Difference between Bogen 190XB and 190XPROB3 tripods?
So I'm looking for my first quality tripod. I've been looking at the Bogen 190XB or the 190XPROB3, and would appreciate some insight as to the difference. Specifically, the 190XB seems to include a "low angle adapter" which one removes from the bottom of the center column and clamp into the tripod to lower the overall height. Conversely, it appears that the 190XPROB3 has a "horizontal column feature" which means you can get the same overall height with the low angle adapter, but it would seem that the camera would be in portrait mode as opposed to landscape mode, correct? I just want to make sure which model is correct for me before I buy one..


Comments (5)

"Pro" in the Manfrotto line of tripods means the ability to pull the center colume out and slide it back in as a horizontal bar..

I love me 055 pro tripod by Manfrotto. That said, I don't ever use the "Pro" feature. I find that it isn't all that stable. Using the camera upside down is just not convenient either. Better to keep the legs not fully extended and then pull them out to maximum spread to get low..

In fact, I never extend my center colume at all. It effectively changes a tripod from a tripod to a monopod on top of a tripod. Many people remove center columes and use a plate directly on top of the legs along with a very good (read expensive) ball head like a Kirk, Markins, RRS or Arca-Swss. I use the Manfrotto ball head which is not as good, but in my budget..

The 190 series tripods are good, but if you're willing to put up with slightly more weight, the 055 or 3021 series are far more stable and in the $150 range. You'll probably see more of this series Manfrotto tripods in the field used by pros and advanced amatuers than any other tripod for a reason..

Just my 2 cents worth..

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Comment #1

Thanks for the suggestion..

I took a look at both the new 055XPROB and the older 3021BPRO. They look pretty similar in specs, differences seem to be that the newer 055 model doesn't require you to remove the center column to go horizontal right? It does look like the 3021 includes a low angle adapter but I don't see one with the 055, is that right? Can you setup your 055 at it's minimum height w/o having to go horizontal? I like the ability to do both in the older 3021, and was hoping I could do the same with the newer 055XPROB..

Also, is there a spirit bubble on the 055? Just curious. Thanks for the help!..

Comment #2

You have to purchase a smaller center column to go to minimum height with the 055 pro. I've not done it yet. Personally, I'm going to look into a way to remove the center column altogether and just put the plate on top. The 055 is so darned stable for me that I just don't want to introduce instability of a column..

Fiends of mine who have tried reversing the column for low macro work, end up not liking it. It's a pain, literally, to get down and put your head there to photograph. Much easier to use a bean bag or go to minimum distance with max leg spread. I also have a really well made German folding tripod I purchased in the late 60s that works great down low with a bean bag on top. It folds to 8 inches and fits in my gadget bag..

A good ball head gives the versatiility I need. I've about decided on the Markins ball head H10 when and if I can afford it. Originally I'd considered the Arca-Swiss but heard some horror stories about the head popping off while carrying a heavy camera and lens over your shoulder. A well-healed friend of mine came over from England for an Everglades shoot. He had the 3021Pro with the Markins and a Nikon 200-400 VR hooked to a Nkon D300. Once he set the friction control, he could move that rig in any direction with a finger and still be stable..

A gread ball head costs twice the 055 but many find it worth it in the log run..


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Comment #3

So I went to the shop today to look at the 190 and 055 series tripods. I really liked the compact size of the 190, but liked the stiffness and rigidity of the 055 series. Problem is I'm short! I'm only 5'6", and with the legs extended on the 055, the center column in it's lowest position is going to be too high after a ball head and the height of the camera itself. I realize that I can not fully extend the tripod legs, but that means I would need to make sure I do so evenly, and that would be a pain..

Is there anyway you can shorten the fully extended height of the tripod legs? If not, I'm going to have to go with the 190 series, which is fine, I'd just prefer the heft of the 055 model...

Comment #4

It's best not to fully extend the legs. I'm 6'4" but rarely extend the legs because you get much more stability only partially extended. I always keep about 4-5 inches per each level not extended. It's better, I promise. I sometimes don't even extend the lower legs to get lower look at the subject and even more stability..

Moreover with a ball head, that's were I do the leveling, though I sometimes mark the legs with a white grease pen...

Comment #5

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