User Tag List

Thanks useful information Thanks useful information:  4
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Monopod and which head?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    24 Sep 2010
    Location
    Gembrook
    Posts
    1,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Monopod and which head?

    Hi
    Hoping someone will be able to help with some advice.

    I have decided to buy a monopod in the hope that it will help me take sharper photos.

    I mostly take photos outside - at horse events, in the paddock, down the bush so a tripod is not very practical. I aspire to take some decent in focus images of birds.

    I have a Canon 50D plus a 70-200mm f2.8 IS II lens. I will buy a teleconverter for this lens when Canon version III hits the streets in Dec.

    I have read lots of reviews, checked out some previous threads here and simply trawled through as much stuff as I can find. I have become a litle confused.

    The monopod that I am most interested in is the Manfrotto 685B Neotec Deluxe (with safety lock). Any comments?

    I believe that I need to get a head. Ball? Grip? Swivel?

    Suggestions I found when checking out the info were.....
    ball head 484RC2,
    488RC2 (midi ball head?)..plus RC2 rapid connect system 3157N
    322RC grip head,

    I have no clear idea what these things mean except the way the camera can be positioned is affected by the style of the head. I think that the ball head sounds what I'm looking for????? Is it easier to use than the other style/s?

    Is there a need for a rapid connect system? Is this just like the plate that goes on the top of the tripod?

    Not sure which size of head is appropriate for my gear. Hoping you can help.

    Thanks and Cheers
    Lal
    Last edited by la lumiere; 24-11-2010 at 9:31pm.
    The Impressionists hoped to........" Capture the transient effect of light and colour"........ I wish I could!

  2. #2
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,350
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Lal

    Did this exercise some time back.

    I chose the 681B and the 234RC, a swivel type quick release clamp that allows portrait orientation.

    A plate screws to your camera and then fits to the QR clamp.

    I personally didn't find a monopod gave me the stability I was after, possibly because I was lacking in technique.

    I now have a lightweight tripod and ballhead, all up weight less than 2kgs, and use it all the time. I tend to leave my camera mounted on it and it only takes about 20 seconds to set up.

    You have a fair bit of weight in your gear, and in the interests of smoothness of operation, the head is not an area to short change yourself.

    Hope this hasn't confused you any more.

    Cheers

    Kevin
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    27 Mar 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    549
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Lal,
    the 685B is a fancy bit of gear as far as monopods go and I believe overpriced for what it is. For that money you could buy a good 'conventional' carbon fibre one. I think the main attraction is the nifty hand grip height adjustment, but I find I usually set my pod at one height and leave it. I have also heard that the grip mechanism can play up after a bit of use. For about 1/3 the price I got a 680B - solid, simple, lighter and (4 section) folds smaller. I don't believe you need a ball head as the whole pod easily turns left/right, you just want a swivel option and, as noted above, the 234RC is an ideal choice. I have the Kirk MPA-1 which is a 234 modified for an 'Arca Swiss' type connection. I regularly shoot your proposed combo with this monopod and it handles it with ease.

    Cheers
    John


    EOS 1D MKIII x2, EOS 6D; Samyang 14 2.8 IF ED UMC, EF 17-40 4 L, EF 24-70 2.8 L, EF 50 1.4, EF 85 1.8, EF 70-200 2.8 L IS, EF 100 2.8 macro, EF 400 5.6 L, 1.4x II TC, EF25 ET; Speelite 580EX, 430EX; Nissin Di866II; Yongnuo YN560i/ii & YN460ii, YN622C's, RF602's; Gitzo GT3541XLS + Markins Q20i; Manfrotto 055XProB + Giottos MH1301; Manfrotto 680B c/w Kirk MPA-1; Tamrac Pro5, ThinkTank Airport Accelerator, Airport Antidote V2, Pro Speed Belt + Racing Harness + Modular Skin Set; Lightroom 5.3, Photoshop CS5.
    myflickr

    Scarlet letters aren't that bad.. I rather like L



  4. #4
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
    Join Date
    04 May 2007
    Location
    Marlo, Far East Gippsland
    Posts
    4,911
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looking at your original wording and your inability to get sharp pics of birds etc. I am not sure that a monopod or tripod are going to be the answer to your prayers.
    Using your 50D and 70-200 IS you should be able to obtain good to perfect images hand held.
    The image stabilisation mechanism of the lens will aid you greatly when hand holding the combination and combining proper holding technique, accurate focussing and a fast enough shutter speed to freeze movement ( when wanted ) should result in good shots.
    If however, you are finding the weight of the lens and camera a bit much then a monopod will aid by taking some of the vertical load from your muscles but it won't suddenly become the magic answer to your worries if your holding technique, focussing and shutter speeds are not there as well.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



  5. #5
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    24 Sep 2010
    Location
    Gembrook
    Posts
    1,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I chose the 681B and the 234RC, a swivel type quick release clamp that allows portrait orientation.
    Thanks for your suggestion - I'll have a look at your set up.

    I personally didn't find a monopod gave me the stability I was after, possibly because I was lacking in technique.
    I have no technique! Well what I have is not working so I was hoping I might improve stability which might help.

    I now have a lightweight tripod and ballhead, all up weight less than 2kgs, and use it all the time
    .

    Concerned my gear may be too heavy for a very lightweight tripod.

    Thanks for your reply Kevin. I'll check out the items you have suggested.

    Cheers Lal

  6. #6
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    24 Sep 2010
    Location
    Gembrook
    Posts
    1,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your ideas John.

    The 685B is a fancy bit of gear as far as monopods go and I believe overpriced for what it is. For that money you could buy a good 'conventional' carbon fibre one. I think the main attraction is the nifty hand grip height adjustment, For about 1/3 the price I got a 680B - solid, simple, lighter and (4 section) folds smaller.
    The nifty hand grip is what attracted me to this monopod (at present I have a back injury) this sounded as if it would be easy to use and adjust if necessary. I think I can buy this or about $160 Plus postage - I thought that sounded OK. I will check out the price of the one you recommend - and yes carbon fibre would be nice - I was a little worried if I dinged the leg on the other it may not slide properly HMMMMM.. not sure

    I don't believe you need a ball head as the whole pod easily turns left/right, you just want a swivel option and, as noted above, the 234RC is an ideal choice. I have the Kirk MPA-1 which is a 234 modified for an 'Arca Swiss' type connection. I regularly shoot your proposed combo with this monopod and it handles it with ease.
    Great to hear personal recommendation - good to hear about a combination that has been proven to work well.

    Thanks for your help John
    Cheers Lal

  7. #7
    Member
    Threadstarter

    Join Date
    24 Sep 2010
    Location
    Gembrook
    Posts
    1,020
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Looking at your original wording and your inability to get sharp pics of birds etc. I am not sure that a monopod or tripod are going to be the answer to your prayers.
    Using your 50D and 70-200 IS you should be able to obtain good to perfect images hand held.
    The image stabilisation mechanism of the lens will aid you greatly when hand holding the combination and combining proper holding technique, accurate focussing and a fast enough shutter speed to freeze movement ( when wanted ) should result in good shots.
    If however, you are finding the weight of the lens and camera a bit much then a monopod will aid by taking some of the vertical load from your muscles but it won't suddenly become the magic answer to your worries if your holding technique, focussing and shutter speeds are not there as well.
    Yes ... I know I should be able to get sharp images with the gear.
    I know that a monopod will not compensate or fix poor everything else.
    No, the weight isn't obviously too much .... I feel as if I hold the weight OK/comfortably most of the time.
    However the fact is I'm just trying to eliminate anything I can think of that could be adding to causing the poor images.
    Yes... I have fiddled, read, practised with aperature, speed, holding techniques, focussing but I still am not happy with the results particularly because as you say with that gear I should be able to obtain sharp images hand held. Well so far....I'm not doing it!
    I thought maybe I move more than I think when I take a shot and that a monopod may be worth the try.

    Sorry if I sound frustrated - I am. However I am grateful for your reply and your advice. I understand what you are saying and I agree with you.

    I'm just trying to find a solution - besides I guess I could always use the monopod as a hiking stick - or a bommy knocker- if it is of no help with my sharpness quest!

    Thanks again for your reply Andrew
    Cheers Lal
    Last edited by la lumiere; 25-11-2010 at 4:42pm.

  8. #8
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
    Join Date
    25 May 2010
    Location
    Hunter Valley
    Posts
    5,350
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Lal

    Concerned my gear may be too heavy for a very lightweight tripod.
    My tripod is rated to hold 8kgs, and the ballhead 45kgs. My 2kg set-up would well and truly hold your gear. My heaviest load is 2.5kgs, and it does it easy.
    I've had the tripod for 2 weeks and the ballhead is in the mail. I'm using my old 3-way head till it arrives.

    Cheers

    Kevin
    Last edited by Cage; 25-11-2010 at 5:18pm.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    31 Jul 2010
    Location
    Perth Northern Suburbs
    Posts
    3,712
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Wondering on your thinking Lal, I've got an entry level Gittzo mono, works ok, nothing great. My tripod on the other hand, as the Amex add suggested (never leave home without it) I run the same set up as you, and am currently having trouble with Birding shots, so keen to see how you go with mono, on the Teleconvertor front, I got myself the Kenko 1.4 DCX and its a ripper, auto focus all the way, great to 280mm F4, for the price I paid, it's well worth a look, Not to take away from the Canon.

    Have you put your setup on any of the afforementioned products/setups above? Would love to hear your thoughts, They mono does come in handy as a general piece of equipement. I would be intrested in the Manfrotto, due to being able to swap my ball head with the mono off tripod.

    Cheers
    They call me "Blue" it's a red head thing.
    "My Flickr Site"
    Canon Bodies - 1DMk2N + 50D - Lenses - 17-35mm F2.8 L - 24-70mm F2.8 L - 70-200mm F2.8 L - 300mm F4 IS L - Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 - Sigma 10-20mm
    " I Never get tired of looking at our diverse country, even if its through the lens of someone else".
    CC is always appreciated.


Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •