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Archive 2013 · Tripod and Monopod Options
  
 
chocoholic
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Hello. I will try to not make this complicated, but it sort of is, so I'll break it down into one question at a time. First, regarding monopods, is it true that it is not really the monopod itself that needs to be particularly good quality, but rather the head that you buy for it? For instance, should I spend 75 percent of my budget on the head, and will I be also be able to use that same head on an old tripod that I have which looks to be meant to have something like that attached to it (ie. it has no moving, tilting or swiveling parts, but is rather just a screw that my camera fits onto). The old tripod seems otherwise quite solid and is very portable.

I hope that makes sense.



May 28, 2013 at 02:25 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Aa tripod without a ball head is very hard to work with. If the screw in the tripod fits the camera, you will need a 1/4 to 3/8 bushing to mount the head.

This ball head should work quite nicely with your camera and lenses.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/827534-REG/Photo_Clam_PCBH_PC36NS_Ball_Head_with_Friction.html



May 28, 2013 at 02:49 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Tripod and Monopod Options


I would not use a ball head on a monopod. If you need a monopod head it should be the single-axis type like the RRS MH-01 or MH-02.

EBH



May 28, 2013 at 03:12 AM
chocoholic
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Tripod and Monopod Options


runamuck wrote:
Aa tripod without a ball head is very hard to work with. If the screw in the tripod fits the camera, you will need a 1/4 to 3/8 bushing to mount the head.

This ball head should work quite nicely with your camera and lenses.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/827534-REG/Photo_Clam_PCBH_PC36NS_Ball_Head_with_Friction.html


Thanks, but that is out of my current budget. I was looking to spend under $100 on the head. Is there nothing that I won't regret buying in that range. If I buy used due to the budget limitations, what should I be leary of ie. signs of misuse or things to check for.



May 28, 2013 at 03:14 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Tripod and Monopod Options


There is a school of thought that says the IS lens is making the tripod a niche product unneeded by most photo shooters. With your IS lenses, you may not even need a tripod. I certainly don't use my tripod as much as I used to since I started using IS lenses. (Please, spare me the claims about landscape, macro and night shooting.)

You can try ebay for a ball head, but realize that it's a crapshoot. You might get a well-make knockoff, or you may get a poorly made thing that will fail in a few weeks.



May 28, 2013 at 04:38 AM
chocoholic
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Yes, I am concerned with the ebay idea, even though I buy many things that way, a tripod is something a lot of other things are depending on to not fail. Part of why I don't have a large budget for this is because with my IS lenses it is true that I don't use any tripod much. I own two cheap ones, one $2 at a yard sale and the other from walmart, and I'm not sure which is better or worse. The Walmart one is a Samsonite which I slightly modified and repaired after it broke and so far it seems like it is better than the original design, but not very accurate for tracking anything ie. if you tighten it enough to hold the camera steady, it has moved enough that any distant object you zoomed in on is no longer centered. Since other than this problem both tripods are great, I just thought that maybe I could use my monopod head on the tripods.

Why should I not use a ball head on a monopod, if I may ask? And if anyone is wondering why I think I need a monopod, I find myself shooting without the tripod most of the time because it is too limiting, but I have intermittent and frequent hand tremors so I thought a monopod might allow me to have a little of the best of both worlds: the flexibility of no tripod and the stability of at least one fixed point from which to form an axis.



May 28, 2013 at 07:57 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Tripod and Monopod Options


A quality $100 head is a tall order, but quality depends on how heavy your gear is, what you're using it for and how picky you are. If you're traveling light--Rebel/kit lens, M4/3, etc--a benjamin for a decent head is doable.

I like the Gitzo 1177M for light duty on my travel tripod and it's a benjamin. It's a basic ball head with only single adjustment knob but sports really smooth ball action and locks tight as long as you don't go over 4 or 5 LBs on verticals. I fitted mine with a small RRS clamp but used it for years with the simple 1/4" screw. Holds my 5D2/7D rock steady with a medium zoom. No problem shooting 2 or 3 second water falls with tack sharp rocks and bushes.

http://www.amazon.com/Gitzo-G1177M-Magnesium-Series-Ball/dp/B0000A5AA1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369730068&sr=8-1&keywords=gitzo+1177M

Haha, the price went up to $120 recently. It was $100 last month!

The Sunwayfoto FB-28 is as smooth as silk, pretty but really is only meant for 4 or 5 LBs when in the drop slot. Their 26 LB load rating is pure fantasy:

http://www.amazon.com/SUNWAYFOTO-FB-28-Tripod-Compatible-Sunway/dp/B00AMNWXDW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369730666&sr=8-1&keywords=sunwayfoto+ball+head

If you're tight for bucks, you might consider the Manfrotto 494 for $60. It's not nearly as smooth or pretty as the other two heads but locks down tight with light loads. I use one on my table top tripod for low level shots and it holds my 5D2/macro lens just fine:

http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-494-Ball-Head-Replaces/dp/B002WN211O/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1369730826&sr=1-1&keywords=Manfrotto+494

Most people advise against using a ball head on a monopod (too fiddly) but they tend to shoot sports and pan a lot. I actually prefer only an acra clamp for track sports, but when I was in Europe with a monopod I used a small ball head and it was perfect for churches and museums (they didn't allow tripods). A tilt only head would have drove me nuts shooting floors and ceilings. And IS makes a monopod even more steady.



May 28, 2013 at 08:51 AM
runamuck
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Tripod and Monopod Options


I use a pistol-grip ball head on my monopod. Far easier to manage than a regular ball head. On my tripod I use a standard ball head.


May 28, 2013 at 07:01 PM
jimmy462
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Hi Chocoholic,

At the risk of sounding repetitive to the gear forum (it seems I've been posting about my monopod setup a bit, lately) I'll suggest you take a look at Manfrotto's 322RC2 Trigger-release ballhead, I use this on my monopod and it's, for me, the dream setup. Unlike regular ball heads which would require the user to use both hands...one to hold the camera, one to loosen/tighten the ballhead...the trigger style ball head (depending on the weight of one's camera setup and their strength) allows for single-handed aiming and loosening/tightening. Granted, this item is no professional ballhead, but it does the trick quite nicely with my 120-300mm f/2.8 lens attached for aiming high in trees, low to the ground or at standing height...click, I'm there.

As for price, I've seen these go for well under $100 on the B&S board, but, as with any equipment, I'll suggest that if there is a way for you to try before you buy, that would be the thing to do.

Best of luck in your search!

Full details of my setup, here...

Good monopod - FM Forums:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1212675/0#11567232



May 29, 2013 at 03:17 AM
 

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Gochugogi
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Tripod and Monopod Options


How's the trigger tension on the 322RC2? I used to own the 222RC and it nearly broke my fingers even set to lowest tension. That's the reason I ditched it. I liked the trigger but too painful to use.


May 29, 2013 at 05:14 AM
jimmy462
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Gochugogi wrote:
How's the trigger tension on the 322RC2? I used to own the 222RC and it nearly broke my fingers even set to lowest tension. That's the reason I ditched it. I liked the trigger but too painful to use.


Hi Peter,

Well, as anyone who has encountered one of these 322RC2's will attest, this trigger-release head not is not some finely-machined work of art fetching thrice the price! And for all my pleasure with using it, I try not to tout it as such. My take on what Manfrotto is offering here is a robustly-built solution for those looking for this sort of functionality/action in their tripod/monopod head. And I think they've succeeded.

Now, my disclaimers aside, I'll have to agree with you that the tension-dial mechanism could be more refined. I've found, after playing with it several times over the years, that there is certainly an unpredictability factor to how tight or loose the grip will function based on where one dials/sets the red, um, indicator. I've meant to do a tear-down of this unit to see what is going on inside but have been able to restrain such urges (so far) as I've been concerned that some sort of spring or gear will launch itself into parts unknown should I do so.

I've never had my grip either bite or pinch me (as I've read elsewhere) and, as I'm handling the unit before me right now, I'm confused to understand how that might actually occur. As for needing to lower the tension to where it won't hurt your fingers, I'll have to confess, again, to some confusion. From my experience there is enough adjustability (though not precisely repeatable) to allow for what I feel should cover a wide variety of both user strength and enough grip/ballhead-tension to properly hold one's gear securely. What I'm thinking would be an ideal solution is having two independent tension adjustments for a unit like this...one for the trigger and one for the ballhead tension.

Now, having said all that, I'm 6-foot-even and top the scales in the low 200s and have always worked with my hands. And I've shaken a lot of hands over the years and have heard some folks say I've got a "bear grip" and I have had to laugh...I've shaken some fella's hands that were as rough and firm as a foot and I know I don't even come close to having a bear paw! Ha! So, and with no intention at being insulting, there is a bit of subjectiveness here that I'll acknowledge...I just had my girlfriend (5-foot-6 and weighing a lot less than I) try using this trigger-head (set to a tension I find okeedoke) and she, as expected, finds it a bit more difficult and uncomfortable to both squeeze the trigger and to twist and turn the head through its range of motions than I. So this may not be the solution for everyone! (Ergo, my suggestion to "try before you buy.")

Anyhoo, that's all I've got...hope this helps!



May 29, 2013 at 02:11 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Tripod and Monopod Options


For a monopod you might consider this...
http://www.adorama.com/BA12070.html
I put a Kirk QR clamp on it and usually 11>12lbs for hours on end.
The supplied tilt "head" works great! They have 2 and 3 sections available.



May 29, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Tripod and Monopod Options


jimmy462 wrote:
Hi Peter,

Well, as anyone who has encountered one of these 322RC2's will attest, this trigger-release head not is not some finely-machined work of art fetching thrice the price! And for all my pleasure with using it, I try not to tout it as such. My take on what Manfrotto is offering here is a robustly-built solution for those looking for this sort of functionality/action in their tripod/monopod head. And I think they've succeeded.

Now, my disclaimers aside, I'll have to agree with you that the tension-dial mechanism could be more refined. I've found, after playing with it several times over the
...Show more

Thanks. I'm 5'8" 130LB and got delicate mitts due to certain complications. So I need silky smooth easy to use heads that don't tax the limbs/fingers. I tried the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Hydrostatic Ball Head and the tension knob didn't require much pressure but didn't care for the head otherwise (too heavy).



May 29, 2013 at 08:38 PM
jimmy462
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Gochugogi wrote:
Thanks. I'm 5'8" 130LB and got delicate mitts due to certain complications. So I need silky smooth easy to use heads that don't tax the limbs/fingers. I tried the Manfrotto 468MGRC2 Hydrostatic Ball Head and the tension knob didn't require much pressure but didn't care for the head otherwise (too heavy).


Thanks for the heads-up on what's going on with you, Peter...I need a good reminder every now and then that the world is not populated just with lumbering oafs, like myself, who go around inadvertently knocking things over...



May 30, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Andrew J
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Tripod and Monopod Options


http://www.feisol.net/feisol-monopod-cm1471-rapid-p-6.html
http://www.amazon.com/camera-photo/dp/B001A1POL8
http://tinyurl.com/n2bakl9
Those items are light weight, very nice, and affordable. I use a 600/f4L on that.



Jun 07, 2013 at 10:45 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Tripod and Monopod Options


My pistol-grips aren't Manfrotto, but rather (Easy, Lars!) Dynatrans that came with 50 dollar ebay aluminum tripods. All still work fine. Mine are the vertical model, and I never had a problem with tension. I always use mine with the lever away from me. I tried a budy's Manfrotto horizontal one, and I liked it, too.


Jun 08, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Tripod and Monopod Options


I've got one of the Bogen vertical pistol grip heads - and I'm not a tiny guy. I'd agree that they can add some functionality to a monopod - but I'd also agree that adjustability or grip pressure is more than a little erratic. A simple flip head allows one to set the camera to the side for portrait orientation, otherwise forward or backwards tilting is most easily achieved through a limited range by tilting the pod fore and aft. There are small ballheads that could be fixed to a monopod instead but aside from 90 degree flips, adjustments do seem to require more hands than are typically available.


Jun 10, 2013 at 04:03 AM
ChasCS
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Tripod and Monopod Options


Hi,
I am new to this forum, so occasionally may refresh an old thread or two... Thanks for baring with me.
As I have been reading learning and enjoying many old entries, catching up with you all. .

I decided to jump in.

Recently, I was introduced to the http://www.vanguardworld.com product line, while searching for a pistol grip style ball head, for an older tripod I already own.

Although I can't comment on quality mono pods, I don't have any experience with them, other than a telescoping walking stick, without a camera mount.
But they carry them too...
http://www.vanguardworld.ca/index.php/pv/products/detail-1-4-249-930.html


Happy to have found their GH-300T grip head.
Squeezing the grip, which also has a tightening lever at the back, loosens the ball grip and allows tilting of the camera and lens. One handed. And you don't have to white knuckle/horse it to move it.

What's really unique about this particular pistol grip, out the three they carry, it actually has a trigger that connects by wire to your camera's shutter release!!

http://www.vanguardworld.ca/index.php/pv/products/photo-video/list-1-4-181.html


They also have great tripods, which are blessed with the articulating centre column.
Award winning designs, and awesome products, with very reasonably priced high quality entry level to pro equipment. I bought an Alta Pro 263AB tripod as well, awesome...

I'd looked at many companies that had good reputations, including:
http://realrightstuff.com,
http://www.manfrotto.us,
http://siruicanada.com,

And several others, not coming immediately to mind, but found the Vanguard pricing and high build quality more than meeting my needs for now and hopefully the very near future.





Dec 21, 2013 at 06:07 AM





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