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Archive 2012 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?
  
 
arbitrage
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


I need to get a monopod but really won't be using more than once or twice a year a F1 races. When I bought my tripod, I went for the best money could buy and got an RRS 34L with a good BH 55 head.

However, for a monopod I just can't rationalize the cost of an RRS or Gitzo. I've instead been eyeing one of the Feisol ones for $99. The RRS is $330.

Also, would mounting my BH-55 head on the monopod be a viable option or is a dedicated head like the one sold by RRS a better option.

Just looking for some good monopod advice from any people who use them. Thanks.



Apr 11, 2012 at 11:17 PM
dblankenburg
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


The RRS monopod head is rock solid but I'll admit to having mine installed atop a Benro aluminum monopod. I'm not a pro but the Benro works for me.


Apr 11, 2012 at 11:29 PM
sjms
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


though i use RRS tripods, heads and brackets i do not use their or gitzos MPs. i consider the MP close to a consumable item. so i use the Feisol CM1471 Rapid which works quite well.
light rigid and well priced at $128US



Apr 11, 2012 at 11:46 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


Cool, that is the one I'm looking at from ReallyBigCameras and they have it for $99. What head do you use sjms on your Feisol? Is the RRS head worth it or should I just use my BH55 or my Markins Q3T.


Apr 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM
sjms
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


is it the Rapid or the standard? the rapid has improved twist locks, smaller diameter platform (my request) and non rotating sections. i use the RRS MH-01. using a ballhead to me is a lot less functional.
ref:
http://reallybigcameras.com/Feisol/Feisol%20Rapid%20Tripods.htm
http://www.feisol.net/rapid-monopods-c-2.html?osCsid=h9ldt3cc1n02o8guqqq37b08m7



Apr 12, 2012 at 01:55 AM
arbitrage
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


I guess it wasn't the rapid. I'll definitely go for the rapid one then for the extra $28. I didn't even see the rapid when I clicked on the link for monopods at the top of the page. Thanks for that info.

What sort of lenses are you using on the RRS head? I've looked at the RRS site but I don't really understand the advantages of the monopod head over a ballhead. Could you explain the differences? Thanks.



Apr 12, 2012 at 02:12 AM
sjms
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


biggest i've needed in my work so far has been the 400/2.8

with a ballhead you have lots of movement in just about any direction. well when dancing with a monopod how much do you really need? in reality its only one axis that being fore and aft. the lens mount provides rotation for portrait/landscape. since you are using generally long lenses a fore/aft movement creates a bit of up down through a lens more so with longer lenses. if you need more just unlock the movement. you don't need or want off axis (side rotation) and some try the loose ballhead dance you carrying most of the weight just to keep it reasonable stable on the ball. kind of counter productive from my point of view. it is also considerably lighter too. believe me the MH-01 works best on an MP.



Apr 12, 2012 at 02:30 AM
millsart
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


I've had $300 Gitzo's (hated the twist locks) and $50 Bogen/Manfrotto's and honestly for my needs at least, they both work equally well (though I like the Bogen flip locks)

All I do is screw them to the RRS foot on my 400mm f2.8 or 200-400 and sit myself down in the back of the end zone etc.

I'm a sports photog for a living so I've covered literally thousands of games over the years and just never found monopod prices to make a difference.

Honestly, save for the height adjustment, I could use a broom stick and it would work just fine for me. All it does is help support the weight of the lens after all



Apr 12, 2012 at 05:25 AM
 

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pr4photos
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


The Manfrotto will do everything you need. Great monopod


Apr 12, 2012 at 08:03 AM
sjms
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


millsart wrote:
I've had $300 Gitzo's (hated the twist locks) and $50 Bogen/Manfrotto's and honestly for my needs at least, they both work equally well (though I like the Bogen flip locks)

All I do is screw them to the RRS foot on my 400mm f2.8 or 200-400 and sit myself down in the back of the end zone etc.

I'm a sports photog for a living so I've covered literally thousands of games over the years and just never found monopod prices to make a difference.

Honestly, save for the height adjustment, I could use a broom stick and it would work just
...Show more

pretty much. i just don't like the splinters.



Apr 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


I've found the weight of my Manfrotto aluminum monopod to be just fine, and it's rather sturdy. I've had mine for about 5-6 years. I have the 681B (which is $56 at B&H). I use it with a Kirk arca-swiss clamp (with no head). If you find you'll be angling up and down a lot, or using a lens without a tripod collar (and if you don't have an L bracket), then it may make more sense to have a monopod head or a small ball head, but I've rarely wished for that, and the simplicity makes it much better.

The 681B is light enough, sturdy, tall and I've had no problems whatsoever with a 300/2.8 and my 1Ds II. If you're using a 400/2.8, I can't speak to that, but it was fine with a 300/2.8. If you aren't going to be using it all the time, I wouldn't spend a ton...it's not like a tripod where the extra money really helps in weight savings and stability, especially because the stability of the pod is minor compared to your own monopod technique and the inherent vibrations and swaying from shooting with only leg.

Edited on Apr 12, 2012 at 01:49 PM · View previous versions



Apr 12, 2012 at 12:38 PM
sjms
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


what the Feisol /RRS setup looks like





  NIKON D7000    17.0-70.0 mm f/2.8-4.0 lens    28mm    f/8.0    1/40s    6400 ISO    0.0 EV  




Apr 12, 2012 at 01:13 PM
arbitrage
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


Thanks guys. I'm going to get the Feisol and still deciding if it is worth it to get the head from RRS or make due with one of my ballheads. I understand now why having the 360deg slop would be counterproductive. I'll be using this from my seats at F1 (I'm not a pro so no great access). Going to see if anyone is selling the monopod head on the B&S or may get RRS to send it in my 5D3 L-plate recall replacement package (the thing that stings most for me is shipping to Canada from RRS).


Apr 12, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


If you're shooting from seats, especially if you have a lens with a tripod collar that you're using, I'd just grab a clamp and screw it directly to the monopod. It's not difficult to pivot the whole monopod a bit for the up and down adjustment, and there's no knobs to mess with. A RRS lever clamp by itself is $105, while you can get a Kirk knob clamp (1.75", which is what I use) for $55.


Apr 12, 2012 at 02:08 PM
sjms
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Are expensive monopods worth the $$?


i purchased my MH-01 with the screw knob originally. within the hour of receiving it i was on the phone with them swapping it with a lever.


Apr 12, 2012 at 02:38 PM





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