Help choosing Manfrotto tripod

Aug 7, 2006
Hyderabad, India
I am getting my D300 shortly. I am currently using D50 with some heavy MF telephoto lenses of yesteryears. I use the telephotos for shooting birds and wildlife. I have been plannig to buy a decent tripod.

I have attended a local photogrphy exibition today and saw the Manfrotto tripods there. Considering my budget and the needs, I looked at the options. The following appealed to me


with 804 RC2 head

I need guidance from those who are in knowledge of these tripods

Please help me out

Jan 15, 2008
Well, I can offer a bit of input with regards to the Manfrotto 190XPROB. I just picked one up and have the Manfrotto 488RC2 head mounted on the top of it. Currently the biggest lens that I own in terms of weight would have to be my Nikkor 17-55 2.8. The tripod and head hold the D40x and lens well, and does exactly what I need the tripod to do. That being said, I really don't think that the 190 tripod would hold some heavy tele's all that well. It is a great tripod, don't get me wrong, but it is pretty lightweight.

As for a tripod that would hold those kinds of lenses, I wish I could help. But I am pretty sure some other Cafe memebers will chime in and offer some great input!

Good luck on your tripod hunt!



Tripod choices

I recently made enquiries at two different stores asking for their recommendations, as I know nothing about tripods. In both stores the immediate recommendation was the 055X Pro B plus either a Manfrotto 808RC4 3-way head or 804RC2 Pan head. I have a D70s with 70-200 2.8 VR with tele-converter attached. I am 6' 3" tall and this tripod with either head is tall enough for me to be comfortable. I still have not made up my mind and am lurking on forums to get users opinions. Regards,
Apr 11, 2007
Holyoke, MA USA
I faced the tripod question a year ago and ended up buying a Manfrotto 3021, which is the forerunner to the O55 tripods. It is very stable, even with my d300 and 300 2.8 af-s and Kenko 2x converter added. Don't think you can go wrong with the 055's.

The ballhead is another question. I have the smaller Manfrotto 484 RC2 ballhead, and it is not enough. The larger 488 might be, but I think I am going straight to the pro hydrostatic head. The RC2 clamp system itself is excellent and works without a glitch.

One factor often overlooked with tripods is: three sections, or four. Four compacts down length, but is often much more troublesome to open. Manfrotto makes both types. This is an even bigger issue when it comes to monopods.

Hope this helps....good luck with the purchase.
May 13, 2008
Fort Worth, Texas
Hello Roy,

I have a Manfrotto 055MF3 (Carbon Fiber Model) with a 488RC2 Ball Head, this is a great setup as long as you use a camera such as the D3 and a lens no larger than a AF-S 70-200 VR . Anything heavier than that you will need a gear or pro hydrostatic head. The tripod portion is awesome, just need to change the head for heavier stuff, the problem I find with the 488R2 head is that you can pinch your fingers (because of the weight of a D3 and 70-200 VR) when your releasing the ball tension to move camera up or down in axis.

May 10, 2005
Huntington Beach, CA
I also agree with Jon......
I have the 055MF3 and use it as a lighter weight tripod for the 70-200 and lighter lenses with a D2X. It works just great for me within that range, plus I find its light enought to travel with.

Anything larger than that zoom, I move to a heavier duty tripod. Can't offer any advice on the head as I use the RRS products.



i use my tripod mostly with my 105 mm miccro nikkor2.8.with my d300 its not a big or heavy set Manfrotto 3211V and Kenko FP100 PRO medium ball head is most servicable.i paid about 120 buck for the t pod and 100 for the ballhead back in the late 90s.its still in like new condition.i use it alot.
Jul 5, 2005
Swanage, UK
I have a 190 Wilderness (the one with padded legs) and I'd recocomend the 055 series.

The 190 series is a bit light weight. I've had mine show signs of movement in wind when trying to do macro work. The 055 is a bit heavier.

Head wise I'm using a 488RC2 which is good and solid with my 70/200. When my Sigma 50/500 is on it I have to keep it fully leant over and use the collar to rotate the lens.

Unfortunantely tripods are another way of shifting lots of money with little to show for it. Try and match what you think you'll be using in a few years rather than what you're using now. If wildlife is your niche - then weigh up for a long lens.

The Manfrotto web site has a good configurator if you're going to stick to their products.

Gary Mayo

If you shop eBay you will see they have a vast selection of Manfrotto's at about half price of what other on line stores have to offer. EBay rocks!

Gary Mayo

Heads are harder to come by on eBay in my expirence. But they are on there.

I shop with buy it now and look for just posted. That way the deals are fresh and sometimes they sell a bit too cheep, a deal for the buyer!

Hey Gary

Any good deals on ballheads? :smile::biggrin:
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