REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Manfrotto055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release
 
4.6

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Attaches firmly (17)
  • Strong clamp (17)
  • Large range of motion (16)
  • Stable (16)

Cons

  • Heavy (4)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (11)
  • Portraits (8)
  • Night shots (6)
  • Video (6)
  • Wildlife (6)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (12), Photo enthusiast (5), Semi-pro photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (21)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Yep, it works with my Canon 500mm f4 L

I purchased this ball head to support my Canon 500mm f4 IS L lens. I considered a gimbal head but decided against it for several reasons. I thought a gimbal might be more susceptible...Read complete review

I purchased this ball head to support my Canon 500mm f4 IS L lens. I considered a gimbal head but decided against it for several reasons. I thought a gimbal might be more susceptible to vibration, I did not want to be changing heads when I am not using longer lenses, and I thought a gimbal would be award to pack while hiking. The compact design of a ball head seemed to address my concerns. The lens and camera balance well and the ball design allows free pan and tilt movements and just enough friction to stabilize the lens and camera. I wish the mounting plate were slightly longer but it is just long enough to attach two screws to the foot of the lens if the rubber stopper is removed. The head is strong enough to be locked down at any angle and remain rock solid. Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Do NOT use with heavy telephoto prime.

I have used this head regularly - often daily - for more than a year. It is a solid product, and I have really enjoyed it for many of the reasons listed in other...Read complete review

I have used this head regularly - often daily - for more than a year. It is a solid product, and I have really enjoyed it for many of the reasons listed in other positive reviews.

HOWEVER

It is NOT capable of supporting the claimed 26.5lbs safely, and I am mainly writing a review to save someone else's neck. When I finally upgraded my wildlife photography rig to a Nikon 500mm, I knew I needed a Wimberley head, but I felt safe using this Manfrotto head to start using the lens, due to the weight capability listed, as well as the top positive review here on B&H. After two trips out with my 500mm lens on this head, it SNAPPED - under completely normal operating procedure. I FREAKED out. My lens and camera did go down a short drop onto soft grass, landing on the hood, and it is still functioning perfectly. Thank GOD.

Manfrotto DID replace the head with no questions asked, although I seriously doubt they would have replaced the lens, had it been destroyed. This thing is made of cheap metal composite. It works, but DO NOT put your multi-thousand dollar telephoto on this thing, or you are risking calamity.

Reviewed by 25 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

One beefy ball head

By G-Force

from Lyle,Washington

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability
  • Large Range of Motion
  • Strong Clamp

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

    I bought this to support a new 600mm lens. It performs flawlessly. The amount of adjustments is awesome.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Heavy duty, just what I need

    By Tom2272

    from Fresno, ca.

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Good Stability
    • Large Range of Motion
    • Strong Clamp

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

    I recently added a 150 - 600 lens to my equipment and my old ball head couldn't keep it stable. This one is a little heavy if you travel a lot but rock solid. It is easy to adjust and when locked down the camera and long, heavy lens attached don't creep or vibrate. I would recommend this to a friend.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Do NOT use with heavy telephoto prime.

    By ggphoto

    from Nashville, TN

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Large Range of Motion
    • Strong Clamp

    Cons

    • Fails Below Weight Spec
    • Unstable

    Best Uses

      Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

      I have used this head regularly - often daily - for more than a year. It is a solid product, and I have really enjoyed it for many of the reasons listed in other positive reviews.

      HOWEVER

      It is NOT capable of supporting the claimed 26.5lbs safely, and I am mainly writing a review to save someone else's neck. When I finally upgraded my wildlife photography rig to a Nikon 500mm, I knew I needed a Wimberley head, but I felt safe using this Manfrotto head to start using the lens, due to the weight capability listed, as well as the top positive review here on B&H. After two trips out with my 500mm lens on this head, it SNAPPED - under completely normal operating procedure. I FREAKED out. My lens and camera did go down a short drop onto soft grass, landing on the hood, and it is still functioning perfectly. Thank GOD.

      Manfrotto DID replace the head with no questions asked, although I seriously doubt they would have replaced the lens, had it been destroyed. This thing is made of cheap metal composite. It works, but DO NOT put your multi-thousand dollar telephoto on this thing, or you are risking calamity.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      A gem on my throne

      By Vimal

      from Jersey City

      Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

      This is a perfect gem on my Manfrotto MT055CXPRO4 Carbon Fiber Tripod (Throne) it is sturdy, heavy and can take your heavy camera safely.

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      5.0

      Solid As A Rock

      By Dan D.

      from San Jose, CA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Good Stability
      • Strong Clamp

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Video

        Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

        The bubble level and ball head adjustment knob allow me to perform my jobs more quickly and efficiently. I use this ball head with my Canon 5D3 and 70-200mmII attached with the Cyclops and it is stable enough to support the weight of all 3.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Works

        By Orange Fox Creative

        from Knoxville, TN

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

        Great for use with a monopod. I shoot mostly video--it's nice to have the Manfrotto Q5 plate. That way you don't need to change plates to pop the camera on either a manfrotto or Sachtler tripod head (Sachtler plates are a bit longer but you can still use them interchangeably).

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        3.0

        over engineered

        By ch13

        from AZ

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Attaches Firmly
        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion
        • Strong Clamp

        Cons

        • Complicated Controls
        • Non-ergonomic
        • Over Engineered

        Best Uses

          Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

          This head works but is not enjoyable to use.

          The pan tension knob worked vaguely if at all (maybe it was just my copy, as I returned it) and every knob has a opposing cuves on either end that may have sounded like a good idea on paper or on the computer while engineering but they just get in the way. No person is going to precisely lay their fingers on the knob with every use. And the plate tension knob bumps into the camera (5d MkIII), even though the plat is huge. I didn't have it long enough to observe how the open windows (for weight savings I presume) to the ball would endure dust, dirst, snow, rain, etc...but I'm not sure its the best design.

          The overall design is ok. But it could be much better without over thinking and trying so hard to make everything overly ergonomic. Manfroto would do better with a simpler approach.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Difficult to pan

          By Andy

          from San Diego, CA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attaches Firmly
          • Good Stability
          • Large Range of Motion
          • Strong Clamp

          Cons

          • Difficult To Pan

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel

          Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

          Overall the ball head seemed to be high quality, however, the panning mechanism on my particular unit had an excessive amount of resistance. With the pan lock off and the pan tension control fully loosened, the unit still was difficult to pan. I'm guessing from all the positive reviews that I have seen that my unit was defective.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Rock Solid Ball Head

          By Hammercamera

          from Long Island, NY

          Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

          I purchased this ball head to replace a joystick head for my main non-travel tripod. I immediately noticed how steady my camera and my main lens (Nikon D5100, 18-300 telephoto) are when taking shots, even as I experiment with some macro photography. I highly recommend this ball head.

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          5.0

          Great Ball Head

          By Rommel

          from New York

          Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

          heavy duty and very sturdy ball head for my Manfrotto 055 CF tripod.

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          5.0

          Ergonomically Intuitive

          By CrewsPhotography

          from Sherman, Texas

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easy to Use

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Sports/Action
            • Travel
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

            This ball head is solid, well constructed and a joy to use. The controls are perfectly placed and intuitive. Though slightly heavier than my previous ball head, the 055 offers excellent stability along with security. The safety release is a must have feature. My previous head did not have the safety release; twice I found myself twisting the wrong knob nearly allowing my camera to slip off and crash to the ground.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Is this the best ball head for large SLR

            By Ron

            from Texas

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Reviewer

            Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

            A ball head should simply hold your camera where you want it. It is nice if it has panning features, which the 055 does. The 055 does exactly what it is supposed to do. When you clamp down on the ball, the camera stays put. No creep, no movement at all. I've owned several other ball heads and they would all creep a little, especially the offset ball type. Some of them were considerably more expensive than the 055. There are many quality ball heads that cost twice as much, but they can't work any better than this one!Right now I have it mounted on an old Manfrotto 3033 aluminum tripod. Solid as a rock, but the whole thing, with the 055 head, weighs in at 11.0 pounds...ugh. I'm looking at the MT057C3 legs, which should shave 3 pounds off my burden. This should be a great combination.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            "Very high quality, functions perfectly"

            By New Era Media

            from Australia

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Build quality
            • Compact
            • Durable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Video

              Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

              I own the 055 and 057 ball heads. Both are simply the best ball heads I've ever owned. I use them heavily in harsh weather and dust and they've never let me down. Highly recommended for a professional or semi-pro user.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              precision and robustness

              By Rafael Guerra

              from Valencia Venezuela

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Strong Clamp

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Video

                Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                It's more than I expected, is a versatile head and make any movement you need

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                way too heavy

                By scott800

                from fresno, ca

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                This ball-head is much bigger and heaviwer than it looks in the photo. On top of a tripod, it works great but i had purchased this for use on a slider system. For this use it is too bulky and heavy to use. great secure hold on qr plate, though. Independant panning does make it useful for video in a pinch.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Worth the expense

                By cmfears

                from Hopkinsville, Ky

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                  Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                  At first I was hesitant to spend $ + on what I considered to be a block of metal. However after biting the bullet, I have been beyond pleased. Excellent quality, and peace of mind knowing that my camera and long lens are secure.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great product

                  By H

                  from Florida

                  About Me Photography Student

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Home
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                  Great product for serious photographer.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Very very nice!!

                  By Kurt

                  from Montreal, Qc

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  See all my reviews

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Portraits
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                    Wished I had not bought the three pan and tilt, ball head is so much better.

                    Looks and feels like it will last forever. The panning 360 is stiff even when the locking knob is fully loosened and, as another reviewer had remarked, the tighten knob on the Q5 quick release block seems awkwardly positioned - works great on a long lens mount but prevents you from centering the camera body on the mounting plate (the body gets in the way) but not a problem if mounting the camera to the edge of the bracket.

                    This is definitely the way to go. Three way pans are great for stills and landscapes when you've the luxury to fiddle with three handles; but this ball head will do it all and quickly. I also love the true 90 degree portrait tilt - No L bracket needed.

                    I use a 70-200mm and not much tension was needed to keep it in position.

                    I prefer this Q5 system over the other models - just feels like more metal to rely on and that much safer.

                    I simply love it!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    fantastic quality

                    By Valy

                    from Toronto, ON Canada

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Firmly
                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits
                      • Travel
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                      Easy to use, reliable, sturdy, smooth action, quick camera/lens mounting with Q5 Quick Release.
                      Works very well with my new Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Yep, it works with my Canon 500mm f4 L

                      By dan

                      from Chattanooga TN

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Manfrotto 055 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release:

                          I purchased this ball head to support my Canon 500mm f4 IS L lens. I considered a gimbal head but decided against it for several reasons. I thought a gimbal might be more susceptible to vibration, I did not want to be changing heads when I am not using longer lenses, and I thought a gimbal would be award to pack while hiking. The compact design of a ball head seemed to address my concerns. The lens and camera balance well and the ball design allows free pan and tilt movements and just enough friction to stabilize the lens and camera. I wish the mounting plate were slightly longer but it is just long enough to attach two screws to the foot of the lens if the rubber stopper is removed. The head is strong enough to be locked down at any angle and remain rock solid. Overall, I am very pleased with this purchase.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

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