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Thread: Monopods - what to look for/worth spending extra?

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    Monopods - what to look for/worth spending extra?

    Hi fellow APers

    I find my tripod a bit inconvenient to carry around everywhere, however I'm sure my photos would benefit from some extra stability.
    Been thinking about a monopod, but not sure what to look for, or if the dearer ones will give me much benefit.

    Initial purchase is to take shots of wildlife in the snow, and later it will be used for motorsports and general walk around shots.
    I don't have any plans for any heavy telephoto lenses to worry about weight-wise


    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I have two Manfrotto Monopods one thats old the 676 B and its good for the light lenses takes 4.5kg I dont think you can buy it anymore.
    It goes with me everywhere and I use it every day the rubber thing on the bottom wore out years ago and my hubby put a metal one on it.
    Also have a new one the Manfrotto 682B 3 Sections Self Standing Monopod that can take 12kg that I have not used yet.
    Though I would not leave a camera and lens on it even if it is Self Standing, that neck strap is always around my neck even when the gear is on a Monopod.

    If weight is not a problem any brand of Monopod will be fine though check the Maximum Load Capacity and the Height..
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    Hi...

    I have a Manfrotto 680B monopod made in Italy, great build quality.

    I take it with me but hardly ever use it and prefer the tripod for the stability. But, that's just me and maybe I'm just not using it properly. I saw a monopod that had a fold out foot on the bottom that extends out so you put your own foot on it and it stablises it more. Looked like a good idea to me as I seem to move around a bit still with my current normal monopod. I actually investigated trying to buy a bi-pod so I only had front to back movement but no one seems to make them anymore.

    Maybe someone can comment on my comments for you...
    Last edited by flashc; 31-08-2012 at 11:04pm. Reason: addition
    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon 70D, Canon G12, Canon EF-S 15-85mm, EF 70-200 L f4 IS, 580EX II


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    have a frotto mono, doubles as a walking stick , love it with the 100-400 lens
    I've done so many things I'm not proud of...and the things I am proud of are disgusting. ~Moe, The Simpsons

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    My personal experience with a monopod and shooting macros or wildlife is that the main benefit has been in just supporting the weight of the camera/lens/flash combination so you don’t fatigue from too much hand holding.

    In terms of stability, I find that I still require good long-lens technique to get sharp shots but the monopod certainly limits the range and amplitude of unwanted camera movement, so it is easier to control.

    My keeper rate at slow shutter speeds has improved, although nowhere near as good as when using a tripod.

    Cheers

    Dennis

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser Film Street's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nardes View Post
    My personal experience with a monopod and shooting macros or wildlife is that the main benefit has been in just supporting the weight of the camera/lens/flash combination so you don’t fatigue from too much hand holding.

    In terms of stability, I find that I still require good long-lens technique to get sharp shots but the monopod certainly limits the range and amplitude of unwanted camera movement, so it is easier to control.
    I'm with nardes on this one. A sturdy monopod may help reduce some movement but the main application is to allow you to rest while it supports your equipment.
    If your monopod is too small for your equipment it will add movement due to the flexing.

    Forget about flimsy monopods. Find a sturdy one that collapses small. Use carbon fibre if you want lighter weight although they don't operate as fast as the steel ones.

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    I bought a cheapie to start with but have graduated up to a Manfrotto 681B. Got it for $80 dollars from a Gold Coast based camera store. Not a site sponsor so no mention for them. I think that you would be wise to get a better quality one straight up even if you don’t have a heavy lens to support. I found that just the weight of leaning on the monopod to steady yourself will eventually be enough to weaken the cheapies friction resistance and cause slippage which is quite annoying..This is what I use to carry around my monopod attached to my bay with over sized key ring. Dangles a bit but leaves hands free.

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    IMG_0573 (Large) (Large).JPG
    Peter

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    tripod, monopod, 4 didgeridoo's.
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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I use a few monopods depending on the situation.

    I have a Monfrotto 685B Neotec which is an "automatic" monopod in that you don't need to twist or flick locking clamps for each of the extensions as it is spring loaded and extends or collapses with one hand via a release grip.

    Blurb:

    "The fastest monopod in the world! The 685B features the innovative Neotec rapid opening and closing mechanism - just pull the leg downwards to open and it automatically locks in any position, with no screws, knobs, or levers to tighten or loosen. Then to fold it back up again simply release the safety latch and pull the trigger and push the leg closed. A convenient rubber pedal attached to the bottom section allows you to open the monopod without having use your other hand. It's 'upside-down' leg construction also prevents water or mud from entering the monopod and a padded leg-warmer protects your hands from hot and cold weather."

    I use this for most applications where I need to rapidly change heights etc for what I am shooting, mainly for birding. This has a foot hold for ease of extending, where you put your foot on to extend out the monopod and thus only requiring a true one hand operation. It really is quick and easy and exactly what you need if you are changing positions constantly and need to do it quickly, which is what I normally need when birding. Holds my D800 + 500 f4 VR no problem.

    http://www.manfrotto.com/neotec-mono...th-safety-lock

    I also use it's smaller sibling for when I want to go a bit lighter, the Manfrotto 334B:

    http://www.manfrotto.com/automatic-3-section-monopod

    Used for similar applications as the 685B, but smaller and lighter, however, it doesn't have the foot hold for ease of extending.

    Blurb:

    "The automatic, 3 section, monopod provides immediate single-handed final height adjustment. Squeeze the trigger handle and the top section can be raised or lowered, release and it locks in position. The lower two sections have a twist lock action for additional height adjustment. The top plate has a dual 1/4'-3/8' camera fixing screw. Patented."

    The two monopods above do not reduce down in length as much as most monopods and so, for when I require a monopod that is short and light, I have a Manfrotto carbon fibre 694CX:

    http://www.manfrotto.com/magfiber-monopod-4-section

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    Thanks everyone, some really helpful info!

    Interesting that it hasn't made a big difference to the number of keepers.
    I'll be out in the snow for long periods of time, so i'm still interested in one for fatigue purposes. I imagine my ability to hold the camera well will decline after a few hours

    Is it worth looking at specific heads, or just direct mount?
    Seems unnecessary to invest in a 3 way or ball head since it's easy enough to tilt the monopod.

    Any tips on using one? I assume i would still hold the camera the same as when it's handheld?

    Thanks all!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    I use a few monopods depending on the situation.

    I have a Monfrotto 685B Neotec which is an "automatic" monopod in that you don't need to twist or flick locking clamps for each of the extensions as it is spring loaded and extends or collapses with one hand via a release grip.

    Blurb:

    [I]"The fastest monopod in the world! The 685B features the innovative Neotec rapid opening and closing mechanism - just pull the leg downwards to open and it automatically locks in any position, with no screws, knobs, or levers to tighten or loosen.
    http://www.manfrotto.com/neotec-mono...th-safety-lock
    ]
    Is this a recent Manfrotto invention/innovation or has it been around for a while. I was actually discussing with a friend some time ago after my monopod started to annoy me, about building a home made, collapsible, 2 section aluminium boxed or tubing, spring loaded monopod that would go up and down under pressure from the top to achieve the right shooting height. I was told that such a device as well as bi-pods existed in the past but were no longer in production.

    I originally was sold a Manfrotto monopod that wouldn't have held my camera's weight so I returned it and exchanged it (and paid a lot more) for my 680B. Interestingly, the original Manfrotto I returned was not made in Italy but the 680B is.

    I was also going to mount on my monopod a plain quick release mount base and plate same as my 200PL-14 as this plate and base is available as a spare part to fit any tripod screw.
    http://www.manfrotto.com/quick-chang...-plate-adapter
    Last edited by flashc; 02-09-2012 at 12:26am. Reason: spell

  11. #11
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flashc View Post
    Is this a recent Manfrotto invention/innovation or has it been around for a while. I was actually discussing with a friend some time ago after my monopod started to annoy me, about building a home made, collapsible, 2 section aluminium boxed or tubing, spring loaded monopod that would go up and down under pressure from the top to achieve the right shooting height. I was told that such a device as well as bi-pods existed in the past but were no longer in production.

    I originally was sold a Manfrotto monopod that wouldn't have held my camera's weight so I returned it and exchanged it (and paid a lot more) for my 680B. Interestingly, the original Manfrotto I returned was not made in Italy but the 680B is.

    I was also going to mount on my monopod a plain quick release mount base and plate same as my 200PL-14 as this plate and base is available as a spare part to fit any tripod screw.
    http://www.manfrotto.com/quick-chang...-plate-adapter
    They are still available as far as I know, still in theor catalogue.

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    Thanks everyone!
    picked up a manfrotto 680B today, very impressed

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