Upload & Sell: On
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!
- 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!
- 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!)
- 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).
- 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?
- 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! )
- 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.