I have been looking all over and not sure which way to go. Basically looking for a monopod & ball head with quick release to use with my Nikon D3000 either with a 18-55mm or 55-300mm lens, i have both. I know there are plenty of options from the cheap to the expensive. I use my camera once in a while so i guess i am mot looking for top of the line items. I want something that is reasonable but at the same time that it can handle my camera and equipment. I have a tripod by Targus that i got at walmart at a decent price but probably wont see much use. I can say i probably wont use the monopod as much as i would like but it will be good to have one. Bellow is what i have been looking at and possibly buy, thoughts, suggestions. Thank you.
Sat 30-Jun-12 10:33 AM | edited Sat 30-Jun-12 10:34 AM by DavidN4
I don't have this Opteka. I actually have a cheaper Zeikos that I used for a long time. My cheap one did fine with the light weight lenses that you listed, but as soon as I put an 80-200 on it, I saw that it couldn't handle the weight. I ended up getting a much stronger one from Feisol. Luckily, I still had a use for my cheap one, which is now used as a cheap extension pole for my GoPros.
My advice - if you are certain that you will not need a heavier lens EVER, get a cheap one like the Opteka. If you think that you might get a heavier lens sometime in the future, go ahead and get a better one, even if used. Good monopods are cheap generally - you can buy a Manfrotto 681B for $60, which is a thousand times better than the cheap ones IMO.
This approach tops a monopod with a Manfrotto 3232 swivel head ($21) and a Really Right Stuff B2-Pro Quick Release Clamp ($80).
Benro (model A38F) and Induro (model AM34 or CM14) make good monopods in the $65-95 range. The Feisol CM-1401 is also a good option. I don't recommend a Gitzo monopod unless you really require a premium high performance monopod. You are looking for a sturdy monopod with good leg locks. Carbon fiber is less important in a monopod since you only have a single leg - the weight savings is not that much. Likewise there is little value in going with an ultralight monopod. I prefer a monopod rated for 15-20 pounds unless you plan to support a big telephoto lens.
Welcome to Nikonians! Check out the Manfrotto 679B w/ 234RC ($76.51) at www.adorama.com?kbid=912610. Manfrotto has very good build quality at a very reasonable price point, making it an excellent value. They also have a proven track record that has stood the test of time. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
That seems to be a good price for monopod and head, better brand and about the same price of what i was looking at. Or the other member that mentioned about getting a bigger lens, i dont see that happening i think that 55-300is plenty big. I "might" get one for landscape but not really sure, i might just stick with th 18-55. Thank you all for your suggestions.
The 679B is a very good monopod. I've been using one with much bigger lenses than you're considering, with no real reason to upgrade. I routinely use a 400/f2.8 with TC-20eIII on the 679B, in fact. I use a heavy-duty head, but clearly the monopod itself is capable of pretty much anything you'd be interested in with a suitable head.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
While it is common to hear complaints about tripods and monopods not providing enough support, it is very unusual to hear complaints of a monopod or tripod being too stable. The Manfrotto provides the best bang for your buck. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I recently got my first monopod, the Sirui P-326 monopod, which is their carbon fiber version. It was expensive enough at around $100, but I do think they make a less expensive aluminium version. I *MUCH* prefer the twist locks to the flip locks - much less fiddly and easier to use, plus they take up less space, don't get caught on things, etc.
The P-326 is easily up to the task with my old 80-200 f/2.8.
I think you'll much prefer a monopod with a head (vs. bolting the camera to the monopod directly), but a ball-head isn't the best option. Their range of motion is generally limited and they'll handle poorly when under load. A dedicated monopod head will be a much better solution.
Sirui also makes an inexpensive monopod head that comes with a clamp for around $110.