The name Manfrotto is synonymous with well-made tripods. The company prides itself on construction and innovation, and you’ll often find them in a professional’s kit bag.
The XPRO range has proved itself a popular choice and its minimal weight hides its strength. The structure is solid due to the number of layers and angle of the carbon fibres in the legs. The intention is to achieve a balance between rigidity and compression resistance, and during our tests the tripod worked well in all conditions.
The leg extension clips allowed for easy positioning, and when shooting was finished enabled quick retraction and packing away.
The 055CXPRO3 lacks a hook at the base of the centre column, but don’t worry, there is one located on the neck of the tripod that can be put to just as good use.
The vibration control was very good on this model. It was susceptible to some movement but withstood the tapping test well.
498RC2 Ball Head
As with the legs, the ball head of this pairing is well constructed, and on location you feel comfortable in the knowledge that it will withstand significant pressure and use, with easily accessible controls.
The ball movement of the 498RC2 is fluid, and with friction control slight adjustments can be made even when supporting a heavy load.
The large plastic tightening handles are well-placed to allow for controlled panning, and have enough of a grasp on them to allow for confident operation in cold conditions when your fingers are numb.
- Price £269 (As of July 2016)
- Weight 1650g
- Number of sections 3
- Min height 740mm
- Max height centre col down 1530mm
- Max height centre col up 1670mm
- Closed length 770mm
- Max load 5kg
- Visit: www.manfrotto.co.uk
This review was first published in the May 2012 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.