Manfrotto 7322YB with Quick Release Plate
I’ve been walking a lot around London with my tripod lately and noticed that every time I come back from a photo escapade, my shoulder hurts from carrying the tripod. I’m currently using a Manfrotto 055XPROB and I think it’s one of the best professional tripods available on the marker. However, I also think it’s a little heavy and not too comfortable to carry around even in a padded bag. Therefore, I started looking for a smaller alternative tripod I can carry around and even pack inside my backpack when travelling or flying. Obviously, you can argue that the Carbon version of 055XPROB or 190XPROB are lighter, however, they are still too big to pack them inside a backpack and they have a pretty expensive price tag on them. After a little research, I have decided try the smallest tripod from Manfrotto family, the 7322YB.
After receiving this tripod, the first thing that struck me was the size. This tripod is extremely compact and portable and I started doubting if it was the right choice for my DSLR. It’s also really basic comparing to other Manfrotto tripods. However, it features all you need in a tripod: an extendable centre column, two leg positions which can be locked and a built-in ball head without the quick release plate. It also comes with a stylish shoulder carrying bag.
The specs clearly say that it can support up to 2kg so I guess it was designed for bridge and small DX format SDLR. I have decided to test it on my Nikon d7000 and the results were really good.
First, I have taken a few 2s. exposures with a 18-200mm lens. The images were sharp at around 100mm, then I had to turn the VR on and my pictures were still sharp even at 200mm. However, you really have to be gentle not to cause too much shake while you are handling your camera. Then I decided to take it to the extreme and tested it with a 70-300mm lens. Yes, I know it sounds insane but I really wanted to see what this tripod is capable of. Well, at 300mm the images were unusable as there was too much camera shake while I was pressing the shutter. However, when I shot in the Mirror-Up mode, triggering the shutter with a remote, the images were sharp. In conclusion, if you want to shoot long exposures with zoom lenses, you have to completely limit your contact with the camera and trigger it with a remote for best results.
Clearly, the pros of this tripod are the size, portability and the fact that it’s really well-built, unlike a lot of plastic tripods in the same range. The cons are that it comes with a built-in compact ball head without a release plate. If you want to have a quick release plate on it you have to buy the Quick Change Rectangular Plate Adapter.
All in all, I’m quite happy with this purchase and I’ll definitely keep this tripod due to its compact size and portability, which is especially useful while travelling. I would recommend it to everyone taking general landscape photography with a DX format DSLR and zooms up to 105mm. Also remember that if you limit contact with your camera while taking long exposures, triggering your shutter with a remote for instance, you will get far better results. I think I’ll get used to triggering the shutter with a remote while taking long exposures. At least I won’t have to carry a heavier tripod with me all the time. If you want to shoot in rough terrain in windy weather, unfortunately, this tripod is too small and light for that. You probably should get the 190XPROB.
Thanks for reading and good luck with your photography.
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