Camera Accessories

Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Aluminum Tripod Review In 2023

What is the best beginner or inexpensive tripod? I have always recommended the Manfrotto 190 series tripods to anyone in search of a budget-friendly, high-quality tripod. The Manfrotto brand is synonymous with value, and the tripods in the 190 series give a substantial amount of value.

Prior to visiting the 2013 PhotoPlus Expo, I ordered a 190 series tripod in both aluminum (190XPROB) and carbon fiber (190CX) with the goal of writing evaluations for each. Some days later, while roaming the PPE expo, I spotted brand-new 190 series tripod devices on display – the MT190 series.

After comparing the new and old versions side-by-side, I canceled my intentions to review the ones I previously possessed. The new versions featured unique improvements and increased height. The enhancements, in my perspective, merited the upgrading.

At the time of this review, the Manfrotto 190 Series includes numerous tripods (including tripod-with-head kits) with a range of costs, but the 4-leg section Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Tripod, along with its 3-leg section and carbon fiber counterparts, has the most advanced features.

Tripod models with three leg sections often feature a stronger/thicker bottom leg part, are significantly quicker to deploy, and are typically slightly less expensive. The 4-section models fold to a smaller size and lower to the ground without the legs extending past the first angle lock.

1. The Unique Middle Column

The friction-lock rapid center column of the Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Tripod is neither reversible nor removable. However, by pressing a red button on the bottom of the column while lifting, the red center column collar (see above) releases from the column and allows the column to pivot to a 90° orientation, as shown below.
The center column friction control then regulates the center column’s rotation and extension capabilities (center column rotation is not permitted in vertical orientation). This is a really inventive design that does not require any tools and is also quite handy.

The center column friction control then regulates the center column’s rotation and extension capabilities (center column rotation is not permitted in vertical orientation). This is a really inventive design that does not require any tools and is also quite handy.


2. The Quick Connect Plug

While using a tripod, and especially when photographing close-up subjects, accessories are frequently required for the perfect shot. Moreover, an extra hand is frequently required to grip these items. Manfrotto provides a 3/8″ threaded port that is compatible with a vast array of photographic equipment and an even greater array of accessories that may be mounted to these core accessories. Attach reflectors, diffusers, flags (to block light, not to support your nation or favorite team), LED lights, flashes, clamps, articulated or flexible arms, and whatever else your mind can conjure.

3. Capacity

The primary reason you purchase a tripod is to stabilize your camera. As a general rule, the heavier and more expensive the construction of a tripod, the more rigid and sturdy it will be. Obviously, heavier and more expensive are undesirable qualities in a general-purpose tripod, therefore a balance must be achieved.

The rigidity/strength balance produced by the Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Tripod is such that a 300 f/4 lens is approximately the maximum I would want mounted when the tripod is collapsed. Because to the vibrations caused by the usage of a 300mm f/2.8 lens, the image quality produced by the lens may vary. In most cases, the 300mm f/4 lens will be too heavy for dependable usage with this tripod’s fully extended legs and retracted middle column. Expect a 200mm lens to suffice in this environment. Wind complicates these general rules, and larger/longer lenses will exhibit constant vibration in the viewfinder in such conditions.

4. The ground-breaking Quick Power Lock (QPL) leg locks

The Manfrotto QPLs, with their short throw and lever action, are a significant improvement over the flip locks I’ve used in the past. When the legs are completely retracted, all locks on a leg can be simultaneously opened or closed.

All View

The Manfrotto MT190XPRO4 Tripod is an aesthetically pleasing product that features an above-average amount of design innovation. In the crowded market for tripods, Manfrotto’s Quick Power Lock (QPL) leg locks, pull-down angle lock releases, and 90° center column design stand out. And the characteristic that many will appreciate the most is the comparatively modest price for the amazing appearance, quality, and design.
I strongly advise against purchasing a cheap, low-quality tripod. Unless you are absolutely turned off from tripod use, you will likely purchase a second tripod after learning this lesson. The Manfrotto 190 series is an excellent choice for beginners. There are also substantially less expensive Manfrotto 190 Series tripods that are not “MT” models, and these perform quite well, however the MT series tripods have the most advanced features. You must assess what your budget will allow and what your needs demand.

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