Review of the Manfrotto 055CXPro3

I picked up a Manfrotto 055CXPro3 tripod for Christmas 2011. At that time, I started off writing a short review of it, comparing it with my then-current 055XProB.

Amazon shipping

  • no problem, earlier than expected
  • price went up after I put it in the cart though
  • center column was damaged in transit, cosmetic marks made by the 3 legs

Tripod itself – compared to 2007era 055XProB

  • 1st impression: Locking different – not really good or bad
  • Good:
    • Covering of screws on latch is gone, washer integrated into screw itself
    • Less parts to loose is always good
  • Bad:
    • Screws to secure latch are now hex head instead of phillips head. Why? I now need a semi-specialized screwdriver to take it apart.
  • Indifferent:
    • Latch and screws on upper & lower leg segments are subtly different. Need to keep track or compare all visually before reinstallation
    • Leg segment tops aren’t molded – additional plastic part used as stoppers. This is probably a direct result of using carbon fiber instead of aluminium.
    • No hand warmers. Using it in winter… is going to be fun.

I’ve also completely dismantled it, cleaned it and rebuilt it. There weren’t any manuals, but I found a part diagram/listing on Manfrotto’s site that helped show how the part fit together. (If that link breaks, I found it under the spare parts section here.)

Took some practice, and a few missteps (particularly with the tension(?) spring securing the center column), but it ended up working fine after clearing the sand out of it. (Where I got sand on it from, I have no clue.)

Once again though, I was disappointed in the need of specialized tools. In this case, a 3/8 (I think) hex key.

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