Review Manfrotto Modo Maxi Tripod

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#1
We tend to forget there are compact/bridge camera users on the site, so this review is for them.

Manfrotto Modo Maxi 785B

http://modo.manfrotto.com/

First up here's the makers specifications:

Material - Aluminium.

Head type - Hybrid trigger gripped ball head with quick release plate.

Weight - 980gm

Load capacity - 1kg

Maximum height - 150.5 cm

Minimum height - 17.5cm

Closed length - 43.5cm

Other features:

Reversible centre column, detachable stub column, integrated screwdriver for QR plate, multi angle legs, head can be locked in pan and tilt only mode for video or full pan,tilt and flip for stills.


This little tripod is seriously the best £40 you can spend on your compact/bridge camera.
Considering its diminutive size it gives a sterling performance as long as you don't exceed its weight limits.

I originally bought mine to use with my Canon G11, mainly to steady it for long exposures and macro shots, this little tripod never let me down, whether using it at full extension or flat to the ground.

There are several nifty features on this, the leg position lock is a rotating collar just below the head, it clicks to each stop firmly and allows standard leg spread, wide stance leg spread, and virtually flat.
For the latter two positions you will need to either extend the centre column or shorten it by unscrewing the two sections.
At its lowest setting you can get very close to the ground, giving you a ground squirrels eye view of the world.

There is a cap on the bottom of the centre column, when this is unscrewed it reveals a screwdriver blade that is used to tighten the quick release plate screw to your camera, or undo it when you don't want to leave the QR plate on the camera.
The QR plate, self locks into place, so once the camera is snapped into place you don't need to tighten anything.

The head itself is rather novel, it features a ball head but with a type of hybrid joystick head, this is locked in place by a friction type trigger and released with the same, press on the thumb section to lock, pull the trigger to release.
There is also a switch on the side that is marked video/photo, setting it to the photo setting allows full movement to almost any position, including flipping into portrait orientation.
The video setting limits it to purely pan and tilt so that you can't inadvertently flip the camera.

Height wise, it's not bad for what is a mini tripod, 1.5 metres wont get the camera to eye level, but nor will you have to get on your knee's to use it.
Stability wise, its not going to be a rock, but as long as you use 2 second self timer/self timer for slow shutter speeds, camera shake can be completely avoided.

An example of my confidence in it would be that when deciding to take a 30 second exposure of the night sky through my bedroom window, I was happy to put my Canon 500D and 50mm F1.8 on it, set with legs flat and placed on my bed, using 2 second self timer there was no evidence of camera shake even though I was laying in the bed next to it!

In use its so light you forget its there and so versatile you wont want to leave it at home or in the car.

As said I have used mine for everything from portraits to macro and night shots both with the G11 and pushing its limits with the 500D & 50mm.

So if you want a decent, small, lightweight tripod for your compact, bridge or small video camera this is about the best you will get under £70

I wont bore you with a photo, watch this video instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQesga3Xe9s
 
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#2
Thanks Ian - just ordered one for about £39 from 7dayshop for my G11, and it might do the job for a D40 with the 35mm light lens. Excellent review, very informative. Cheers(y)
 
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