I'm about to go on holiday with my first ever camera (Fuji X-T2 with 18-55, 35f2, and 55-200), will be bringing a tripod for family shots. How important is quick release for this scenario? We will be visiting lots of scenic places so I will be taking lots of shots everywhere.

I'm planning to get the Manfrotto Compact Light tripod. As far as I know it doesn't have a quick release mechanism. Can I buy a quick release attachment and add it to the tripod? Or is that something that has to come by design?

Oh and as a side question, is this Manfrotto model good and suitable for my setup?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, could you edit your question to have only one real question? The question on the product itself can be asked separately after a search Also, perhaps you can make this more specific? Something along the lines of: what is the added value of a quick release when hiking/city-tripping/skiing/etc... I think the answer depends on the kind of activity you will be doing during the trip and on the environment Also, this question looks at different quick release systems and might be helpful. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10, 2019 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually rereading your question (and the current answer) I think it's more about finding a tripod which you can deploy, use and fold in such a way that your family doesn't have to wait too long. Perhaps you can edit your question to focus on the underlying problem? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2019 at 0:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ The utility is in the name – quick release. Its importance is proportional to how much time you want to spend fiddling with the tripod vs taking pictures. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Dec 11, 2019 at 2:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might want to take a look at the Manfrotto MKCOMPACTACN which does have a quick release and looks basically the same as the product you mentioned. [I've not checked size, sturdiness, weight, etc.] \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2019 at 6:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually I would not recommend Manfrotto with it's proprietary quick release plates. Rather look for a tripod with an Arca Swiss mount. These are either tightened using a screw or there are also quick release mounts. However Arca Swiss has the big advantage that there is a big selection of compatible accessories like L-Plates, Peak Design Capture clip, many third party plates and so on. \$\endgroup\$
    – Banzai
    Dec 11, 2019 at 13:32

3 Answers 3


The importance of a quick release is inversely proportional to the patience of your family.


Quick release is quite useful, but you can go without.

I have cheap quick release tripod, but I often do not remove the camera from it. Generally, I just lift the whole assembly to the next spot where I'm going to shoot from.

If your tripod is light enough, you can shoot handheld with the tripod mounted, or you can use it as a monopod. What is more important is quick folding, but I don't know any photography tripod that need special maneuver before folding legs together (As opposed to some telescope tripod which need to have some screw removed).

In order not to bother my family / friends too much, what I usually do is :

  • Shoot

  • Take whole assembly under the arm, folding only legs together

  • Keep walking with everybody, waiting for the next spot to shoot from

    or :

  • Dismount everything and fold completely while walking

YMMV but this can be a reason for not absolutely needing the quick release system.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that walking around with your camera on a tripod has risks. It's easy for somebody or something to bump the legs, causing the camera to crash into something. It's often tempting to carry it over your shoulder with the camera behind you, where it can directly bash into things. Basically, we're talking about a long-ish stick, one end of which is fragile and worth several hundred eurodollarpounds, and that requires careful handling. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2019 at 10:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Totally agree, it require care. I generally carry it by the part just under the camera, keeping the strap wrapped around my wrist. Mine is neither too heavy nor to long, so I don't bump that much. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2019 at 11:59

Borderline subjective answer to a borderline subjective question.

Either get a great quick release, or just get a ballhead without.

The kind of quick release that comes with budget tripods might be quick to release, but it can take as much time to secure as just threading in a ballhead - and it brings more likelyness of getting it wrong and dropping gear. Especially in the dark. Also, quick release plates attached to cameras tend to snag to straps, camera bag interiors and whatever can be snagged to. And, one more small part to manage - to make it worse, a small part that has good scratching power if thrown between other gear in a haste.


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