Manfrotto 190GO C4TB
AT FIRST GLANCE, it looks like another model in the ever- popular Manfrotto 190 series with twist- collars instead of the lever leg locks that are usually a Manfrotto signature. But there are other differences to the 190Go! versions and, compared to the 190CXPRO4, most significantly there's a substantial 300g reduction in weight down to just 1.35kg, a 6cm shorter folded length, fatter tubing, and a lower price. All are most welcome changes, but the downside is a 12cm lower height. It's an appealingly different package that also offers potentially greater stability.
The first thing to consider is the height. At 123cm before extending the centre- column, the 190Go! with a head and camera on top, is just tall enough to put the viewfinder around shoulder height for the average user, and that's a good position for easy operation with a clear view of controls on top. But if you're nearer 6ft, or prefer to have the camera at eye- level, then it may be a bit low. The 90° centre- column is one of Manfrotto's highlight features which is easy to use and particularly robust and solid, that flips horizontally where it can slide for and aft, and rotate. Articulating centre- columns are great for getting down low, for macro or for copying work and go well with adjustable leg angles – here there are four settings available rather than the more usual three.
Manfrotto build quality can be taken as read. The 190Go! scored 60% in the wind- buffet test and 65% for mirror- shock, giving an average rating of 63% high numbers for such a lightweight tripod, that tie with the dearer Sirui.