Written on: 24/03/2010
I can't believe the other reviewers bought the same product I did. The Manfrotto 785B is not intended to be built like a tank. That's the whole point of it. I have used mine extensively for six months and not one part of it has failed or broken. Shattered legs? The reviewer must have driven over his. This tripod is very light and compact but also very sturdy. The legs move out sideways like any tripod, but can also be extended fully sideways so that for instance you can have two legs on the floor and the third on a table top. I take a lot of pics in rivers, shores and streams and this tripod allows you to place each foot individually on three different rocks at different levels and still have the centre column vertical. Very useful. It has a quick-release plate which you can mount to your camera body and then quickly attach the camera on and off the tripod as you like. I bought spare mounts from the agents for other camera bodies. It has a spirit level. It has a very easy-to-use quick release handle for allowing you to pan or tilt the camera to get it level and then lock it in place by pushing one lever. Works very well. It has a ball and socket head. It has the ability to remove the vertical centre column and remount it from underneath so that the camera is now within the tripod legs. This is great for macro work. Someone really had a long hard think about how to build a good tripod before they designed this one. It's a compact, lightweight little 1,5m tripod, steady as a rock, packed with useful features and I would not swop it for anything. BUT - it is (after all) a lightweight. I wouldn't expect it to work well with a big heavy DSLR and a bazooka lens. As a compact tripod that you carry with you anywhere it's great, and always better than hand-held, but for heavy duty work you would have to look at something more sturdy in the Manfrotto range, or others.