manfrotto tripod head 324rc2

Manfrotto Tripod Head 342RC2

By Robby Denning

manfrotto tripod head 324rc2One of my outfitting clients showed up in camp this year with a joystick tripod head.  While I knew these were on the market, the ones I had seen were bulky and overweight or so cheaply made that I ignored them. 

 This one was small, lightweight, and made by Manfrotto, a high-end camera supply manufacturer, so I took interest.  After using my client’s joystick for a morning scouting trip, I bought the Manfrotto 324RC2 within a week.  I used it all fall putting over 25 days on it and am very satisfied.

smooth adjustability ruggedness and lightweight defines the manfrotto 324rc2

If you haven’t seen a joystick, it is a tripod head with a pistol-style grip that makes glassing much easier than traditional tripod heads.  With most tripod heads, you are forced to touch the optics to change field of view while fiddling with a lever simultaneously resulting in choppy, uncontrollable movements.  With a joystick, you squeeze a handle with slight pressure that allows you to move the optics in small, more controllable increments, all one-handed.  Glassing becomes more enjoyable and effective.

At 16.6 ounces, it is heavier than some traditional tripod heads but still light enough for everything except the most extreme backpacking situation.  It is rated to hold up to 7.7 pounds, so it handles most hunting optics.  A convenient roller allows you to micro adjust for differing weights of optics.  It also can be converted to left-hand, but the squeeze handle will be on the objective lens side, making it slightly awkward but still very usable.


A real plus is the quick-release plate included.  If you purchase an extra plate, around $20, this allows you to switch optics quickly.  If you’ve glassed mule deer much, you know seconds count in changing from binoculars to spotting scopes.

Manfrotto is a European company and doesn’t yet have the best distribution network in the United States.  You can still get the joystick in a reasonable amount of time, just don’t wait until the last minute as you wont’ find them in Walmart.  Go to and look for the “where to buy” link.  I found mine in a high-end camera shop locally and they beat the web prices when I showed the salesmen the web ads.  I paid $129 for mine.  You may have to order online.   

Previous articleMATT CASHELL
Next article“Extended” Range Riflescope Showdown
Robby Denning
Robby Denning started hunting mule deer in the late 1970’s, only missing one season in 35 years. At 25, he gave up the pursuit of all other big-game to focus on taking the best bucks possible. He began hunting the West on a DIY budget hunting an average of 30 days a year for mule deer. Robby loves the hunt as much as the kill and the entire process from research to scouting to hunting. He’s killed four bucks over 200 inches in the last 15 seasons, mostly on easily-obtained tags. He owns a public-land scouting service and runs a private-land outfitting business helping other hunters in their pursuit of deer and elk. Robby has scouted and hunted literally thousands of square miles of mule deer country and brings a wealth of knowledge about these experiences with him. To him, the weapon of choice is just a means-to-an-end and will hunt with bow, rifle, or muzzleloader – whatever it takes to create an opportunity to take a great mule deer. He is also the author of "Hunting Big Mule Deer" available on Amazon. Robby believes all of creation is from God for man to manage, respect, and through which to know its Creator