You what it’s like when you see something and immediately think, “It’s so simple and ingenious… why didn’t I think of it?”.
This is almost certainly what will happen when you pick up the Manfrotto Pocket MP1‘, especially if, like me, you have spend years improvising tripods for your camera using cigarette packets, books or ‘flat’ surfaces of dubious stability!
Just 0.75cm wide and weighing only 30g, Pocket is the smallest tripod currently available in the Manfrotto catalogue.
Officially, yes, it is a tripod. But, as soon as you use it, you will see that it is, in fact, more like an actual extension of your camera, one which you will immediately find it hard to do without.
Pocket consists of a small base made of zamac, a zinc-based alloy which is both lightweight and robust, to which are attached three individually-adjustable rubber feet.
The camera is secured in place with a 1/4″ screw, making the tripod compatible not only with all modern cameras, but also with the vast majority of older models too.
Despite its tiny size, the craftsmanship is of the highest quality and can be recognised in its every detail: the metal base has a coloured protective varnish with six ultra thin rubber resting points to prevent the camera from scratching.
The tripod screw slides laterally along a runner designed to adapt to any camera fixing hole and, once your camera is attached, its stability is further guaranteed by a small but invaluable rubber O-ring.
The little rubber feet are anti slip and are attached to the base by a system of springs, which appears very robust… we’ll soon find out.
Last but not least, the central rubber foot displays the Manfrotto logo, giving that extra touch of class.
So, to look at, it seems absolutely perfect and the fact that I can choose from a total of 7 different colours means that I simply have no excuse not to find one that matches my camera… but could a landscape photographer so used to mistreating tripods ever trust a simple once-over?
Let’s start with what would appear to be its weak point: the retractable feet. After spending two episodes of Games of Thrones continuously opening and closing one of the feet, there are no signs of loosening and, once the exact position is chosen, it stays firmly put.
So we moved on to the stability: attaching a 150 g compact camera, the rubber feet managed to hold it perfectly in position, even inclined at more than 30°… not bad. And I am left with no doubts about its capacity to hold the maximum of 600 g, which, just to be clear, is the weight of an advanced Bridge camera!
OK… but what if it rains?
After a thorough rinse under the tap, I left it for a few days without touching it: the varnish is unaffected, the springs show no signs of rusting and the rubber feet are still perfectly intact.
The final test is the all-important fall from the second floor of my apartment block (yes, I detached the camera!):the zamac did its job just fine, seeing as the inevitable denting had no effect on the overall structure and the camera attachment still works perfectly.
In fact, this Pocket tripod was positively amazing on all fronts and, instead of searching for good reasons to buy it, I’m now trying to find a good reason why I should remove it from my camera. And I can’t find one: with my rucksack on my bag and my Pocket in my pocket, off I go on my next adventure!
Guest blogger: Francesco Gola