After a couple of times of bringing with me my tripod on hikes and to a lot of places, I recently noticed that my travel tripod basically works excellent in my studio but not really that good outdoors. My old tripods' design was really simple without anything special to it and it was really light. I was on a Photoshop seminar last year and the speaker Scott Kelby said that there are basically two types of tripods...one that is portable and one that actually works. Remembering what he said, I realized that my travel tripod is the portable one. The thing that is missing from my old tripod is the stability, and also the speed in changing the configuration of it, from standard to shooting macro.
I was again looking online for the best tripod for the price. Now I was ready to go into spending more on a professional or a semi pro tripod. One that will give me the stability that I need without me breaking the bank. I found some huge ones that I wouldn't question the stability features on it, but they weren't that portable to bring around anywhere. So I went to the friendly vendors outside the country to look at what they had to offer. I was once again looking at the HorusBennu tripods form Korea. They had some good ones for the price but I cannot afford to wait another 2 or 3 weeks as I needed a tripod really soon.
So I once went again to the BH photo website, and I found the Manfrotto 190XPROB Pro Aluminum Tripod Legs. At first it looked like any other tripod without anything special to them, until I saw a review in youtube. The review was pretty sweet as it showed the tripod transforming from the usual position to the macro position in like 4 seconds, without even removing the center column. So I decided to get one.
A usual, BH photo is excellent so I got my tripod in 3 days! Here are my impressions:
The tripod is heavier than the travel tripods...a plus for me for stability.
It is constructed with aluminum...feels really sturdy.
The 3 section legs are longer than my old 4 section tripod which makes the folded length longer, but it makes the tripod faster to setup.
The leg locks are really snappy and they just feel awesome.
Repositioning the legs at a different angle is easier due to the button release instead of pulling the locks on top of each leg.
The bag hook works great for hooking up weights to make the tripod more stable.
The tripod head base is big...giving me the feeling of better stability.
A couple of inches longer than my travel tripod, but still is pretty portable.
And the most impressive feature of course is the patented center column feature which enables you to position the center column horizontally or vertically without disassembling the center piece. That was the feature that made me decide to buy this!
I tried it out with a gripped 50d with a 70-200 2.8 lens installed and it felt really solid.
For almost the same price as a Chinese made carbon fiber tripod, I'd choose this one still. The features for the price is really unbeatable. The best thing is that, it is made of course by Manfrotto.
Instead of getting a cheap travel sized tripod for like $50 less, I suggest you spend more on this one. You'll never regret it.
Get it here!