Manfrotto 341 Junior Elbow Bracket

Concept: 2 out of 5
Execution: 2 out of 5
Yeah, but: Warning: Choking Hazard-Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

The Long Version: The Manfrotto 341 is an "L" bracket that's compatible with the popular 200PL / RC2 quick-releases. There are two plates that can attach to the tripod head, and the camera is screwed onto the long arm of the L. It also comes with all kinds of little brass bars that are designed to stop the camera from rotating under heavy loads, but in a stunning move from the Manfrotto engineering team, the screw for the camera itself isn't captive to the plate. Or more simply: it falls out. When the plate isn't attached to the camera, I need a little spring-clamp to hold it in place. Ridiculous.

The bracket is heavy but strong, and like a lens collar, it's a great way to keep a camera's weight centred on the tripod in a vertical composition. I use it to hold the camera vertically on my 454 positioning plates, which are heavier than I'd want to tip to the side. The elbow bracket is sized to accommodate cameras that are much larger than the typical DSLR, and when used as directed (photo above) it places the camera quite high on the bracket. I typically mount the camera so that it's facing against the "Lens" arrow puts it lower, but that does block the grip-side memory card slots. The plate will also block most cameras' bottom-loading battery compartments no matter which direction it's facing. The Manfrotto 341 is a generic one-size fits all product, and it shows.

There are many companies that make custom-tailored brackets to fit individual cameras, and I have no doubt that they're excellent. They're also designed to use the Arca-Swiss mounting plates, which isn't what the popular and common Manfrotto heads use. The price penalty of jumping systems is huge: to replace my 410/2x454/323/341 head assembly with one offering similar functions from another brand would cost as much as buying another D700. There's the best, and then there's good enough: Manfrotto offers a functional and useful product, even if it does have some compromises and one glaring fault. All told, I'm perfectly happy with it.

But seriously, how could they make it so that the attachment screw just falls out?


  1. Mine also came without any instructions - I have no idea how all of the various screws and bars are supposed to work. Thankfully the camera mount screw worked fine but the fact these various parts can fall out of the rail is extremely annoying!

  2. The loose screw issue - I wonder if the RC2 mount base can be installed on the long arm. If so, no loose screw.


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