I have been lucky enough to pick up at a bargain price a Canon 300mm F2.8 IS II lens. I have looking for this focal length for a few years now, and one happen to become available at a price I could not pass up.
I plan to use it mostly to photograph rowing and soccer (and at times wildlife) but I am not sure of the head set up I should use. My current set up is a Manfrotto 055 Pro tripod and a sturdy but old manfrotto 134B monopod. The only ball head type of mount i own is a Mafrotto 222 joystick, which I used to use with a 100 - 400 lens i had a few years ago.
I have seen pics of the lens coupled directly to the monopod - is this the best set up or should i be looking at getting a heavy duty ball head (or will the joystick I have do the job). I don't want to break the bank on this - but the price of heads range so much from the Benro $30 job up to the $500+ recognized name brands. I don't care it is a name brand ball head, as long as it does the job. There seem to be plates and brackets to do everything - but to tell you the truth it is rather overwhelming.
I have been looking at a Markins Q3T - they seem a high quality head and priced somewhere in the middle. I would also think most of the shooting I need to do would be in the portrait mode, but I am sure I will want to swap fairly quickly.
The alternative to all the above is hand held - but I would think an hour or two of this might start to get quite tiring.