Photography Experience with Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra 3-Way Head Kit (Black) – A Detailed Review!


When people ask me the best piece of photography advice, I always say it is the Kit you use.

And the indispensable part of my photography kit is the “Tripod”. My tripod needs to be a perfect balance of weight to carry around and stability it offers.

Zeroing upon the best is a tough call and it took me quite long before I came across – Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra 3. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the bespoke features of the Tripod make it a perfect friend of the camera. 

I am a tough boss and I did take the innocent one through a series of tests and now am glued to it.

I have used quite some sturdy tripods but gave them up pretty quickly. Not that I get bored easy but they were not offering me what I always desired.

Coming from the brand Manfrotto and the family of 290 Xtra, it is the perfect solution for the stability I desire. I do not like to sound wordy so took out some time to pen down the technical specifications how they work to its advantages:

Key features of Tripod Manfrotto MK290XTA3-3WUS 290

Aluminum legs

Why did I choose to talk about its legs first?

Legs make a significant contribution to keeping the weight of the Tripod low.

The total weight of MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra 3 is somewhere around 5lb. It is quite close to some of carbon leg frame tripods that are considered to be light-weight.

You never want to let your Tripod stay behind at hotel while you roam around clicking beautiful shots that could turn out to be fantastic. 

Tubular Aluminum legs with sturdy leg-locking levers promise not to age or wear out easily. At least I have not seen any aging signs after such extensive use.

It is one piece that’s going with me a long way.

Four leg angle positions

Designed to render excellent support in extreme outdoor shoots, each leg can be set to four different angles independently.

That’s a great lot of flexibility and versatility for me which saves some acrobatic moves while setting the desired angles. It has the highest degree of professionalism I have witnessed till date.

Rubber legwarmer

Tripod comes with Leg Warmers that keep the heat absorbing tubes insulated. The non-slip leg warmers promise protection and efficiency-enhancing ergonomics.

Handling of the tripod is safer with the leg warmers on. Enhancing the stability of the Tripod, the leg warmers buffer some shocks. I couldn’t resist experimenting the tripod with leg warmers on and without them.

It is so much easier to carry it with the warmers on. They also render safe grip. I am more than happy that they come with the kit.

Adapto three-way photo head

I love the kit for its classic three-way tripod head. It gives me the immense flexibility to control left and right panning. Easy to tilt and rotate the camera, tripod head is superbly designed.

With Phenomenal precision to control the motions one desires, you need to focus on just one axis of movement.  It also comes with the Panoramic rotation of 360 degrees.

Did I tell you the head is patented?

A set of retractable levers add to the portability of the Tripod while the head supports light-medium-heavy all weights of camera.

While I was using the head I was wondering how it is so light and seemingly sturdy is.

Being a Google bug I could not resist finding out all about the head. Made of Adapto polymer, the head offers high mechanical resistance.

Every aspect of the head adds to ergonomics of the entire Tripod kit.

Quick release plate

It attaches to my camera in a snap with its quick release 200LT-PL type plate. Say goodbye to the camera screwing (pun intended).

I hate those tripods that ask me to screw the camera on heads. I have dropped my precious cameras doing that and after prolonged use, they do not even fit properly.

Rapid center column

Adding to the versatility, quick switch center column is easy to adjust in both vertical and horizontal directions. It adds to the freedom of use of camera angles and stability while I click those ageless frames.

For alternative shooting angle or low-level work, it is a perfect aid.

Dedicated shoulder bag

Comfortable, lightweight and portable tripod, it comes with a dedicated shoulder bag that fits in like a glove.

A perfect placement of all its parts in a shockproof bag enhances its longevity and makes it easy to store or transport.

I have been using the bag to carry my other accessories too. 

Extendible Height

I choose a tripod that reaches up to a shooting height when am standing but then it needs to ensure me the vibrations are not enhanced with height.

MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra 3 fits in perfectly into this scenario. With a maximum extendible height of 5.1 feet, I found it works well even with the center column extension.

I tried moving it down too. The typical feature of lowering the height to 1.375 feet, the legs can be locked precisely with flip-locks that offer it more stability.

No need to remove my camera to click various angles at multiple heights. I did save a lot of time and effort.

You know the score now J

Camera Type support

As a stable tripod, it supports a wide range of cameras as per the weight and lenses too.

Lenses that have higher optical magnification, will also magnify the vibrations.  I tested the tripod with telephoto lenses that have the same nature and found it offering enhanced stability to the same.


Every photographer has his own set of preferences while choosing a laptop. I am a tough one to convenience as I always work to capture excellent shots in excellent quality.

A round-up of all the features leads to the fact that the tripod is good for real-world use. So, do not even try to deny it that MK290XTA3-3WUS 290 Xtra 3 sounds a perfect tripod as per the cost factor and the phenomenal features. I am thrilled to be using it with wholehearted satisfaction that I carry comfortably to every planned shoot.


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