Could the Manfrotto BeFree be the best tripod ever?
The Manfrotto BeFree Tripod is an impressive item before you even take it out of the very neat little carry bag that is included. Once removed, you immediately see the Manfrotto BeFree Tripod is an evolution in tripod design. The legs fold 180 degree up against the central column and allow the legs to wrap around the built in head so it can be packed into the very compact size.
For a landscape photographer, a lightweight tripod is everything if your shot requires any amount of trekking. Carrying this tripod around adds very little extra weight and would not be burden even if you had to carry it all day. It is so small that is should attach to most good camera bags without any difficulty and, if not, the included bag has a handy shoulder strap.
During the review the tripod was put to the test in very windy conditions in the Yorkshire Dales. A tripod like this is a balancing act between light weight and portability versus the risk of it moving or blowing around in the wind.
The Manfrotto Befree Tripod seems to have an uncanny ability to remain solid and secure even in heavy wind. The shot of the tree featured in the video was a four minute long exposure and you can see there is no lack of sharpness in the image other than where the branches are blowing around in the wind. This ability could be due to the Manfrotto BeFree maintaining very similar dimensions to much heavier tripods. The legs can also be adjusted to spread to about 45 degrees allowing for a wider base and lower shooting angle.
The Manfrotto BeFree Tripod comes with an included tripod head. This represents great value because tripod heads alone often cost more than this tripod in total. The camera attaches to the tripod via the Manfrotto RC2 quick release plate. This is used on several other Manfrotto tripods so if you already use this quick release plate it will slot straight onto the tripod.
There is not much more that can be said. The is potentially the best lightweight tripod on the market today. It will facilitate your ability to travel light whether you are trekking up a mountain or boarding a plan with only hand luggage.
If you were to only own one tripod then I would recommend buying something slightly bigger. However as a lightweight travel tripod the Manfrotto BeFree is the best tripod I have ever used.
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