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First Follow-up: Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod

February 3, 2012

I did an initial write-up on Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 Tripod when I first received it.  It has now been over a year and I’ve used it quite a bit in both the field and in the blinds of Texas.  So it is time to look at it again.

I have been generally very pleased with the performance of this tripod in just about everything I’ve thrown at it.  In the blind it is very steady.  My older Manfrotto is admittedly a little more stable, but it was nearly twice as heavy.  Even at slow speeds the images are very sharp if the subject is also sharp.

It was a learning process to figure out the best way to quickly raise and lower the legs.  I’d much rather shoot with the center column retracted so as to add to the stability.  This means finding a quick way to get the legs extended and retracted.  I have found that the smoothest way to do this is extend the bottom legs first, then the middle ones, and then the top ones.  This seems to be the least awkward to me and it is working well.

My only complaint about the tripod was that carrying it was awkward.  I’ve resolved that by picking up a strap and now I can sling the thing on my back and most of the time I can carry both my tripod and my monopod at the same time.

If I’m actively walking around I am going to use the monopod more often than the tripod.  But for dragonflies in particular I am going to try to shoot more off of the tripod this coming summer in hopes of getting sharper images.  Sometime at the end of the summer I will post a 2nd follow-up.

I am also actively trying to find a replacement for my tripod head.  I don’t want to drop $600 on a Wimberly gimbal head, but I know that another ball head just isn’t going to cut it.  Undoubtedly this will be fodder for another blog entry down the road…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2012 3:57 pm

    Jim, talk to Bill Yeates about his gimbal head. It is slighty smaller than the Wimberley and cheaper. Since you don’t own the heavy 500mm it should work well for you.

    • February 3, 2012 7:21 pm

      Not yet 😉 I have seen Bill’s and that will be part of the exploration process. You’re getting ahead of me, Bob 🙂

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