Join me unboxing the Manfrotto 3-Way tripod head. Keep reading for the video and my first impressions.
It’s a Manfrotto 3 Way Tripod Head!
Some of the most popular tripod heads nowadays are ball heads. It makes sense, they are very versatile and allow you to change your shooting angle or orientation right away. However, they are not very precise when it comes to controlling specific movements like panning or tilting. Besides, some times the ball creeps a little when you try and lock the position of the camera.
Enter the 3 way heads. These kinds of heads allow you to control the camera movement over three axis inindependently. If you only need to make a panoramic movement, you unlock that axis and turn the camera. If you only need to change orientation, unlock the corresponding handle and you’re good to go. Same thing for tilting movements.
Why the MHXPRO-3W?
The Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W (Adorama, Amazon) is a 3-Way tripod head. You can mount it on any tripod with a ⅜” thread, not only Manfrotto ones. It allows you to control the movements as previously described, and it’s made of aluminum and polymer.
I decided to get this tripod head because I plan to use it for:
- product photography
- architecture photography
The first two may seem obvious, because in both of them you need to control the positioning of the camera and the camera angle very carefully. The situation that may seem odd is shooting video, but it turns out, the MHXPRO-3W is fluid enough to be used with a lightweight camera and make panoramic or tilting shots.
Another reason to choose this tripod was to use the 200PL mounting plate as my standard. This is Manfrotto’s most popular mounting plate. It’s used in a wide range of tripod heads, whether they are ball heads, 3 Way or video heads.
What About Arca Swiss?
Around a year ago I bought some flashes and a mounting plate from BlackRapid. The mounting plate (Adorama, Amazon) is a very interesting product that allows you to transition from tripod to strap very quickly, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot. However, it’s compatible with Arca-Swiss heads and I’m not using Arca-Swiss anymore. Why? It turns out, some “Arca-Swiss compatible” plates are not compatible with Arca-Swiss heads.
For example, the BlackRapid mounting plate works great with my Fotopro C5i tripod and FPH-52Q ball head. However, it simply won’t fit on my (awesome) Vanguard BBH-200 (Adorama, Amazon) head, which is supposed to be Arca-type.
So, in order to build a gear system that allows me to work efficiently, I’ll keep using 200PL-based Manfrotto heads.
My advice for you would be to also build your own gear system. Make sure that it allows you to create beautiful, interesting images for you and your clients, while not worrying about the gear.
Have you used 3 Way tripods before? How was your experience? Share your story in the comments section.
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