290 kits – perfectly matched starting components, with the versatility to upgrade as your requirements change
290 kits all include a tripod and head that make a perfect starting combination for photographers as they begin to take their hobby seriously. But we all know that as we develop our skills, what we need from our equipment can develop and change too. 290 kits are available with a ball head (more compact and faster to use, general purpose), a compact pan and tilt head (compact, good for tracking moving subjects in basic sports or wildlife photography), or a choice of two three-way heads (more stable and accurate, suitable for technical, precise fields of photography such as architecture and still-life), but whichever kit you choose, 290 kit heads are interchangeable and you can always fit another, more specialised Manfrotto photo head to your tripod if you find your needs or preferences change.
Tripods around which the kits are built:
Kits are available for all of the tripods in the 290 range. It's generally recommended you choose the right tripod model for you first, then pick a kit based on that tripod. More details on how to choose a 290 tripod can be found on the "How To Choose" page.
About the heads used in 290 kits:
290 kits are built with a choice of ball head, compact pan and tilt head or one of two three way heads.
Ball heads are fast to use and therefore ideal for portraits and general purpose photography. Built around a ball and socket joint that allows the camera to be set at any angle and inclination with a single lock, ball heads have a 90° groove that allows for easy switching between portrait and landscape framing. An independent pan lock helps with panning movements or quick panoramas, and a locking friction adjustment allows you to pre-set the head for the weight of your camera equipment and your personal preferences for how much resistance the head provides as you adjust framing. Setting the friction tighter will slow down movements, but allow you to micro-adjust framing more accurately, and also provides a degree of safety in case you forget to lock the head and let go of your camera: friction will hold it in place and stop it rotating off-balance. Compact and robust, the Manfrotto ball head used in 290 kits is made from aluminium with weight-saving cut-out holes. The 290 kit ball head uses Manfrotto’s popular RC2 quick release plate.
The compact pan and tilt head is a simplified version of a three-way head. Rotation around each axis is isolated like in a full three-way head, but unlike its big brothers, this head has only one locking handle for both pan and vertical tilt, and a separate small locking knob for lateral tilt. It’s not as precise as a full three-way head, but offers some of the same advantages and is faster to use. Its handle allows you to do basic tracking of moving subjects, useful when you’re beginning or trying out sports and wildlife photography. This head uses Manfrotto’s small RC1 quick release plate.
Both the Manfrotto three-way heads used in 290 kits have ergonomic locking handles on each independent axis of rotation for the framing precision required by architectural, macro and still-life photography. Both are made from Adapto, our special technopolymer, developed for mechanical resistance, and both heads use Manfrotto’s popular RC2 quick release plate. The main differentiating feature is that the D3Q2 head has foldable handles that reduce its packed size, making it easier to transport and more convenient to carry. The D3Q2 also has a bubble spirit level on each axis of rotation.
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