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ManfrottoBeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black)
 
4.5

(based on 165 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (107)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (45)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (110)
  • Folds away (104)
  • Stable (83)
  • Unfolds quickly (68)
  • Easy to use (10)

Cons

  • Unstable (9)
  • Poor quality (6)
  • Cumbersome (3)
  • Heavy (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (74)
  • Landscape/scenery (43)
  • Night shots (34)
  • Stabilization (24)
  • Home (22)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (40), Tech savvy (15), Semi-pro photographer (14), Pro photographer (11), Casual photographer (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (117), Yes (7)

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

 

The head is fragile

The head (which is made in china) can not take the weight of a Nikon D800 with wide angle lens when you need camera tilt. And if very tighten the screw, it fails...Read complete review

The head (which is made in china) can not take the weight of a Nikon D800 with wide angle lens when you need camera tilt. And if very tighten the screw, it fails and the camera tilts. Another negative is the QR, difficult to operate and is not firm.I have other old products of Manfrotto and the quality was far superior. (# 055C with heads # 029 & # 136)

Reviewed by 165 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great tripod!

By John

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

Really high quality, light and easily portable tripod. Would definitely recommend.

 
5.0

A nice compact and sturdy lightweight tripod

By Eugene

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

I use this tripod when I travel light. I hate carrying heavy gear and this tripod does its job and it fits in my bag. I would recommend this tripod to a friend.

 
5.0

Light tripod

By Paola

from México

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Gray):

Light and steady

 
5.0

Good tripod

By Carolyn

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

Great for tramping through the woods. Appreciate the case. Reasonably light and really compact.

 
5.0

My favorite tripod - with a few quirks

By Steven

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

First, let me state that I love this little tripod. It's what I take with me whenever I leave home. I've replaced the tripod head with a BeFree Live fluid head, as I primarily shoot video and typically use that quick release plate so I can swap between the tripod and the mount on my glidecam, but the default head is very nice.

As long as you know what you're doing with it, this product is excellent. Very durable, very lightweight, and very portable. Make sure to anchor it, though, as it has a tendency to vibrate easily in high winds and if you're not being careful with your motions (as will any lightweight tripod).

I've taken this with me to trade shows, hiking, and all around town. If you're looking for an excellent little travel tripod, I'd seriously consider getting one.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best On-The-Go Tripod

By Brian

from Orlando, FL

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

The perfect tripod for hiking trips and on-the-go shoots. It's very small in size and weight, which is great for me since I mostly travel as light as I can. Works great with the Sony a7 cameras!

 
4.0

I would buy this again

By martyj100

from Boston, Ma

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Gray):

Compact and nice quality unit.

 
5.0

Excellent functionality with low weight

By Sameer

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Red):

The Manfrotto Befree  Compact Aluminum tripod offers location photographers with benefits of a high end tripod at a relatively lower cost. It is very light to travel with but can withstand over eight lbs of load, making the Befree an excellent option if you are a DSLR or a mirrorless camera user who likes to pack light. It lacks the pan feature so it is not recommended for videographers or photographers who work mostly with panoramas. 

There are many other aluminum tripods available for a lower price but the weight of Befree compares to that of much more expensive carbon fiber tripods. The quick release plate and flip lock legs make it one of the faster tripods to set up. The legs offer no resistance during release, making extension of all three sections simultaneously, very efficient. Similarly, the ball head can be operated very smoothly and offers almost no friction. 

With under 5 ft at full extension, Befree is not the tallest tripod but it folds to less than sixteen inches for packing, adding to its strengths as a tripod for travel. Since it is on the shorter side, it enables photographers to go extremely low and shoot higher angles. If you are an architectural or landscape photographer, this is a handy feature to have. 

The light weight can compromise stability in certain situations. On even ground, the tripod performs well. Even at full extension, vibration due to shutter is not noticeable but when on uneven ground, the tripod becomes susceptible to wind. This is especially true in case of DSLR’s with heavy zoom lenses mounted. The extra weight on one side makes the tripod much more likely to fall over due to wind. Lighter mirrorless cameras stand a better chance being on unstable ground. 

Mounting and release of quick release plate is intuitive. Once locked, the plate is tightly clamped onto the tripod leaving little to no room for mishaps. Material of the QR plate is well reinforced to elongate the life of the mounting system. 

Overall, Manfrotto Befree is an excellent solution for photographers who like to travel with a light kit. Befree would not be the ideal tripod for in studio macro work with a medium format camera where sturdiness is the primary requirement. However, the build quality, quick release plate, ball head, flip lock legs and smooth operation make it a very strong contender for a high end traveling tripod without the price tag of a carbon fiber option.

 
4.0

Great Tripod

By Joseph

from Undisclosed

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Green):

Great tripod for the price. Also works well as a hiking pole in snow.. I love the functions if the legs

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great for me - Not sure about students

By Stuart

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Gray):

I teach at a University so I bought one to test it for our checkout system. For my own travel use, I think it will be fantastic. It is *almost* as light as those costing twice as much, yet has the excellent manfrotto build quality.

For all its designed ingenuity, the effective height is 3 feet. When the smallest legs are extended, it gets kinda wobbly and when the hidden top shaft is extended, it gets even moreso. I am not a tall man, but even fully extended I have to stoop. Again, for travel, I would sacrifice height for carry-ability.  But I am still trying to figure out if that is too short for students.

I have watched two faculty and 4 work-study students try to figure out how to get this back into the small bag- or even to unpack it for use. it is full of clever helpful parts that are perplexing. The leg limiters are one of those. In order to click them into place the legs have to be at a certain angle, and then it is easy to click them into the wrong position.

I will say that this would be a far better choice than about 8 different brands of tripods that are useless for our checkout center. So even with the few faults above, this is a well built and attractive option.

And of course, Manfrotto's camera plate and locking system can't be beat, although this does come with a plastic plate (that I did not know they made).

What I really want is more of my old Manfrotto 'Digi' tripods, that were sturdy normal tripods, not quite as small as this, not quite as light as this but were close enough but were sturdier at slightly taller heights.

 
5.0

Exceeded My Expectations

By Jewel

from Sacramento, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Red):

I love my tripod! It's very well made and easy to use (it's my first time using a tripod). I film my daughters games and sometimes there isn't much room to set up a tripod. Because of the flexibility of this tripod, I am able to use it, even when there isn't much room in the stands. You can easily adjust the length of the legs so that it accommodates to your surrounding. It's also easy to set up and take down. It comes with a heavy duty canvas bag and it's small enough to carry around. It was well worth the price and more!

 
5.0

Lightweight and Sturdy

By Thomas

from Brooklyn, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Gray):

I have a heavier, beefier Manfrotto, but needed something light to carry around. The BeFree is perfect for traveling. Lightweight and sturdy. The carbon fiber had a better feel and was lighter, but couldn't justify the extra $100 or so. The aluminum suits all my needs.

 
4.0

I'd like to get another one.

By Moon Runner

from Phoenix, AZ

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Blue):

I was traveling the east-coast and it just so happen that I needed a tripod to cover a story in DC. I stopped at the grand B&H store in New York and purchased the Manfrotto compact tripod. It was actually perfect for on the go action. It was very sturdy and the ball joint that the camera sits on is very useful for getting those high and low shots. I recommend getting this product. The only down side is that the prices vary on color, I wanted the red but it was more that the blue but all in all it's about the tool not the fashion unless you're a person who likes that.

 
5.0

Love it!

By Lycurgo

from Los Angeles, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Blue):

Very compact, light, and great Manfrotto quality!

 
5.0

I recommend this tripod

By Ananth

from East Brunswick, NJ

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

This tripod is light weight and fits into my carry on bag. Earlier i was hesitant to take my older tripod (they are heavy). Now its life made easy.

 
4.0

Worth the money!

By Lisa

from Maryville, tn

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Blue):

Love the portability and ease of setting up. Holds my lens steady. However, I did purchase a Tamron 150-600 a few weeks after this tripod, and it doesn't keep this lens perfectly still,but that is a huge, heavy lens, and I didn't really expect it ,too.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Badly designed "quick-release" mechanism

By Murman

from British Columbia, Canada

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

Bought this travel tripod for a photo tour of Europe. Before leaving I familiarized myself with the operation from bag to "ready for action" so I wouldn't miss any shots. While I like its size and weight for travel, I never was comfortable with the quick release mechanism the BeFree employs. It's a two-stage operation requiring some dexterity maneuvering two separate levers while loading a DSLR and lens onto the base. While shooting a waterfall in Croatia my Nikon D7100 with 18-300 lens fell off the tripod onto rocks 5ft. below. Luckily the lens hood, which broke, took the brunt of the blow and the camera and lens were undamaged. Apparently the second safety lever which appeared to be engaged had not fully caught. This confirmed my need to exchange the finicky ball head and poorly designed QR for an Arco-Swiss type system. The tripod itself isn't bad for travel, but I found it a little short, and a hook on the center column to stabilize the tripod would also help. I think I'll start again and get a taller tripod with a better ballhead and QR.

 
5.0

Excelent

By Afonso

from Brazil

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

It's a really good tripod.

 
5.0

Works Great!

By Bill

from Grand Haven, MI

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

We use it to Mount small projectors in multiple orientations, up, down, horizontal... It is flexible to set up by height, and by pivoting the top adjust it can cover any direction.

 
5.0

Quality feel with light weight

By Jerry

from Minneapolis, MN

Verified Buyer

Comments about BeFree Compact Travel Aluminum Alloy Tripod (Black):

I bring this hiking and have found it to be sturdy and precise. Some of my other experiments with lightweight and compact tripods have been unpleasant. The true test will be how it lasts after a year of use.

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