Review of the Manfrotto 190CX PRO3 and PRO4rn

Manufacturer: Manfrotto
Model: 190CX PRO3 and PRO4
Price: £239.95 (Pro3) & £249.95 (Pro4)

Carbon fibre tripods may be more expensive than standard aluminium ones but they offer greater rigidity at a fraction of the weight, making them very appealing if you have to carry them any distance.

Manfrotto’s 190 tripod has been going since 1984, with a few modifications along the way, and is one of the best-selling tripods of all time, but the carbon fibre version is relatively recent. Re-engineered to be 20% lighter, the new range includes three carbon fibre models, all of which feature multi-layered 100% carbon fibre legs and centre column, and a top-plate and leg-locks constructed from magnesium alloy. New enhancements include better leg-lock catches and leg angle adjustment levers, the latter enabling the legs to be locked open at four different angles up to 90°.

The 190CX PRO3 and 190CX PRO4 also feature Manfrotto’s award-winning centre column which, at the push of a button, flips up and pivots 90° to create a boom arm for shooting downwards. It’s a system that’s very quick (you don’t need to remove and re-insert the column) and works extremely well.

The only difference between the PRO3 and PRO4 is that one has three leg sections and the other four. While four sections gives you more leg-locks to grapple with, it makes the tripod shorter when closed, and thus easier to transport. The lowest leg sections on the PRO4 look very thin, but in practice there’s very little movement, in any direction, even at full extension.

You can’t fault the quality of the engineering on
these tripods. Get yourself a suitable head to go with it and whichever
one you plump for you’ve got yourself an excellent, lightweight tripod
that should last you years.

Well made, lightweight, pivoting centre column

Expensive, no case or carrier provided

What Digital Camera Score: 93%