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Manfrotto tripod and head
I treated myself to a new tripod, a Manfrotto 190cxprob4 and a new Manfrotto ball head with the long winded name of MHXPRO-BHQ2.
I took them back to LCE today as the ball head was too stiff to use for panorama's. When I was trying to turn it the camera was swivelling on the plate instead of the head moving.
The lad in the shop noticed that the thread that takes the ball head was very slightly out of plumb but when he tried a new set of legs and a different ball head it turns out they're all like that, where the movement is stiff and unalterable. LCE staff says they must be designed that way but stopped short of saying it was a design fault.
However the leg section also has a ring around it which holds a bubble level and the head has lever type knobs for securing the ball. In use, the bubble level constantly gets in the way of the operation of those levers. It was quite frustrating to use as a result.
Lastly, there is a knob that adjusts the smoothness of the movement of the ball but it can't lock and is so loose in it's movement that you find as you handle the tripod it is constantly being adjusted without you realising.
The tripod was £231 and the head £101 and it might just be me but when you pay that kind of money you expect spot on gear. I know Manfrotto has a great name, but in my opinion those two products are quite poorly designed and therefore vastly overpriced for what they are.
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Canon 5D, Canon 5DSr, Canon 16-35 mm f/4 L USM EF, Canon 24-105 f/4.0 L USM IS EF, Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD, Canon 70-200 f2.8 L MK II USM IS EF, Canon 100mm f2.8 USM EF macro, Canon 2x Mk III converter, Canon 580 EX II flash, Yonghuo 568EX II flash, Sigma EM-140 DG EO-ETTL Macro Flash, Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 tripod with MHXPRO-BHQ2 ballhead. Manfrotto 790B Monopod.