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Archive 2013 · Monopods
  
 
gome1122
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Monopods


I have trouble looking at monopods because there is a huge price range for what is basically an extendable stick. I need one that will hold a Canon 7D with either a 70-200 f/2.8 or a 100-400(both mounted through the tripod collar). What is a good one for under $100 that will work well and not have a ton of fancy stuff that bump up the price? Plus just a little dicussion, what do you use for sports? And also would anyone buy/need a $660 monopod?


Jan 20, 2013 at 11:08 PM
mitesh
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Monopods


I have heard good things about Manfrotto 681 monopod that's under $100. I have no personal experience with it, but PetKal uses it with 1-series bodies and supertelephoto lenses, so it should be plenty of support for your setup.


Jan 20, 2013 at 11:25 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Monopods


The 681's great with a pivot head and QR clamp. I love my Berlebach in the Winter...
don't use 'em much, but when I do they get the job done. Why pay more.



Jan 20, 2013 at 11:34 PM
1KIND
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Monopods


Manfrotto 561BHDV. It's not under $100 but definitely worth the extra pennies if you can afford it.

There is a member here who use to sell the monopod without the head for about $135 plus shipping. Well worth it. springhoffs is the user (can't remember if its with or without the S)



Jan 20, 2013 at 11:37 PM
gome1122
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Monopods


I've heard about the Manfrotto 681 alot, I'm going to get that one then. But I don't much care for that head. What head would you suggest getting from the RRS lineup for a 7D, 70-200 and a longet tele lens(either a 100-400 or 400 f/5.6 prime)


Jan 21, 2013 at 12:11 AM
mitesh
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Monopods


I use the MH-01. It might be overkill, but I would rather have more support than I need. Although, it is more expensive than the monopod that you're looking to buy.


Jan 21, 2013 at 12:25 AM
gome1122
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Monopods


mitesh wrote:
I use the MH-01. It might be overkill, but I would rather have more support than I need. Although, it is more expensive than the monopod that you're looking to buy.

But it could also be removed and put on a tripod right? I can always have that just get that, and have 1 quality head instead of a few cheaper heads.



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:13 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Monopods


I have the Sirui P-326 monopod and have found it excellent.

I've also liked my monopod head and clamp setup from Sunwayfoto a lot. You can see my full review here:

http://enthusiastphotographer.com/2012/07/22/sunwayfoto-ddh-02-and-dt-01-review/



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:13 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Monopods


gome1122 wrote:
But it could also be removed and put on a tripod right? I can always have that just get that, and have 1 quality head instead of a few cheaper heads.


Since the MH-01 and the similar Sunwayfoto/Sirui heads move only in one axis, it isn't a great choice for use on a tripod. The design is specifically for use with a monopod, though I guess it could be used on a tripod in a pinch.



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:27 AM
gome1122
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Monopods


M635_Guy wrote:
I have the Sirui P-326 monopod and have found it excellent.

I've also liked my monopod head and clamp setup from Sunwayfoto a lot. You can see my full review here:

http://enthusiastphotographer.com/2012/07/22/sunwayfoto-ddh-02-and-dt-01-review/

Will this head work with RRS L brackets?



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:30 AM
 

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gome1122
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Monopods


M635_Guy wrote:
Since the MH-01 and the similar Sunwayfoto/Sirui heads move only in one axis, it isn't a great choice for use on a tripod. The design is specifically for use with a monopod, though I guess it could be used on a tripod in a pinch.

I didn't think of this. Maybe I should get a different one.



Jan 21, 2013 at 03:32 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Monopods


Throw a QR clamp of your choice on this one...I use the 3 section
http://www.adorama.com/BA12070.html



Jan 21, 2013 at 01:03 PM
johnip
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Monopods


This is the setup I use for my 7D and 500 f/4. Been working great so far.

RRS MH-01-40LR head
With
Feisol CM-1471 Rapid



Jan 22, 2013 at 04:08 AM
Bifurcator
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Monopods


gome1122 wrote:
I have trouble looking at monopods because there is a huge price range for what is basically an extendable stick. I need one that will hold a Canon 7D with either a 70-200 f/2.8 or a 100-400(both mounted through the tripod collar). What is a good one for under $100 that will work well and not have a ton of fancy stuff that bump up the price? Plus just a little dicussion, what do you use for sports? And also would anyone buy/need a $660 monopod?



I had the same thoughts. So I went down to the shop and glommed the heck out of the 20 or so different models they had in stock and on display. I jumped on them, kicked them, overtightened them, unscrewed them all the way. In the USA I probably would have been kicked out of the store.

Of monopods rated for the same load I couldn't tell any difference between the expen$ive ones and the cheap ones. There are only three or four things to decide on that make a difference. Brand and price is NOT one of them. So WTH are they charging the big bucks for? Lame!


  1. Carbon Fiber vs. Metal alloy (usually aluminum). [or wood, trenchmonkey, that looks awesome!]
    CF is often lighter but not by much and is usually about double the price. Aluminum is supposedly more durable. I chose aluminum cuz it' cheaper and I could give a flying frig about weight or even touch temperature in the extreme cold!
  2. Lever Lock vs. Twist Locks.
    I chose twist-locks cuz the flip levers catch on stuff and the twist "adjustment" is direct at the time. The reasonable lever-locks have and need allan wrench adjustments. Twist-lock are just natural for setting and adjusting height. And besides flip-lever-locks are just gay! (if you want lever lock make SURE they are adjustable and if you choose twist lock make sure it is an anti-rotation shaft type! Both are critical!)
  3. Head vs. Headless.
    Most of the ones which have heads are permanently on there. So you either can't try different head types or you're locked in to whatever options the manufacturer offers - usually none. What crap! I chose studied headless where the stud can be inverted for the two most common thread sizes (1/4" and 3/8" I think - I forget).
  4. Load Capacity.
    I wanted at LEAST 10kg myself so I got one rated for 12kg. And I think the one I got could actually handle a lot more! 30kg maybe NP?
  5. Number of sections.
    The fewer the better cuz there's less lever flipping or twisting to do to open it up and collapse it. I found 4 sections (3 twist locks) to be perfect. I can grab all three in one hand to open it up and I don't look too goofy standing there flipping and screwing my pole while trying to balance a camera rig atop of the thing. (Well, I think I look less goofy anyway... others have said that's actually impossible! )
  6. Min/max height.
    For me I wanted at least 60" before the head and i don't care too much how small they are when collapsed. The ones with like 7 or 8 sections look pretty cool fully collapsed but that's way too much to deal with IMO. Besides you may eventually get a lock that doesn't tighten well enough and there's a 1-in-7 chance vs. a 1-in-3 chance of that happening on the different types. Probably why the load rating seems to drop with the number of sections.


So after malling all the pods at the store to death I just ordered the cheapest one with the spec I wanted off ebay. It is exactly the same quality as the $300 ones I looked at and groped.

12kg load, three section, anti-rotational twist lock, headless, 63", aluminum-alloy $49 Monopod. Yeaaaah!
And if I need to beat up a mugger or a lion with it WTH cares... I don't lose much cuz i didn't invest much.



Jan 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Monopods


gome1122 wrote:
Will this head work with RRS L brackets?


Yup - I have an RRS L-bracket on my D300s that I almost never take off. Works perfectly.

(Generally the issues with clamp/bracket fit go along with quick-release clamps)


gome1122 wrote:
I didn't think of this. Maybe I should get a different one.


Here was the thing for me - I really didn't like the handling/flexibility of a monopod without the head. I struggle enough with composition, and bolting a long inflexible stick to the bottom of my camera was making me crazy. The monopod head solves that problem very well. You get stability and flexibility of compose at funny angles. I went from hate to love.

If you have longer lenses with their own A/S feet, you have a different problem. Your bracket runs side-to-side while your long-lens feet run front to back. This means to use them on the monopod with a head that you have to either (A) unscrew and rotate the clamp when you switch between body-mounted and lens-mounted AS attachment or (B) get some kind of rotating clamp. The RRS PCL-1 and similar were pretty bulky - I like the Sunwayfoto discal clamp. Very small and nicely made.


(in case you didn't read my blog post, I should mention that Sunwayfoto provided those products for me to review. I'm a very straightforward guy, and wouldn't hesitate calling out any flaws/issues I had with any product whether I paid for it or not. I also own several RRS products.)



Jan 22, 2013 at 02:52 PM
gome1122
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Monopods


Are there any suggestions for a cheaper monopod head. I was looking for a cheap monopod, and you guys present me with heads 3X the monopod price. Eventually, but for now I need to go small then build.


Jan 23, 2013 at 04:06 AM
anthonygh
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Monopods


Years ago I used a cheap as chips monopod with an equally cheap tripod head....never had a problem with my MF film camera. I have a Manfrotto now and it doesn't do a better job despite costing twice as much....about 45...so still not expensive anyway.

If you think about the movements with a monopod....the idea is to have the pod at a convenient angle then set the head so it points the camera at the subject...after that, one moves to or thro a little to get the perfect composition. It is, basically, a bit of kit to aid holding the camera steady so personally I find the idea of spending mega bucks (some are) unnecessary.




Jan 23, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Paul Mo
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Monopods


I agree. A mid range ball head on a cheap stick = happy.


Jan 24, 2013 at 07:08 AM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Monopods


The aluminum version of the Sirui is fine. You can always add a head later.


Jan 25, 2013 at 12:55 PM
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Monopods


I don't really see the point of a ballhead on a monopod. In truth i don't see the point of an expensive tilt head either - it's not like a tripod where you may need fine adjustments.

I have a cheap manfrotto 234RC on my 679B monopod, and it's more than good enough for my 70-200mm f/2.8.



Jan 25, 2013 at 01:10 PM
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