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Manfrotto XPRO or something else?

Poll closed Jul 12, 2017.
  1. Manfrotto XPRO Geared

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Manfrotto 410

    4 vote(s)
    100.0%
  3. Something Else

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. ivan86

    ivan86

    Messages:
    161
    Name:
    Ivan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi All

    Looking to get a new tripod head soon. I currently have a Manfrotto 460MG.

    Looking to get one a bit more precise with a quick release function and micro adjustments. I do architectural photography professionally so independent 3 axis movement and spirit level is a must (vertical as well as horizontal spirit levels would be a bonus!). Also will be using it for macro work too on occasion.

    I've been looking at the Manfrotto XPRO Geared head for months now but now I'm about to make the purchase I just thought it'd be worth getting other opinions.

    Any suggestions for alternatives or endorsements for the XPRO?

    Many thanks.
     
    Peter123 likes this.
  2. MartinB

    MartinB

    Messages:
    42
    Name:
    Martin
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Probably worth looking at the Manfrotto (in size order, smallest first) 410 junior, 405, or 400. All of these will wear after two or 3 years heavy professional use. I just bought the Arca Swiss C1 cube after having previously used the 410's & 405's for many years but it may be overkill for your needs. HTH
     
  3. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

    Messages:
    15,895
    Name:
    French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
    Edit My Images:
    Yes

    That statement puzzles me a bit.

    A PC lens should be a priority and you should know that
    — your info nor signature reveal nothing in this regard!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  4. ivan86

    ivan86

    Messages:
    161
    Name:
    Ivan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    410 is the alternative I'm considering at the moment. I've just been watching videos about the XPRO and they are quite scathing to be honest. Lots off issues with them. The 400 looked too big for my purposes and didn't have quick release.

    I had a look at the C1 Cube earlier, I saw the price tag and just sighed haha. Looks a lovely piece of kit though, how are you finding it?
     
  5. ivan86

    ivan86

    Messages:
    161
    Name:
    Ivan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    From my signature:
     
    Nod likes this.
  6. Kodiak Qc

    Kodiak Qc

    Messages:
    15,895
    Name:
    French Canadian living in Europe since 1989!
    Edit My Images:
    Yes

    Sorry for that Ivan, being a Nikon users, I
    did not recognize the descriptive initials! :cool:

    Then, back to your geared head suggestions
    request… if you google for it, you will get other
    makers that offer Arcs Swiss compatible heads
    as the rubber contact plates on the Manfrotto
    is a deal breaker for me.
     
  7. MartinB

    MartinB

    Messages:
    42
    Name:
    Martin
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I've had it less than a week, loving it so far! easy to get to grips with. Brilliantly engineered, as you'd expect. At the moment, I wish I'd bought one sooner. Given the price, I'm hoping it will see me to the end of my days. Time will tell.
     
  8. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,682
    Edit My Images:
    No
    gimbal from e bay £39 brilliant bit of kit holds my d750 +nikon 200-500 f5.6 no problem
     
  9. MartinB

    MartinB

    Messages:
    42
    Name:
    Martin
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I'm sure it does the job brilliantly for your application. However for an architectural application a gimbal just wont cut the mustard.
     
    ivan86 and johnf3f like this.
  10. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,682
    Edit My Images:
    No
    cannot see why !
     
  11. TLR-330

    TLR-330

    Messages:
    909
    Name:
    Charles
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
  12. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,682
    Edit My Images:
    No
    not a wind up neither was the pet owls as i have never seen someone with so many close up shots of birds except people who have access to "pet birds "
    or go to bird display shows or access at zoo's or bird sanctuaries
    now back to question in hand
    i cannot see how those expensive heads will improve the quality of the shot that will be the camera the lens the settings used and the togs expertese
    so not a wind up just my tuppence worth
     
  13. johnf3f

    johnf3f

    Messages:
    355
    Name:
    john
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    If you try using a Gimbal for architecture you will instantly see why others thought your post was a windup!

    Whilst my Wimberley 2 is an excellent head for heavy and long focal length lenses where speed of movement and stability are the priorities it is laughable for landscape/architecture or similar uses - probably why I bought a Geared head? Gimbal heads are simply not designed or intended for this sort of photography.

    If you live anywhere near Bridgend, South Wales, I am happy to demonstrate - but you have to buy the coffee!
     
    MartinB likes this.
  14. johnf3f

    johnf3f

    Messages:
    355
    Name:
    john
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    To Ivan.

    I have been using the Manfrotto 410 for 7 or 8 years now and have no wear issues whatsoever. I stripped it down last year and cleaned/re-greased the gears - they were in very nice condition. I re-greased it with a Moly grease (Abbey LT2) and this has made the movement a little smoother.

    Two points to note:

    The 410 is quite heavy - may or may not be an issue?

    The 410 uses a rather silly QR plate! It is huge and fits little else - however you can easily attach a cheap Arca type clamp (with the 3/8 screw that comes with the 410) to the nQR plate and have a much more sensible setup.

    I like the 410, it is not perfect but it does the job well. I can't speak for the alternatives as I haven't tried them - though I have used the Manfrotto 405 = very nice but expensive!
     
    ivan86 likes this.
  15. Oliver Pohlmann

    Oliver Pohlmann

    Messages:
    329
    Name:
    Oliver
    Edit My Images:
    No
    410 for me. Highly recommended. Love mine.
     
    ivan86 likes this.
  16. den

    den

    Messages:
    8,867
    Name:
    Dennis
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Once again you still can't grasp how I get close to my subject , this is a wild little owl , not a pet , not from a zoo, not from a paid workshop , I used to do talks at natural history society's regarding getting close to wildlife with short lenses , it's just knowledge and feld craft, now I have three established sites , you are quite welcome to come and visit and see what work I do and how I have achieved what I have , if you took some time and actually read on here and my website you will then see that my wildlife shots are just that wildlife ..,,,knowledge is knowing what to say , wisdom is knowing when to say it....
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    holty and Nod like this.
  17. Nod

    Nod Ethel Prescott

    Messages:
    28,625
    Name:
    Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Another vote for the 410 for accuracy and stability. Of course, I should qualify that by admitting that I haven't used (or even played with) any of the alternatives but I haven't needed to. Oh, I'm a Nikon user too but even I know what TS-E means in Canonian!
     
    ivan86 likes this.
  18. troutfisher

    troutfisher

    Messages:
    1,293
    Name:
    Chris
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I use a 24mm TS-E for architecture and when I did macro a Canon 100mm non IS .
    I both cases these were used with a Manfrotto junior 410 head on top of a Manfrotto 190 Pro B , for me it was more than adequate for the job, although like Nod I have not used the others
     
    ivan86 likes this.
  19. den

    den

    Messages:
    8,867
    Name:
    Dennis
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I wouldn't touch one of these , Would you risk a Lens that quite possibly is in the thousand pound mark for £39 I certainly wouldn't
     
    TLR-330 likes this.
  20. Son_of_Thor

    Son_of_Thor

    Messages:
    390
    Name:
    Si
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Tame pet owls would be nice - I might actually be able to find one to photograph then! :D I can't see to find them near us.. I'm sure once you work out where their nesting sites are and employ some field craft to get close enough and spend the time and effort required then the rest will fall into place...
     
    den likes this.
  21. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,682
    Edit My Images:
    No
    i use it regular for wildlife stags on the mountains and airshows and it is a sturdy piece of kit you would be surprised if you give it a go
    some people are just BRAND snobs
    because something cost 5 times the price does not mean it is 5 times better trust me
     
  22. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,682
    Edit My Images:
    No
    a scotsman buy the coffee i think not :)
    so what does the wimberley 2 do that my chines copy can't do ?
     
  23. den

    den

    Messages:
    8,867
    Name:
    Dennis
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I have used one it was a opteka at around £50 the side locking nut thread stripped within months ,branding it not fit for purpose,
    i have tried the lensmaster ,the manfrotto 393 and i have finaly got a mki wimberley ,not a gear snob just someone who as fallen foul of the buy cheap buy twice
     
  24. johnf3f

    johnf3f

    Messages:
    355
    Name:
    john
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Please check my post I said that my Wimberley is not good for landscapes - too big, too heavy, only a 2 way head, vertical post can interfere with controls, cannot balance your gear properly on it with small lenses (less/not important with a geared head), more difficult to frame scenes/subjects precisely etc, etc.

    As to the Chinese copies? I have tried a few (some cost more than I paid for my Wimberley!) and more importantly I have stripped down three to get them working properly for their owners - I am a nice guy really! The problem with all 3 (one Beike and two exactly the same but no brand marked on them) and they all had the thickest grease I have ever seen on their panning bearings. A good clean and some decent viscosity grease and the all panned nicely. However I was not impressed by the pan locks which simply dig into the vertical pivot = not good! Also the quality of the materials used did not inspire confidence - though they might be adequate. Your £39 head may suit you well but I am not trusting one with a lens that will cost more than £10k to replace!

    The Benro and Induro models are MUCH better - but more than my Wimberley cost, so no temptation there.
     
  25. sk66

    sk66

    Messages:
    5,252
    Name:
    Steven
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    ivan86 likes this.
  26. gad-westy

    gad-westy

    Messages:
    4,977
    Name:
    Graham
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Another vote for the 410 here. I bought mine about a year ago after really only ever using ball heads prior to that. I found with ball heads, even good ones, that you were always having to compensate for some droop once you lock the camera off. Always difficult to get composition exactly right as fine adjustments in just one axis are impossible. Always that element of 'that'll do'. Geared heads are the total opposite. Glacially slow to use but absolute control over composition. Couldn't be without mine now though I do still use a ball head tripod when travelling light.

    The 410 seems to be without much in the way of competition. I read the reviews of the cheaper manfrotto geared head (X pro is it?) and they seemed very mixed and a few concerns over stability and robustness. All the other geared options seemed a big step up in £'s.
     
    ivan86 likes this.
  27. MartinB

    MartinB

    Messages:
    42
    Name:
    Martin
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I'd agree the 410 is a good little head, but I use my heads all day every day barring weekends. They will over time develop slackness. I have one on my desk now that I recently replaced with a 405 on my backup tripod. If anyone would like to have a go at fixing it, they are welcome to make me an offer.
     
  28. Faldrax

    Faldrax

    Messages:
    1,061
    Name:
    Jonathan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Another happy 410 user here.
    I looked at the XPro alternative, but it appeared to miss the whole point of a geared head - the plastic it's made of simply isn't as rigid as a metal 410 - so the whole head can flex.
    The 410 simply points in exactly the direction you set it, and stays there. Job done :)
     
    ivan86 and johnf3f like this.
  29. wookie6262

    wookie6262

    Messages:
    905
    Name:
    Simon
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I have a 410 gathering dust if you are interested. I am going to sick with the 405 which I have had for a long time and love. I thought I would use the 410 for my lighter tripod for walking to venues but I prefer my ballhead to keep the weight down.
     
  30. Peter123

    Peter123

    Messages:
    592
    Name:
    Peter
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    If Ivan does not want your 410 I am interested.

    Peter
     
  31. holty

    holty

    Messages:
    3,682
    Edit My Images:
    No
    at 3 months old it should be covered by warranty ?
     
  32. den

    den

    Messages:
    8,867
    Name:
    Dennis
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I actualy did eventualy get round to sending them a photo of the part ,i didnt get anywere ,eventualy gave up and gave the the rest of the gimbal to a member on here who visited my site...
     
  33. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

    Messages:
    21,309
    Name:
    Richard
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Just don't get a M'frotto XPRO Geared. I'm frankly amazed they actually produced it. Rubbish.

    Depending on your budget, M'frotto 410 is a bargain, good solid, workmanlike head, but heavy. I swapped mine for a 405 (with Arca-Swiss conversion) which is a bit better all round and much nice to use I think. It's even heavier, but to my mind, for this kind of work that's barely a consideration TBH and certainly no deal breaker. Depends on how much other clobber you've got and distances etc, but in terms of stability/vibration heavier is actually good.

    After that, you're into more serious money. I love the Arca-Swiss D4, even in preference to the Cube. I've not tried the Sunwayfoto GH Pro that Steven mentions, but it looks promising.
     
    ivan86 and johnf3f like this.
  34. Graham Kelly

    Graham Kelly

    Messages:
    27
    Name:
    Graham Kelly
    Edit My Images:
    No
    410 for sure - switched about 6 months ago and would never go back
     
    ivan86 likes this.
  35. ivan86

    ivan86

    Messages:
    161
    Name:
    Ivan
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Thanks for all the replies and advice guys. My new 410 just arrived :) looking forward to trying it out later tonight!
     
  36. Jim_Tod

    Jim_Tod

    Messages:
    1,138
    Name:
    Jim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    :agree:
     

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