What item is right for you?
Ask our Experts! 800.606.6969 Live Chat

Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head

B&H # MA496 Mfr # 496
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $65.00
Product Highlights
  • Aluminum Construction
  • Load Capacity: 13.23 lb
  • Working Height: 3.54"
  • Weight: 0.71 lb
  • 360° Panning
  • Head Tilt: +/-90°
  • Tension Control

The Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head features a precision-machined aluminum housing and ball which provides smooth movements across all tilt positions. It has a ratchet locking knob for 360° panoramic movement and a double groove for ±90° tilts. This ball head fits any tripod with 3/8"-16 threads.

This head is great for 35mm SLR and DSLR cameras with medium lenses.

Material Aluminum
Type Ball Head
Load Capacity 13.23 lb (6.0 kg)
Tripod Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16 Female thread
Camera Mount Thread Size 1/4"-20
Quick Release No
Adjustments ±90°
Panning: 360°
Separate Panning Lock No
Tension Control Yes
Ball Sphere Diameter Not specified by manufacturer
Bubble Level No
Base Diameter Not specified by manufacturer
Dimensions Working height: 3.54" (9.0 cm)
Weight 0.71 lb (0.32 kg)
Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Limited 8-Year Warranty Extension after Online Registration
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Manfrotto496 Compact Ball Head
     
    4.5

    (based on 28 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (17)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (8)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    92%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (24)
    • Attaches firmly (22)
    • Strong clamp (17)
    • Large range of motion (16)
    • Compact (3)

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/scenery (20)
      • Night shots (14)
      • Travel (11)
      • Portraits (9)
      • Home (7)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Photo enthusiast (9), Pro photographer (9), Semi-pro photographer (7), Casual photographer (3)
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No (21)

      Most Liked Positive Review

       

      496 Compact Ball Head by Manfrotto

      Reduces the total length of the tripod by a couple of inches for an easier fit into carry-on luggage. Although a bit difficult to initially screw equipement onto the head, the quick-locking feature and...Read complete review

      Reduces the total length of the tripod by a couple of inches for an easier fit into carry-on luggage. Although a bit difficult to initially screw equipement onto the head, the quick-locking feature and friction knob Manfrotto added make it much easier to adjust heavy equipement. I found it easier to screw the tripod into the base of the equipement, than attempt to screw the equipement onto the head.Easily holds Nikon D300 + Nikkor 300mm lens.

      VS

      Most Liked Negative Review

       

      Ok for the price, some quibbles.

      My travel beater rig consisted of the prior 486 ball head and unfortunately, it was stolen. The sucessor was this 496. I liked that it had a tension adjustment because the 486 was...Read complete review

      My travel beater rig consisted of the prior 486 ball head and unfortunately, it was stolen. The sucessor was this 496. I liked that it had a tension adjustment because the 486 was missing that. Sadly there is no comparison to the 486 in terms of quickness and smoothness. This one takes about 3/4 a full turn to have full lock/engagment. The 486 was 1/2 turn. Not much but for me it is a nice feature to make an adjustment and a short turn to be shooting again. It slows down those moments you want the speed. The tension helps but for most my shooting, I leave it fully out or removed. After having this 8 months, I've not warmed to it and dread having to use it. I've thought of modifying the angle of the screw for quicker lock-up but the smoothness aspect will still be missing. I was expecting a bit more but for the price point it is par.I want smooth and quick lock engagement, the search continues the next level up.

      Reviewed by 28 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-20

      Back to top

      Previous | Next »

       
      5.0

      Great easy perfect for out doors

      By Alice

      from Ca

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Easy to Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

        Great for outdoor back country work love it nature photographer

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Good, solid ball head.

        By Lone Ranger

        from California

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy to Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Harder To Mount Camera

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

        I gave it a 4 because they didn't make it really easy to screw it onto the camera. I don't turn the camera, ever; I usually am given a screw with grippyness on it below the mounting plate. I can see, by this design that they would have to figure out something different; but they should have at least put some grippyness on the outer circle to make it easier to grip/turn by twisting the circlular mounting plate. I loosen up both knobs and twist the circular plate to mount my camera; then I tighten everything back up. And no, I specifically don't want a quick-release mechanism. Other than that issue, it's a great light-weight, solid, ball head.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Working As Intended

        By audioception

        from Long Beach, CA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy to Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

          Purchased to use with my Canon 70D and 400mm lens. Stable configuration on Manfrotto 680B monopod and Manfrotto 577 Rapid plate.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          great travel ballhead

          By (hi, i'm miles)

          from New York

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Attaches Firmly
          • Good Stability

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel

            Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

            i use this for travel...fits right on top of my tripod and still fits in a carry on. i put a 577 qr plate on it so i can easily switch between photo and video rigs

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Typical good Manfrotto stuff

            By Bohan

            from Hayward, CA

            About Me Pro Photographer

            See all my reviews

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Firmly
            • Good Stability
            • Large Range of Motion
            • Strong Clamp

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Portraits
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

              It held my 400 2.8 but it was hard to maneuver.

              Perfect for up to 70-200 or maybe a 300 f/4.
              Totally solid locking function

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              OK Product

              By sandipan

              from India

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Stability

              Cons

              • Complicated Controls
              • Heavy
              • Small Range

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

              My wrong choice .... I should have bought Manfrotto mini ball head rather than this big junk; .... It is hard to rotate the ball controller knob while you have fixed this compact head on Manfrotto nano clamp. I purchased this for its better weight bearing capacity compared to mini ball head.
              The ball is not smooth to rotate ... any way, I will keep it and will buy the mini head to use with nano clamp.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              excellent ball head for any slr

              By austin p.

              from staten island, ny

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Strong Clamp

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home
                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Portraits
                • Travel
                • Video
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                my main concern with this head was handling weight. i use this head with my canon 5d mark II with battery grip with 70-200mm f/2.8 L and it holds just fine. i use this with the manfrotto 577 quick release plate so i can easily move from one head to the next from photo to video work.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Love how light weight it is.

                By Rick with camera

                from Tillamook, OR

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Portraits
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                  Fits nicely on the tripod, just like it should.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  small but sturdy

                  By chochlik

                  from toronto

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                    great small head use it for travelling.

                    Share this review

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    3.0

                    Ok for the price, some quibbles.

                    By Mike

                    from So. Cal

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Pros

                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                    • Lock-up is not quick

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                      My travel beater rig consisted of the prior 486 ball head and unfortunately, it was stolen. The sucessor was this 496. I liked that it had a tension adjustment because the 486 was missing that. Sadly there is no comparison to the 486 in terms of quickness and smoothness. This one takes about 3/4 a full turn to have full lock/engagment. The 486 was 1/2 turn. Not much but for me it is a nice feature to make an adjustment and a short turn to be shooting again. It slows down those moments you want the speed. The tension helps but for most my shooting, I leave it fully out or removed. After having this 8 months, I've not warmed to it and dread having to use it. I've thought of modifying the angle of the screw for quicker lock-up but the smoothness aspect will still be missing. I was expecting a bit more but for the price point it is par.I want smooth and quick lock engagement, the search continues the next level up.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Perhaps not the best small hands

                      By Susanna

                      from Nebraska

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Weddings/Events

                        Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                        I'm a wedding phtoographer and I wanted something that made it very easy to switch my camera's orientation quickly. Unforunately, this wasn't the best purchase for me. In the beginning, it worked great. But after using it for less than a year, it stopped holding firm and started to "slip" or slide downward after I realeased the handle. Very aggravating. I took it in to a dealer and was told there is a little pad inside that had worn away and needed to be replaced. The problem is probably more with me than with the device. I'm petite and I have small hands. My hands get tired of squeezing the trigger, and I inadvertently try to turn the camera without squeezing it 100% of the way. Do this often enough and the pad wears away and you have issues. Just a warning to any other female photographers out there. I haven't had Manfrotto fix it yet for me, so I'm not sure how much that will cost. I'm afraid I'll just have the same problem. I'm switching to Custom Bracket's Pro-E rotating bracket, which you can buy with or without the arm and with which you can simply grab the camera and turn it with an easy click. Hopefully, it will work better for me.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Perfect for my monopod.

                        By Klobberer

                        from West Chester, PA

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Large Range of Motion
                        • Strong Clamp

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Travel
                          • Wildlife

                          Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                          Just the right size for my Manfrotto 680B. Great for long hikes with my dog.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          I would buy this again

                          By Carole

                          from Oak Ridge TN

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Night Shots
                            • Wildlife

                            Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                            I am leaving the rank beginners level in photography and moving up a notch or so. I needed a tripod for my nature photography. After having attained an excellent hand-me-down tripod from a relative who upgraded even more, he recommended this 496 Compact Ball head by Manfrotto as a good way to start.

                            I'm happy with it and I have found it to be just what I needed.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            My first ballhead

                            By Creeper

                            from Richmond, VA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attaches Firmly
                            • Good Stability
                            • Large Range of Motion
                            • Strong Clamp

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Night Shots

                              Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                              Works as advertised.
                              Would like to have bubble level

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Good value

                              By bayrunner

                              from Olympia, Washington

                              About Me Casual Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion
                              • Strong Clamp

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                                  Very good value for the money.

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  Good Ball Head

                                  By trackside

                                  from Linden IN

                                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attaches Firmly
                                  • Good Stability
                                  • Strong Clamp

                                  Cons

                                  • Hard to pan

                                  Best Uses

                                  • All around ball head
                                  • Home
                                  • Landscape/Scenery
                                  • Night Shots
                                  • Portraits
                                  • Travel
                                  • Wildlife

                                  Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                                  I bought this ball head to replace my Manfrotto 804RC2. I like the convience of one adjustment to move the camera into different positions. So far it seems sturdy enough and I have put it to use in State Parks and under low light conditions.

                                  I really wish the head had a knob to allow it to pan without loosening the ball head.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Awesome and cheap

                                  By Coleman

                                  from Austin,Texas

                                  About Me Pro Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attaches Firmly
                                  • Good Stability
                                  • Large Range of Motion
                                  • Strong Clamp

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                                      I attach to my slider. With quick release plate it's easy to switch to tripod

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                      (3 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                       
                                      2.0

                                      Great head but no QR kills

                                      By Carlos

                                      from Sacramento, CA

                                      About Me Pro Photographer

                                      Verified Reviewer

                                      Pros

                                      • Attaches Firmly
                                      • Good Stability
                                      • Large Range of Motion
                                      • Strong Clamp

                                      Cons

                                      • Awkward screw function

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Landscape/Scenery
                                      • Night Shots

                                      Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                                      The ball head was extremely sturdy, but a lack of quick release causes the item to be very awkward when attaching a camera. Even a thicker platform to hold when mounting a cam would have been more helpful.
                                      No quick release kills the product for me, and I'll likely return for one that has that. If you just need sturdy and plan to keep your camera on the head for a while then this might work for you.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      Greg

                                      By GB

                                      from San Diego

                                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Attaches Firmly
                                      • Good Stability
                                      • Large Range of Motion
                                      • Strong Clamp

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Video
                                        • Weddings/Events

                                        Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                                        This is the perfect balance of range of motion, large supportive base, and sturdiness. This model hits the sweet spot for DSLR's

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

                                        Share this review

                                        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        "I would buy this product again and agai

                                        By mickgrip

                                        from Gold Coast Australia

                                        About Me Pro Photographer

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Good Stability

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                            Comments about Manfrotto 496 Compact Ball Head:

                                            great did not know why it took me so long to get of my seat and buy some

                                            • Was this a gift?:
                                            • No

                                            Share this review

                                            Displaying reviews 1-20

                                            Back to top

                                            Previous | Next »

                                            General Tripod Accessories

                                            Show more >
                                            Vello -  Two-Axis Hot-Shoe Bubble Level
                                            • You Pay: $14.99
                                             
                                            See any errors on this page? Let us know.

                                            Close

                                            Close

                                            Close