Tripod Legs--I'm done with Manfrotto

So, my trusty Manfrotto tripod legs are finally just about done. So I decided to get new ones. I ordered the legs that replaced what I had and wound up with the Manfrotto 055 legs. Manfrotto isn’t what they used to be. These are utter junk.

One leg fell off when I took them out of the car and extended one of them at the start of my SECOND shoot of the day today (I got them last night!). I can forgive defective products–it happens–but, honestly, these things feel like a toy. Not very-well made like my last set of legs. They were a tank.

Anyway, looking for new legs. What are you all using?

B&H in-house Oben brand is quite well made and not that expensive. The exact model that supports weight of IMS-5 is recommended in the IMS-5 manual (Oben AC-1341 Tripod with BA-111 Ball Head). BA-108 head may work too, but may quit sooner.

How is it for ease of use, speed of use? Doing 3-6 shoots per day and it needs to be easy to extend legs, etc.

Honestly, I have no idea how anyone uses a ball head for RE photography. I’d go crazy! :slight_smile:

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My experience is the opposite of yours: I’ve been VERY pleased with the reliability and durability of my 055. It’s taken a pounding over the past two years and works and looks like new.
Sorry to hear yours isn’t what you hoped for! Return?

Are you talking about the new 055 or the previous one? I loved my previous one. This one is just a piece of junk.

Yes, returning it, I buy all of my gear from B and H Photo as they have a great return policy.

Looking at a set of Gitmo legs.

I have a very interesting story about Manfrotto. Wéve always used them and never had an issue. 2 years ago on a visit to NYC we bought a new carbon fibre tripod at B&H. I registered for the extended warranty which made it 8 or 10 years. There was no issue doing this. After using the tripod for less than 1 month it broke. I quickly found that the 'warranty ’ was not valid in Canada. After some escalation on my part the tripod was fixed here in Canada. A month later the same part broke and a month after we got it back again it broke again! Finally manfrotto Canada replaced the whole tripod with exactly the same model. We e been using that replacement for over a year and a half with zero issues. All of this story to say that depending on where you buy your manfrotto you may not be getting a great product. I was VERY happy with the final results of this exercise and I will never buy something like this outside of the country again.

B and H Photo is one of the most reputable companies in the US. I buy gear from them all of the time, have been to their incredible location in Manhattan countless times and have had nothing but great experiences with their customer service. I’m surprised you had an issue with them.

I was so not impressed with the new tripod legs I got from them (the Manfrotto legs I mentioned earlier). They are a piece of junk. I’ve loved the legs I’ve been using but they’re worn out, they have not much left to give.

Still looking at alternatives. May have to just pony up and buy the Gitmo legs I’m looking at ($900-$1000).

Realistically Rick the service problem was not with B & H. The manfrotto warranty is only valid (or was at the time of purchase) in the country of purchase. I believe I stirred the hornets nest on this issue and they were addressing it on an international level.

That being said the tripod bought at B&H broke in exactly the same place every 3-4 weeks of use and the replacement - identical model - direct from Canadian stock has not failed after 18 months.

Really Right Stuff. They make nice legs and heads. I have one of their heads.

Sturdy enough that many of the Precision Rifle Series shooters are using them on rugged terrain and beating them up pretty good. If they stand up to a Rifle Shooter on a mountain, they should stand up to real estate photographers on hardwood floors.

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Thanks. I had forgotten about those guys. They’re not super-popular here in the US for some reason.

Although, it’s tile floors here in FL, not hardwood. :wink:

I’m only about an hour or so North of you.

They are a California company.

For the iGuide cameras we mostly use the same Oben tripods that Planitar recommends. I order them from BH Photo.

I recently forgot my tripod on some out of town shoots and I had to buy one to complete my appointments. It is a Promaster XC525. I’m actually starting to prefer using it. It is much lighter and the quick release is a slider type that gives me a bit more confidence. The only thing I don’t like is the twist locks on the legs rather than the lever locks.

My regular camera tripod is a Manfrotto 190XPROB. I’ve had it for about 6 years and I’m really happy with it.

Hi Brian, are you carrying two tripods to your appointments?
I use a manfrotto 410 geared head for my still images, and picked up another 410 plate for the iGuide camera so I only carry one tripod.

I generally don’t even use a tripod for stills. I shoot handheld with a mix of Speedlite and available light. I only use a tripod for HDR ( Exposure fusion) shoots, but yes I would then have two tripods. I figured it wasn’t much more inconvenient than taking the iGuide off the camera off the tripod and putting in the box and then switching to the regular camera.


Oben is, I believe, B and H’s brand. I don’t know if that’s the manufacturer or if someone else makes them.

Not using a tripod for RE work is just crazy talk…


That’s the geared head I use. Honestly, even these aren’t being made as well as they used to be from Manfrotto. I had one I got almost 10 years ago and I noticed some play in the different movements–haven’t been able to figure out whether I can replace any wear items. I bought a newer one and it had play out of the box.

Manfrotto really has fallen…