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  • Choice of monopods

    Hi All,

    I am thinking about buying a monopod to supplement my existing tripod.
    Of those of you who have one,is thereany one brand better than the other - also is there anything in particular I should be aware of, or look out for.

    Hoping you can help.

  • #2
    Re: Choice of monopods

    There are few out there:

    The one I use is the Manfrotto one (aluminium one) which I like, it is light enough to be easy to carry plus like a leaver for extentending column (when you see it you'll know what I mean) which I find quick and easy to use.

    I know someone on here or the other forum uses one with a ball and socket head, but I don't. Will happily take my E3 + 50-200lens right up to the Nikon F4s + 300mmf2.8 with out any trouble.

    Things to watch out for?

    Personnally I would stay away from anything that has more than 3 extensions (I find them to be unstable like flex to much when any heavy weight stuck on them) or something very cheap.
    You canít make a great musician or a great photographer if the magic isnít there. ~ Eve Arnold

    Kit: Olympus OM4, OMD E5 MkII And some other junk to make it all work.

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    • #3
      Re: Choice of monopods

      I have a Manfrotto 134B, a prety heavy one for the past 30 years and used it for 35mm, Rollei SL66 (6x6) and now sometimes even Oly DSLR's.

      Never had any problems with it, verry sturdy !

      Peter

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      • #4
        Re: Choice of monopods

        I am quite please with a Slik Pro pod 600 which I got last year after researching hard - suits my needs at a good price.

        Avoid the cheap products, and after that it's about

        weight
        rigidity
        ease of operation - some natty extension systems out there!
        compactness

        gitzo and man have great ranges - velbon (at the top of their range) etc
        E, Pen and OM-D bodies
        43 m43 and legacy glass
        loads of flashes and accessories from all the systems

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        • #5
          Re: Choice of monopods

          I struggled for quite a long time with an old aluminium one, but have now got a Manfrotto 694 Magfibre, which I bought last year after we had a bit of a windfall.

          I looked for quite a long time (thanks London Camera Exchange) and this one suited me best.

          It's light, fits into a suitcase and has a neoprene grip. It's got flip locks, which I find easier to use and can't be overtightened. It extends to a good height too.

          It's sturdy enough to be used as an emergency walking pole, even though I know it's not what they should be used for.

          I use my ordinary tripod head on it, which has got a good locking plate.
          - my pictures -

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          • #6
            Re: Choice of monopods

            Dear All,

            Many thanks for taking the time out to reply. Between you all you appear to own a variety of brands.

            I shall do some research on these and see which one suits my needs best.

            Regards

            Comment


            • #7
              Last edited by benvendetta; 29th April 2009, 07:46 AM. Reason: addition
              Dave

              E-M1 Mk2, Pen F, HLD-9, 17, 25, 45, 60 macro, 12-40 Pro, 40-150 Pro, 12-50, 40-150, 75-300, MC-14, MMF-3 (all micro 4/3rds), 7-14 (4/3rds), 50, 135 (OM), GoPro Hero 3, Novo/Giottos/ Manfrotto supports. Lowepro, Tamrac, Manfrotto, and Billingham bags.

              External Competition Secretary, Cwmbran PS & Welsh Photographic Federation Judge

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              • #8
                Re: Choice of monopods

                I have a Manfrotto 679B with a 234RC head. I found the 234RC (which only permits movement in one plane - usually from landscape to portrait format) better than using a ball head. The QR plate is also compatible with my tripod heads, so I tend to leave plates permanently attached to my longer lenses - meaning I'm less likely to forget to take one with me... I prefer a ball head on a tripod, but it's too difficult to align on a monopod.

                I also use a combination walking pole/ monopod (Camlink CMP1) which is much handier to cart around, but robust enough for my purposes. Ultimate rigidity is obviously less important in a monopod than in a tripod.

                I think the best advice is get one that's light enough, and folds up small enough, to ensure you actually take it out with you. The Manfrotto is borderline for me and mostly lives in the boot of my car... I probably use a beanbag more often, but much will depend on the kind of photos you take.
                Hugh of Bardfield
                Essex, UK
                http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughofbardfield/
                http://hughweller-lewisphotography.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: Choice of monopods

                  I have a Giotto with twist locks and agree with other posters that flip locks are to be preferred.

                  However - I also have a Leki telescopic walking stick with a camera mounting screw and I use it twenty times as often as I use the monopod simply because it is so light, adaptable and nearly always with me on a birding or walking trip. Just a thought ....

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                  • #10
                    Re: Choice of monopods

                    Originally posted by JackBenedict View Post
                    Hi All,

                    I am thinking about buying a monopod to supplement my existing tripod.
                    Of those of you who have one,is thereany one brand better than the other - also is there anything in particular I should be aware of, or look out for.

                    Hoping you can help.
                    I have a Manfrotto 681B, which has two extensions (three parts in all), but I kind of wish I had gone for the 680B, which has an extra extension (four parts), making it 6 inches shorter when closed. I know someone else here has warned against more than three sections, but the 680B is a very solid 4-section monopod, but the shop didn't have one in stock when I bought the 681B.

                    I have the Manfrotto 234RC quick release head fitted to the 681B. This enables the mounted camera/lens to be tilted forward and back only. This is all I need as I only use the monopod with lenses that have a tripod collar fitted. So the lens can be tilted forward and back and levelled by rotating it in the collar as needed.

                    If you wanto to use the camera body mounted to the monopod, a ball head will probably be the best solution, but everything gets rather wobbly when the ball is unlocked for adjutsment - so care is required!

                    Ian
                    Founder and editor of:
                    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                    NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: Choice of monopods

                      I second (third, or whatever) the 234RC, and for years I used one of these on a Manfrotto 479-4 monopod, which is tough enough to use for jacking up collapsing mine shafts if you ever need such a thing...

                      Recently I looked around for something lighter and was prepared to cough up for a carbon fibre pod, but I was recommended by our LCS to try a Velbon Ultra Stick L50. This is a very light weight & compact model with a unique single twist action to extend and lock all the leg sections.

                      I'm not pretending this provides an ultimate rock-steady platform, and I wouldn't use it for my heaviest lenses, but it's light enough to be taken along on mountain hikes, and it really makes a difference with (say) the E-510 and my 150 f2. The speed of setting it up also means you're more likely to use it, especially when you're rushed (e.g. at sports events).

                      I paid just over 30 quid at the Local Camera Shop, but you can now find them on line for under 20. I thought the investmant was worth it - if it falls apart next year I'll just buy that carbon Giottos
                      Regards,
                      Mark

                      ------------------------------
                      http://www.microcontrast.com
                      Too much Oly gear.
                      Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15, 35-100, Laowa 7.5.
                      Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Choice of monopods

                        I have the Velbon Neopod 74: http://www.velbon.co.uk/newvelbon/pages/monopods.html
                        Olympus E-30, E-M1 mk1&2 ZD 7-14 f4, PL 25 f1.4D
                        mZuiko 12-40 f2.8 Pro, 45 f1.8, 60 f2.8, 40-150 f2.8 Pro, 300 f4 Pro
                        MC-14, HLD-7, HLD-9
                        Metz 58 AF-2 , Manfrotto 441, Gimbal Head, Velbon Neopod 74

                        ("AndyElliott" @ FTU)

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                        • #13
                          Re: Choice of monopods

                          Have a look at the Benbo range, they are very good.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Choice of monopods

                            I have a Giotto carbon fibre monopod which I feel was a great purchase if a little expensive. I cannot see what the fuss is about twist and lock, but then I have been using them on a tripod for years.
                            Jim
                            Jim
                            www.jim-mccabe.co.uk
                            http://www.jimmccabephotography.blogspot.com
                            (My Travels in Aus & NZ)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Choice of monopods

                              One point about twist locks is that they can cause a lot of wear & tear to your hands. I sometimes get eczema on my fingers, and tight milled twist locks can be hard going - I used the Velbon quite a lot on Sunday and I'm suffering a bit today.

                              As a matter of interest, which of the lever-lock carbon monopod ranges do people recommend (other than Manfrotto, that is)?
                              Regards,
                              Mark

                              ------------------------------
                              http://www.microcontrast.com
                              Too much Oly gear.
                              Panasonic GM5, 12-32, 12-35, 15, 35-100, Laowa 7.5.
                              Assorted legacy lenses, plus a Fuji X70 & a Sony A7S.

                              Comment

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