Trimmed-down tripods: Manfrotto launches 290 Carbon Fiber series


posted Monday, July 30, 2012 at 3:47 PM EDT

Manfrotto's 293 Carbon Fiber tripod. Photo provided by VitecGroup Italia Spa.Italian camera support manufacturer Manfrotto has introduced its new 290 Carbon Fiber series of tripods and monopods, offering near-identical specs to its existing 290 Aluminum series, but with a worthwhile weight savings. The decrease in weight obviously varies depending on the specific model, but taking the three-section 294 tripod as an example, the carbon fiber variant is about 16% lighter without a head mounted.

There are five different models available in the Manfrotto 290 Carbon Fiber lineup, including one monopod, one tripod, and three tripod kits. The 294 Carbon Fiber monopod has a four-section design, weighs 1.1 pounds (0.5 kg), extends to around 59.5 inches (151 cm), and supports 11 pounds (5 kg). The 294 Carbon Fiber tripod can support the same load, but opts for three-section legs, weighs 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg), and has a maximum height of 66.5 inches (169 cm) with center column extended. Two kits feature the same tripod with either a quick release three-way head or a quick release ball head. Finally, the 293 Carbon Fiber tripod is currently only offered in a kit with quick-release ball head, and while it weighs no more or less than the 294 CF tripod, it has a lower height of around 58 inches (147.6 cm), and a lower capacity of 8.8 pounds (4 kg). The advantage? A closed length of 21 inches (53 cm), versus 28 inches (71 cm) for the three-section design.

More details on the Manfrotto website.

Introductory video for Manfrotto's 290 Carbon Fiber tripod series.