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Manfrotto tripod can you help me decide please (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I'm after a new tripod (legs only) - keen to stick with Manfrotto for compatibility with other kit and would like some advice on choice.
This is for use with a Swarowski ATX85 scope

This will be used for birding around nature reserves, walking up to approx 5 miles in all weathers. So needs to be portable, but ultra-light not a main concern.

I'm trying to decide between the carbon fibre 190 and 290 (MT290XTC3) from Manfrotto,

and with the 190 whether to go for the 3 or 4 section version?
(MT190CXPRO3 or MT190CXPRO4)

From the website it appears that they are about the same weight and height, with the 190 presumably more stable.

Has anyone here done a comparison "in the field" please (or in a shop)?

thanks ever so much


Well-known member
Compatibility with other makes is not a problem. Almost every tripod has a 3/8"x16 top stud and in the rare event that it had a 1/4"x 20 stud, then an adapter could be used.
You do not say what head you intend to use but you have an excellent (and expensive) scope and are considering putting it on a completely inadequate tripod. Get something with bottom leg sections of at least 20 mm (see tripod primer above).
A couple of years ago I was out with others at dusk in heathland looking for nightjars. I didn't have a scope with me (for obvious reasons) but one of us had a Swarovski ATS80 on a 4-section CF Manfrotto 190. Jupiter came up and I tried to focus the scope at 60x. but this was impossible because focus movement induced such vibrations.
When I later acquired a Novoflex TrioPod I had one tripod too many and gave my CF Sirui M3204 to the colleague, and he in turn donated the Manfrotto 190 and an old Optolyth draw tube scope to the Campaign Against Bird Slaughter.


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