This Manfrotto 190 kit comprises a super-compact 190XPRO4 4-section aluminum tripod and a compact, versatile ball head. Both tripod and head have advanced features and excellent build quality.
The key feature of the kit is the tripod's 90° center column mechanism, which allows the column to be extended vertically as normal, or horizontally to open up a wide range of framing and shooting possibilities; this makes it an extremely versatile tripod, suitable for a wide range of photography applications. The horizontal column mechanism is housed within the tripod's top casting for compactness, but it is easily and quickly extended whenever you need it. Switching between vertical and horizontal column orientation requires no disassembly, and can even be done with a camera attached.
The 4-section legs of the tripod make it extremely compact: together with the height saving of the new horizontal column mechanism, 4-section legs help to reduce the closed length of this tripod by 16cm compared to preceding 190 models - a boon for any travelling photographer. The legs are also fast to extend and adjust, thanks to the Quick Power Lock levers that block and unblock each leg section. The special design of the QPL levers allows a more comfortable and stronger single-handed grip of the leg locks. From folded, the sections of each leg of the tripod can be released in a single movement. The QPL lever design also offers more powerful locking of each section, meaning the tripod is more stable and rigid than with traditional lever designs. Intuitive and ergonomic leg angle selectors allow each leg to be independently and solidly set to any of the preset angles, again allowing considerable positioning freedom.
A bubble level is built in to the top of the center column for precise framing. The bubble level rotates freely around the center column, so it can be positioned wherever it's easiest for you to see it while adjusting the tripod, and without it either being obscured by the mounted head and camera, or getting in the way of head or camera controls.
The top casting of the tripod has an Easy Link connector for supporting a photo or video accessory (such as an LED light, flash, reflector, or other piece of equipment) on an extending arm or bracket, and making the tripod into a practical mobile studio.
The ball head included in this kit is a 496RC2.
Made in Italy by Manfrotto.
Reviewed by 1 customers
The Plusses My first reason for the purchase of this tripod is that the four section legs make it short enough when collapsed to fit in a backpack. I was also very interested in the horizontal center column. This feature actually works quite well and I am pleasantly surprised by that. One can also get the camera away from the legs a bit. I like the fact that the legs go out to just shy of horizontal. One can get the camera close to the ground for macro work that is actually on the ground. The rotating bubble is also a nice feature. It is a solid tripod and has no problem holding my T4i with battery grip and Tamron 18-270mm lens. Of course, it is splendid with the Canon 60mm macro lens on the camera. The Minuses I don't particularly care for the fact that Manfrotto thought it would be okay to put rubber grips on just two of the three upper legs. It's a bit disconcerting to be spreading the legs out and grab the leg without the rubber grip. It's a smaller diameter and it's slick. It's not a world ender but it is an odd sensation. As one is spreading the legs out, the action becomes a bit stiffer. I would like the friction be the same throughout the arc, as it is on my Slik Pro 780 DX. It's not a terrible thing. I only just lightly pinched my fingers not realizing that the tripod leg in my left hand was creeping closer to the center column as I was folding in another of the legs. I can take or leave the three quick release leg lock levers being able to be opened all at once. They also actually spring open. It's not a gradual release of leg lock pressure. When one has opened one, two or all three lock levers and lets go of them, all three leg sections fall out immediately. Again, not bad, just different from my Slik Pro 780 DX. It just requires a helping hand to extend the legs, which makes it easier (in my opinion) to adjust leg length. One does not have to reach down and pull the leg section back in. By my review, one might expect that I do not like this tripod. Actually, I gave it four of five stars. I can adjust to everything except the one bare upper leg section. I think Manfrotto should address that shortcoming. I'm going to go to a local bike shop, buy some handlebar tape and apply that to the bare leg. Overall, this is a great tripod. I will use it for years to come.