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The Manfrotto MT294A3 is part of the 290 tripod range, designed to give strong stability with minimal weight making it ideal for a wide range of subjects indoors or out. It's available as a stand-alone tripod base or in kit-form with various heads. Here we review the £105 kit with the 804RC2 three-way head.
The legs have plastic quick-release locks and two of them have sponge grips at the top. They can be angled with a lock for two positions - 23 or 51 degrees. Many other tripods in this price point have a wider splay for lower level photography, but you can still shoot low with this one by unclipping the center column base rubber cap and reversing the column in the center.
The center column is a triangular tube and has a height lock and also an anti-shock collar to prevent impact on the camera if you release the column without holding it.
- Interchangeable head
- Anti-shock collar
- Maximum working height of 169cm
- 3 leg sections
- 1.9kg weight
- D-shape leg sections
The leg angle released by thumb
The two angles available
Leg angle position 1
Leg angle position 2
Reversed centre column
The factory setting for the quick-releases is stiff but not unmanageable. You can tighten or release the stiffness of action using the supplied small plastic spanner that clips on to one of the legs for storage.
The lock for the leg splay is a simple action too that's easily set to allow the tripod legs to angle out at 23 degrees or 51 degrees. The wider angle lets you get the camera down to about 51cm from the ground.
You could buy a case to carry the tripod around but most don't bother and it's good that the grips have been added so you can hold it in cold weather and not feel the cold aluminium. The grips also make it more comfortable and easy to hold with gloves.
Value For MoneyThis is a popular price point for enthusiast photographer tripod so there's lots of competition. If you want really small with a quicker reverse column you could consider the £120 Nivelo 245BK. It's no where near as sturdy, but small in comparison. Or you may want a more feature packed model such as the Giottos MTL9351B with its macro arm lower angle leg positions. For many the simplicity of this one will win it points and especially considering Amazon have it on offer at just £90 - Manfrotto MT294A3.
The current deal from Amazon (as of 08 May 2012) makes it an incredibly good buy. If you're a studio photographer or landscape and nature you'll find this a useful beast (especially if you're over 6ft tall), and if the limitation of the low level is an issue you could buy a macro arm to attach to the head.
|Incredible height and robust frame, what more could you want?|
Manfrotto MT294A3 Tripod ProsSolid metal construction
Excellent maximum height
Reversible centre column
Limited leg splay of just two angles
Manfrotto MT294A3 Tripod Cons
No spikes on feet
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Manfrotto MT294A3 Specifications
|Minimum Height||No Data|
|Maximum Weight Capacity||5kg|
|Number of Leg Sections||3|
|Box Contents||No Data|