We’ve combined our new favorite Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 legs with our old favorite Markins M10 moderate duty ballhead for this kit. The combination will support a professional series body and 500 f4 size lens, is easy to carry or travel with, sets up in a snap, and provides good height.
The Manfrotto 055CXPRO4 4-piece carbon fiber legs have quick release flip lock latches to set up in an instant to a maximum height of 67"(with centerpiece extended), weigh only 3.7 pounds, have a built-in bubble level, and can support a 17 pound camera/lens combination.
We’ve topped it with a Markins M10 ballhead, a heavier duty version of the Q3. We’ve tried a number of other ballheads that were less expensive but keep coming back to Markins because they are so reliable and smooth. The M10 has a panning base, very smooth progressive ballhead friction adjustment, an Arca-Swiss compatible quick mechanism and we include a single AS plate. The online manual for the Markins ballhead is located here
Please Note: This item does not include an arca-swiss type plate, which is required to use this tripod head. We do rent the plates separately, but the size plate you’ll need will vary depending on what size lens you’re using. We rent 4 different sizes to give you the most flexibility.
We carry a lot of tripod/ballhead kits. Here’s a quick comparison to help you pick the one that’s right for you, from lightest to heaviest.
Benro Ultralight is the lightest and most transportable tripod we carry and capable of supporting slightly heavier loads than the Giottos Tripod/Monopod.
Benro Medium Duty maintains the very short folded length (17 inches) of the ultralight tripods, but has the heavier construction (and weight) of a medium duty, capable of handling a camera and 70-200 f2.8 size lens (and a 300 f2.8 in ideal conditions).
Giottos Tripod/Monopod A versatile carbon fiber tripod that also converts to a monopod. Small, inexpensive, easy to carry, and flexible. Not appropriate for lenses larger than a 70-200 f2.8
Medium Duty Tripod and Ballhead combines a set of sturdy carbon fiber 4 section legs with a Markins Q3 ballhead which is small and light but very robust. A great choice for a more sturdy platform than the lightweight kits, and capable of holding a 300 f2.8 lens and camera with no trouble.
Heavy Duty Tripod and Ballhead have the same legs as the medium duty tripod, but the larger Markins M10 head. This setup is capable of handling a 500 f4 lens, although if you’re working overhead or with fast-moving targets, you might want to consider adding a Wimberley Sidekick