Bogen tripods were once a mainstay for photographers, but in recent years, their name hasn’t been mentioned quite as often. In this article, we’ll explore what happened to Bogen tripods and whether they still have a place in the photography world.
The History of Bogen Tripods
For years the company’s tripods were used by famous photographers such as Ansel Adams, and well-respected in the industry. In fact, when the U.S. military needed a sturdy tripod for their observation equipment during World War II, they turned to Bogen for help.
The company was known for creating tripods that were strong enough to hold large and heavy cameras yet lightweight enough to be easily transported from location to location. From small table top ones all the way up to studio model tripods that could support even the heaviest lenses, Bogen was a trusted name among serious photographers throughout most of the 20th century and into the early 21st century.
Bogen made fantastic tripods for years.
If you’ve been a photographer for more than a few years, it’s likely you’re already familiar with Bogen. They were one of the most well-known and highly regarded tripod manufacturers in the industry for many years. In fact, many photographers would consider Bogen to be the brand that set the standard for quality in tripods throughout those decades.
Bogen was founded in New York by Kurt Guggenheim and Jacques Bogopolsky (who later shortened his name to Bogen). The company started out manufacturing light meter housings, filters and enlarger timers before moving into photo accessories like tripod heads, monopods, lenses and flash units.
Why Did Bogen Tripods Disappear?
If you’re in the photography industry, it’s important that you know about the most innovative and useful products out there. Unfortunately, if you do not stay up to date on new developments in your field, you will end up missing out on some of the best stuff. This is what happened with Bogen tripods (now Manfrotto tripods).
Bogen Tripods used to be a popular photographic accessory until they suddenly disappeared from shelves some time ago. If you are wondering what happened to Bogen tripods, continue reading this article.
The Features of a Bogen Tripods
Bogen’s classic tripods featured a number of handy features that helped photographers stabilize their equipment when taking pictures. These included:
- All-aluminum construction. This material is strong yet lightweight, and it will not corrode or rust.
- A quick release mechanism that enabled photographers to easily remove and replace their cameras on the tripod without having to waste time tightening or loosening a screw-type device. This was particularly useful when photographers were in an area where they needed to quickly get new shots due to changing lighting conditions or scenes that were evolving rapidly. It also made the tripods easier for transport, as they could be folded more compactly than models with screw releases.
- Heavy duty tripod legs that could support a wide range of heavy camera and lens equipment, even in windy conditions. They were also equipped with non-slip feet for greater stability on wet surfaces or rocky terrain. These features made them ideal for outdoor photography, where weight and stability are critical considerations!
- Leg angle selectors so you can adjust them as needed while shooting at different angles
Why did Manfrotto Buy Bogen?
Manfrotto, which is a market leader in tripod heads, was looking to expand into the tripod market. If you’ve been listening to the podcast for any length of time, you know that I’m a huge fan of Manfrotto’s RC2 ballhead. It’s one of my favorite ballheads ever made. Clearly Manfrotto knew how to make a high quality and reliable product, but they were not known for tripods. So why did they buy Bogen?
Bogen tripods were the industry standard back in the 1980s and 1990s when I was starting out as photographer. They had high quality tripods like the 3221 series that were built to last and still function great today. So it made sense for Manfrotto who knew how to make great tripod heads but didn’t have an established brand in the tripod market to absorb Bogen rather than trying to build their own line of tripods from scratch.
What Happened with the Brand Name?
Bogen Imaging Inc. changed its name to Bogen Photo Corporation in 2005. The company then went on to acquire Gitzo SPA, a manufacturer of tripods and camera cases, before being itself acquired by Vitec Group Plc in 2008. In 2016, the company officially rebranded as Manfrotto.
So why did they change the name? The answer lies in trademark law: no brand is allowed to use a name that’s so close to that of an existing one that it could lead consumers to confuse them. You can see how Manfrotto might be confused with Bogen! We’re happy to see this long-running company going strong under its new moniker—and we’ve made sure that all of our resources reflect the change so you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for when you shop for these products on our site.
Bogen tripods are now Manfrotto tripods.
You’ve probably noticed that Bogen tripods are now labeled Manfrotto. Don’t be alarmed—Bogen is a brand name now used by Manfrotto for its tripods. The German company Bogen was acquired by the Italian company Manfrotto in 1989, and all Bogen products have been rebranded under the name of their parent company.
According to Ken Hansen of the Manfrotto Company, “Bogen never deviated from their commitment to quality construction and excellent ergonomics for the user. If a product did not meet these standards, it did not get launched.” This is no doubt good news for customers who already own or would like to purchase a tripod manufactured by either company.
How are the New Manfrotto Tripods?
The new Manfrotto (Bogen) tripods are awesome. The quality is excellent, and the prices are affordable. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to set up. There is a large variety of sizes and colors available as well as bundles that come with accessories so you can get everything you need in one purchase.
Bogen tripods are the same product, but under a different brand name.
Bogen tripods were always made by a company called Manfrotto (yes, with one “n”). In 2001, the company decided to phase out the Bogen name and sell tripods under the Manfrotto brand. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Manfrotto sold all its products under one brand name.
So that means that today’s Bogen tripods are actually Manfrotto tripods.
What Are the Alternatives to Bogen Tripods?
You’re probably asking yourself, “What are the alternatives to Bogen tripods?” There is an easy answer to that question: Manfrotto. Bogen tripods were all rebranded and sold as Manfrotto tripods after May of 2001. This means that if you are looking for a Bogen tripod, you can buy a Manfrotto Tripod instead.
If you want something other than the rebranded version of the same product, there are alternatives from other manufacturers. Two major brands are Gitzo and Benro Tripods, both owned by Vitec Imaging Distribution.
““In a humorous tone: It should be noted that these two companies have been embroiled in a vicious and protracted intellectual property dispute for some time now…. So I hope they don’t sue me!
Bogen tripods are still around, but the company selling them has changed their name. They’re not Bogen tripods anymore, they’re Manfrotto tripods. This isn’t a bad thing because Manfrotto is a trusted brand and you’ll still get a great tripod when you buy one today.
Manfrotto tripods were invented by Lino Manfratto in 1972. He wanted to create an innovative line of camera supports that would be more reliable than anything else on the market at the time. The line was so successful that the company took off and went global within ten years of its founding. Since then, they’ve been known for their reliable products, which have also expanded to include monopods, booms and backgrounds.