Manfrotto are already world famous for their exquisitely designed and manufactured Photographic goods, namely Monopods and Tripods, but they also extend into the LED lighting and accessories market.
So is the Carbon Fibre 055 3-section tripod in the same league?
We can honestly say that it is.
Immediately upon leaving the box you can see that time and care has been put into the manufacturing of it.
It has a sturdy but lightweight feel to it due to the Carbon Fibre and Magnesium construction.
Weighing in at just under 2kg, with a supportive weight of 9kg, it’s a bit of a marvel.
If you have ever been in the field for many hours lugging around a tripod then you know how much weight affects you.
Manfrotto has combated this with the construction of the Carbon Fibre 055 series, it still has the ruggedness and durability of it’s competitors without bearing down too hard on the photographer.
You have 3-section legs, using Manfrottos Quick Power Lock Legs, that let the legs falls efficiently to the ground without too much of a thud, and they lock up nice and tight without a lot of effort. Reportedly over 50% more rigid than predecessors.
Each of the legs can also be independently set up to various angles (handy for those rocky mountain adventures with uneven surfaces).
The legs also sport a nice clamp release design at the top which handles how you set the legs inclination.
If you want to splay the legs out to lay it close to the floor for interesting angles or macro photography, you just push the leg toward the column, push in the clip and then move the leg out. The clips / buttons also have a nice weight metallic feel, adding to the solid sturdy feeling of the tripod.
The neck extends for extra reach (or if you can’t have the legs splayed out as far as you need to extend them), it has a fancy locking mechanism that holds it on tight without swaying. We have tested this in reasonably windy conditions and it had minimal vibration, far less than others tested.
Throughout our testing, we found that this tripod hit the point on every shoot we threw at it.
The adjustment in leg angles, height and the neck made sure it was where we wanted it at every moment, super impressive.
The mounting plate has a standard 3/8″ screw and a rubber mounted bubble level that rotates 360 degrees so you can place it exactly where needed.
This easily allows you to line up your vertical and horizontal levels.
We used the tripod during the last month with a third party ball head that we are reviewing (sacrilege I know), it all hooked up and felt stunningly natural. So do not worry that you will NEED a Manfrotto head to accompany it if you don’t want to get rid of your current head.
In conjunction with the legs being able to lay the tripod down close to the ground, the neck is also able to pivot 90 degrees to lay horizontal, which is fantastic for macro photography or even interesting urban shots.
To lay the neck horizontally, you just release the knob on the side which holds it in position, then move it up as high as it can go, press the red button on the bottom of the pole and slide it into the new position.
Personally I feel the neck clamping mechanism could be improved, not that I have had any fault with it, but I can’t shake the feeling that it is structurally the weakest feeling part of the tripod.
The MT055CX also has an Easy Link port that allows you to mount an extra arm for either a monitor, external flash or other various accessories that you may want or need attached to the tripod base.
While I haven’t used the Easy Link yet, I am sure it would be invaluable for other Pro photographers / cinematographers, so it is a worthy addition.
Especially in the Cinematography world, if you are using this as a tripod base for your main or additional cameras, having a live view monitor attachment is essential.
Although it can also help out the lone photographer on an assignment, if he has to keep weight to a minimum and needs to bounce a flash or two, they can quickly attach one into the Easy Link, aim it and he is ready to be a one man lighting machine.
The Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 is retailing for around the £259.00 on Amazon UK at the moment.
For that price, this tripod is a bit of a steal, sturdy, lightweight, MANY options for attachments and positions, you couldn’t really ask for much more.
It is sure to be our main tripod for a long time to come and we are sure if you pick one up, you will not be disappointed, it definitely lives up to the Manfrotto Prestige.
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Review item provided complimentary by developer — however all opinions and experiences are our own.