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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:33 pm 
Hi, this is a review of the Manfrotto 785B MODO Maxi for anyone looking for a compact-ish (43.5cm when closed) tripod for small DSLR’s, Super-zooms, Compacts and Camcorders and is suitable for both centred and off-centred screw cameras.

Made of aluminium, it only weighs 0.98kg and is able to support a 1kg device, the 785B has five leg sections and stands at 150.5cm with column extended and so is a good height for most individuals and has a minimum height of 17.5cm - with bottom of the lockable two part column detached - and so is perfect for macro shots also.
Tripod fully extended.
The two part column and column lock.

The tripods legs can be positioned at three angles – 23, 45 and 80 degrees allowing the low height level and this is altered by using a dial at the base of the column.
Here are Examples of the three angles – 23, 45 and 80 degrees:-
Image Image Image

The tripod which retails for around £60 or £40 on some online shops has a built in head with bubble level which can be locked/unlocked using a trigger system.
This ball head has two modes – Photo (Where the head can move on any axis) and Video (Where the head can move horizontally and vertically), and these are altered using a small switch on the side of the head.
Photo movement.
Video movement.

This head also has a quick release plate with a 1/4" screw and removable vhs pin for quick attaching/detaching of devices and more of these can be acquired for around £8.

In practice the 785B is a very sturdy and compact tripod and although evidently it will not be able to support a DSLR with a large lens, it is a brilliant option for smaller camera consumer and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone in the market for exactly that.
The one downside I have found however is the ball head does not feature the ability to pan horizontally while locking the vertical axis for video cameras however there is a solution:
Make sure the head is level.
Extend the column so that the screw for taking it apart is above the lock.
Unscrew the top part of the column 1-2 turns.
Use the screw as a perfect horizontal panning tool.
Note: remember to tighten the screw at the end of the pan.

Hope this help someone and feel free to ask questions.

Last edited by Barnsey313 on Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9886
Location: UK
Excellent review. Thanks. 8)


Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:43 pm 
Awsome! time for me to get a tripod, just perfect! how much did everything cost you? how fast does it take to get the tripod out of your in a real hurry from the compact stage?

whats the sligher "better" dont really knw the word her, but a tripod that holds a lill more weight but its similar in the price range?

thanks alot!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:52 pm 
The tripod is £59.99 from Jessops and on one internet site ive seen its £44.99 inc. postage.
The time it takes to get it out i'd say is around 10 seconds or so and as for one that will hold more weight...Manfrotto do have other tripods available but in the modo series this is the 'best' model.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:40 am 
Only supports 1kg heh. Pass. :?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:58 am 
A good and fair review.

As Barnsey313 says (and Manfrotto markets it this way), this tripod is more suited to compacts and smaller-sized camcorders. For DSLR/SLR photography, steer clear from this. There are some sturdier tripod alternatives for those who have heavier equipment and on a budget.

EDIT: You can easily find this tripod for sub-£40 e.g.

Pricegrabber in this instance is rather useless (best price is in the mid-£60s), though on the whole it does find good offers.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9978
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
Great review Barnsey313, thanks!

I bought a 714SHB some time ago for portability and yours looks MUCH better, especially with that head. Good top about the panning too.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 4:25 pm 
Bought this recently, and it holds my D80 with the 18-55 lens without a problem. I'm pretty sure it will hold my camera with the next few lens I plan to purchase (55-200vr, 50mm 1.8, tokina 11-16).

I'm not entirely confident beyond those lenses since they don't weigh a ton. However, I was looking specifically for a tripod to use while hiking that was light and compacted small enough to fit in a backpack. The fact that this tripod has a removable center column and can splay it's legs to get down to 7 inches (17 cm) off the ground is great for macro shots.

The joystick ball-head works nice and easy, but you do need to really make sure you press the trigger in and lock the head down. Fully extended to it's full height, it's a little wobbly since the final set of legs that extend are pretty skinny. However, I rarely use a tripod at eye level since I find the perspective to be kinda boring.

I wish this tripod had a hook off of it's center column to hang your camera bag from to give it a little extra weight and support but it doesn't.

All in all though, for the application I would use this for, it's a very good tripod given the price. I know I'll upgrade down the line to something sturdier and stronger, but for now this makes for a good first choice.

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