I had a hard time finding a good review with lots of pics so I thought I would put this together as my choice seems to be a very popular selection. One stop decision making post if you will
My budget for the setup was around $250.
Reading through countless post on several forums day after day for about a week I had seen countless post referring Manfrotto as the choice in mid range tripod setup.
Ok that narrows it down some but now what legs? what head? What fits my budget?
Manfrotto 488 head was by far the popular choice for ballhead. Major difference between it and cheaper models being it has a seperate control for panning. 488 has four mount options:
I was told from members here that RC2 is the best choice as far as size. For me it was between the RC2 and bigger RC4, I thought RC2 looked alittle small in the pics but I had nothing to compare it to and couldn't find the dimensions anywhere so I took the advice of forum members and got RC2. Ended up being almost perfect size (pics posted below)
Now for the legs, I had narrowed it down to either the 190xprob or 055xprob. Once again with the help of forum members from here I was told the 055 would suit me much better for my height, about 6' even.
I ended up going through amazon.com and spent a total of $277.92
-Overnight shipping (with amazon prime membership) $7.98
Pics before final conclusion:
Came nicely boxed, wrapped in plastic and included instructions and how to register online to add 3 years to the warranty:
The legs were actually much lighter then I expected. Saw reviews were people said it was a heavy tripod and def. not a carry around pair of legs, after picking this up and carrying it around I have come to the conclusion that those people are just weak, lol. Its not the lightest setup but I def. wouldn't say its heavy.
The mount is a nice design with standard 3/8" screw mount in the middle followed up by 3 set screws that you tighten with a flat head screwdriver from the bottom:
The legs include a built in spirit level:
A hook to hang a bag:
A mount for a tripod strap:
And also a tool to adjust the nuts on the levers, which clips onto the legs, very handy tool, never have to dig through my bag to find it:
All legs can be controlled separately and can be lock in at 25°,46°,66°& 88°: