Manfrotto tripods might just be the most famous of all the photographic tripod brands around! And it’s not surprising – the venerable manufacturer has been making fast, adaptable and foolproof tripods for decades now. If you need a camera support, then chances are good that Manfrotto will have something suitable for you, whether it’s a tripod or a monopod.What’s more, Manfrotto has done a great job of filling out the affordable end of its product range, as well as the professional stuff. Models like the Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod have proved hugely popular among amateur and casual photographers, providing an excellent support system at a tempting price. There’s plenty more to choose from though, so scroll on for more!
Manfrotto has designed the PIXI Clamp safely and securely clamp your smartphone. It will take a smartphone with widths of 60mm to 104mm wide. They have included two ¼ attachments on its side and bottom which enables you to orientate your phone for portrait and landscape modes. There's also a shoe mount on top so that you can attach LED lights, mics or other accessories. Finally, the secure Y-lock lever ensures that your phone is safe in the clamp.
The Manfrotto L-Bracket RC4 is a unique accessory that saves you time and increases stability. The RC4 allows photographers to change camera orientation quickly from landscape to portrait without upsetting the shooting position. The magnesium structure provides a sturdy solution in terms of stability, lightweight, and transportability for all types of equipment. Special anti-rotational systems ...
The Manfrotto MBAG75N is a lightweight unpadded tripod bag made to protect your tripod with mounted head. Its asymmetric tapered shape allows you to store the tripod with the head attached and tripod legs fit comfortably in the narrower end. The main zipper extends down the full length of the bag while wrapping around the top area to easily open and grab your tripod. The thermoform padding for ...
The Manfrotto MH496-BH is suitable for photographers looking for a compact ball head that allows for precise and smooth camera positioning. Made of highly resistant, lightweight aluminium, the MH496-BH is both portable and strong, with a maximum payload capacity up to 10kg. It features three independent controls that give it the versatility to suit any environment.
The Manfrotto 119 3/8F to 1/4F Adaptor Spigot is a universal short 16 mm spigot with double female threads, 1/4'' and 3/8'' in size.
The Manfrotto PIXI Mini tripod is an lightweight tripod suitable for holding compact cameras and small DSLRs. It is compatible with Manfrotto’s Smartphone Clamp and Twist Grip, and works brilliantly with the Lumimuse LED lights. Able to support a maximum load of 1.1kg (1100g), it has a compact closed length of 18.5cm. The PIXI ensures your shots are sharp no matter the time, location, or angle.
The Manfrotto 015 Special Adapter is an adapter with a 3/8" screw attachment thread on one side and a 1/4" female thread on the other.
Manfrotto 190XPRO4 Tripod is a 4-section, aluminium tripod with advanced features and excellent build quality. newest feature is its Easy Link connector which enables attachment of photo or video accessories that feature a 3/8" male attachment. 190XPRO4 continues success of 190XPROB range with enhancement of easier Quick Power Lock levers and ability to extend to an increased height of 160cm. Quick Lock system allows a more comfortable and stronger one-handed grip, enabling a quicker setup time than previous models. 90-degree centre column mechanism allows column to be extended vertically, or horizontally to open up a wide range of framing and shooting possibilities. Shooting in horizontal position gives you freedom to shoot low to ground which is great for macro work.
The Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 is an extremely light weight (1.65kg), 4-section carbon fibre tripod with an Easy Link connector and improved Quick Power Lock leg system. The Easy Link connector with 3/8" female thread enables the attachment of photo or video accessories via the MN125 Adapter Spigot (not included) to expand your shooting possibilities. The Quick Lock system allows a more comfortable and stronger one-handed grip, for a quicker setup time than previous models. The 90-degree centre column mechanism allows the column to be extended vertically, or horizontally to open up a wide range of framing and shooting options. Shooting in the horizontal position gives you the freedom to shoot low to the ground which is great for macro work. An integrated levelling bubble on the magnesium top plate ensures accurate framing and a level horizon.
This short centre column is an optional alternative to the longer column supplied as standard with the newest 055 Series tripods. Its smaller size enables easier tripod operation when working with in a close-to-ground position, such as when composing low-angle shots and for macro photography.
The Manfrotto PIXI EVO is the successor to its smaller brother, the Pixi Mini, and supports a wide range of camera and lens systems weighing up to 2.5kg (5.5lbs). The PIXI EVO boasts two-section legs which are adjustable in five different steps and two different leg angles with a sliding selector, enabling low to the ground shooting. There is also the possibility to shoot in portrait mode, ...
The Manfrotto MBAG70N is an unpadded tripod bag, which is slightly tapered to provide a better fit for your tripod with attached head. A zip extends down the length of the bag and also fully opens the top section, and its end caps are padded to further protect your tripod. Please note: the internal length of this tripod bag is 68cm. If you currently own the Manfrotto MT055CXPRO4 Tripod (closed length 54cm) and the Manfrotto 057 Mag Ball Head Q6 (15cm in height), you will need to purchase the next size up, the Manfrotto MBAG80.
There are lots of decisions to make when it comes to picking the right Manfrotto tripod. Indeed, the first one is whether you need a tripod at all!
Manfrotto tripod or monopod?
Manfrotto makes fantastic camera supports in both three-legged and one-legged varieties. While a monopod doesn’t provide the same level of stability as a tripod, still requiring a hand to hold it, it is much more portable and easier to set up in a crowded place. They’re more affordable too.
For instance, the Manfrotto XPRO Photo Aluminium 4 Section Monopod has loads of the professional features that appear on Manfrotto’s tripods. Its Quick Power Lock lock system makes it quick to set up. If you just need a simple way to get stable photos and smooth movies, it’s a great choice.
But ultimately, if stability is what you need, there’s no real substitute for a good tripod. It doesn’t have to be heavy – something like the Manfrotto Compact Tripod Light can be picked up for a super-low price and offers superb stability. Alternatively, there are more fully featured models like the Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 Carbon Fibre Tripod.
Aluminium or carbon fibre?
Something you may have noticed about some of the previous examples – a cheaper tripod like the Manfrotto Compact Action is an aluminium tripod, while the more expensive Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 is a carbon fibre model. What’s the difference?
This refers to the construction material that comprises the body of the tripod. In general, carbon fibre is both stronger and lighter, with the trade-off that it’s more expensive. As such, you tend to find it in professional tripods, while budget models tend to be constructed from aluminium. The fact that aluminium is heavier does make it more stable in high winds, though many carbon fibre models come with a weight hook to compensate for this.
Which one you choose is down to your budget and your needs! If you have a lightweight setup – perhaps an entry-level DSLR or small mirrorless camera – most aluminium compact light tripods will do the job perfectly well.
Which Manfrotto tripod head to buy?
While most tripods will come with a standard head included, it’s worth picking up a specialist Manfrotto tripod head if you can afford it. There are a few different types with different applications worth considering. Here are a few examples:
Manfrotto XPRO Ball Head:
A simple sophisticated ball head that gives you a great deal of camera flexibility. It carries a maximum payload of 10kg while weighing only 520g itself, making it suitable for the vast majority of setups.
Manfrotto 324RC2 Joystick Head:
The Manfrotto joystick tripod head is a novel means of positioning your camera, providing a handle by which to pilot and point it in precisely the right direction.
Manfrotto MSQ6 Quick Release Adapter with Plate:
Not a head by itself, but a means by which to make it easy to attach and detach your camera. The quick-release system can be fitted to a Manfrotto photo head, and means the camera can be removed via the quick release plate, rather than having to be unscrewed. This kind of effortless camera attachment can be hugely useful if a situation suddenly changes and you need to get the camera on or off the tripod.
Manfrotto MVH502AH Pro Video Head:
For video users, it’s worth getting a dedicated video head. This is a kind of grip head with special fluid mechanisms that allow for smooth panning and other camera movements.
Frequently asked questions
- Which Manfrotto tripod should I buy?
This of course depends on your specific needs, but if you’re asking this question then chances are good that you’re fairly new to photographic tripods. The Manfrotto Compact Action Tripod with quick release is a superb choice – affordable, and capable of taking an entry-level DSLR with a kit lens attached, or a mirrorless or compact system camera. Its maximum payload is 1.5kg (3.3 lb).
- Where are Manfrotto tripods made?
The vast majority of Manfrotto tripods are hand-made in Italy, and have been since 1972.
- How do you use a Manfrotto tripod?
Manfrotto tripods are designed to be easy to get to grips with, but all tripods bought new will come with an instruction manual if you’re having trouble. Even something as simple as the Manfrotto Compact Action tripod will have a manual to help you understand the quick-release plate and other such features.