Manfrotto 190X PROB tripod

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Manfrotto 190 XPROB

A new twist on a classic tripod

Pros: Sturdy, well engineered, great pivoting centre column
Cons: On the heavy side if you have to carry it for a long time

Manfrotto's 190 tripod has been around for donkey's years. The range
has had a few tweaks over the years, but this latest version has a very
clever trick up its sleeve.

The problem with most basic
tripods is that the centre column inhibits low-level shooting. Many
tripods enable it to be removed and re-inserted horizontally, so the
camera can be pointed towards the ground, and the legs can be splayed
for really low-level shooting.

The 190 XPROB, however, goes one
better. Extend the centre column to its maximum height, press a button
at the bottom and, hey presto, the column swings 90° and slots into a
horizontal track. It's very quick, and makes it ideal for nature
photographers in particular, as well as in the studio, for copying. The
column itself is three-faceted, not circular, to prevent it rotating.

The rest of the tripod follows your standard 190 spec: three leg
sections that extend, via quick-release locks, from 57cm to 122cm, or
146cm with the centre column extended. The legs can be independently
set to four angles, from 25° to almost 90°. Two have foam leg covers,
and there's a spirit level on the top.

At 1.8kg without a head,
the 190XPROB isn't light but it's very stable - even at full extension
there's no wobble. Its 5kg load capacity makes it sturdy enough to
support a pro-spec DSLR with a substantial lens (eg. a 70-200mm f/2.8).
If you only have an entry level DSLR and kit lens this is perhaps more
tripod than you need but it will last you a lifetime, and so will grow
with your system.

Alternatively, if you can afford it, you can
shave 500g off the weight, and about £130 more from your wallet, by
opting for the carbon fibre version, the 190CXPRO3, which is otherwise
the same.


Innovative centre column makes a classic tripod even better.

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Overall Score 92%