Man­frotto MT055 CXPRO4

Digital SLR Photography - - Gear -

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.

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