Review of the Manfrotto 190 XPROB

Manufacturer: Manfrotto
Model: 190 XPROB
Price: £85

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.

Sturdy, well engineered, great pivoting centre column

On the heavy side if you have to carry it for a long time

What Digital Camera Score: 92%