Manfrotto MT055 CXPRO4
MANFROT TO’S PERENNIAL 055 series tripods are always near the top of the best sellers list, and none more so than this CXPRO4 version with high overall performance coupled to a stack of advanced features. There are four sturdy leg sections, 29mm diameter at the top, with Manfrotto's heavy duty lever- action Quick Power Locks to hold everything together. Then the centre- column has a neat conversion trick, flipping 90° to form a sliding and rotating horizontal bar, giving excellent low- level access that's ideal for poking into awkward corners with macro. Manfrotto's implementation of this popular feature is not quite as versatile as some, but it's definitely more solid.
The CXPRO4 stands tall at 140cm, extending to 170cm with the centre- column up, which is a handy few inches more than rivals, but closes down to only 54cm. It's also a little heavier and the only tripod here over 2kg, though Manfrotto has not been tempted to skimp on the robust construction for the sake of a few grams. Good decision. All the other usual features found on tripods of this calibre are present, plus four leg angle positions which is less common. Manfrotto's flashy QPL lever leg- locks divide opinion. They're bulky and can catch on undergrowth, are quite stiff and close shut with a snap, but ultimately there's no doubting their clamping strength.
The Manfrotto 055 CXPRO4 performed very well in our stability tests, scoring 80% for wind- buffet and 76% for mirror- shock, to rate an average of 78% – effectively tying with the Benro Mach3 for first place.