Monopod Advice?

Registered: Sep 01, 2012
Total Posts: 43
Country: United States

I'm currently in the market for a monopod for video shooting. I do a decent amount of handheld video along with photos for my a campus group's events but now that I'm on a 5D iii and a 24-70, I no longer have the benefits of IS on my lens and I move around too much to use just a tripod. I was wondering if anyone knew any good brands or particular monopods (Manfrotto is one I hear a lot about) but prefer to keep it ~$50 or less (though feel free to list any and all options)?

Thanks for any gems of wisdom!


Registered: Feb 10, 2005
Total Posts: 28228
Country: Canada

Hi Wayne,

I bought a Manfrotto 676B Digi monopod in 2008 for about $35. It's small, light, and great for travel. I also own some larger and heavier monopods, but they're way more expensive.

A quick look at B&H suggests to me that the Manfrotto 294 and 394 monopods are probably the current equivalent product. They're not bottom of the barrel (quite), and their 10 lbs max load should be fine for your load of about 4 lbs. You don't want to be too near the max. limit for normal operations.

You might want to get a tilt head to allow you to point the camera down or up (esp. down), without having to lean the monopod over too far. The Manfrotto 234 head would be compatible with your requirements.

Both the pod and tilt head have a simple 1/4" screw top, which will work fine with your camera. A lot of people, me included, like to have a quick release (QR) system to make mounting and unmounting easier, plus to have nice (but expensive) features like custom-fitted L-bracket(s) for your camera(s). The Manfrotto RC2 series of QR brackets and plates is less expensive, but the "Arca-Swiss" QR system used by RRS and many other brands is really the best way to go. I used the Manrtotto RC2, RC4 and universal slider system for a few years, and then switched to A-S (the old stuff is now used for lighting and oddball clamps). I suggest for starters, you get a small B2-FAB clamp for the 294 or 394 with 232 head, and a small multi-purpose "rail" for the bottom of the 5DIII. Later, you can get the good stuff, like the dedicated 5DIII L-bracket, and etc.

Of course, you can save money by getting only the monopod (for now...). I've included links to show you examples of what I'm talking about.

Cheers, Jim

P.S. If I was buying the same 'transition kit' now, I'd probably get equivalent Hejnar clamps & rails from eBay, they're generally less expensive and just as good as RRS and other A-S brands.

294 Aluminum 4-Section Monopod

394 Photo-Movie Monopod (Silver)

Manfrotto 234 Swivel/Tilt Monopod Head

Manfrotto 323 RC2 System Quick Release Adapter with 200PL-14 Plate

RRS small clamp, B2-FAB 38mm clamp with threaded socket

MPR-73: 73mm Multi-purpose rail

RRS L-bracket for 5DIII, B5D3-LA: L-Plate for 5D Mk III, Rev A

RRS small clamp, B2-FAB 38mm clamp with threaded socket

Registered: Sep 01, 2012
Total Posts: 43
Country: United States

Whew, thanks for all the links Jim! Sure helps makes finding everything much easier. I did a bit more hunting and settled on the 394 and a swivel head for now. Thanks for again for the extensive help.

Registered: Aug 06, 2004
Total Posts: 2172
Country: United States

My advise, don't skimp on $ when you are buying support. I have an older Gitzo model that has a telescoping brace that you put against your chest that is nice and a Manfrotto/bogan monopod that is nice and sturdy-I don't think they are using the same #ering system that it has and I have one of their mini ball heads on it.

Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 13007
Country: United States

I have an aluminum Manfrotto 681B and its very nice. I've had mine for about 4 years, and it's held up great. Very sturdy and right around your budget ($60 at B&H). Unless you're using it a lot, I don't see a point in springing for a CF momopod since they're so light anyway. My pod just has a Kirk A/S clamp directly attached. I've used it a lot and its been great. I use mine for stills, mostly now with an OM-D and Canon FD 50-300 f/4.5L, but it handled great with my old Canon 1Ds II and 300/2.8.

Registered: Nov 20, 2008
Total Posts: 1149
Country: Germany

I am very happy with my Monostad monopod. I have one of the bigger Manfrotto monopods, but I donīt use it.
The small and easy Monostad is good for small lenses when I need some support for longer shutter times, but I use it too for the 300/2.8L and even the 800/5.6.

Registered: May 07, 2012
Total Posts: 1227
Country: United States

If you are interested, see if the MoGoPod is for you