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Old Apr 13, 2005, 11:05 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I've read the posts, compared pricing and I think the Manfrotto 055MF4 is the best model for my needs (hik-ability, size, flexibility) and budget.

However, there is no local shop where I can see this thing and I have a lingering concern about the centre column. Specifically, does the fact that that head mounting platform can be detached from the centre column for low-angle shots result in play at that joint in the column? If it does, this would be bad whenever the column is out far enough to expose the joint.

Also, how much would extra weight would I be adding by replacing the centre column with the 555B leveling unit? Is there an alternative to the 555B that would give low angle shooting AND leveling?

If I need to look another tripod model to get all this, please flag it to me -- my mind ain't made up yet.

thanks!

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Old Apr 13, 2005, 7:11 PM   #2
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as the owner of a 055MF3 here are the facts

when splitting off the post to go to low mode there is 0 play this is a well designed unit. when the post is put back together there is 0 play any where once thightened.

you must replace the ctr post with the leveling post. it adds about 4oz to the weight.

http://k41.pbase.com/u48/crusader/la...51856.BH55.jpg

http://i2.pbase.com/u14/crusader/lar...31.tripods.jpg

there is no usable alternative to the 555B due to is unique shape that will fit a round hole and its own triangular one but then no round one will fit it.

the next tripod that has leveling capability but will not allow lateral flexiblility is a gitzo 1325 at $500 ant its leveling unit at $149

the 055 series is not alesser tripodit is a wellconceptualized out and extremely well built piece of photographic equipment that allows a high level ofusability in the right hands.

there ain't no loose or ill fitting parts on this baby. its a manfrotto
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Old Apr 13, 2005, 9:08 PM   #3
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Thanks sjms!

So the low-angle adapter and main centre column screw together? Is that how it maintains a tight connection?

Unfortunately, I get a permission denied on your links.

On the 555B, can it be split in two to allow for levelled low-angle shots?

Thanks again for the feed back and if you have views on the Gitzo 1228 w/555B and 1228LVL vs. the 055MF4, please let 'em fly.

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Old Apr 14, 2005, 3:25 PM   #4
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no the 555B cannot be split off into parts for low mode. how often are you going to do real low angle panorama shots? below 25" that is.


try this

http://www.pbase.com/crusader/misc/gear



i have tried my links at 4 different locations out of my home. they work fine. your isp and or other factors may be preventing your access.


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Old Apr 14, 2005, 8:33 PM   #5
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Steven,

Thanks. I ended up getting to the pics just be searing pbase.

Oh and I just picked up the 055MF4 based on everyone's comments, yours in particular, and your pics. Getting to actually handle it pre-purchase was great, too.

Regarding the 555B, it's not so much the low-angle, but the weight savings of not having to carry a full centre column (I'm only 5'6").

What do you think of the Really Right Stuff Panning clamp, atop an acratech UBH, all on the low-angle part of the column? I'm thinking this would make it easy to level the camera and act as good quality clamp to go with the RSS L Bracket.

Views welcome!
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 12:55 AM   #6
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if your not putting it on a RRS head at least get a Markins M10. after owning a acratech head for a few months it fell out of favor with me due to its eccentric design. it was replaced by the M10. the newer M10 is lighter now and is available screw mount so you can throw whatever plate you want on it. your going to find that in the end it will end up weighing within 6 or so ounces no matter what kit you build up.

www.markinsamerica.com
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 7:53 AM   #7
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Can you be a little more specific about what you didn't like about the Acratech UBH? The open ball design is appealing and so are the mass and price.

Thanks again!
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Old Apr 15, 2005, 11:36 AM   #8
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you will note that the clamp is set at a 45 deg angle. now placing your camera vertical will allow a fwd arc of 90 deg+ but rearward it only goes about 15 deg unless you then onlock the base and rotate it around 180 deg or less as required. so ther is no 360 deg rotation around that plane w/o using 2 knobs

on a standard ball like a markins you can move freely 45 degs from vertical for and aft around for a total of 90 deg and around a full 360 deg horizontal rotation using only one knob. to go into a full 90 deg from vertical you then drop it into the notch and then you have to onlock the base to rotate around that plane. the difference ther is in it is supported by the notch too. the acratech has no such support since it has no notch.

support is a little light (25lbs) and it did occasionally creep on the acratech. i use a 1Ds2 and 1D2.

the markins locks easier. there is also the capability to set drag on the ball too with the M10

the acratech is a thing of beauty and light it is. it still ell short on the usability scale though

the diameter of the ball and the braking surface area of the clamp set the parameters for locking the ball. acratechs is smaller on all respects.

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Old Apr 15, 2005, 12:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the details. I checked out the M10 and it looks pretty nice.

I'll consider over the weekend, but the mass difference is pretty negligible.

N
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