REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ManfrottoBeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black)
 
4.4

(based on 68 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (45)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (48)
  • Lightweight (46)
  • Easy to use (34)
  • Durable (24)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Travel (46)
  • Landscape/scenery (34)
  • Wildlife photos (12)
  • Family photos (11)
  • Weddings (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (27), Semi-pro photographer (13), Casual photographer (5), Pro photographer (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (46), Yes (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Very pleased

I bought this tripod as I was traveling by plane to do a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. Havasupai Falls. I had to pack light and I knew I would be in the...Read complete review

I bought this tripod as I was traveling by plane to do a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. Havasupai Falls. I had to pack light and I knew I would be in the water a lot with my tripod with rough or uneven terrain. I very happy with the stability it promised for the weight it can handle. I used it for long exposures for shooting moving water. It proved to be what they advertised.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

DO NOT BUT THIS TRIPOD

I am a professional architectural photographer with over 20 years experience and can say this is one of the only products I would take the time to warn others about not buying. Why would...Read complete review

I am a professional architectural photographer with over 20 years experience and can say this is one of the only products I would take the time to warn others about not buying. Why would I warn you? Because in the 3 months since I have owned this tripod I have lost 2 lenses and one camera to this poorly designed product (17-40, 24-70 and 5d mark II)...in THREE separate incidents, total cost of repairs was over $. To keep that in perspective in my 20 years of professional work I have had one camera fall off a tripod...well the tripod fell actually. The main culprit is the mounting plate. It is difficult to get the camera to seat properly, so if you are not super careful it will only partly lock into place, causing at an unexpected moment the camera to launch off the tripod and onto the ground. Also the rubber feet can come off if you are not careful. When a rubber foot comes off, the lower tripod leg can get "jammed" up inside, at that point there is no way to get it out, without using a star tool. So unless you are caring the correct tool you are out a tripod.

Reviewed by 68 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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4.0

i'd highly recommend it for traveling fotoghaphy

By Erica

from sao paulo , Brasio

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

It has a unique design which allows the legs to be folded back on themselves to reduce the length of the folded up configuration, which is only 40 cm. Which is small enough to fit into carry on luggage and it´s extremely light.
It is quite sturdy and the ball head holds the camera in place securely.
Since I just started working with it, for now no downsides...

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(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

it's OK

By mp0363

from mountain view

Verified Reviewer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

I have an old tripod from years ago; nothing special, so I wanted to get something really nice. This is lightweight. Not too hard to deploy. Camera can go from strap to mount although probably takes practice as it's not been super easy to ensure it's locked.

I purchased a Black Rapid strap so I could carry this around by the tripod mount and just FYI that's a bad idea!! With not too heavy of a load, my D750 and 80-200 lens went to the ground while walking around at the zoo today =(

Although I had also purchased the specific BR bolt to adapt to Manfrotto, the plate that comes with this tripod is not the correct one. It won't work. You need the Manfrotto 200PL-14 QR Plate and I'll be buying one today because I like this shoulder strap to tripod idea.

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5.0

Great compact Tripod

By Tb

from Queens NY

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

Great travel tripod with Manfrotto quality. I just returned from 3 trip. The tripods performance was excellent, and it is easy to pack and Cary.

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1.0

Weak

By Francisco

from Albuquerque

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

Not able to hold more than a point and shoot. Under pressure the legs would slide. The aluminum one was a bit vetter in that regard. I returned it.

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5.0

Light weight, compact and strong tripod

By Raj

from Columbus

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Easy to Use
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

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

    Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

    I purchased this tripod after verifying B&H reviews. I have used this tripod on several occasions. Tripod comes with a bag which is very helpful to carry while traveling. It is very light to carry where ever I go. Best example I can give is for Hiking. Easy and takes less time to setup. It does perfect job of holding camera for long exposure pictures. As this is made of carbon fiber it is strong too to hold decent camera. Fold length is pretty decent which makes it handy. I would definitely recommend this tripod for anyone who wants light weight and strong tripod.

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Not Sturdy - Legs Flex

    By sscatt

    from Phila

    Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Carbon):

    Would not recommend to buy this tripod. If you need its full height, extended legs are thin and the unit flexes quite a bit. It would be ok if you did not have to extend the legs all the way

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    5.0

    Excellent Tripod

    By Gustavo Ledezma @ledezmaphoto

    from Caracas, Venezuela

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Durable
    • Easy to Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

      Really light , practical, compact and sturdy.
      I used this tripod on a wedding in a Margarita Island, Venezuela, its perfect for a trip and wedding work, resists salt and sea elements.

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Tripod is great for carry on

      By Hunter

      from Kansas

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Easy to Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel

        Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

        Like most of you I have bigger and heavier Manfrotto tripods but none of them will fit in a carry on bag for airline travel. I had the aluminum version of this tripod but returned it because of the weight. Otherwise, the aluminum was a great little tripod for my light weight Olympus Pen travel system.

        When B&H had the carbon one on for a really good price I purchased it immediately. The light weight makes it feel less secure but I have had no problems with any shake so far. In a high wind It would likely need some ballast or I could see it getting blown over especially with my light weight cameras on top. Too bad they did not include a hook to hang a bag from but not hard to rig something up or just wrap my camera bag strap around it and hang that from it.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great travel companion

        By jlscap767

        from Milwaukee, WI

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Easy to Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

          Light weight great for traveling. Packs well, using little space even in the bag. Easy to use.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Mounting System Problematic

          By BojiPat

          from USA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy to Use
          • Great For Travel
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Awkward Mounting System

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel

          Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

          I really needed a light, compact tripod for travel, and this one looked to be a winner for me. I have another Manfrotto tripod that is larger (and much older), so I figured I would go with this one. I will be keeping this because of its size and versatility, but I can't stand the mounting system. It is very difficult for me to get the camera onto the tripod where it feels stable and seated. This is the same problem I've had with their other tripod, but I was hoping they had improved this system in the years since I had first purchased their product. I take a lot of nature macros, so this will be great for that, but I will be checking and rechecking to see that the camera is firmly seated. Expect to make some simple adjustments to the telescoping legs by tightening a few screws because they will collapse if the screws are not tight enough. I'm looking forward to traveling with this, but I will be very careful when mounting the camera to the tripod.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A perfect choice for travel tripod

          By Yufei

          from San Jose

          Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

          I used to have the more powerful MT055CXpro4 with 055Q6 head, but it's pain to take it out for hiking and traveling. This befree carbon is much more lighter and yet stable enough to carry D7000+18-300f3.5-5.6. Definitely it is not as stable as the MT055CXpro4, but it is always a trade off between stability and portability. You need to think carefully where you are going to use tripod and then buy the right one for you!

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          4.0

          Great Travel Tripod

          By CrossFit Chris

          from Seattle, WA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy to Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • No Level

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Sports/Action
          • Travel

          Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

          Product is great, very easy and smooth to extend and fold away. I only wish it had a level on it so I can see if it's even. For that I dinged it one star

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Not What I Expected

          By Easy Rider

          from Mayberry, NC

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Lightweight
          • Very Nice Case

          Cons

          • Cheap Ball Head
          • Cheap Safety Catch
          • Poor Quality Control

          Best Uses

          • Travel

          Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

          I bought this lightweight Manfrotto tripod for travel particularly on airlines. I have two other Manfrotto tripods with which I have been very pleased but this one is a huge disappointment. The first thing I had to do when I received was tighten all the leg locking levers. Just minimum weight on the tripod and the legs began telescoping. The worst feature is the safety catch that locks the lever that secures the mounting plate. It is made of plastic and does not lock the lever. It just flops up and down when one flips it with a finger. Manfrotto's design and quality control has really declined with this product. My hope is that they will send a new ball head with a safety catch that works. If not I will return the product and find something else.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Never Leave My Tripod Home Anymore!

          By J. Paul

          from Roane County, TN

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy to Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

            I use to dread taking my heavy telephoto tripod with me on hikes. I love taking "silky" waterfall shots, but more often than not, I left the tripod home.

            With this "travel carbon fiber" tripod it can go with me anytime!

            It's also sturdy enough for my heavier wide-angle lens mounted on my D750.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Great Tripod, Bad Mounting System

            By PortOfPaul

            from Oakland

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Durable
            • Easy to Use
            • Lightweight
            • Sturdy

            Cons

            • Poor Mounting

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel

            Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

            I was really excited to try out this tripod. Tripod itself is great, cleverly deigned, lightweight, folds small etc. Everything you want in a travel situation. The ball head is also easy to use and may not be top of the line, but I don't want an expensive ball head on the trails either, my gear gets a little beat up at times.

            I'm not sure about the clamps, the smaller extension of the legs slide down if ever so slightly put a heavy hand on my camera, but I was able to tighten down the allen screws. I'm hoping over time they don't loosen up and I won't have to retighten in the field, but I always have a multitool on me in the field anyways.

            For the life of me, I can't find my happy place with this mounting system! It has this sort of two switch system, which is great for safety I suppose, but the plate never simply pops in. I have to wiggle my camera around and push in the switch until its finely secure. I was amazed at how much play there is until I finally get it to seat properly. I'm not sure if this eventually wears in, but I'm not risking my equipment with it. I ended up having to buy a 3rd party Arca Swiss mounting clamp to replace Manfrotto's, which I love.

            Which brings me to my second problem. I spent hours trying to find a solution with Manfrotto. From what I found, they don't make a Arca compatible mounting clamp, but they offer a new line of ball heads that are supposedly Arca compliant, but in the end only the Manfrotto Arca plates end up fitting. Manfrotto's website is very uninformative, and overall is a bit of a kludge. I had to resort to reading through reviews from multiple sites.

            I feel two stars is too low for the quality of the tripod, but the frustration with the mounting system makes me feel 3 is too high. So 2.5 :)

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Perfect

            By Traveler

            from Texas

            Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

            My equipment is heavy on travel and I don't want to add more weight. I researched for a while and settled for this one. Not only had B&H the best price, but this tripod is just what I was looking for. Sturdy, light weight, small, easy to set up and able to exchange the ball head to a fluid head for video. Fast shipping.

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Love it!

            By floridapaddler

            from fort myers, florida

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact
            • Durable
            • Easy to Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

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

              Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

              I use it for macro and low-light photography with a Sony A7 and macro or 70-200mm lens. It is light, versatile, and very sturdy. Very easy to collapse for travel. B and H had the best price anywhere, so buy it while you can take advantage of it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              no good for big lenses

              By Leo

              from Chile

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Compact
              • Lightweight

              Cons

              • Flimsy Construction
              • Weak

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Travel
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Carbon):

              Used it with a 75-300 canon telephoto. However, after I frame and lock the ball, it will go down a few cms so I will need to readjust but not using the ball, using the legs... terrible and quite frustrating... with small lenses it's ok, but with just a little bit heavy (75-300 is not that heavy and quite popular lens) it's no good....

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Perfect!!

              By Steve

              from sdpage42[*]

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact
              • Durable
              • Easy to Use
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

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

                Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

                I bought this Tripod to keep in my car as travel gear for landscape photography. It's my 3rd Manfrotto as I use two others in my home studio. This new compact is perfect as it is light and easy to carry yet very sturdy and solid. I've only used it once but I have no doubt it will be the same quality as my other two tripods from Manfrotto...

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Feels like a toy

                By Piyos

                from Lehi, UT

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                • None So Far

                Best Uses

                • Travel

                Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Carbon Fiber Tripod (Black):

                Was looking for a smaller and lighter weight option for my Manfrotto MT294A3 (see picture). Wanted to have something small enough to strap to the bottom of my camera bag (Lowepro AW 200). This seemed to fit the bill. I am only an enthusiast/weekend worrior, but the 294 (6lbs w/ head) was just too much to carry. I have a Nikon D600 and primarily shoot the 28-300mm, 16-35mm and 50mm. I was worried the ball head would not support the weight, but it seems to lock down and be just fine. I can't lie, having all that weight balanced on top of only 2.4 lbs just doesn't seem right. When mounting my camera and 16-35mm atop this "toy" I did notice one of the legs/clips sild a little with just a little additional pressure. Not sure if just a small screw tightening won't cure this. So far I am pleased with the purchase and seems to be a steal at the $250 price point. I purchased the all black model. Maybe I am missing something here and I do like red, but not sure why the 'red' striped version is $100 more? 4 stars only because I have not yet used it in the wild.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

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