Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod

B&H # MAMKBFRA4BH Mfr # MKBFRA4-BH
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You Pay: $199.88
Product Highlights
  • Load Capacity: 8.8 lb
  • Maximum Height: 56.7"
  • Min Height: 13.4"
  • Folded Length: 15.75"
  • Leg Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3 lb
  • Independent Leg Angle Selector
  • Quick Release Ball Head
  • QR Plate Included
  • Fitted Case

The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod is a sturdy, compact tripod that extends to 56.7", supports 8.8 lb, and folds up to only 15.75". The tripod's legs can be spread independently, with two-position leg angle stops. The legs fold up and around the ball head, a feature that helps makes this tripod so compact.

The ball head offers a large ergonomic locking handle and a quick release with an included QR plate that has a 1/4"-20 mounting screw and a durable carrying case for storage and transport.

General
Material Aluminum Alloy
Load Capacity 8.8 lb (4.0 kg)
Maximum Height 56.7" (144 cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended 48.4" (123 cm)
Minimum Height 13.4" (34 cm)
Folded Length 15.75" (40 cm)
Weight Tripod with head: 3 lb (1.4 kg)
Legs
Material Aluminum Alloy
Leg Stages / Sections 3 / 4
Independent Leg Spread 2 Positions: 25° and 51°
Leg Lock Type Flip lock
Leg Cross Section D Shape
Leg Tube Diameters 22.5, 19, 15.5, 12 mm
Spiked / Retractable Feet No
Center Brace No
Head Mount Thread Size 3/8"-16
Center Column
Material Aluminum alloy
Type Rapid
Sections 1
Column Cross Section 3 Faceted
Column Diameter 22 mm
Finish Black
Head
Material Aluminum alloy
Head Type Ball head
Quick Release Yes, with included 200PL plate
Camera Attachment 1/4"-20 Threaded stud
Manfrotto BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod
  • 200PL Quick Release Plate with 1/4"-20 Screw and 3/8" Bushing Adapter
  • Fitted Case
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • Limited 8-Year Warranty Extension When Registered Online
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    ManfrottoBefree Compact Travel Photo Tripod
     
    4.5

    (based on 78 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (46)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (25)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (5)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    95%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Folds away (61)
    • Lightweight (57)
    • Stable (47)
    • Unfolds quickly (38)

    Cons

    • Unstable (7)
    • Poor quality (4)
    • Cumbersome (3)

    Best Uses

    • Travel (55)
    • Landscape/scenery (38)
    • Night shots (33)
    • Home (20)
    • Portraits (16)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (33), Semi-pro photographer (12), Pro photographer (10), Casual photographer (8)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (62), Yes (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Nice tripod, a few little quirks

    I was looking for a nice travel tripod to replace my Slik Sprint and having the larger 190 and 290 Manfrottos, I thought I would give this a try. At first, there was...Read complete review

    I was looking for a nice travel tripod to replace my Slik Sprint and having the larger 190 and 290 Manfrottos, I thought I would give this a try. At first, there was a few things that I didn't like about this unit: the fact that you have to remove the QR plate when folding it (minor) and the fact that it's not a panoramic head. The QR plate locks in a bit differently than the other Manfrottos too. I ended up also purchasing the MePhoto Road Trip, which is around the same price and the same folded length (I know, I probably could have bought a carbon fiber for the combined cost of the two). The MePhoto is about 6-8 inches taller because of an extra leg section and about a half pound heavier. It does have a panorama control, which is nice. Also can handle a heavier camera and converts to a monopod. But the RoadTrip has a few issues too: twist locks and the arcaswiss QR plate. Some people like those features, I personally do not. On twist locks I sometimes miss one, and sometimes I have to tighten them twice. With the flip locks on the BeFree, you know when its locked or unlocked - no guessing. The BeFree sets up much quicker, so I usually take that one unless I know I'm going to do a panorama or invert the center column (both invert, but its a little easier to do on the RoadTrip). Both are great tripods, well made, and sturdy. You wont go wrong with either one.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    My review

    I bought it in late summer and after two very light uses the legs became very stiff to operate, and the QR is getting difficult to use, basically losing all the smoothness it supposed...Read complete review

    I bought it in late summer and after two very light uses the legs became very stiff to operate, and the QR is getting difficult to use, basically losing all the smoothness it supposed to deliver.

    I sent it back to Manfrotto for warranty service since late October, and I was told yesterday (12/10)that they are still waiting for three parts to be shipped from Italy in order to get my new tripod repaired. Such a long delay in service is not acceptable at all. I have requested twice to Manfrotto to ask for a quick solution in the last week as I need it for my upcoming shoot and surprisingly I have not received any response back so far :-(

    Reviewed by 78 customers

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    4.0

    Handy to have

    By Gallopingphotog

    from Texas

    About Me Technically Challenged

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Folds Small
    • Good Stability
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Cumbersome

    Best Uses

      Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

      A good full-size tripod is a must-have, but it can be a pain in the patoot to haul around, especially if you are not even sure you will need a tripod! This is a good compromise. It won't replace a regular one but is great for flowers, low landscapes, etc. And often I have found a boulder, etc. to put it on for a higher viewpoint.
      Setting the legs to the correct spread was awkward at first but got used to it. It comes with the same quick-release plate as on my big tripod, so that's handy. The top segment of one leg has a foam wrap. I wrapped the other two with lightweight silicone tape so they're easier to grip, won't get so cold in winter.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      good value for money

      By Robert C.

      from San Francisco CA

      About Me Student

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Lightweight
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

      • Unstable
      • Weak Construction

      Best Uses

      • Travel

      Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

      A nice travel and compact tripod. Ball head is a bit flimsy and cheaply built though. Not for serious landscape photography.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Love it

      By Tone

      from Boise, Id

      About Me Technically Challenged

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Folds Small
      • Good Stability
      • Lightweight
      • Unfolds Quickly

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Stabilization

        Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

        Great little travel tripod! Lightweight, sturdy and compact! Get one!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Lightweight and Easy to Use

        By Kodi

        from Green Bay, WI

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Folds Small
        • Good Stability
        • Lightweight
        • Unfolds Quickly

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

            This tripod is perfect for me -- I use it for real estate photography and love how easy it is to move around. It's light and plenty stable for what I use it for, however if you're putting it on super unstable surfaces it may not fair as well.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Befree Compact Tripod

            By Richard Arbas

            from New York, NY

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Folds Small
            • Good Stability

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

              Thanks to its ingenious design, which is about legs are folding back and covers the bowl head, and shorten the whole lengths of the tripod significantly, it is literally compact but still sturdy and easy to carry everywhere type of tripod.
              The second angle of leg opning design is also remarkable. I'm pretty happy with this purchase.
              It is kind of heavy but I liked that weight which is very well balanced.

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              So far, so good

              By Daktari

              from Somesville, Mount Desert Island, Maine

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Folds Small
              • Good Stability
              • Lightweight
              • Unfolds Quickly

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Travel

                Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                I do a lot of hiking with my photo gear and the Manfrotto Befree Tripod is the latest addition to my gear. Because of it's light weight and durability, I'm able to throw it on my backpack and use it on all terrain.I'm very please with it's strength and versatility. It seems to hold with no difficulty, my Nikon D700 and a film camera that I still use, my Bronica GS-1.Oh, and I love the ball head, it makes things so much faster and easier when it comes to setting up and leveling.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                4.0

                Awesome Tripod, slightly overpriced

                By sjcpilot

                from Wilmington, NC

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Folds Small
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                • Unstable

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                First off, take this review like a grain of sand, this is my first professional tripod and finally moving away from using cheap [*] tripods and into a real tripod makes this one feel awesome. This tripod is great, lightweight, very small, and smooth ballhead. $200 for a travel tripod however is a little steep for just an aluminum tripod (wish it was carbon fiber), but in the scheme of things, it isn't too bad. Being that it is a travel tripod, it is best to only use it with the center column down to be usable. With it up, it is just too shaky. Overall, I would only recommend it to someone who travels a lot, which is what it is intended for.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                No for me, I'll tell you why...

                By Don Vo

                from Westminster, Ca

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Folds Small
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                • Cumbersome
                • Unstable
                • Weak Construction

                Best Uses

                • Travel

                Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                This is very small and compact. It's about 8-10 inches shorter than a normal tripod when folded. The thing I did not like about it was that everything was small. I would not recommend this tripod for bigger DSLR. The head is very small also. But the thing that I don't like about it the most is that it's folded backwards to fit in the bag, so before using it, you would have to unfold it the opposite way and fold it into the correct direct. Then fold it backwards again to store it. It's just too much work for to use this tripod.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Love this Tripod

                By Herman

                from Jersey City, NJ

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Folds Small
                • Good Stability
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home
                  • Night Shots
                  • Portraits
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                  I love this compact lightweight tripod and was surprised at how great it was for travel and yet sturdy during use. It fits in nicely outside of my Lowepro Flipside Sport Daypack without seeming too bulky. Gets a little getting used to on a bag like that since my first time out I banged/scratched it a bit along a cave wall while trying to move around. It got a minor scratch on the surface, but what's expected for wear and tear on a product such as this. Like I said, just takes getting used to.

                  Comes in a really nice travel bag with a strap, in case you decide to not strap it onto a camera bag, or perfect for throwing into a small suitcase for travel.

                  At first, some of the knobs seem a bit confusing to figure out which way they go for using the tripod straight up and tall or low, but after setting it up once or twice, it makes sense and you can really see how sturdy it holds, and minimizes camera shake, even with a camera with a 75-300mm lens on, keeps it very still.

                  Good value for the price, love the ball head, it makes taking any shot very easy and flexible. I would definitely recommend this as a great travel tripod.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent Travel Tripod

                  By Magna42

                  from South Jersey

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Folds Small
                  • Good Stability
                  • Lightweight
                  • Unfolds Quickly

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Night Shots
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                    Bought this tripod for a trip to Seattle. I was looking for something that was compact, light and could travel well. The BeFree tripod fit the bill perfectly. With the supplied case I was able to easily fit the tripod in my carryon bag with no issue. Since my wife and I were only going for a couple of days we also put our clothes in the same bag with no space or weight issue.

                    On location I was able to open and setup the tripod quickly and easily. I'm a shade over 6ft tall and the tripod stands a little low for my taste, but it still works well. I was able to get some fantastic shots from Kerry Park overlooking the downtown Seattle. During the evening I had no stability concerns with this unit.

                    My only issue is with the ballhead. There is a single locking knob for the ballhead and panning. So if you loosen the lock to adjust the pan angle, be careful that the ballhead doesn't move. Otherwise this is a great travel tripod

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    very compact

                    By snapper

                    from arizona

                    Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                    Heavier than my old slik, but seems very sturdy for my light camera. Plan to use it primarily for travel and photo workshops, as I am mostly a hand holder.

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Exactly What I Expected

                    By Streetman

                    from Boston, MA

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Folds Small
                    • Lightweight
                    • Unfolds Quickly

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                        This is exactly what I wanted when looking for a travel tripod, and please note that is how the product is titled. No its not the most sturdy tripod on the planet but it is extremely light and well built as I would expect from Manfrotto. It even comes with a fairly fluid ballhead and quick-release plate. I am using this mainly with my Panasonic GS-7 and Canon 5D.

                        I am not a huge user of tripods generally so when I do need one its nice to have a simple, small and functional option at my disposal. The last tripod I had lasted me 15 years (Benbo) and I hope this one does too.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        The tripod you having been looking for!

                        By Charlie

                        from Pensacola, Fl

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Folds Small
                        • Good Stability
                        • Lightweight
                        • Unfolds Quickly

                        Cons

                        • None

                        Best Uses

                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Shots
                        • Travel
                        • Wildlife

                        Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                        Simple, good, light and works so good. Sets up fast and take down is quick.
                        Very sturdy and compact. This is the one for you !

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Great compact size, Wonderful tripod!!!

                        By UH82NVME

                        from Madison, Wi

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Folds Small
                        • Good Stability
                        • Lightweight
                        • Unfolds Quickly

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Home
                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Travel

                          Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                          After I realized what I was doing wrong this thing is terrific!! Folds down very nice and will go right into my backpack. I don't think I will ever be stuck without a tripod again!!! Couldn't of asked for a better one for the price point.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          4.0

                          Good travel tripod

                          By Tony T.

                          from Fairfax, VA

                          Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                          Good for travel. Small when fold and light weight.

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Simply the best travel tripod

                          By Steve

                          from Akron, OH

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Folds Small
                          • Good Stability
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                          • No Rotate Only Lock

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Night Shots
                          • Travel

                          Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                          This is just about right, small enough, thanks to nice design, and solid enough to hold a DSLR with most lenses plus light enough to carry / pack. I used it for a trip to Death Valley with a Canon 6D + 24-105 L lens. Smooth ball head, goes over to portrait view. Only thing I would like is a separate rotate lock, once the ball is loosened the camera moves in all directions so panning for wide stitch shots is harder and even the centre post does not rotate.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Perfect travel companion

                          By Yrreh a

                          from Biston

                          Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                          Love manfretto tripods and monopods. The small size fits perfectly in my suitcase. Plus it is very durable

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Awesome little tripod

                          By Straes

                          from Irving, Tx

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Folds Small
                          • Good Stability
                          • Lightweight
                          • Unfolds Quickly

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                              This tripod is great for mobility. Lightweight and durable.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Travel Tripod

                              By Mr. Powell

                              from Mentone, CA

                              Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                              Works great. Made by a good tripod company. Lightweight for backpack travel. I use it for landscape Photography and time lapses.

                              Share this review

                              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              3.0

                              Good for smaller cameras

                              By Morgan

                              from Los Angeles

                              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Folds Small
                              • Lightweight

                              Cons

                              • Unstable

                              Best Uses

                              • Home
                              • Travel

                              Comments about Manfrotto Befree Compact Travel Photo Tripod:

                              I bought this as a travel tripod for my 5dmarkii. I can easily see this being great for a 60D or something of the like, but it is just too shaky for a full frame body, especially with a 70-200m 2.8 lens.

                              The build quality of this tripod is great, as with all Manfrotto products. Unfortunately it's not stable enough for me. It does pack super small, and it weighs next to nothing. If I were backpacking and needed a "full size" tripod, I would definitely consider this one. Also take a look at MeFoto. For the same price you could get a taller, more secure tripod.

                              Overall this is a good tripod for the amateur photographer, but I think a pro will want to put 4K worth of equipment on something a little more substantial. Carbon fiber perhaps...who knows!

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              Quick Release Plates

                              Manfrotto -  200PL Quick Release Plate with 1/4"-20 Screw and 3/8" Bushing Adapter
                              • You Pay: $17.50
                               
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