Manfrotto 438 Compact Leveling Head - Ball Camera Leveler - Supports 33 lb (15kg)

Manfrotto 438 Compact Leveling Head - Ball Camera Leveler - Supports 33 lb (15kg)

Manfrotto 438 Compact Leveling Head - Ball Camera Leveler - Supports 33 lb (15kg)

B&H # MA438 MFR # 438
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Product Highlights

  • Replaces #3502

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Manfrotto 438 overview

  • 1Description

The Manfrotto 438 Compact Leveling Head provides fast leveling for tripods without built-in levels. It fits between the center column and head and has 10° range of adjustment.

This item replaces old catalog #3502.

Features a 3/8" socket at its base, and a 3/8" screw at its top.
Three anti-twist screws prohibit unwanted rotation of tripod head, camera or other attached device
UPC: 719821288725
In the Box
Manfrotto 438 Compact Leveling Head - Ball Camera Leveler - Supports 33 lb (15kg)
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Manfrotto 438 specs

    Load Capacity 33 lbs (15kg)
    Levelling Bubble Yes (1)
    Height 2" (5cm)
    Weight 1.4 lb (650g)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.15 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 5.2 x 4.9 x 3.7"

    Manfrotto 438 reviews

    438 Compact Leveling Head - Ball Camera Leveler - Supports 33 lb (15kg) is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 78.
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sturdy, Heavy Great way to add ball head support, but I would recommend getting a tripod/head with this feature built in. Adding this joint adds a lot of weight to an area of the tripod that's already pretty heavy. If you already own a tripod and are looking for ball head leveling, this is one of your only options, but it's the best option. Solid build quality. Once you adjust the position and lock it into place, it's not moving - really sturdy. Fast adjustment and operation too. When I installed it under my 501HDV Manfrotto head, the head covers up the bubble on the leveler, but the head itself has one so it's no big deal.
    Date published: 2010-10-28
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but heavy Heavier than I would have liked. Works all right for tweaking the level of the tripod when setting up for panorama shots. But the ball is rather rough (probably has to be to reduce slippage and to support higher weights), so making tiny adjustments is more difficult than one would like. Tightening the lockdown lever changes the level a bit, so you have to compensate by under-adjusting the ball before tightening. Overall, I'm fairly happy with the product, but do wish someone would design something lighter and less fiddly.
    Date published: 2012-02-24
    Rated 1 out of 5 by from Worst product I ever bought from Manfrotto I've owned a lot of Manfrotto equipment in my life time and I thought I was getting a great product when I bought this head 6 months ago from B&H. I would tell you to buy any leveling head but this one. You will just be throwing your money away.....but if you want one I'll sell you mine for 1/2 the price. It pivots very matter how much you tighten the lever you will lose it and once that happens your buyer beware.....same on you Manfrotto for not standing behind your product. I wrote you and you didn't even have the decency to respond back.
    Date published: 2017-06-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awsome!! Love this product... after reading many review on the Manfrotto video tripod kits it seemed the general consensus was that most people love Manfrotto head and are not that crazy about the legs(at least on the lower end kits). So i bought this leveler to go with a flat base Manfrotto 502HD head and then paired them both with my awesomely light weight but super sturdy Gitzo tripod legs. In all it adds just the right amount of bulk to the complete setup. Its always better to have a tiny bit more weight to a video tripod than too little, especially when you are heavy on the drag. just less likely tomove around on a smoother surface.Fianlly, i've use regular ball mount video heads and this leveler has just as much range of motion and there were no problem getting exact level every time...
    Date published: 2013-07-29
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Ok - not perfect I use this to level my Manfrotto 502HD Fluid Head on a Manfrotto 190xprob tripod.My complaint - and it's a big one - is that the ball moves when you lock it down. You have to find the right center so when you lock down, the bubble is in the middle. Very annoying.
    Date published: 2014-09-30
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from 438 Compact Levelling Head by Manfrotto Functionally great, but poor implementation. I found the action to be graunchy and snatchy so I dismantled the head assembly completely, polished the ball, removed possible burring of the casing, regreased it all and reassembled it. It was better, but there's no escaping the fact that the ball and housing are both a little eccentric. Bottom line is that I am rather disappointed with the leveler although I do use it. A very old, and much larger, ball leveller from Bogen is FAR smoother - but also weighs a ton...
    Date published: 2009-10-13
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy leveling and great for traveling I use the leveling head for fast leveling on location when shooting music videos and taking landscape photos on uneven ground. Actually I never remove it from my tripod since it is quite handy in all circumstances.Even though the leverling head itself is a bit heavy I would say it is great for traveling. When combining it with a small and light carbon fibre tripod it is far better than bringing a more heavier and larger classical video tripod.It does not move completely smoothly, but then again it is not used for tilting or panning. At first it was actually quite stuck, but as soon you get the camera on it works much better and now it moves great. Of course it has not the same amount of leveling abilities as a regular video tripod.
    Date published: 2012-09-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wouldn't be without it! I have several tripods using several different heads: an older Manfrotto 516 fluid head, Manfrotto 501 fluid head, and a Wimberley II Gimbal Head, among others. Every one of my tripod/head combos gets this ball camera leveler. They are sturdy, well-built, can handle the weight of every camera and head combination I throw at them, and speed the process of leveling a camera on site exponentially faster than fiddling with multiple leg adjustments. There are those who, apparently, have issues with the ball binding when trying to adjust it. Others appear to have issues with the lever not clamping the ball down enough. Both of these issues can be addressed by adjusting the two tension screws opposite the locking lever. It's a very easy fix requiring only a Philips head screwdriver and about 5 minutes of time. One more note about binding: these devices are meant to work under load, meaning that trying to move them around without a camera mounted on them is going to be vastly more difficult than with a camera mounted. Just something to keep in mind. As to the issue of the lever decentering the ball when locked down, that is a simple fix, too: see how far the bubble in the spirit level travels, and offset the bubble by that distance and direction before locking the lever down. Doesn't take that much time or practice to get it right, and still makes leveling a camera much faster than almost any other leveling system I've used, including professional 75mm and 100mm ball levelers on heavy-duty video tripods. In closing, this leveler is a time-saver on site and in post, where I'm not having to correct crooked horizons because of a tilted camera. If setup correctly and used properly, it's well worth every penny spent.
    Date published: 2017-09-06
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