I also use a black Manfrotto 055. The centre post is short (only 8inches I think) since I never raise the centre more than an inch. The ballhead is Manfrotto 308RC. It has a quick release built in.
The legs have been wrapped in pipe insulation secured with electrical tape. This is for 2 reasons: (1) holding onto the bare metal in anything less than 12 deg celcius will suck all warmth out of your entire body and; (2) for padding carrying over the shoulder.
I have used this for 35mm and MF.