Manfrotto 496RC2 Compact Ball Head 496 with RC2 Rapid Connect Plate, Maximum Load: 13.2 lbs/ 6 kg

Manfrotto 496RC2: Picture 1 thumbnail Manfrotto 496RC2: Picture 2 thumbnail Manfrotto 496RC2: Picture 3 thumbnail Manfrotto 496RC2: Picture 4 thumbnail

List Price: $100.00

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About Manfrotto 496RC2

Manfrotto ball head family has been completely updated to be more ergonomic and easier to handle. Payloads range from 4.4 lbs (2kg) to 17.6 lbs (8kg). Features include a new friction control knob which allows micro movements without having to engage the head locking mechanism.

The friction control is present in all models except the small 492 head. The locking lever can be moved to the most convenient position, making it easierand quicker to work with this head.

All models featuring the quick release plate include an additional safety system that helps to prevent an accidental detaching of the camera from the head. These new Manfrotto heads are the ideal support for all needs!

The 494 and 494RC2 (will replace the 484 and 494RC2) is available in two different models: one is featuring a standard platform and one featuring a quick release plate. 496 - 496RC2 (will replace the 486 and 486RC2) This compact ball head is strong enough to load a 35mm SLR camera with medium-weight lenses and light medium format cameras. Max load: 13.2 lbs. (6kg)

The Manfrotto 496RC2 is commonly used for Home, Landscape/scenery, Night shots, Portraits, Sports/action, Travel, Video, Weddings, Wildlife and more.The Manfrotto 496RC2 is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Photo enthusiast, Semi-pro photographer among others.The Manfrotto 496RC2 is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Manfrotto 496RC2: Attaches firmly, Large range of motion, Stable and Strong clamp

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Stable (43),Attaches firmly (40),Large range of motion (39),Strong clamp (35)
Best Uses:
Landscape/scenery (36),Night shots (33),Travel (30),Wildlife (27),Portraits (24),Home (17),Sports/action (15),Weddings (10),Video (5)
Reviewer Profile:
Photo enthusiast (25),Semi-pro photographer (17),Casual photographer (3)

Manfrotto 496RC2 Features

  • 496 - 496RC2 (will replace the 486 and 486RC2) This compact ball head is strong enough to load a 35mm SLR camera with medium-weight lenses and light medium format cameras. Max load: 13.2 lbs. (6kg)
  • The new friction control knob allows the photographer to achieve superior control when handling the camera and making micro movements without having to totally lock and unlock the ball head
  • The elliptical lines and curves recall the design of the latest launched tripods. The hollows make the head lighter
  • The knobs have been redesigned to be more ergonomic, easier to handle and more user-friendly. The ergonomic shape allows the user to better lock the ball.
  • A smart repositionable locking lever allows the user to place it in a comfortable position in order to use it in the most convenient way. Just pull it outwards, put it in the best working position and then release it.
  • The models featuring the quick release plate include an additional safety system that prevents the accidental detaching of the camera from the head.
  • The locking lever securely locks the head both in the +90° -90° ball positioningand in the 360° pan movements.

Manfrotto 496RC2 Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 46 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Great product!

This is a great product, but need to know that it has a 3/8 inch thread, so if your tripod has a 1/4 inch screw, you will need to buy a 1/4 to 3/8 inch adapter.


Most Liked Negative Review


Newer isn't always better.

The '49x' series is made with lighter materials, and does not operate nearly as smoothly as the discontinued '48x' series. The drag control is pointless as drag is always felt. Also, the 90 deg. slot is on one side instead of two.

Reviewed by 46 customers

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Solid, simple performer


from Seattle  -  Photo Enthusiast

This Ball head is a no-nonsense product, it's simple to use, holds a camera very firmly and with great confidence, and is an excellent addition to my newly purchased 055XB tripod legs, overall a very solid platform for all my landscape photography needs, oh and the black finish is very sleek and good to handle/look at.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great Ball Head


from Nashville, TN  -  Photo Enthusiast

This is a fantastic, rock solid ball head. I've used it with a Canon EOS 60D with a 70-300mm L lens attached (which is quite heavy), and the ball head feels very secure. It is super fast to adjust, and the quick release plate is a great feature. It is pretty hefty, but I didn't select it for a travel tripod.


Decent but not super smooth


from Berkeley, CA  -  Photo Enthusiast

Bought this to go with my timelapse rig on a slider. Have only had it for a week but it looks sturdy and locks tight. One issue that worries me a little bit is that it isn't as smooth as some of the other ballheads I have used (Joby ballhead X, Gitzo). Perhaps there is some was to mitigate this but it just feels kind of 'dry' metal-on-metal when rotating, even fully unlocked. This doesn't hurt the performance as far as I can tell but makes me question durability. Other than that, solid product, feels sturdily built. I have not tried to take it to its maximum rating yet.


Manfrotto quality shines again


from Duncansville,Pa  -  Photo Enthusiast

I bought this a few weeks ago and I am happy with my purchase. I've used it to shoot fireworks, wildlife, and landscape shots. It is very sturdy with a Nikon d90 and a 80-400 zoom lens on it. It has a large range of motion and the quick release is sturdy and easy to use.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Needed an improvement, but now is great!


from New Hampshire  -  Photo Enthusiast

I changed out the clamp part to an Acra style, (Sunwayfoto) and now this ballhead easily handles my D700 with a 300f/4, or a 24-70f/2.8 very easily. I just have more confidence in the Acra rail type clamp than the Manfrotto QR plate...


nice ball head


from Yachats OR  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I use this ballhead with a D300 and lenses up to a 70-200 2.8 - still well under the weight limit for this head. The drag control knob makes it easy to adjust the action for different weight gear. Overall, very nice construction and excellent finish. Nice and compact


Excellent Compact Ball Head!


from Dallas, Tx  -  Photo Enthusiast

I bought a Dolica B100 tripod about a year ago and had problems with the ball head that came with it. My primary Camera is a Sony A77 and with the 16-50mm zoom, a heavy rig. With the Dolica ball head I was always getting "drift" no matter how hard I tighten it. Now I know some people would say mounting the 496RC to the Dolica is like putting a $1000 saddle on a #100 hourse! Maybe true but it is now "rock solid", easy to adjust quickly and zero drift.


Works like a champ


from Napa, CA  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I bought this along with a carbon fiber monopod mostly for travel. The Manfrotto 496RC2 is light weight (for a head), but has enough weight holding capacity for my Nikon D800 and lens. It is easy to adjust while setting up for the shot. It is small and compact enough to use in tight places while giving a good range of motion. I already owned a Manfrotto tripod with a quick release so the fact that I could get the same setup for a monopod was a plus. I like being able to quickly connect and disconnect my camera from the head. The locking mechanism works very well and holds firm. With the secure lock feature, I have never had a problem with it coming unlocked accidentally.


It have an Issue with RC2 plate


from Maracay Venezuela  -  Semi-pro Photographer

It´s a great product, until you try to do Portrait photography. RC2 plate have a loose coupling to the ball head. Tighten the screw doesn´t help. In landscape orientation you can deal with this movement, but in portrait mode the weight of the lens tends to move the camera pointing down forcing you to recompose again and again.


compact head


from mexico  -  Semi-pro Photographer

perfect for my needs and not took me a while to understand the mechanism for clamp it


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  Does anyone know the weight of this head? Manfrotto does not list it.
JENNIFER V  Manfrotto Lists weight as 0.93 lbs
Shopper  Why Did You Choose This?
LEE P  priced righ and oes what I required
Shopper  Can you replace a pan head with this ball head?? Or is this just for monopods
JOAN M  This ball head can fit any tripod or monopod with the normal screw on the pod. If you have trouble with a screw on a tripod that is to small for this head there are adapters to bring to the normal size. So yes you can replace the panhead of the tripod with this as long as there is a screw on the tripod that fits the head.
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