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Manfrotto496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release
 
4.6

(based on 438 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (304)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (105)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (376)
  • Attaches firmly (367)
  • Large range of motion (318)
  • Strong clamp (307)
  • Easy to use (5)

Cons

  • Heavy (35)
  • Complicated controls (15)
  • Weak clamp (9)
  • Small range (8)
  • Unstable (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (321)
  • Night shots (265)
  • Portraits (238)
  • Travel (209)
  • Home (172)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (213), Semi-pro photographer (95), Pro photographer (48), Casual photographer (41), Photography student (11)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (306), Yes (10)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Excellent Ball Head

I tried several different Giottos heads and was dissapointed (the knobs were easy to confuse which did what and the head would droop under weight. I was going to get the larger version of...Read complete review

I tried several different Giottos heads and was dissapointed (the knobs were easy to confuse which did what and the head would droop under weight. I was going to get the larger version of this Manfrotto head, but found that this one supported more than enough weight (Nikon D300s, Grip, Flash, and most lenses, combined only weight 9lbs). Plus, there is only two controls on this (verses 3 on the larger model). In reality, you only need the one knob to tighten and loosen. This is a great desing and well built. Awesome price as well.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not Great for Macro

I bought this ballhead to use with a smaller tripod for macro shooting. The main selling feature for me was the fact that this ballhead was 'shorter' than my main ballhead & would...Read complete review

I bought this ballhead to use with a smaller tripod for macro shooting. The main selling feature for me was the fact that this ballhead was 'shorter' than my main ballhead & would therefore help me get as low to the ground as possible. Overall it works fine, but it is not ideal for macro shooting. I shoot with a Nikon D90 and my macro lens is a Nikon 105mm 2.8 - which together weigh no where close to the weight of the advertised load capacity. I quickly became frustrated with this ballhead because it would continually track downward. It was extremely difficult to get it adjusted for a macro shot because of this & once you got it 'locked down' it would continue to slowly track downward. This might not be as much of a problem with wider angled shots, but with extreme close ups it was a real pain. The quick release plate would also sometimes shift when locking it in place which caused it (and thus, the entire camera) to wobble. I found myself taking it off and putting it back on several times before it would seat securely with no wobbles. For a multipurpose ballhead it would probably work fine, but for tight shots it just doesn't perform well.Also keep in mind that it does not have a separate panning feature which would definitely be of concern when shooting landscapes.

Reviewed by 438 customers

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5.0

Just what I was expecting

By lennythexdca

from Michigan

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

After years of using standard 3-axis tripod heads this is the break I needed. Works well and supports my Nikon DSLR's with no problems - even when mounted with a 70-300mm zoom

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5.0

Great product

By Lynx 36

from Kingston, Ontario

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

Very easy to use, has great holding capacity. Even with my 600 mm lens, the friction control works great.

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Perfect for still photography and timelapse's

By Don Yawn

from New York

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

Works great for stills or any other situation where you need can quickly position the camera in any way you'd like (landscape, portrait, dutch angle, etc), lock the head in place firmly and quickly and leave it alone till you need to need to reframe.
This is not really meant for video unless your doing a time lapse or stationary whot where you don't need to pan or tilt, however I did use it on top of my Slider during an interview shoot, on top of my (Rhino Carbon EVO,) and it held a C300, with a zacuto cage, and a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 f/2.8 lense firmly when it was locked. Because it is a ball head it when you unlock the grip the entire weight of the camera/rig attached is loose and can fall in any direction so make sure you have a strong grip on the camera because you loosen the lock to reposition it.

I was honestly shocked it held us that weight so well however i would not advise getting this head for video unless your doing time lapses or need a stationary setup. I used this for a b cam on an interview shoot because i didn't have a proper video head at the time and i really wanted to test out my new slider. After that shoot ordered a Manfrotto 502hd head for video purposes because it can handle the weight better, you can pan/tilt, the fluid head let me adjust the resistance on that pan/tilt. (link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/827210-REG/Manfrotto_MVH502AH_75Mm_Flat_Head.html)

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fast, solid & dependable

By bike50now

from Downingtown, PA

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
    • Wildlife

    Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

    This was a replacement head for a similar model which lasted me for well over 10 years! The spring in the quick release/lock part broke. Manfrotto advised me over the phone of the problem. However, the part was not available in the U.S. and would have to be shipped from Italy. I decided for not too much more money to replace the entire head. If I get 10+ years out of this one, I'll be more than happy.
    This ball head is quick to maneuver and adjust and, being very used to its working style, it was a simple choice to stay with a ball head style and this model.
    Manfrotto - one of the best!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Follows the reputation

    By ahawk989

    from San Francisco, Ca

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Good Stability
    • Strong Clamp

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Night Shots
    • Portraits
    • Travel
    • Video

    Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

    So in the interest of time, my setup is: 7D2, 24-105 f/4, CustomSLR Pro plate, hand/neck strap, and Gorillapods Focus mount... I decided to get the 496RC2 for the portable tripod in order to use the quick mounting of the Pro Plate and to allow for future extension into other larger tripods.

    It's not that light...it's made of many metal components, and definitely feels anything from "cheap plastic". The ball head is smooth, and I am able to get accurate control when working with it. Of course this isn't ideal for a traveling photographer to carry around a 1kg mini-tripod but it sure is convenient to not have to screw any plates in. That being said, I am a specific use case so yours might be completely different, but this is definitely a good budget head for the starting photographer. If you're starting out and need to have tight precision for panorama shots and landscape, consider the 498RC2.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Love this ball head

    By pnutz

    from Brookings,Oregon

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Night Shots
      • Portraits
      • Travel
      • Wildlife

      Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

      THIS IS MY FIRST BALL HEAD AND NOW I DON'T KNOW HOW EVER GOT ALONG WITHOUT ONE, BUT I MISS THE LONG HANDLE FOR PANNING . OTHER THAN THAT IT'S GREAT .

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Review of Manfrotto 496RC2

      By Emmett

      from Hilton Head

      Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

      Works very well, excellent head. Though out design, smooth action, intuitive lock/unlock.

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      5.0

      Sturdy

      By Endurozw

      from Birmingham Alabama

      Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

      I'm not a cult follower of Manfrotto, just needed a sturdy mount for Astrophotography. This does the job well so far in the three times I've used it.

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Perfect smaller cousin of the 498RC2

      By Aaron

      from Austin, TX

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Shots
        • Travel
        • Wildlife

        Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

        I use the 496RC2 as a secondary ball head to my Manfrotto 498RC2. I needed a smaller, lightweight version of the bigger 498RC2 and this is perfect for my needs, and it also accepts the same quick-release plates that my other Manfrotto ball heads use. I use it attached to my Star Adventurer motorized mount for tracking stars with my DSLR and it gives me full range of motion when aiming my camera into the night sky perfectly.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Fantastic Ballhead

        By just me

        from Barbados

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

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

          Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

          It's sturdy locks in place easily and is very fluid in it's movement. It supports the weight of my camera with a telephoto zoom on and doesn't move.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Deeply flawed, but usable

          By Brennan

          from Walnut Creek CA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Large Range of Motion

          Cons

          • Unstable
          • Weak Clamp

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Travel

          Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

          The 2 biggest issues are that this sags in portrait orientation and that the cam lever cant move past the camera back in some positions in portrait. It is light and flexible, but the drawbacks caused my to get a more robust head and stick this on a monopod where it is works fine. You will need to keep an allen wrench taped to the leg, since this tends to become wobbly on its base pretty often.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Manfrotto of 15 years ago had better equipment

          By Vasya

          from IL

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

          Yes, everything still made in Italy, but it is not the same quality anymore. I don't think that the ball inside made from steel components. It is rather made from some kind of plastic. No matter how I adjusted small friction knob it either really hard or easy movement with lack of any smoothness you expect from quality ball head. At the end I bought oben head in the same price range which is really smooth non-jerky kind of head. don't recommend this particular head to anyone.

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          5.0

          Sturdy and versatile

          By Matt

          from Boston, MA

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

              Easy to adjust and get the perfect angle for your shot

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              5.0

              Love It

              By The Fair Trade Shooter

              from Lake Geneva, WI

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Night Shots
                • Portraits

                Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                I finally upgraded to a ball head tripod and couldn't be happier. I bought this for my personal use but might buy another for my office.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Very good

                By Joe

                from Houston

                Verified Buyer

                Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                Very happy with it

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                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Sags in portrait

                By MNP

                from Roseville

                Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                With a d800 and 24-120 the head does not hold secure in portrait angle.

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                (0 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Simple and just fine

                By Miriam

                from Virginia

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Portraits
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                  I actually haven't used it yet, but I did attach it to my tripod and it seems just fine

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great productt

                  By Julz

                  from Illinois

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Portraits
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                    This will be perfect in the stuido or on location on my tirpod and camera stand.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    3.0

                    Quality product

                    By MarioantonioLO

                    from Lima, Perú

                    About Me Photography Student

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Large Range of Motion

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery

                      Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                      Quality product with strong head, ideal for a monopodo

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Great to work with

                      By Emily

                      from Colorado Springs, CO

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Video

                        Comments about Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Quick Release:

                        Awesome product, it gives me a lot of options. Once in a while the screw on the top will come loose, but it's an easy fix when it does.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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