Travelers constantly request a reliable tripod that can be easily packed into a suitcase and carried for long distances. Manfrotto answers those needs perfectly with the portable MK394-H. This aluminum tripod folds to a compact 20.1 inches and weighs only 3.7 pounds. The four-section legs extend to a maximum height of 56.3 inches and can be set independently in two different angle positions. Topping off the legs is an aluminum three-way head with separate pan and tilt locks, a short handle for easy panning, and the 200PL-14 quick release plate. Manfrotto completes this ready-to-take-anywhere tripod by including a convenient carrying bag. The MK394-H is covered by a Manfrotto 2-year limited warranty, plus an additional 3 years when you register online.
|Quick Release Plate
||Allows quick attachment of equipment to a tripod head.
||Provide sturdy support.
|Lever Leg Locks
||Flip up and down for height adjustments.
|Multiple Leg Angles
||Allow stable positioning on uneven ground.
|Reversible Center Column
||Allows for use near the ground.
Good for Heavy Spotting Scopes and Short People
Tim S. from Blythe, CA
This is my first tripod that I use for birding almost every day. I have had it for almost two years now. I started out with a straight Vortex Skyline 80 scope and now have a Celestron Regal 80 F-ED scope. The tripod is built well. I just recently started having problems with the short handle becoming worn out. It is definitely made for short people as it is perfect for me with the legs and head fully extended when using the straight Vortex Skyline 80. Because the tripod is top heavy when fully extended, I've had it tip over on me when birding in windy conditions. It is much better with the angled/heavier Celestron Regal 80 F-ED. I would not recommend this to a birder, but I would rather recommend the Vortex Pro GT Tripod Kit.
Lightweight - good for airline travel
Marilyn from Flower Mound, TX
Manfrotto makes a great tripod. I have my regular Manfrotto tripod that I've used for years, but it's a bit bulky and heavy for packing into a suitcase. This lightweight, compact version is an excellent alternative. I haven't put it to the test in the wind yet, but I suspect it will hold up to the job. Be sure your scope or camera has a new mounting plate - my old one does not fit securely.
Lightweight value tripod
John from Humboldt County, CA
I wanted the lightest weight tripod I could find that was still serviceable. This is a good value. It mounts the Vortex Viper 15-45x60mm angled scope successfully. It might not handle larger scopes and is not really tall enough for a straight through scope. The leg extension lock levers seem overly tight. The center extension guide is kind of sloppy; but not a big deal
I found it needs some easy fixes. The legs are stiff opening and closing, but this can be fixed by loosening the set screws on top of the legs a little bit. The head rotation adjuster lacks range; it's either fully locked or too loose. This can be fixed by removing the adjusting screw and adding a lock washer; which allows gradual tightening.
If it's reasonably durable, I'll be happy.
MK394-H Tripod with Three-way head
Karen from Eugene, Oregon
This tripod was listed for photography, but I bought it for my spotting scope because it was lighter weight, less expensive, and could telescope into a smaller size than the other options. So far it has served me well in that capacity. Probably wouldn't do well in a strong wind, but birds are harder to find under those circumstances anyway. I received it quickly after ordering, and was totally satisfied with the process.
Sam from Houston
The Manfrotto MK394-H is a nice alternative to the heavier tripods. I am using mine with a small spotting scope and this makes it easier to put in the back pack and take it along. Down side is that it uses a nonconvetional adaptor to attach to the head. In a wind it is not as stable as heavier tripods.