Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base

Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base

Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base

B&H # MA338 MFR # 338
Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base

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Expected availability: 7-14 business days

Product Highlights

  • Supports 33 lb (15kg)
  • ±5 Degrees Adjustment Possible
  • Diameter: 3.9"
  • Height: 1.9"
  • Replaces #3416
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This item is noncancelable and nonreturnable.

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Manfrotto 338 overview

  • 1Description

The Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base allows you to make fine, fingertip adjustments of ±5° to ensure the camera is perfectly level. There is a built-in spirit level for reference, and the base has a 3/8" female thread to mount on a tripod or any other support. The tripod head mounting is via a 3/8" male screw. It features a spirit level with a sensitivity of 0.50°, three thumb rings for fine level adjustment, and three grub screws located on the top plate of the base that allow you to lock down the tripod head firmly.

The 338 QTVR Leveling Base is ideal for use with stitching and VR programs. It allows you to work more easily with photo stitching software programs, to create seamless panoramic photos every time.

Replaces old part number 3416.

UPC: 719821287704
In the Box
Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty + Additional 3-Years after Registering Online or by Mail
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Manfrotto 338 specs

    Load Capacity 33 lb (15 kg)
    Base Diameter 3.9" (9.9 cm)
    Height 1.9" (4.8 cm)
    Weight 1.3 lb (600 g)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.46 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 5.2 x 4.9 x 3.6"

    Manfrotto 338 reviews

    338 QTVR Leveling Base is rated 3.6 out of 5 by 32.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Its not all that bad. I can't say much more that hasn't already been said about this product. Yes the springs are tight and turned my fingers raw after the first time using it. However, after the third use, I did figure out that there is a knack to using this quite easily without much carnage. Its a solid leveller and I'm pretty glad I bought it. Hope those who buy, or have already, can find the knack to using it easily. I find that if I adjust the rings more evenly, there isn't much resistance. Less rubbing my thumbs raw = happier levelling. (sounds pretty geeky, huh?)
    Date published: 2013-04-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good design, very solid, needs a tweak. This is an unusually solid leveling base, no corners cut, as sometimes happens on large volume price sensitive items, which this isn't. It looks like it was made in a first rate machine shop. Solid aluminum and brass, heavy fine threads. Great workmanship and usability. Except. It has a flaw which the excellent folks at Manfrotto can fix. As you might notice from other reviews, it's painfully stiff. But it doesn't have to be. The stiffness comes not from the threads of the heavy knurled brass leveling screws, but from the ball pivots on the top plate of the unit. The three brass adjusting screws are held captive by the three M3 Phillips head screws you see from the top of the unit. They bear against a thin flat coil spring to keep the round bearing area of the brass screw snug against the bottom of the top plate. They are much too tight, and virtually unadjustable because they are locked in place with thread adhesive. I'm an old hand an instrument repair, so I took it apart. One of the three screws had to be replaced, as it was frozen with too much (and the wrong grade of) thread adhesive and broke. I cleaned it up, changed the washer beneath the M3 screw to brass for lower friction, reassembled (with a touch of grease in the right places, and a better thread adhesive) and tightened it correctly. Perfect outcome. It turns with about 25% of the friction compared to when I started. It's tight, stable and solid. Hey, Manfrotto, you could have done this in the first place and saved me an hour or so. But it was fun fixing it, truth be told.
    Date published: 2015-06-23
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but Needs Some Work I purchased the Manfrotto 338 QTVR Leveling Base to use with my Manfrotto 300N Panoramic Head (see my review of that item), or my GigaPan Epic Pro Robotic Camera Mount, when I take panoramic photos- which I love to do. When creating a Panoramic photo the base of the tripod, on which the camera rotates, must be level. If it is not, the horizon in your photo may swing way up or down and cause you to lose a lot of your panorama in the final cropping. Typically, panoramic photographers will spend many minutes raising and lowering the tripod legs until the base is perfectly level. This device makes it very easy to do the final bit of leveling, without needing to adjust the legs. And, since it weighs only about 1-1/4 pounds, it is an easy addition to your backpack or tripod. However, as noted by several other reviewers, the device is practically unusable as shipped. The three brass knurled thumbwheels that are used to level the top plate are attached to the machined aluminum plate with either 1mm or No.4 screws, small washers and small springs. In theory, the springs should provide some tension and flexibility as the base is being adjusted to achieve a perfect level. Once leveled, there are knurled brass locking nuts that hold everything solidly in place. Unfortunately, the screws holding the thumbwheels are so incredibly tight it is very difficult to turn the thumbwheels and adjust the base. In fact, the springs are compressed to the point that they are completely flattened and do not serve their intended purpose. My first thought was to send the product back because the amount of force needed to turn the wheels could easily cause a tripod to move, negating any benefit from leveling the tripod. However, since I have some tools, I was able to hold the thumbwheels with a locking pliers, cushioned with leather to avoid marring the brass, and use an appropriate size Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the screws enough to provide sufficient tension but easy movement of the knob with a thumb and forefinger. It took considerable force to loosen the screws. In fact, the head of one steel screw actually twisted off while the threaded portion remained embedded in the brass. This demonstrates the incredible and unnecessary force that was used when the unit was assembled at the factory. When I called Manfrotto factory service to obtain a replacement thumbscrew and attaching screw I was told they no longer provide customer support (which is a departure from the wonderful service they have provided in the past) and I was directed to return the product to B&H. B&H, wonderful people that they are, replaced the base with a smile and an apology. The replacement unit was also screwed together too tightly to function properly, but, fortunately, I was able to loosen all three screws without a problem. It now works as it should and I know how it should work because I spent some of my early years working as a land surveyor with transit and level. Overall, I would recommend this leveling base to people who are capable of making the necessary adjustments. However, if you do not want to tackle this or if you want something that works properly out of the box, you might want to consider another product until Manfrotto corrects the manufacturing problem I described.
    Date published: 2014-07-29
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Better than nothing I've had one of these units for about a year now, and I'm actively looking for something better. Yes, it does the job, some of the time. The adjusting screws are at 120 degree intervals, so you can't easily adjust in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction. It has an adjustment range of only 5 degrees, which is not enough: I frequently have to shorten a tripod leg. In addition, there's no easy way to reset the screws to the mid-point, so those 5 degrees are not necessarily available when you need them. On the positive side, it's a rock-solid design. But is that enough?
    Date published: 2012-07-02
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Mine must be a bad one This should have never left the factory. The screws that run through the adjusting thumbwheels were torqued down so tight that all three wheels would not turn. I had to cut out the screws and replace them to make this base usable. If I didn't have the tools to fix this I'd be sending this back and spending shipping charges. Now that I have a usable base it's very easy to adjust. It's a good leveling base but the Manfrotto QC dropped the ball on this one.
    Date published: 2011-02-27
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed ...However I find it very difficult to use. The adjusting dials were so tight it was near on impossible to make any adjustment. One was impossible to budge. ... So my husband had to work on it so I can use it. This has damaged the screw that was impossible to use. But I can now adjust all screws. However, it is still a very awkward to use piece of equipment and something I would not have purchased if I would have known.
    Date published: 2010-04-08
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from More a DIY kit than a product, but I expect good results I plan to use this as a budget geared head to precisely parallel the image plane in my camera to a flat subject when mounted on ball head to precisely frame and get focus across the frame for images shooting straight down (arbitrary slant, not level). Ball head alone bounces back on locking and is very difficult to point precisely - about 1/4 degree accuracy is required for this task. Similar to a number of others reporting here, I sheared off a screw head trying to loosen up the springs to get the thumbscrews to turn with a force that doesn't tip the tripod over or shred my fingers. Finger tip adjustments? Not hardly. I'll update the report when I've drilled out the screw and replaced it.
    Date published: 2015-07-16
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from OK to level camera than hotshoe bubble The leveling base allows easier camera leveling when used with a hot shoe bubble.The base is however hard to level due to the screws being to tight. This may be due to newness however and may change with use. Base is heavy duty and adds a reasonably extra weight to the total tripod with a ball head
    Date published: 2008-07-23
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