Manfrotto 190 Pro Tripod

Review of the Manfrotto 190 Pro / Bogen 3001 Tripod

If you read some photography books or websites you will find a good quality tripod is very high on the recommended list of things to have.  There have been many times a tripod has allowed me to get a shot I otherwise would’ve had no chance at getting.  There have also been numerous times where I’ve been too lazy to bring my tripod with me and missed a shot. (Yes even with the Canon IS lens) So I was really excited when I had the opportunity to replace my old Manfrotto tripod with something a lot better.  My choice was the 190 PRO.

I needed a tripod that would be able to support my camera equipment with lenses, macro attachments, flashes, and other accessories, bodies, or lenses I might get in the near future. It has to be somewhat portable, and cost as always was a large factor.

Manfrotto 190 Pro legs with my Manfrotto 486 RC2 head attached.

The 190 PRO was easily the best compromise for what I needed and is one of the most highly recommended legs available.  When buying a set of legs, first find out how heavy your equipment is going to be at the heaviest.  That will limit you to units that can carry that load.  Next you want to filter out units that aren’t going to be tall enough.

You always want to try avoiding raising the centre column on your tripod.  So if possible get one that will reach a comfortable height for you with the centre column lowered.  Don’t forget you will probably have a ball head (like the Manfrotto 486RC2 I also picked up) and your camera. I’m a little lucky here, as I’m only 5’6.  The 190 Pro will be a little short for those of you taller than me.  Something you might want to consider at that point is Canon’s Angle finder for your camera.  This will help with the height issue and make macro and low level shooting much easier.  It’s something I will probably pick up at some point as well anyways.

The 190 Pro has a max height of 46.85″ with the centre column lowered.  Fully raised it is 57″.  Adding a few inches for my ball head, and than another couple for the camera, it is a fairly good height for me.  It also only has 3 leg sections which I prefer because it saves weight, and is quicker to setup.

The 190 Pro might be heavier than what a lot of you are used to at 4.2 lbs. but it’s actually fairly light for a tripod of this quality.  If it’s too heavy, you’ll either have to go with something that doesn’t provide as much support, or spend a lot more on a carbon fiber version.