This top-of-the-range tripod from Manfrotto costs around £400 and sports carbon fibre leg tubes for extra rigidity and strength.
Manfrotto 055 Carbon Pro MT055CXPRO3 Features
Despite being strong enough to safely support a payload of up to 9kg, the carbon fibre and magnesium construction is lightweight, with this tripod tipping the scales at 2kg, which isn't much for a tripod of this size. To further aid the stiffness and stability of the tripod, Manfrotto have developed a new locking mechanism, which applies more force, making the legs stiffer. The new Quick Power Lock latches are still operable with one hand, which helps to make the legs easily adjustable.
Each of the legs can be set independently at four angles, and the newly designed latches make this setting much easier to adjust than with older Manfrotto designs.
The centre column can be set horizontally simply be unlocking it and pulling it out into position and an 'Easy Link' connection for an additional accessory arm is also provided.
Carbon fibre legs and centre column
Can support a payload of up to 9kg
Quick power lock latches
Four leg angles
Easy Link accessory connector
Manfrotto 055 Carbon Pro MT055CXPRO3 Handling
Although this is one of the largest and sturdiest tripods Manfrotto currently offer, the light weight makes it quite portable. Unfortunately, the £400 asking price doesn't buy you a head, or a case to carry it around in. For the purposes of the review, we fitted a Manfrotto XPRO 3 way head, which costs around £110.
In use, the tripod is very easy to set up, with all the latches clicking easily into place and the legs are simple to position at the angle you desire. Using the horizontal centre column has a bit more of a knack to it, but once mastered, it is incredibly quick to set up.
Manfrotto 055 Carbon Pro MT055CXPRO3 Performance
Although the feet don't have spikes built into them, the tripod feels stable on soft ground, thanks in part to the inherent stiffness of the frame and the ease with which everything can be tightened up.
The centre column can be removed completely if needs be, but cannot be split into two for low level shooting. Instead the centre column needs to be set horizontally. It's a good job that it is easy to set this way.
The maximum height of this tripod is 170cm, which is more than high enough for most applications. When closed, this tripod is 61cm long, which isn't the most compact, but the light weight adds to its portability.
Value For Money
With a price of around £400 and the ability to support a payload as large as 9kg, this is quite a specialised camera support, that will probably be overkill for many people. Even so, this tripod is designed to last, and will be especially useful for work with heavy, long lenses or larger format camera systems.
If the lightweight and extra rigidity of the carbon fibre legs isn't a priority, the same tripod is available with aluminium leg sections for around £200.
Giottos also offer a similarly specified carbon fibre legged tripod. Their Silk Road YTL
8383 costs around £260, can support a maximum payload of 8kg and opens to a maximum height of 183cm.
Manfrotto 055 Carbon Pro MT055CXPRO3 Verdict
There is no doubt this is an excellent, sturdy tripod, that exceeds the capabilities many photographers will require. With the price being around £400, it's probably priced beyond what many photographers can justify for a camera support also. Saying that, if you regularly use heavy camera and lens combinations and need the absolute best you can buy, then this will be the tripod for you.
Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Pros
Very strong construction
Easy to set up and use
Lightweight for its strength and size
Horizontal centre column
Easy link connection for accessories
Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 Cons
Centre column is in one piece, which may limit options for low level shooting
Price is without a head
No case included
VALUE FOR MONEY
Manfrotto 055 Carbon Pro MT055CXPRO3 Specifications
|Maximum Weight Capacity||9kg|
|Number of Leg Sections||3|
|Box Contents||No Data|
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