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Manfrotto 405 Geared Head (Tech Specs)

The Manfrotto 405 is a geared head. A geared head allows very precise adjustments of the camera head. This is something which is necessary when you want precise positioning of the camera.

Build Quality

The first thing that would impress you about the Manfrotto 405 is its sheer weight and build quality. Just to reaffirm the head can support a maximum weight of 7.5 kilos (16.5 lb). The head itself weighs 5lb or 2.3 kilos. That means you can mount your heaviest camera and lens combination without any problems.

The best use of the 405 is when you are using long lenses and for shooting videos. The thing is traditional PT heads don’t offer the same level of precise movement. Plus, cheaper PT heads are known to throw up jittery vibrations which can ruin your videos.

Should you carry this to an outdoor shooting set-up? Absolutely! Despite its weight and bulk, there is no doubt as to the geared heads’ preciseness and utility. While some reviewers have not recommended carrying the Manfrotto 405 outdoor, we don’t mind taking it out for a spin.

Manfrotto Digital PRO Geared Head, Camera Tripod Head, 3-Axis Movement, High...
  • SUITABLE FOR: Medium formats and 35mm cameras, and can hold up to 7.5 Kg, optimal support for medium format cameras, both...
  • MAXIMUM PRECISION: Using the ergonomic knobs you have a fluid and simple control for 360° rotations or front and side...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND DURABLE: The aluminium body is strong yet lightweight, which makes the 405 geared head very durable, but also...
  • EASY ASSEMBLY: The innovative design allows you to easily detach the equipment and position the camera with your hands. Once...
  • RELIABLE: The 405 head is equipped with a levelling bubble and micrometric knobs that ensure maximum frame composition and...

Quick Release Plate

One problem with the geared head is the quick release plate. It is impossible to tighten the little screw that holds the quick release plate in position under your camera. Unscrewing it out in the field and then attaching it to another camera quickly will pose some serious problem. Your fingers won’t do it. You will need a screwdriver.

The best option is to buy an extra quick release plate. Thankfully the package we are referring to give you a spare quick release plate to boot. So you can use two cameras straightaway. Unless you carry more than two cameras to a shoot you would be fine with this setup. That probably would cover 90 % of the intended users.

Working the Quick Release Plate

The other problem that we have figured is that operating the quick release plate isn’t as easy and smooth as with other quick release plates. It will take a toll on your fingers and therefore some getting used to.

But on the plus side, the quick release plate with the camera attached to it is absolutely secure. You apply some pressure with your finger to the plate and it sits in securely. To loosen the plate you have to first apply some pressure on the flip-lock to loosen the plate.

There is a secondary locking feature that prevents the plate from accidentally falling over if the release lever is pressed. There is a small silver lock on the flip-lock itself. Press to twist it down and the quick release plate finally gets released.

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Finer Adjustments

Operating the head to make fine as well as major adjustments is very easy. This is where the Manfrotto 405 is at its best. To make fine adjustments simply turn the tip of the two adjustment handles. For more abrupt and faster adjustments you can turn the geared rubber knob clockwise to completely disengage the lock. You can then turn the handle to make bigger and more abrupt adjustments.

When doing fine adjustments simply turn the rubber tip to whichever direction you need to move the head (and the camera) to. Needless to say, this is for precise adjustments. There is a bubble level indicator on each axis (three in total) which lets you keep an eye on whether your camera is perfectly balanced or not.


The Manfrotto 405 is a great piece of tool. At a price of Price not available it would be a good investment if you are not into testing lenses or have more than two cameras to play with. Also, if you don’t mind a bit of weight. The Manfrotto 405 is stable and gives precise control over your camera positioning.

However, if you need something even better than the Arca-Swiss D4 or the Arca Swiss C1 Cube are better choices.

Manfrotto 405 Vs. 410 Junior Geared Head

The Manfrotto 405 is a better design than the 410 Junior Geared Head. The 405 is better built as well as gives finer control over your camera movements than the 410.

Manfrotto Junior Geared Tripod Head, for Camera Tripods, High-Precision Fluid Head,...
  • MAXIMUM PRECISION: Thanks to the micrometric knobs and the levelling bubble, this head is equipped with high precision...
  • SAFE: Thanks to the locking system you can move the axes quickly and safely, without ever having to worry about technical...
  • EASY ASSEMBLY: The 410 plate has a quick release function for quick and easy use, without wasting time on assembly
  • SUITABLE FOR: The Junior head is perfect for 35mm single-lens reflex and medium format cameras
  • LIGHTWEIGHT AND RELIABLE: The aluminium body means that the 410 head weighs only 1.22 kg, but can hold up to 5 kg of...

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  • Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your "master guide" here at PhotoWorkout.

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