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Old May 28, 2007, 5:33 AM   #11
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In the past I owned a few unnamed tripods etc and thought they were very "average", good enough for my ligthweight video camera but no good for the Nikon D80. I was pointed in the general direction of Manfrotto and I have to confess, it was a good "pointing". I have since seen the error of my ways and bought a Manfrotto monpod, tripod, a ball head and a mini tripod, but while I was pondering just whichmodels to buy I began seeing many Manfrotto copies for sale, being openly advertised as "Copy of Manfrotto" and coming from the Asian area. Of course I was told to stay away from them as they were bound to be poor imitations of the real thing. Since then, I actually bought one particular look-alike and it saved me about 70% of the original items' cost. You know what!!! It is actually damned good... Solidly made, rock steady, easy in operation,, not quite as silky smooth but only by a little tiny bit..

For the fact it is no more than an imitation,, cost considered,, I would rate this unit a 10 out of 10. From now on I will be looking further afield, although I will still pay for quality goods when I have to...
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 11:12 PM   #12
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I switched from Manfrotto 055 PROB to BENRO c-297 n6 Chinese carbon tripod because I could not carry the heavy 055 any more. I use BENRO KB-1 ball head with my Manfrotto before andwas happy with theBenro ball head. I now love my carbon Benro tripod very much. Not only lighter it's also much steadier than the 055 PROB.


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Old Aug 16, 2007, 8:25 PM   #13
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A few months ago I would have said that some Manfrotto imitations are just fine and they save you many bucks, but today I have avoided buying any other imitations simply because the brand I bought was made from a grade of alloy which is as soft as butter. The gear itself is good in design and build but the alloy itself is rubbish. Quick release plates develop a wear spot where the lock mechanism rubs on it and if you press hard enough on the lug, you can feel the alloy giving way underneath.

No thanks, I will buy the genuine article - no more spending on imitations. Besides now I have enough Manfrotto stuff to last me into the next lifetime...
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Old Aug 16, 2007, 10:17 PM   #14
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Well you could always buy the plates
The legs and all can just be used with the manfrotto / Gitzo plates
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Old Aug 17, 2007, 11:01 PM   #15
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tommccarty wrote:
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Well you could always buy the plates
The legs and all can just be used with the manfrotto / Gitzo plates
I 'had'thought about buying some extra release plates - for a short while...

I thought they were the equivalent of the Manfrotto RC2 system but infact they are a bit bigger and willnot fit into a Manfrotto mount and the Manfrotto plate is too small for the imitation mount. Also, unlike the Manfrotto, which has a one way fit, theimitationplate "should" be able to fit in both ways as it was a simple plate equal on both sides but even when I turned it around in its own mount and tightened the lever on it, the damned thing seemed tight so I applied a bit of force to it and eventually it went in but I couldn't get it back out. I had to careflully lever it out with a small screwdriver, again the soft alloy absorbed some of the force. Obviously, the square shaped plate was not quite square, it is wider on one side than the other, hence no fit on one side...

Compare the two side by side as in accompanying photo... Manfrotto RC2 plate on right. Copy on left, with dent from release lever visible.
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Old Aug 17, 2007, 11:12 PM   #16
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Good point
I have changed my mind... you convinced me

So next time I'll buy original... why not?
I can afford it and the Chinese knock off stuff is driving me crazy
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Old Aug 18, 2007, 4:56 AM   #17
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I don't really want to tell anybody how to spend their money but I have to say, in the photography accessories lineup, you mostly get what you pay for... Some of this Chinese stuff looks and feels really well made and I guess there is more than just the one brand made in China which imitates "the real thing", not only in tripods but they are quite famous for cheaper imitation, well, anything, aren't they...???

It's just that I look at it this way...

When somebody offers advice of a good product or they say BEWARE of,it sometimes pays tostop and look at this advice. When opinions are given about certain things, a lot of us tend to want to try it for ourselves, just incase they were wrong. All too often though, we do find out that some things are not created equally and it pays off in the long run to spend a little more and get the better product. In the tripod stakes, I have been told to steer clear of certain look alikes,, not because they are poorly made but because they are made of a lesser grade of alloy and are particularly soft. Of course I felt I could prove them wrong, but their words were true and I was shown up. It appeared that there are more than just this brand I picked which suffer from the same problem and most of them come from the same area of the world. When you see a cheap one and an expensive one, you will always wonder if you had to spend that extra just to get what everyone has but chances are you wont regret it because of gear failure. I wanted a good ball head, I already had a 486RC2 but it looked a little light for some of the bigger heavier lenses I had so I decided to get a big strong sucker. I wound up buying a 468MGRC2 hydrastat, but as I was looking around I saw a heavy duty look alike for about one third the price and I stopped and considered it for about 5 minutes, but I payed the many more extra bucks and got the 468MGRC2 and I have to say this is one very good solid unit. It cost the earth but I think it was definitely worth it. If I had have bought the cheaper one, I would be probably be wondering right now - "What if I had have payed the extra and got the 468MG?"... Now I don't have to wonder that. For once it worked out good for me first time up. The 055ProB and the 468MGRC2 make a very solid perch for my D80 when I need it...

The country of origin of these slightly lesser goodshas nothing to to with it because if you care to take a look at some of your expensive equipment, you may be surprised to see itcould beactually bemade in that same country, and I'll bet you trust that with your life...

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Old Aug 18, 2007, 9:46 PM   #18
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that is why I wrote "knock off".. which was my way of saying less than what one expects to match the quality of the camera we own.
The price paid for the unit was still a good bargain, but really, who can really say the fit and finish meets even minimum standards of say Nikon
After reading so much about the obvious counterfeit goods and how the manufacturers are not meeting the same pollution standards either, well, it just makes me want to try harder to support the high quality guys..

long way to say we ought to support the good guys or they go out of business..
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 7:54 AM   #19
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Hi Fewpics

Can you pls tell me who you bought the tripods from as I am in the market for imitation manfrottos as I can't afford the real thing and want to buy from your source.

Thanks
bruce

In the past I owned a few unnamed tripods etc and thought they were very "average", good enough for my ligthweight video camera but no good for the Nikon D80. I was pointed in the general direction of Manfrotto and I have to confess, it was a good "pointing". I have since seen the error of my ways and bought a Manfrotto monpod, tripod, a ball head and a mini tripod, but while I was pondering just whichmodels to buy I began seeing many Manfrotto copies for sale, being openly advertised as "Copy of Manfrotto" and coming from the Asian area. Of course I was told to stay away from them as they were bound to be poor imitations of the real thing. Since then, I actually bought one particular look-alike and it saved me about 70% of the original items' cost. You know what!!! It is actually damned good... Solidly made, rock steady, easy in operation,, not quite as silky smooth but only by a little tiny bit..

For the fact it is no more than an imitation,, cost considered,, I would rate this unit a 10 out of 10. From now on I will be looking further afield, although I will still pay for quality goods when I have to...
Last edited on Mon May 28th, 2007 09:35 am by fewpics
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