Summary: I really like this tripod, the quality of Manfrotto tripod is really good. But when I got it, I found there were many scratches on the body of the tripod. It didn't look like a new one. I thought it was just an occasional case, so I returned it and ordered a new one. However, there are much more scratches on the new one! I don't know what happened to these tripods! Why I can't get a Brand New one! I have to say this is my worst Amazon shopping experience.
Summary: I've owned inexpensive camera tripods in the past, but when I stepped up to a quality (heavy) spotting scope, I decided that I needed to pair it with a quality tripod to get the most from it. Manfrotto has an excellent reputation for quality and based on my experience with this tripod, that reputation appears well earned. I paired this with a horizontal grip style head and the combination has proven to be outstanding for my needs. Set it and forget it.
Excerpt: I love this tripod! The center column easily moves into a vertical position, which has helped with some recent work I've had shooting food dishes. I use it with two heads: the Manfrotto 303 Plus and the Manfrotto 804RC2 head (I use a grip with the three way head). I can switch heads quickly and they do not turn on the axis of the tripod.