Photographer’s Review: Why Manfrotto Tripods Stand The Test of Time

The Rockies can be tough on a photographer, not to mention on the gear needed to capture incredible landscapes and skylines. Cold, wind, dark nights and snow up to your knees can be merciless, especially without solid equipment to help get the job done well.

As a nature photographer who has ventured around the globe, confidence in my gear is crucial. I need to know that my tripod will not underperform, fall apart or inhibit me in any way as I head into the backcountry for days on end.

Enter Manfrotto. A company I’ve come to rely on over many years for several reasons. Here’s why:

1. Durability

I’ve shot in salt water in French Polynesia, on glaciers during the winter in the Canadian Rockies, and in desert-like landscapes in the Yukon. These harsh conditions allow for no compromise when it comes to the quality and durability of my equipment. Plus, I’m not the kind of photographer that’s easy on gear or has the time to stick to the maintenance schedule. When I come back from a trip, I can toss my Manfrotto tripod in the car or the corner of the office and not pick it up again until I head back out.

The salty seas of French Polynesia made for a good test for the Manfrotto tripod. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

The salty seas of French Polynesia made for a good test for the Manfrotto tripod. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

2. Reliability

I often shoot in spots that are far from the road, which can mean several days from a gear shop or any kind of product support. Weight is a concern during these trips, so bringing a backup is not an option. I need peace of mind that my one tripod will last over several days, through extreme humidity, landscapes submerged in water, dusty, silty environments and the bitter cold of Northern Canada. I’ve had little issues with Manfrotto in places like these.

Textures in sand, Kluane, Yukon Territory. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Textures in sand, Kluane, Yukon Territory. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

3. Ease of Use

Timing is everything when you’re shooting adventure photography. You don’t have time to fight with your gear – you need it to be on your team and to make your job easier. And no one wants to take their mitts off when it’s -40 degrees Celsius.

Manfrotto’s ease of use allows me to operate my tripod while shooting auroras during dark winter nights. My gloves get to stay on, and I can easily switch on my headlamp to see and adjust the height and angle of tripod legs while rotating the ball head to achieve the composition I’m after.

Shooting in colder conditions in Greenland. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

Shooting in colder conditions in Greenland. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

4. Versatility & Range

With just one piece of Manfrotto gear, I can work in a variety of environments. I take a lighter weight version with me into in the field and a heavier duty version for the extreme places. But every photographer is different. Chances are they’ve got a tripod that closely suits what you do as a photographer; all you have to do is ask them (link).

Manfrotto and I are in it for the long haul. Bring on the arctic temps, star-lit skies and long exposure.

Curious what I use?

MT055CXPRO4 legs with the MHXPRO-BHQ2 ballhead (heavy duty setup).

190 Carbon Fibre 4-Section camera tripod (lighter setup)

Here’s the list of all my gear. 

Paul Zizka Photography is proudly sponsored by Manfrotto. However, this article was posted without any review or input from Manfrotto.

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