Man­frotto BeFree £140/$180

Now avail­able in glo­ri­ous colour

NPhoto - - Gear Zone -

This alu­minium kit now comes in a range of colour op­tions that in­clude grey, red, blue and green. With a folded length of 41cm and a weight of 1.5kg, the Man­frotto is one of the smaller and lighter tripods on test, but be­cause its legs only have four rather than five sec­tions, it only reaches a max­i­mum op­er­at­ing height of 144cm – the short­est of any tri­pod on test. The max­i­mum load rat­ing is also low, at 4kg.

Un­like most of its com­peti­tors, the Man­frotto uses clip rather than twist locks, of which there are nine in to­tal. It’s also one of only two tripods on test not to have an Arca-Swiss com­pat­i­ble quick-re­lease plate in its head, the other be­ing the Vel­bon. The sup­plied Man­frotto head is also quite ba­sic, with one ad­just­ment knob and no pan­ning lock/ re­lease or vari­able fric­tion damper. There are no spirit or bub­ble lev­els, no re­tractable spikes in the feet, and only two lock­able leg an­gles to pick from.


An up­side of the rel­a­tively ba­sic de­sign is that the Man­frotto is quick and easy to set up, and to fold down again af­ter use. Even so, the clip-style clamps are a bit more time-con­sum­ing than the twist clamps found in most of the other com­pet­ing travel tripods. Rigid­ity isn’t as good as in the heav­ier tripods on test, ei­ther, es­pe­cially when the low­est, thinnest leg sec­tions are ex­tended.


Con­struc­tion ma­te­rial: Alu­minium Weight: 1.5kg Al­ter­na­tive ma­te­rial: Car­bon fi­bre, 1.1kg, £250/$290 Max/folded height: 144cm, 41cm Max load (legs, head): 4kg, 4kg Head mount plat­form dia: 35mm Head at­tach­ment screw: 3/8 inch Ball head: Man­frotto BeFree Quick-re­lease plate: Man­frotto 200LT-PL Head ad­just­ments: Lock


Fea­tures Build/han­dling Per­for­mance Value for money


Keenly priced but lack­ing in ad­vanced fea­tures and max­i­mum op­er­at­ing height.

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