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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars49
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 May 2010
I use the 494 RC2 with a Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom and Canon EOS 450D and whilst the 494 appears a little over-engineered for the job, it works flawlessly. The Friction Control is a real boon, allowing simple and accurate positioning without impeding smooth movement, and the lock-lever is so easy to use with the ability to rotate the lever independently of the locking mechanism so that you can align the lever to your preference. The quality of the Quick Release has also blown me away, it's cast metal and very strong, and whilst the locking safety pin takes some getting used to, in no time securely mounting and dismounting the camera becomes second nature. The 494 is a quality piece of engineering and is in my opinion definitely worth the premium over the entry-level basic ball-heads available from the likes of HAMA.
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on 1 February 2010
It's small, relatively light and can be used on a range of tripods and monopods. I'm currently using it on either a Joby Gorillapod or a Monfrotto monopod. It had no problems supporting a Canon 400d and 100-400L.

The locking/friction mechanism works really well and the plate clips easily into place and locks firmly in position. A nice touch is that the lever that operates the ball lock can be repositioned (if access is awkward) by pulling it out and turning it.

On the face of it, it seems a little expensive, but the manufacturing quality probably justifies it.
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on 7 March 2012
Camera equipment is a complex and jargon-filled world for the beginner (like me) to understand. To be really satisfied, it pays to research well. I bought this piece of kit, the Manfrotto 494RC2 Ball Head with Friction Control
[...]
and was very relieved that it was what i wanted, because I had to search online to understand what RC2 meant. (it refers to the camera release plate). However, i was initially disappointed, because i bought it to swap between my monopod & my tripod. This it can do, but it is too small (hence the name mini, I now know), in diameter to fix on the Tripod with it's built-in screws. In the end, I felt it was ok, but i was annoyed that i couldn't find that out anywhere in all my research. It is an excellent ball-head, and I have discontinued my 3-way head, preferring this item for almost all my needs.
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on 16 January 2010
Expensive, but well built - that's Manfrotto for you. Just wanted to mention that with the 1/4" to 3/8" adapter this fits very well with the Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom (the joining surface diameters line up closely). I considered the Joby equivalent, but the key for me was to secure the legs, any which way, and then have full (lockable) flexibility on the joint nearest the camera. This fits the bill - one star off for not having a spirit level!
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on 6 October 2010
I bought this head to use with a Slik cf tripod and a Canon 40d dslr. The head is superbly machined and has a very solid action utilising two friction screws. The quick release plate holds the camera safely at any angle (not tested with long telephoto lens). Definitely recommended as part of light weight kit. It is very reasonably priced here compared to similar products by Slik and Gitzo.
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on 7 January 2012
Very very pleased with this item .. I'd been using a Jessops Head on my Manfrotto 679B Monopod but I'd always thought the locking 'knob' a little bit fiddly and hard to grip so wanted to try something better. .. and here it is .. the Friction control lets you set a personal 'feel' when repositioning and the locking method is more positive .. the Jessops tightener seemed to require a couple of turns to lock whereas the Manfrotto clamps seemingly in half a turn. Added to that the quick release mechanism and I'm well satisfied.
The Head has no problem supporting my Canon 40D with 24-105mm IS L zoom, don't think I'll need to attach anything bigger in the forseeable future.
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on 12 February 2013
I needed a Ball head to go with my lightweight travel tripod after reviewing those available, I chose the 494RC2. Having used the Manfrotto Quick Release system before I was able to use this head with my smallest (Panasonic GX1) and largest camera (Cannon 5DMKII) and Canon 100-400mm Lens (with Lens Mount) and lock each of them steady. so I am satisfied.
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on 13 September 2010
I bought this head paired with the Manfrotto 190XPROB Tripod Legs.
The tripod legs are great and this head compliments it perfectly. Keeping the weight down and the functionality up. Very impressive and easy to use. The fast release is just that. Highly recommend this setup for every day use.
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on 30 October 2014
I wanted a way of using my SLR on a monopod in portrait orientation as well as landscape, and came to the conclusion that one answer was a ball head. The reviews of the Manfrotto 494RC2 were very favourable and so I purchased one. As usual delivery from Amazon was prompt and I was keen to see what the product was like. It did not disappoint. A beautifully made piece of kit, very sturdy and durable.

The friction control and locking mechanisms work smoothly and hold the ball head very firmly in position. There is no movement or slack whatsoever. The ball head fitted easily onto my monopod (Davis & Sanford) with the 3/8ths threaded connector and locked into place once fully threaded.

I screwed the plate onto my Pentax K5 II, the locating of the plate onto the ball head takes a little practice, and it is possible to get it improperly mounted, and this is evident by movement of the plate once located, I have not yet determined how this is achieved, However properly mounted the camera plate is locked firmly in place without a hint of play.

My first real test was while on holiday in Devon during a veritable gale blowing in off the sea at Man O' War next to Durdle Door. I was videoing some brave young people kitted out in wet suits, hard hats and lines, out on a rocky outcrop, jumping into the heavy sea and getting drenched by the crashing waves. The 494RC2 performed admirably, despite my own inability to stop the camera moving in the incessant gale, it literally was impossible to counter the force of the wind, but the ball head did better than me, and resolutely held firm.

Conclusion, a well made, well designed, substantial device, not cheap but well up to the job, and worth the outlay if you want a ball head that really is "The Business".
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on 7 April 2014
I visited Wisley to take photos of butterflies with my pal. He had his monopod with one of these heads and I didn't ! Consequently, I was trying to tip over my monopod to compose butterflies several feet above me. I must have looked a real billy-boy ! I already have a Ball Head on my tripod so I bought this to put on my monopod. Yep, its great. Does the job and obviously being Manfrotto is sheer quality. It also comes with the extra RC2 plate which is handy. Highly recommended.
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