Fully extended, the Manfrotto MT293A4 boasts a maximum height of 146.6cm along with an impressive maximum load of 4kg. Featuring an aluminium construction, it has four extendable leg sections, two of which are coated with a hard foam covering for protection and insulation against the cold.
At the neck of the Manfrotto MT293A4 there’s a simple thumbscrew that adjusts the height of the centre column, while taking off the rubber cap at the bottom of the column allows it to be completely removed and reversed for when you want to shoot from ultra low angles.
Setting up the MT293A4 took an average of 25secs, making it quite slow to set up; this was mainly due to each leg having three sturdy flips-locks to contend with. This isn’t really a negative thing, though, as when placed under pressure there were no signs of slipping, and although there was some flex when twisted, it still managed to feel surprisingly rigid – impressive considering the smallest leg section is just 12mm wide.
The Manfrotto MT293A4 comes with a choice of head types; there’s the option of an A0RC2 ball head, or an A3RC1 3-way head. We opted to test the latter and the Manfrotto 3-way head features a one-handled design as opposed to the more traditional two levers. The single handle alters both the tilt and rotation of the head, while a separate thumbscrew adjusts the pitch. Overall the head is easy to use, and the handle simply screws in to tighten the head position and lock the camera in place.
- Price: £55 (Secondhand price as of July 2016)
- Weight: 1.9kg
- Maximum load: 4kg
- Visit: www.manfrotto.co.uk
This review was first published in the November 2012 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.