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Thread: Tripod - Manfrotto or 3LT or other?

  1. #1
    Senior Member EricPvpi's Avatar
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    Tripod - Manfrotto or 3LT or other?

    I have been reading tons of reviews on this site and others and there are way to many options to sort through regarding tripods. I had narrowed it down to the Manfrotto based on reviews and comments. But, 3 Legged Thing kept popping up in threads and I started looking closer at that.

    I am looking for advice between the Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 and 3 Legged Thing X4 Jack.

    Both are around $340 on B&H (after Manfrotto rebate). These are both in my budget, I would prefer to keep it under the $400 amount. I have a 60D with the 70-200 f/4 being the heaviest lens.

    Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 4-Section Carbon Fiber Legs with 498RC2 head.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...bon_Fiber.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Ball_Head.html

    3 Legged Thing X4 Jack 4-Section Magnesium Alloy Tripod with AirHed 1 Ball Head
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Magnesium.html


    Both come out similar in weight with legs and head. ~4.2 lbs. I would like to keep it light enough to encourage me to take it with me and use it.

    * Manfrotto has flip locks and the center column that can go horizonal. It has an 11 lb rating and is carbon fiber.

    * 3LT are twist locks and has has 16.7 lb rating and is magnesium alloy. Arca-Style plate and a leg detaches to become a monopod.

    The more I read, the more I confuse myself chasing different options and brands. Is the horizontal feature worth it on the Manfrotto or is the 3LT better with higher rating and features? It seems the Manfrotto is recommended more frequently, but the 3LT seems to be better recommended

    Any advice or thoughts between the 2 would be appreciated. Or other ideas in this price range.

    Much appreciated,
    Eric

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    Senior Member ham's Avatar
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    I still haven't made my mind up on this. Only here in the UK you have to spend a lot more to get the Manny 190CXPRO4 than the Jack. That alone is leading me towards the 3LT, because the only Manny options are the two XPROB's, which are heavier.

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    Senior Member EricPvpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ham View Post
    I still haven't made my mind up on this. Only here in the UK you have to spend a lot more to get the Manny 190CXPRO4 than the Jack. That alone is leading me towards the 3LT, because the only Manny options are the two XPROB's, which are heavier.
    Thanks, your thread really helped me narrow my choices down. Of course, every time I am close, I go off looking at other options. I would be curious if you had the chance to play with the two (even if it was the XPROB verse the 190). Given the same price here, do you have thoughts/recommendations between the two? We are getting short on "real" camera shops here for me to compare side by side.

    Unfortunately I don't get the UK anymore, so I can't bring you a 190CXPRO4 .

  4. #4
    Senior Member ham's Avatar
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    I've only played with the manfrottos (and only the aluminium ones), and I can't fault them on anything other than their bulk/weight. They get nowhere near the Jack's size when collapsed.

    I've been making do with a Manfrotto compact ballheaded tripod that I paid 40 for from amazon. It's ok in ideal conditions, but any wind and it's all over the place. The ballhead is also poor. If I could replace it, I'd consider keeping it as my lightweight option, and buying something bulkier like the 190 or 055 and just swapping the head across.
    Last edited by ham; 05-15-2012 at 02:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member EricPvpi's Avatar
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    After looking at more videos, I am leaning towards the 3LT Jack. I think I just need to decide and order.

    3LT has 8 kg verse 5 kg rating, higher height, Arca-Style plate, monopod, case, etc. The comment from the B&H rep was "The 3 Legged Thing is easier to use in my opinion as it was designed by Photographers, not engineers"

    FYI on the 3LT, the plates will accept the BlackRapid FastenR-T1 camera screw.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ham's Avatar
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    As will the RC2's on the Manny.

    I watched 3LT's videos, but I want to read an indepth owner's review giving the pluses and negatives of the Jack. Unfortunately, at last look there was nothing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member EricPvpi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ham View Post
    As will the RC2's on the Manny.

    I watched 3LT's videos, but I want to read an indepth owner's review giving the pluses and negatives of the Jack. Unfortunately, at last look there was nothing.
    Yep, I saw that in your thread. Just wanted to pass the same info along on the 3LT

    All around I find it hard to get good reviews on anything. Youtube has a ton of unboxing and setting up, but not real use. I think they just put up a video in order to get hits but have no real detail.

    Setting up a Brian (carbon version of Jack)
    http://froknowsphoto.com/3-legged-thing-brian-review/

    And some videos of Danny from 3LT at a show and B&H
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZskQ5E7zk0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-l55...eature=related

    I was mainly hunting for Jack reviews, but today I should look for 3LT in general. All the models seem functionally the same and have the same head in the kit. They just differ between carbon and magnesium and number of leg sections.

    Still on the fence here.

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