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!
The Manfrotto XPRO 3-Way Geared head is a lightweight and portable solution for advanced hobbyists looking for maximum precision from a photographic head. This geared head is ideal for photography applications that require extreme framing precision, such as architecture, macro and still life. The rotating, micrometric knobs enable you to adjust the camera's position precisely thanks to the geared movement enabling small micro steps on all three axes. Thanks to its Adapto technical body, the head only weighs 750g and is the lightest high precision head ever created by Manfrotto. Supports up to 4kg and comes with a 200PL plate.
Manfrotto's XPRO Video Monopod with MVH500 head has been designed for professional videography. It has a max weight limit of 5kg enabling the use of bigger and heavier rigs. The monopod features Manfrotto's state-of-the-art leg construction with the perfect combination of rigidity and locking safety. A full fluid base ensures shooting smoothness on pan, tilt, and swivel. Its 3 retractable feet make it extremely sturdy, whilst its counterbalance system allows you to manage heavy equipment.
Building on the popular 190X range to complete the offering for advanced hobbyists and professionals, this kit pairs the Manfrotto MK190X3 Tripod and the 804 MK II 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head together to deliver a reliable, sturdy support solution that’s able to carry up to 4kg and reach 173cm in height. The tripod features a Quick Power Lock system, ground level adapter, and Easy Link attachment.
Lightweight video tripod kit built for travel performanceSuperior performance with maximum lightnessAmazing smooth footage with befree live fluid video headNew M-lock twist lock system for fast, secure operationUnique premium design, 100% made in Italy
The Manfrotto MK055XPRO3 with X-Pro 3-Way Head Kit comprises of 3 leg sections, 50% more rigidity and a new Quick Power Lock leg locking system. The main feature of the 055XPRO3 is its 90° centre column mechanism, which allows the column to be extended vertically or horizontally to open up a wide range of photography and video applications. The X-Pro 3 way head offers retractable levers which make it ultra-compact and new friction controls on the portrait and tilt axes to help balance the weight of camera equipment, so that fine framing adjustments can be made with the locking knobs.
The MBAG 80PN is padded to protect your equipment and features an asymmetric tapered shape fitting a tripod with the head attached. Tripod legs fit comfortably in the narrower end (diameter 15cm) and extra space is allowed for the larger volume of the head at the wider end (diameter 21cm). This also means it is easier to put the tripod and head in the bag, even if the head levers and knobs are ...
The 323 is an aluminium quick release head, suitable for 3/8 and 1/4 inch fitting, and supplied with 1/4" camera fixing screws. 200PL rectangular pate included.
The Manfrotto L-Bracket Q2 is a unique accessory that saves you time and increases stability. The Q2 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. This accessory helps to extend the ...
Manfrotto’s Befree Live Lever is the most compact travel video tripod kit, dedicated to hobbyist videographers and vloggers who want maximum performance, even when they are on the go. It is easy to carry everywhere thanks to its compact size, and it fulfils an increasing demand from independent content creators for a lightweight, ergonomic travel tripod that is easy-to-carry for video recording ...
The Manfrotto XPRO Photo Carbon Fibre 4 Section Monopod is a professional carbon fibre monopod that weighs 600g, has a maximum height of 164.5cm, can carry up to 7kg making it suitable for supporting heavy lenses, and can fold down to just 52cm, allowing it to be easily transported. Its 100% carbon fibre legs ensure that the monopod is rigid and absorbs micro movements for excellent image quality.
Speed and digital precision are paramount in the latest 405 Pro Digital Geared Head, the 405 provides ideal support and fast, pinpoint positioning for professional medium format cameras with conventional or digital backs. The 405 Pro Digital Geared Head was designed specifically to meet the more exacting, time-sensitive needs of busy professional digital photographers who shoot with medium format or 35 mm camera/back with payloads up to 7.5 Kg. It utilises large, easy-to-grip knobs that provide smooth, positive, geared control through 360° pan and +90° -30° frontal and lateral tilt. In addition to its 3-D geared functions, the 405 also incorporates a unique feature that allows you to instantly disengage the gears and rough position the camera by hand, then instantly reengage them for ultra-precise final alignment.
Designed for advanced video shooting, the Manfrotto Full Fluid Base (MVMXPROBASE) for XPRO Monopod (not included) is the first of its kind in the market to feature 3D fluidity for the ultimate smoothness in an extremely compact solution for advanced video shooting. Compatible with all XPRO Photo Monopods, with the exception of the MMXPROA3B.
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.