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What a strange adventure I had today....

So as most of you know I've been going back and forth between a Manfrotto 055 and an Induro AT213, both have very nice features and many of the members here have given me excellent feedback on this tripod. So this morning I was just about ready to press the little yellow Amazon button when the thought occurred to me that I should check Craigslist one more time, just in case something new was listed. And low and behold, there was an ad placed just minutes before I logged on

The listing was for a Giottos MTL9271B complete with a Giottos HM-1300 Pro II large ball head. The ad stated the tripod/head was virtually unused and in perfect condition and all he wanted was $120. Which about 1/3 of the price new, so I figured I'd have to go check it out. I get there and sure enough, this tripod and head is immaculate and shows almost no signs of ever being used. So then I make the mistake of asking him if he had any other camera gear for sale and he says yes, he's got a Giottos MTL9251B tripod that he'd hadn't ever put a head on. He grabs it and sure enough, the tripod is untouched, the rubber feet show no signs of ever being on the ground. He tells me he'll throw the 9251B in for an additional $20. I couldn't walk away from that deal.

The seller arrived not long ago from the UK, where he purchased these items and I'm thinking he's a little confused about the exchange rate, or at least that's the only thing I can think as to why he was letting these go so cheaply. He did say there were a lot of people responding to his ad which came as no surprise to me!

So the MTL9271B is a monster, it's rated to hold up to 22 lbs and is solid as a rock but surprisingly only weighs a little under 5 lbs. When the legs are extended and with the head/camera on, I almost have to stand on my tippy-toes to look through the viewfinder. I haven't even tried to see how high it goes with the center post extended. Unfortunately the center post on the Giottos does not do that cool horizontal trick that the Manfrotto tripod does, however, the Giottos does have a center post ballast hook on the weight to the tripod to make it more steady.

As for the Giottos MH-1300 ball head goes, I think might like this ball head better than my current one. It has a very smooth feel to it and I really like the dial aspect of the head adjustments. I currently have the Manfrotto MH054M0 Magnesium
ball head and it works well enough but I'm not in love with the adjustment levers. If this Giottos can hold a heavy lens w/o that little dead space movement, I may make the switch.

The second tripod, the MTL 9251B, is a sweet little aluminum alloy tripod that feels like a carbon fiber and is rated up to 11lbs. Unfortunately it's not a very tall tripod so I'm not quite sure what to do with it. I'm thinking I'll probably just sell it.

This brings me back around to the Manfrotto tripod I was about to buy this morning. As if I weren't confused enough to being with, now I have to decide whether to sell the Giottos 9271B and buy the Manfrotto 055 so I have access to the horizontal center post, or just keep the Giottos and call it a day?

So the moral of this story is be careful what you wish for. I started out just wanting a tripod that was taller than my current tripod, now I have two (three if you count my old Manfrotto). But what a fun day it was. You never know when fortune will fall out of the sky in the form of tripods and tripod heads!

Tomorrow I'll update this thread with my evaluations of the Giottos vs. Manfrotto ball head
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  1. Roy1961's Avatar
    nice, thats like getting an early birthday present
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  2. pistnbroke's Avatar
    try the manfrotto 222 head ..nothing to compare ...
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  3. kklor's Avatar
    Nothing seems to be easy when trying to shop for gear and only a fellow photographer would know how difficult something so fun should be!
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