View Full Version : Accessories Bogen 3021 Tripod (Manfrotto 055PRO)

Will Sawtelle
01-01-2008, 01:40 PM
When I became interested in SLR photography, about 25-years ago, I bought a good camera, good lenses and a cheap tripod. At 6’-1” tall, I quickly became tired of constantly stooping to the typically 5’-8” eye height of the little pod. I tried several of my friends’ pods, and found they were no better. While my wife and I were planning a fall vacation to the scenic Great Smokey Mountains National Park, I decided that one thing had to change. I needed a better tripod. After examining several tripods at the camera shop, I settled on the Bogen 3021 Professional Tripod. This brute has been my companion now for 20+ years.
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I say brute, because, compared to all the consumer level tripods I’d handled before, it is heavy (13.3 lbs, 6.03 kg). It is strong enough to handle even heavy large format cameras. With the Bogen 3030 head, the tripod has a platform height of 75 inches (190 cm) with the center column extended or 59 inches (150 cm) with the column down. In addition, the column can be removed and inserted upside down, allowing for the camera to be set at ground height.
The 3-section aluminum legs have a very sturdy locking mechanism that can be locked or unlocked easily to adjust the relative length of legs to level the head. In addition, the legs can be adjusted to 3 different angles, independently. The multiple leg adjustments make the Bogen 3021 able to adapt to nearly any setup.
The 3021 came with a Bogen 3028 Super 3-D head. This head is strong, and I’m told is popular with large format photographers. I tried the 3028 head, but as a beginning photographer, I found it a little daunting to use. I quickly switched to a Bogen 3030 3-way Pan/Tilt head with Quick Release. I’ve used the 3021/3030 Tripod/Head Combination for many years and have taken thousands of pictures with them. The only time I’ve had trouble was the one time I attached my Yashicaflex 635, and the back closure became unlocked, exposing the film to direct sunlight. I’d have been better off using the 3028 head with the twin-lens camera.
The quick release mechanism is very important. The connector can be screwed to the camera in your living room, allowing the camera to be attached to (or detached from) the tripod as quick as you quick as you can say ‘snap’.
I’ve used the Tripod for many years, and many types of photography including architectural, landscape, portrait, and macro photography. I've used at its maximum height, where I had to stand on a stool to compose the shot, and at its minimum height while lying on the ground. I've used it in the woods, on the streets and in studio-style setups in my home.

The Bogen 3021 is now sold as the Manfrotto 055PRO tripod. It is an excellent choice.
Pros: Maximum Height
Minimum Height
Strong and sturdy
Cons: Heavy
Somewhat bulky
Lacks a level bubble
Price: $168 (US) B&H Photo (Tripod Only)
$292 (US) B&H Photo (w/ 808RC4 Head formerly called the 3030)
I don’t remember what I paid for it, but my wife was mad at me for weeks.

01-02-2008, 08:25 AM

I think you got the newer version of the 3021. The original pan head on mine has the 3 long handles. I've since replaced the head with one of the older bogen ball heads. Some of the leg lock levers on my tripod have broken off so I have the lowest legs "permanently" extended a little. They can be tightened with a hand socket wrench.


Will Sawtelle
01-02-2008, 08:40 PM
The 3028 has 2 handles and a thumb screw for pan. You better grab the camera before loosening the handles, the head wil drop the camera onto the bottom of the head. You really should look this one up on the web.

The 3030 head I use has three large grip handles.

I've never had a truely good ball head, so right now I don't have a positive view of them.