRO-3W is a very compact three way head. This makes it a winner already. One of the problems I have always had with this type of heads is their size. The design is great, and the friction system combined with the retracting handles works great when you are looking for precision of composition.But let’s be a bit more specific:
The new MT055CXPRO4 is slightly smaller than the previous version, yet keeping all his versatility; 1,70 m maximum height, and 9 cm minimum height.
I love this, because in my landscape and night photography I love low angles. The new locking system is great, strong and handy. It’s a great improvement, shorter set up time and better grip. The new 90 degrees system for the central column is stronger than the previous Q90, therefore it’s more stable.
A minor issue that I have noticed, is that if you aren’t very careful in handling the closed tripod, the handles can fold and entangle with the items it’s stored with. This is only a minor hassle anyway. Happy me! This is because my very very low angle and macro shots have noticeably improved.
One really nice thing to have is the little Easy-Link feature, which allows to fix a light support to the tripod. It can be handy for macros. I haven’t used it so far, and for the type of photography I do, I’m not sure it’s a feature I will use, but I must say it’s a nice addition and one that will benefit some but not all.
As a previous user of the old 055CXPRO4 + 468MAGRC2 System, I must say that I like this one much better, I have a more stable and precise system, which results in sharper and better images.
Thanks again Manfrotto for this amazing product.
Here more about the new Manfrotto 055