The Manfrotto BeFree is a high-end travel tripod whose features mainly address the needs to the traveling professional photographer. At 5 pounds, it is only slightly heavier than many of the tripods of this type on the market. The extra few ounces are unlikely to cause any significant inconvenience and if that were the case, the overall quality of this product more than makes up for the additional weight. It will easily fit into backpacks and luggage. One look at it should convince you that the Italian reputation for sleek design is not limited to automobiles, nor have sturdiness and dependability been compromised by its small size.
The load capacity of this 5.3-pound tripod is 8.8 pounds. This is sufficient to accommodate most smaller cameras. The stable platform it provides enables you to take sharp, crisp photos when using a zoom lens. The upper segment of each of the three-faceted columns has a diameter of 22 mm. The legs can be adjusted to an angle of 25º or 51º. This allows you to take photos with your camera in the desired orientation even when you are required to set up in cramped spaces or on extremely uneven terrain.
The ball head is made of solid aluminum. It operates smoothly, enabling quick adjustments in the camera’s position. Once adjusted, the camera firmly locks into position. The design of the quick-release plate allows the legs to fold together compactly for transport or storage. The leg locks are aluminum and the tension on the leg locks is adjustable.
The height of the tripod depends on the adjustment of the legs as well as the height of the adjustable center column. The center column on the BeFree adjusts rapidly. When it is all the way down, the maximum height provided is 48.4 inches and when fully extended, the maximum height is 56.7 inches. A padded carrying bag is included.
- It has four things going for it. It is light, compact, stable, and easy to work with.
- It is ready to use right out of the box.
- Slightly larger than some travel tripods but it is very solidly constructed.
- When not being carried in a backpack or in your luggage, it can be kept in its carrying bag and slung over your shoulder, where it will feel light as a feather.
- This is an excellent tripod to have when you want to take timed photos, photos in low light, or photos at night.
- An excellent tripod, but it could be considered by some to be somewhat expensive for the features it provides.
This is an excellent product. To those looking for a good tripod it might seem to be on the expensive side. To those who are looking for excellence in workmanship, ease of use, and durability, the Manfrotto BeFree is extremely affordable. It will not only serve you well for a long time but it is one of the few travel tripods whose looks make you want to show it off to others. It will make you look like a true professional.