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Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods

B&H # MA555B MFR # 555B
Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods

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The innovative Manfrotto 555B leveling system for the 3021 Pro (055 Pro) tripod allows you to quickly level your photo or video head, independently from the tripod. A built-in 50mm half ball with 15° of levelling is mounted on top of the tripod center column so as to make the angle of the plate independent of the rest of the tripod.

Locking and unlocking of the half ball is via a turning grip on the bottom of the center column.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Manfrotto555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods
 
4.7

(based on 16 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fits well (13)
  • Improves tripod function (13)
  • Easy to use (11)
  • Solid/sturdy (10)

Cons

  • Heavy (4)

Best Uses

  • Video (10)
  • Landscape/scenery (6)
  • Portraits (5)
  • Night shots (4)
  • Wildlife (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (6), Photo enthusiast (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent upgrade center column

I bought the Manfrotto 555B centering column on the advice of the folks at Really Right Stuff. Previously I used a Manfrotto 438 leveling base on my Gitzo 1228 Mk2 tripod because Gitzo in...Read complete review

I bought the Manfrotto 555B centering column on the advice of the folks at Really Right Stuff. Previously I used a Manfrotto 438 leveling base on my Gitzo 1228 Mk2 tripod because Gitzo in their infinite wisdom decided to make their leveling base incompatible will all but a handful of their own tripods. I use a RRS BH40 head to complete the system. This system is used primarily with two cameras, a Mamiya 645AFD and a Panasonic G1, but I've owned the tripod and base for several years and have used it with many other camera systems.

Compared to the combination of the stock center column and the 438 base the 555B has a much smoother action. It is also more streamlined, packs better and the balance of the tripod is much improved. It isn't any lighter, but the weight is more evenly distributed.

Installation was a breeze on my old tripod. All you have to do is remove the old center column, press out the guide pin with a pair of channel locks and slide the 555B into the legs. You are ready to go in a matter of minutes.

This is the best solution I have found to date for owners of a series 2 Mountaineer who need a leveling base for panoramic shots, or any other reason you want your head level. It gets four stars for function and design, but doesn't get the fifth one because of weight and the screaming red color(not the most inconspicuous for wildlife photography).

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

555B Leveling Center Column

Bought the column for leveling head for multi-row panos. The column is very well built, but it may be too long for low-level shooting as it can not be taken apart like the original...Read complete review

Bought the column for leveling head for multi-row panos. The column is very well built, but it may be too long for low-level shooting as it can not be taken apart like the original column that came with my 3021.
A single leveling plate may be a better solution which would be lighter and smaller.

Reviewed by 16 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-16

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5.0

Essential For Video

By NRT

from Sydney Australia

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy to Use
  • Good Video Quality
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Video

    Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

    As soon as I connected this 555B levelling centre column to my 055 legs, and a Benro S6 head, I knew I had a viable light and fast alternative to my heavy Miller Compass 15 system. No it won't replace the Miller, but when I want to use my GH4 rig for quick setup changes, this Manfrotto system is little short of perfect. I cannot believe Manfrotto doesn't sell this as a complete package. The 555B is absolutely essential if you want to use your 055 legs for video - the bowl has a substantial range of movement, and is smooth and easy to set. The Benro head makes it easy to set level with the bubble, whereas my Manfrotto MVH500AH head requires a big tilt forward to reveal the bubble. I'm gonna buy another 555B as a backup.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Perfect for video

    By Ninjajack

    from Boston, MA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fits Well
    • Improves Tripod Function
    • Solid/Sturdy

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Video
    • Wildlife

    Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

    I have a flat base video head that was difficult to use with my 055 tripod, this has made my life so much easier!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Great addition to tripod setup

    By sharkey

    from Oakland, CA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Fits Well
    • Improves Tripod Function
    • Solid/Sturdy

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Shots
      • Portraits
      • Travel
      • Video

      Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

      This item is so great! So much time saved getting a level setup. No more monkeying with the tripod legs. Just orient the ball joint to level and tighten off. Super fast and simple. Love it.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Levelling heaven!

      By Marcotrov

      from Cairns, Australia

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Fits Well
      • Improves Tripod Function
      • Solid/Sturdy

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Macro

      Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

      Used for uneven ground landscape and macro work.

      Easy to use and like most all things Manfrotto, quality construction.

      I would have preferred to have had the centre column able to be shortened like my centre column on my 055 ProB tripod. This then allows you to lower the tripod right down to the ground for those extra low shots.

      Can become loose if not tightened properly but great to be able to do some fine levelling tining without the dramas of adjusting individual tripod legs.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Perfect companion for your 055 series tr

      By Daniel

      from Lynchburg, VA

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Cheap
      • Easy To Use
      • Fits Well
      • Improves Tripod Function
      • Solid/Sturdy

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

        Just remove the old post, and insert this post in.

        Awesome addition to the tripod, as it simplifies the setup. Can't live without it now. It saves cost if you want to use a bowl head, but can't afford it, this is a great alternative. I wouldn't put anything like a RED on it, but a DSLR would certainly work.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Seems good so far

        By Lee Andrew

        from Reno, NV

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Fits Well
        • Improves Tripod Function
        • Solid/Sturdy

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Video

          Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

          I use a center mounting 24" slider on this, and you have to crank it down pretty tightly to overcome unwanted rotation caused by the torsion of the slider, but it's holding up with the weight of a 5D and Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          555B Leveling Center Column

          By Frank

          from San Francisco, CA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Portraits
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

              Bought the column for leveling head for multi-row panos. The column is very well built, but it may be too long for low-level shooting as it can not be taken apart like the original column that came with my 3021.
              A single leveling plate may be a better solution which would be lighter and smaller.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              quick to use, light to carry

              By Rhapsody Pictures

              from Sydney, Australia

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight
              • Unfolds Quickly

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Portraits
                • Video

                Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                I love this centring column - its quick to use and light to carry. I have a bigger tripod for filming that requires more stability when shooting on a long lens - but I use this with a light tripod and head when I need to work quickly - you can raise/lower the centre column without having to adjust the legs - and the level is quick, reliable and easy to use.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Makes the 055 series much more efficient

                By JackMozart

                from Chicago

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Fits Well
                • Improves Tripod Function
                • Solid/Sturdy

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Night Shots
                • Portraits
                • Sports/Action
                • Travel
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife

                Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                It's be nice if it were a bit cheaper but build quality is great and it makes balancing the tripod very easy. It's weight and balance is a little better on this tripod than the other balancers that just screw onto the top of the head. Highly recommended.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                great for small cameras

                By jon

                from midwest

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Fits Well
                • Improves Tripod Function

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Portraits
                  • Video

                  Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                  Great addition to upgrade a tripod instead of investing in a complete new model.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great product.

                  By New Day Outdoors Productions

                  from Ashley Indiana

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Fits Well
                  • Improves Tripod Function
                  • Solid/Sturdy

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Video
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                    I will be using this product for video taping hunting situations off a tripod. It will make for fast camera leveling.

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Works better then expected.

                    By Don

                    from Rialto, CA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Fits Well
                    • Improves Tripod Function
                    • Solid/Sturdy

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Long Exposures
                      • Photography
                      • Stabilization

                      Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                      It's fast and easy. May buy another for my 2d 055 tripod.

                      Share this review

                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Excellent upgrade center column

                      By Marc McDonald

                      from Boulder, CO

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Fits Well
                      • Improves Tripod Function
                      • Solid/Sturdy

                      Cons

                      • Bright red ball
                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Long Exposures
                      • Panoramic Photography
                      • Photography
                      • Stabilization

                      Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                      I bought the Manfrotto 555B centering column on the advice of the folks at Really Right Stuff. Previously I used a Manfrotto 438 leveling base on my Gitzo 1228 Mk2 tripod because Gitzo in their infinite wisdom decided to make their leveling base incompatible will all but a handful of their own tripods. I use a RRS BH40 head to complete the system. This system is used primarily with two cameras, a Mamiya 645AFD and a Panasonic G1, but I've owned the tripod and base for several years and have used it with many other camera systems.

                      Compared to the combination of the stock center column and the 438 base the 555B has a much smoother action. It is also more streamlined, packs better and the balance of the tripod is much improved. It isn't any lighter, but the weight is more evenly distributed.

                      Installation was a breeze on my old tripod. All you have to do is remove the old center column, press out the guide pin with a pair of channel locks and slide the 555B into the legs. You are ready to go in a matter of minutes.

                      This is the best solution I have found to date for owners of a series 2 Mountaineer who need a leveling base for panoramic shots, or any other reason you want your head level. It gets four stars for function and design, but doesn't get the fifth one because of weight and the screaming red color(not the most inconspicuous for wildlife photography).

                      Share this review

                      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Essential for seamless panoramas

                      By Sassan Sanei

                      from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Fits Well
                      • Improves Tripod Function
                      • Solid/Sturdy

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Architecture
                        • Panoramas

                        Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                        I bought this column after losing the centre column that originally came with my Manfrotto 055SS tripod legs, and I love it. If I lost my tripod today, I would buy another one just like it just so I can use this column.

                        The key to making straight, seamless panoramas is that the tripod legs and the tripod head BOTH need to be level. Swiveling the head on legs that are not level will result in a wavy panorama. But it is time-consuming to make the legs level by fiddling with each leg, especially since my tripod legs don't have a built-in level. This leveling centre column makes it extremely fast and easy to level the legs. Then I use a hot shoe bubble level on the camera to make sure the head is level too (since my tripod head doesn't have a built-in level). The result is perfect panoramas every time.

                        Share this review

                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        makes a good product great

                        By frompus

                        from New York

                        About Me Professional

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Fits Well
                        • Improves Tripod Function

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                            The worst thing about the basic Bogen tripod itself was the time it took to make it level by adjusting the legs. This modification reduces that time to a few seconds from up to two minutes and can make the difference between getting a shot and missing it. For that alone it's well worth the money. It also makes it easier to disassemble for traveling. Rather than unscrewing the head, you can just remove the head with the column still attached and pack it separately from the legs.

                            Share this review

                            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Does the job

                            By John

                            from Bristol, CT

                            About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Fits Well
                            • Improves Tripod Function

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Photography
                              • Stabilization

                              Comments about Manfrotto 555B Leveling Center Column - for 055 Pro and 3021 Pro Tripods:

                              I use the leveling Center Column with my 055 tripod and a panorama head for scenery panoramas. The column saves me time in setting up the tripod (adjusting the legs) and gives me a level platform for my camera with one twist of the wrist. A lot better than fiddling with the legs.

                              Share this review

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