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Thread: What Monopod To Buy?

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    Ausphotography Regular wideangle's Avatar
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    What Monopod To Buy?

    Have been thinking about getting a sturdy monopod for times I just want to use it instead of my 3 leg tripod. Questions are:

    1. How many stops am a looking at in terms of getting sharpness when using one?

    2. There are so many of them on the market, what to choose?? To break it down a bit, I reckon I would go Manfrotto.

    3. Do you need to also buy a plate for the monopod, or does the camera just screw on directly to it?
    please ask before PP my images

    "Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans"

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    What will you be placeing on the monopod lens/body/weight and what sort of photographt, sport/birds ?

    etc

    There are 100's of choices

    I have a Manfrotto 691B which is great for what I do
    I had a Fiesol Carbon Fibre also which was way lighter and more compact
    Darren
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    It's all about the Light!
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    1. Depends on how steady you are, shutter speed and any SR/IS/OS/VR the camera/lens has. A monopod is better than nothing but obviously not as stable as a tripod.

    2. Check the height! Are you tall? then make sure your not stooped and think about shots up into trees etc for wild life. Make sure its tall enough.

    3. There is usually a monopod head and plate. All my stuff uses RC2 plates.
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    Member Ozzi Paul's Avatar
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    I have the 679B Manfrotto monopod, its a good strong unit. It has a dual screw fitting on top that will fit 2 different screw thread sizes, (DSLR, Medium Format). You can mount a ball head or trigger grip on it but it doesn't come with one. Its size is from 630mm to 1570mm, and is quite strong even when extended. It has good strong clamps on the legs that can be adjusted for a tighter hold if needed to, but that is unlikely. Not sure on how many stops they will allow but it would have to be a couple at least. Not sure what this model costs now but I only paid around $80 from a store, would be cheaper online.
    Pentax K20D & Grip, Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4.5 DC Macro, Sigma APO 70-200 f2.8 EX DG HSM II, Metz Mecablitz 48 AF-1 flash, LowePro Flipside 300 backpack, Photoshop CS 5, Lightroom 3, Manfrotto Monopod & 498 RC2 Ball Head, GoldPhoto "Tracker" Tripod, Hoya CPL and UV filters, Yongnuo RF602 flash triggers.

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    Hey Thomas, we have a Manfrotto 680b with a 234rc head....you are welcome to borrow it and see what you think. Not suitable for a heavy lens camera combo, but the camera can just screw onto the monopod if you need it to.
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Hey Thomas, we have a Manfrotto 680b with a 234rc head....you are welcome to borrow it and see what you think. Not suitable for a heavy lens camera combo, but the camera can just screw onto the monopod if you need it to.
    cheers, thanks heaps Lani, might take you up on that offer, I got thinkin when at the local club and saw all the tripods and monopods!

    I would mainly be using it for times when I am walking around the bush or cities when I don't want to lug around my tripod and set up every time I see something. The heaviest I would be looking at using, including camera would be around 1.2kg.

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    I have a manfrotto with the ball head (that is essential if you want to quickly and easily level your horizon).

    Not sure how many stops you'll get but, it is significant.

    Scotty
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    I just bought the Manfrotto 682B and the 322RC2 Head.

    I recently bought a Silk monopod but I suffer from shake pretty badly so I'm hoping the retractable legs on the 682B and the head will help me out.
    AKA Sean

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    A light and sturdy monopod is essential, just like a Tripod. I recommend a Gitzo GM2541 as a budget option, or a GM5561T if you can spend a bit more and need the small size and high load limit

    I currently use a Manfrotto 682B because it can stand up by itself:



    But it's a heavy, hard, big piece of poo If Gitzo made a carbon fibre compact version of the Manfrotto 682B I would buy it in a heartbeat

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    pollen,
    i've also been looking for a monopod for travelling and been wondering how sturdy those monopods with the extra little legs. Are they sturdy enough to hold themselves up? does it have to be on a dead flat surface??. So i'm guessing from your photo you're confident enough to leave it standing by itself???

    (OP, sorry to hijack your thread!)

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    Hi,
    I don't know about the stops issue but I can tell you my experience.
    I bought a monopod to shoot the V8s at winton last year. I bought a Silk carbon-fiber unit that is beautifully built and very light. It's just a fraction short though. So, if your tall, just check them out in the store.
    When I was at the circuit, there were a couple of pro's taking photos and they had taller Manfrotto monos, so they are available in longer lengths. The freedom of the monopod is great. Good-luck.

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    I have a Manfrotto 680B + 322RC2 head and am very happy with the combo. I have used it with the heavy 1D bodies and 100-400 lens for surfing shots and it is great, takes the strain off my hands, and gives a bit of extra stability.
    Odille

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    I am older than I look. peterb666's Avatar
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    I have a very light camera (Olympus E-P1) and can get away with a Manfrotto 790B. The first thing I did was add a ball head to it. Fortunately I had a spare Slik SBH-100Q head that was too light for tripod use.

    My criteria at the time I got the monopod was super small and super light. I would go heavier now and carbon fibre.

    How much does it improve? That's hard to say. I started using monopods with cine cameras and they were just the trick. Just removing the up/down movement is fine when taking moving images.

    For still work, you still have the problem of sideways movement and I have found unless I leave IS on, a monopod isn't a lot of help. The main reason I use a monopod is that by reducing the movment, it makes it a lot easier to work with long lenses in poor light.

    For most people, if you have a relatively light/compact tridpod, just extend a single leg and use it as a monopod. You get the same effect even if not as elegant.
    Last edited by peterb666; 22-12-2009 at 8:54am.

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    I'd just say have a think about why you want it and if you think you'll really need it. I thought I'd get one for sports days @ the footy etc for my 70-200 f/2.8... used it for one game and didn't find it that helpful. The 70-200 f/2.8 isn't that heavy to lug around for a game or two for me. And it just got in the way sometimes. Plus for footy and sports generally shutter speed is high anyway so no need for stabilisation.

    I can see why sports togs with big heavy lenses, long focal length lenses need one but I just overthought how much I'd need one.

    Would you use it a lot? If not do you need it? Is what I'm saying.
    Michael.

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    679b 'frotto here. Held the D200 +70-200vr no drama's.
    I liked it as i could use it as a walking stick when taking photo's in the bush..I'm over 6ft and didnt have to stoop much to use it at max height.
    Ballhead's not needed, screw it straight into the body.
    "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." - legendary war photographer Robert Capa.

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    So you can screw a monopod straight into the lens tripod collar without a ballhead? Ive always thought you needed one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaidin View Post
    So you can screw a monopod straight into the lens tripod collar without a ballhead? Ive always thought you needed one?
    On most manfrotto's i've seen, yeah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gaidin View Post
    So you can screw a monopod straight into the lens tripod collar without a ballhead? Ive always thought you needed one?
    The advantage of the ballhead is that it allows you to change the angle of the camera, principally up and down. Manfrotto also make an excellent universal joint head specifically for tripods in a standard and quick release version...

    234

    234RC

    Most of the Manfrotto monopods use a dual 3/8" / 1/4" connector so you can attach to either the camera or to a Manfrotto head. I think only the lower end digi-monopods and modo series come with only a 1/4" connector.

    I find the head adds a lot more flexibility and ease of use in confined spaces in particular. I no longer use my monopod without a head.

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    Just to throw some more Manfrotto numbers around i use the 681B.
    The difference being that it only has two locking clips and three leg sections
    has a max height of 1.6m or 5'2", same height as me lol and weighs .8kg.
    I use it with a Really Right Stuff lever quick release plate to hold a Nikon 300/2.8 and D300.
    Quick to set up with only two legs to extend and adjust.

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    Serial Truant.... phild's Avatar
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    Just to throw a stick (or a monopod) in the spokes, I've just ordered a Benro 4 section carbon fibre monopod (MC68 m8) from Link Delight, 400 grams, load 12Kg 49.5cm extends to 155cm, the Manfrotto is 770 grams load 10Kg 50.8cm and extends to 152.4.

    The Benro is cost me AU$99 including registered Airmail.
    Phil

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