MT055XPRO3 Test Results

The Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 is the aluminum version of Manfrotto’s top of the line photo tripod.  Unfortunately, as an aluminum tripod with relatively lightweight legs, it simply does no perform very well for its weight.  It is quite inexpensive though, and may be an excellent first tripod.

NameManfrotto MT055XPRO3
Stiffness About Vertical Axis576 +/- 8 Nm/rad
Damping About Vertical Axis0.147 +/- 0.015 Js/rad
Stiffness About Radial Axis1844 +/- 6 Nm/rad
Damping About Radial Axis0.313 +/- 0.031 Js/rad
Retail Price$230
Weight5.51 lbs (2.498 kgs)
Manufacturer weight rating39.68 lbs
Maximum Height54.7 in (138.9 cm)
Minimum Height11.5 in (29.2 cm)
Max Height with Center Column66.2 in (168.1 cm)
Center ColumnYes
Base Diameter2.3 in (5.8 cm)
Folded Length22.1 in (56.1 cm)
Folded Circumference10.5 in (26.7 cm)
Folded Volume194.0 cu. in. (3.2 liters)
Leg MaterialAluminum
Leg Sections3
Primary Leg Angle26.0 deg
Leg LocksFlip
Top Tube Diameter30.1 mm
Second Tube Diameter26.0 mm
Third Tube Diameter22.6 mm
Exchangeable FeetNo
Foot TypeRubber

The stiffness and damping data are the averages of 10 trials for each measurement.  The reported error is the standard error, except in the case of the damping data.  I have set the error in the damping at 10% as the standard error metric does not appropriately capture the error in fitting to the data.  All of the reported specifications are measured, with the exception of the weight rating.

Bonus Content:

Stiffness vs Height:

Example data for oscillations about the vertical axis of the tripod:

As we can see, the oscillations are relatively low frequency and damp at a fairly slow rate.  This is poor performance for a tripod of its weight, but in line with what we expect from aluminum tripods.  It is apparent from the fit that the damping has some non-linearity to it.  There is less damping at smaller oscillation amplitudes than there is at larger ones.

This kind of long slow oscillation tends to produce beautiful plots in the frequency space, and this one doesn’t disappoint.  We can be very certain that we are hitting the correct natural oscillation frequency for the tripod.


Example data for oscillations about the radial axis of the tripod:

In this case, the oscillations are too fast to see properly on this plot, but the frequency plot confirms that we are getting the correct natural oscillation.  The damping is a little better in this direction too, but not by a lot.  As with most tripods, we would expect the dominant vibrations to be around the vertical axis.

Very clean behavior shown on the frequency space plot.