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Old Sep 22, 2008, 11:30 PM   #1
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I think I've narrowed my tripod choice down to either a Bogen-Manfrotto 055XPROB or a Bogen-Manfrotto 055XWNB. Either purchase would be made along with a Bogen 488RC4 ball head.

I was taking a long, hard look at the Slik 700 Pro DX with the SBH-320 head. But the Slik legs weigh almost two pounds more than the Bogens (a fact that, actually, I could work around) and the SBH-320 doesn't offer a level. A level on a ball head is an important feature to me because adjusting the head a bit is a lot easier than adjusting the legs. So that was that.

Now, to highlight the differences between the Bogen leg sets, we go to a quote from the manufacturer: "With retractable rubber feet with steel spikes the 055XWNB is built on the same ergonomically improved design as the 055XPROB, but without the horizontal center column feature, the 055WNB is lighter in weight and slightly more compact."

I can tell you the weight difference is very slight: 5.03 pounds for the 055XWNB and 5.3 pounds for the 055XPROB. Both leg sets have a maximum load capacity of 15.43 pounds.

So, my question is, how much more useful are those "retractable rubber feet with steel spikes?" And are they worth trading the Bogen horizontal center column" feature? I know what both features are for, but can anyone with real-world experience clue me on on just how useful they are?
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Old Sep 23, 2008, 1:31 AM   #2
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Hi Biro,

I've been using tripods pretty extensively over the past few months, so don't take my observations as being from a grizzled veteran tripod user :-). I shoot birds with a K20 and more often than not at least a 300/2.8 class lens -- and I set up on dirt/grass about 90% of the time, so spikes were something I felt I needed. I've found the spiked feet are more secure, but mostly on uneven or sloped ground. I use just the rubber feet much more often than not.

I would think that the horizontal column would be something that more people would have more occasion to use. There's just no substitute for camera positioning versatility in some situations.

I'd probably go for the horizontal column capability.

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Old Sep 23, 2008, 5:27 PM   #3
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Definitely go with the most adjustable tripod. You will only regret it if you don't.

I have a Benbo trekker that I have had for at least 15 years, but bought a new tripod, as the Benbo was heavy and a pain to set up.

The new tripod is a dream to use, and I have a 3D pan and tilt head and a Manfrotto ball head.

However - the amount of times I have to shuffle the pod sideways.....something I didn't do with the Benbo.

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Old Sep 23, 2008, 10:18 PM   #4
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Thanks Scott and Dal. I just ordered the Bogen-Manfrotto 055XPROB and the 488RC4 ball head. Your feedback was exactly what I was looking for.

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