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Manfrotto 785 Modo Maxi Photo Video Grip Head Tripod

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  • Supports digital cameras and camcorders weighing up to 2.2 lbs.
  • Height adjusts from 6-15/16" to 59-1/4"
  • Ball head and joystick-style grip for positioning camera

Product Details

  • Item Weight: 445 g
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Item model number: 785B
  • ASIN: B000FA7PQ2
  • Date first available at March 15 2012
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #630,222 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cc2c660) out of 5 stars 77 reviews
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d0e8ea0) out of 5 stars 5-Star compact tripod! July 18 2006
By Hiram Grant - Published on
This is a very impressive, very compact tripod truly designed for someone needing a quality product that will easily fit into a suitcase. But first...

What this tripod IS NOT: it is not a substitute for a serious, tall tripod for everyday use. It not designed for anything heavier than our lightest Digital SLRs, and won't be the steadiest in the world with those.

But this is a very fine travel tripod for someone with a good digicam, such as the Canon Powershot S3 IS. It will easily support that weight, even in vertical. It can also easily be used with most Mini DV camcorders.

Considering how many leg sections it has, it is steady enough. Amazingly, it also allows you to spread the legs out, if necessary. The center column can be shortened, so that you might work very close to the ground.

One cool tripod.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c9622c4) out of 5 stars Perfectly good for what it is Feb. 12 2007
By J. Hall - Published on
I needed a basic field tripod, and this tripod exceeds my expectations for utility and support. I wish that it had come with a zippered carryall of some sort - and some metal in the head would have made it more sturdy. That being said, I am perfectly happy to use my Olympus E-500 on it with my 50-150mm standard Zuiko lens.

My previous tripods have been the type that you buy at the local general stores (Target, Sears, etc.).

I find that this tripod is lighter than what I am used to carrying, and sturdier. The extra buckles are a nuisance - but the thing folds down into nothing! Plus, like another reviewer said, you can drop the height practically to the floor. The whole thing could be taller, maybe.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d0eae88) out of 5 stars Great for consumer Digital Cameras, but not much else Oct. 1 2006
By James Marcano - Published on
I'll have to agree with the previous reviewer in that this is not a serious tripod; the trigger/button tightening mechanism is far too weak for anything but your average digital camera and perhaps the most compact of today's camcorders.

Bearing that in mind, I'll still rate this tripod with 3/5 stars for the simple reason that I listed above; the tightening mechanism simply doesn't do its job very effectively.

The tripod's saving graces are that for an un-braced unit, it is quite sturdy, and it certainly allows for a great range in height. This, however, means little when your camera is constantly pointed sky-ward due to a sudden loosening in the head.

If you're only going to be using this with a consumer-grade digital camera, then you'll most-likely be happy with the product. In my opinion, however, a near $80 price tag is a bit hefty for such a simple application.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c96233c) out of 5 stars Portable, light, small footprint and does what it promises! Feb. 26 2009
By Rick V - Published on
Verified Purchase
Why I bought this
I received a new 25$ coupon from my Amazon card (LUV it) and decided it would use it towards a light / small tripod that I would take with me on my casual field trips to the local Indiana Dunes state park and other outdoor locations where I wanted a tripod yet needed to pack lightly with my camera backpack.
After reading up in various sites I decided to use this with my Nikon D50 with zoomlens. It clips onto my Microtrekker 100 camera backpack with velcro and weighs near nothing. Furthermore, the collapsed footprint is so small it does not get in the way.

Is it any good?
Yes, if you use it for what it is intended. I see people on here state that this is only for consumer DSLR's.... uhmmmm yes. I cannot impagine a pro purist walking around with a low cost consumer grade tiny tripod that does not provide the pro stability and features they need. Why even bring that up.

For a pro-sumer like myself that has 2 DSLR's, one a D90 with a big toot 18-200MM VR lens and a smaller older D50 this is fine.
I do have a 500$ heavyweight carbon fiber tripod with pro ballhead but ONLY use that for serious portrait work and when I go out to ONLY shoot and to places where I can reach my location without a massive tricky haul.

For all those other times I use this one now. It doesn't bother me to carry and frequently I have found myself pleasantly surprised I had this with me as it enabled some cool shots that I could not have taken by hand.

The tripod is ofcourse not super stable. Especially when fully extended then lowest leg pieces are so thin that that can wobble of you push against the tripod with a D50 or similar camera one. That is OK as you should not bump it and trigger it with your timer or remote.
It has plastic clips that, if handled roughly, could break.
The tripod itself looks finely crafted but do not forget it is a budget item.
I do not use it fully extended most of the time and only with my remote and recommend that. I recommend it to the budget conscious that want to pack lightly without missing a tripod. This is geat as a second, light tpod.
The head is fine holding the D50 and the tension knob does work but again, it is not a pro grip ballhead.

I do think the grip ball head would be bad for video shooting is the tension grip makes it hard to control is you needed to tilt smoothly while shooting. Shell out for something better if that is what you do. But for photoshooting: it does what it promises: cheap, light and sufficient. And nice looking for 50 bucks.

Minus 1 star for the wobble when fully extended.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c962528) out of 5 stars Great Looking, Strong - Design issues for folks with a tremor Oct. 9 2008
By SFHandyman - Published on
I think this tripod is great. I have a Professional Manfrotto Tripod and this is a nice casual companion. Inside I use both: Video on the Pro and Still on this tripod.

This review should be informative to anyone, but I'm going to address a lot of stuff related to my hand tremor, so other folks with a tremor will know the design limitations I've found.

---I was aware of these limits before I bought the tripod---

I'm not complaining, or saying it is inferior in any way. Just informing others of the way the design restricts usefulness for folks with a tremor like me.


Because of a hand tremor I cannot handhold a camera. I also need to use the remote, or set the shutter timer, and have my finger off the camera before shutter release. This tripod has a single head release lever that releases all 3 axes at the same time. If I try to hold the handle of the ball head, with it unlocked, for any kind of pan, my hand tremor is transferred to the camera.

Although the trigger is progressive (It isn't On/Off - it goes from really tight to looser and looser until free) it doesn't help at all. The friction added by the trigger is sticky and movement is jerky. If I could release one axis at a time and add some smooth friction in the head, I might be able to pan. With friction it still wouldn't be locked in one axis, so drifting would be a problem. I can pan some heads by pushing on one point of the handle with my fist. For me holding a tight fist keeps my hands pretty steady, and a little smooth friction in the head will usually damper the bit of tremor still present.

Even if I get some friction going, I'm going to have to lower the center of gravity to the center of the ball to really make it useful. Since the center of gravity is far above the ball the camera just wants to flop over.

Separate axis locks would be fantastic, but that is the trade off for the very flexible and fast positioning you get with a ball head vs. a standard head.

There are a couple of work arounds with this tripod that will allow a horizontal pan.

When you release the trigger, but hold the base of the collar around the bottom of the ball, there is a joint that allows a smooth, steady, horizontal pan. Why a clip or little click lock of some kind, wasn't included to do this seems really short sighted. I'm going to make something to clip over that small post under the head so I can get a nice horizontal pan when I want it. Right now, I can do it by wrapping my fingers tightly around that small center post under the ball and releasing the trigger. It will then pan horizontally. It isn't locked to level though so if you required a perfectly level pan, it might be hard to find that position and hold it.

I can also raise the center post about 5 inches and loosen the joint in the post. It takes 11 full rotations to separate the post, so using one rotation for a pan isn't risky. The threads on the joint are really very smooth. They are a little loose though. I wrapped some teflon tape (available in the plumbing section of a hardware store) around the threads and that makes the joint run even smoother and reduces the play between the threads.

The trigger friction seems as though it might allow steady movement, but because it's a sticky kind of friction it doesn't work that way. It just allows you to change the camera position with a little friction so the camera doesn't flop over while you are trying to line up a shot. You still need to fully lock the head before you take your hand off of it.

I think you could probably safely increase the load capacity (in the tightest leg spread - it is substantially weaker when you move to the wider setting), if you were willing to sacrifice the lower leg extensions. The narrower stance of shorter legs is less resistant to tipping so you'd need to consider that also. The stability and strength difference between each section of the legs decreases quite a lot from the top to the bottom sections. It seems like you could break or bend the lowest post fairly easily, but it's probably still much stronger than other lightweights.

Using the center post, like most tripods, does seem to reduce the stability a lot. The height you get from this tripod is great. I'm 6'2" and at full extension, the camera is only about 6 inches below my eyes.

I don't find it has any stability issues. In comparison to other light weight tripods it seems very steady to me. Even if I figure out a way to lock the axis, the head would have to move with very little pressure. It seems like the tripod itself, wouldn't be stable enough for a really smooth pan, if I had to use more than a little force to move it.

When I judge only by the design that was promised, and not by wished for improvements, this tripod is far superior to any other lightweight tripod I've seen.