Santa and the Manfrotto Fairy teamed up at Christmas and brought me a new tripod (and ball head)! It’s my first real tripod (my last one was only about four-and-a-half feet tall and pretty flimsy). This tripod is so solid and sturdy (and just a bit on the hefty side!). I’ve had it set up in the corner of my living room since Christmas and it makes me so happy to see it that I think I’m just going to leave it there! It’s the 055XPROB tripod and the 498RC2 ball head. Even without the center column extended it allows me to put the camera at eye-level and get shots of how I see the world, not how my torso sees the world. And if I ever manage to get the macro lens that I lust after this tripod will also allow me to work really close to the ground.