Manfrotto 468MG Hydrostatic Ball Head - Design

By Cliff Smith



  • Recommended by TR
Manfrotto 468MG Hydrostatic Ball Head


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The 468MG achieves its impressive load capacity thanks to its size and exceptionally tough construction. It's a physically large head, measuring 13.5cm top to bottom, and weighs 650g, only 100g lighter than the classic 804RC2 pan-and-tilt head, so it's not really one for lightweight hiking. Due to its size it's really only suitable for use with larger tripods such as the 190 or 055 series.

The camera mounting plate is a 6.5cm-diameter disk with a deep textured rubber insert that grips the base of your camera very securely. It can be used with SLRs that have the standard 1/4-inch tripod bush thread, or with larger format or video cameras with a 3/8th-inch thread, thanks to an ingenious spring-loaded retractable outer thread ring. The thread is tightened by turning a wheel under the mounting plate. The 468MG is also available with any of Manfrotto's four types of Rapid Connect quick-release mounting plates.

The main body of the 468MG is a solid casting of light but extremely strong magnesium alloy, with a large 4cm diameter Teflon-coated aluminium ball. The body has two slots allowing the camera to be tilted up to 90 degrees in either direction. It has a locking lever on one side which lets the whole head rotate on its base, allowing the camera to be panned smoothly through 360 degrees.

Doc. Caliban

July 9, 2010, 9:17 pm

I just bought one of these a month ago for use with my 7D. I do a lot of macro with the 180mm L macro lens while I'm hiking and this head makes it pretty easy to make quick changes. It is heavy, though!

Doc. Caliban

July 9, 2010, 9:19 pm

I do use it 'backwards' though, with the ball lock knob on the left and the pan lock lever on right because it seems like that would have been the way for them to design it so that you have your shooting hand on the camera, and your left hand free to adjust the ball.


July 11, 2010, 6:34 am

What's a good smaller, cheaper and lighter alternative? Also looking for a similar tripod recommendation. I have a cheaper DSLR with lighter lenses but have always found tripods take too long to deploy.


July 12, 2010, 10:47 pm

@ PoisonJam I love my Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod and use a 488RC2 head on it. I'm 6'7" so had to go for the 055 series over the 190's due to the additional height.


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