well, i don't want to spend a fortune but... as i won't be buying monopods very often... it should be something to last, something good. about size, i would like something not to long to be able to be more portable. thanks, Francisco
Probably the most common recommendations would be Manfrotto, Feisol and Gitzo. You will pay more for carbon fiber, and should note that the smaller monopod (with respect to leg diameter and folded length), generally the less stable it will be. There are exceptions, but you will pay a lot for those models. And, with monopods, the wieght savngs from carbon fiber is not as significant as with tripods, because there is less material being replaced with the carbon fiber. A very solid model that I like is the Manfrotto 680B. It is not especially small, but it is reasonably well built, and is not very expensive. There are other models that are more compact and more affordable, but you should try them out if that is possible.
As Ken suggested above, check out Manfrotto (least expensive), Feisol (mid-priced), and Gitzo (expensive) Monopods. Each brand has multiple models with different capacities, diameters, and lengths both retracted and extended. The Manfrotto monopods (EX:679B, 680B, 681B) have lever locks and the Feisol and Gitzo monopods have twist locks.
>do you have any particular reason to choose lever locks over >twist locks or the other way round? > >here where i live i don't remember having seen Gitzo but >Manfrotto is easy to find. tomorrow i'll be out looking for >them... >
It is mostly a matter of personal preference. Manfrotto uses lever locks, and for a monopod, I find them acceptable. When shooting sports, they make it easy for me to adjust height quickly with one hand.
>understood. but to be able to adjust height with one hand is >good. i think i'll have to try both types and decide. tell you >latter. >thanks, >Francisco >
Francisco, you should also check out the Sirui line of monopods. very reasonable and light but very strong. I've been using one for about 6 months now and take it traveling because it is 18" long with Sirui G10 ball head. Holds my D7100 with 70-200 f2.8 just fine. Not well known as the other brands but a top seller in Japan and moving fast in America. I also have the Sirui N-1204 carbon fiber tripod and am very happy with it as well. Folds so small it goes into my suitcase in checked baggage.
>hi, >thanks, i never saw them here in Portugal but i'll take a >better look. >i am leaving today on 10 days holliday trip but as soon as i >come back i'll be on the move for that. >see you soon, >Francisco
Enjoy your vacation. Wish I could get 10 days off in a row. LOL
>>understood. but to be able to adjust height with one hand >is >>good. i think i'll have to try both types and decide. tell >you >>latter. >>thanks, >>Francisco >> > >Francisco, you should also check out the Sirui line of >monopods. very reasonable and light but very strong. I've been >using one for about 6 months now and take it traveling because >it is 18" long with Sirui G10 ball head. Holds my D7100 >with 70-200 f2.8 just fine. Not well known as the other brands >but a top seller in Japan and moving fast in America. I also >have the Sirui N-1204 carbon fiber tripod and am very happy >with it as well. Folds so small it goes into my suitcase in >checked baggage.
Henrico, I've decided on a Sirui P326 monopod - but am unclear on head requirements. You are using a G10 ball head - is that a great advantage for a monopod over a simple one-way tilting head, please? Thanks Paul
Paul, On my Sirui 326 I have the G-10. But don't be afraid to set it up with big glass. I was considering the Kirk Monopod Head but decided that I am having so much success with the G-10 that I could hold off on that purchase for awhile. The G-10 does have a very competent tension adjustment for the ball. However, having said that I do think the platform for a one way tilting head for a monopod may be an advantage. With a monopod one really doesn't need the panning feature. Paul, you know I think I just talked myself into ordering the Kirk monopod head. LOL
>Paul, On my Sirui 326 I have the G-10. But don't be afraid to >set it up with big glass. I was considering the Kirk Monopod >Head but decided that I am having so much success with the >G-10 that I could hold off on that purchase for awhile. The >G-10 does have a very competent tension adjustment for the >ball. However, having said that I do think the platform for a >one way tilting head for a monopod may be an advantage. With a >monopod one really doesn't need the panning feature. Paul, you >know I think I just talked myself into ordering the Kirk >monopod head. LOL
Henrico - I've gone the different route. The Kirk monopod head seemed a little above my budget and I briefly experimented with the Manfrotto 234RC - but was disappointed in performance and quality. So, I returned that and went for a Sirui K10X ballhead, which I can also use on my tripod, so that justifies the cost. Better in every respect! I looked at the G10 on the web, but it was unavailable in the timescale as I needed it to go on holiday tomorrow. So, now we'll see ..... Rgds, Paul
Paul, I believe the K10X will serve you well. It is a great ball head, economical and works like the higher priced spread. I never believed a company would issue a 5 year warrantee if they thought they would have to honor it. I'd be interested in hearing your experience when you return from Holliday. Have a great one.
My monopod and tripods all fit the same brand (Manfrotto) of camera plate. That way, I can quickly change between supports. Most tripods and monopods will accept other brand heads, so settle on the head system (including plate) you want, then select your monopod to accept the head. This should be fairly easy, since most monopods will accept all the popular heads. But here's the hierarchy of choices that I used: 1. Select the head 2. Select the camera plate if not included with the head. Get at least one plate for each camera. I leave the plates on my cameras. 3. Select monopod, tripod, and grip system to fit the head. Hope that made sense. The idea here is to facilitate quick changes of equipment on and off the supports, and use of the same supports for all your cameras. You may only have one now, but it only costs a tiny bit more to get a support system that is future-proof.
>My monopod and tripods all fit the same brand (Manfrotto) of >camera plate. That way, I can quickly change between >supports. >Most tripods and monopods will accept other brand heads, so >settle on the head system (including plate) you want, then >select your monopod to accept the head. >This should be fairly easy, since most monopods will accept >all the popular heads. >But here's the hierarchy of choices that I used: >1. Select the head >2. Select the camera plate if not included with the head. Get >at least one plate for each camera. I leave the plates on my >cameras. >3. Select monopod, tripod, and grip system to fit the head. >Hope that made sense. The idea here is to facilitate quick >changes of equipment on and off the supports, and use of the >same supports for all your cameras. You may only have one now, >but it only costs a tiny bit more to get a support system that >is future-proof.
I can certainly support this. Before I discovered Arca style heads I used several different heads and on one occasion being called to a job I had the wrong plate for the tripod I was going to use. My standard L bracket is the Kirk Industries with Kirk quick release thumb screw plates that go on all my Manfrotto tirpods no matter what head I'm using. The L plate allows for quick orientation from landscape to portrait with out having to re adjust the tripod position when orienting a ball head to 90 degrees. Worth the money for each camera to have the same plate.
hi all, so i'm back from my hollydays. not very well because i'm with pneumonia but i think i will survive... the main problem is that i can't go out looking for my new monopod and start trying it but that day will come in a very near future i bet. in the meanwhile i'll be reading your posts here in Nikonians and making plans for new pictures, right? see you soon, Francisco
hi all, it seems that, afterall, that's not a simple pneumonia i got. it seems it's a worse lung infection... but, as far as the doctor tells me, it has treatment, i've just started it. its "hard" but it's true... but i'll survive, as far as i can i'll use my 7100 at home to get used to it... see you soon, Francisco
Get well soon. Follow the Dr's advise, those lung infections can linger if not stopped quickly. Not getting exposed to something else while you are battling the first one is crucial to getting well quicker.
Have you thought about why you want a monopod. I have one (a Manfrotto carbon fiber with thumb locks. It does the monopod job well but comes up way short of stabilizing the camera. If you want a system that help smooths out panning, then a monopod can work quite well. If you want to stabilize a camera the monopod eliminates only one degree of freedom (movement) and typically translates any vertical movement into rotational movement, thus exacerbating the camera non-stability. It's those stray torques that cause the problem. Typically long lenses help add rotational inertia to the system so minor rotations are more easily controlled and large panning rotations are smoothed.
IMO they may even cause more stability problems if you are using them during an exhaustive hike and you may have developed some fatigue (tremor, shake, breathlessness, etc.). Those motions tend to show up in arm motion and it's the arms that are trying to steady the monopod. If you were just holding the camera, you could brace your arms against your body, brace that against a tree, building ...
I've never been too keen on a monopod except for taking a large weight off my shoulders/arms when using a long heavy lens and then using it mainly for panning (e.g. sports). Even trying to steady a camera while birding, I often find I can do better just in hand-holding than with a monopod.
I'm sure this is all arguable, but possibly worth thinking about.
Roger It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?
thanks Roger for your support, i'll take care , you bet! and thanks for your tips as well, in fact thats something i have always felt about monopods but i was trying to find a lighter and smaller alternative to tripods... thanks again, Francisco
Francisco, do you have a good quality tripod? If not, perhaps kill two birds with one stone Sirui, as unclemickey mentioned, make some good gear One of their tripods I'm close to buying is the M3204X It's a tripod that gets very good reviews, and one leg comes off to double as a monopod It's one of the reasons I'm looking at one of these, carrying a tripod and monopod annoys me, just getting to be too much hardware So an all in one makes sense Price is good too, around AU$500 for tripod and K30x ballhead, as opposed to around AU$1500 for a Gitzo/ballhead combo I doubt the Sirui is as good as a Gitzo, but I constantly hear the gap is small
hi Michael, in fact my tripod has seen better days, besides not beeing that good... i have never seen Sirui material here where i live but i'll look for them because it seems a good idea a tripod and a monopod all in one... first of all i'll look in the net for that particular model you pointed out, thanks. Francisco
>hi Michael, >in fact my tripod has seen better days, besides not beeing >that good... >i have never seen Sirui material here where i live but i'll >look for them because it seems a good idea a tripod and a >monopod all in one... >first of all i'll look in the net for that particular model >you pointed out, thanks. >Francisco
Francisco I'm responding from my phone right now. I have to go in the office Sunday morning and I will post a link to the Sirui site so you can compare tripods with monopod additional features. You can also communicate with them to see if there is a dealer where you live. BTW there are several Sirui models that double as a monopod.
>thanks Mike, i will apreciate that, and i'll let you know >what i found out then. >Francisco
Francisco, good morning from Richmond Virginia. Here is the link to Argraph the distributor in the US for Sirui tripods. They do a full comparison of the different models and ball heads. There is also a pricing guide.
Roger, you make some great points regarding the utilization of monopods and I would tend to agree with all of them. However, I still feel with practice and care when shooting with long lenses they can be a benefit. Also, sometimes a tripod just can't be used and maybe you have nothing to lean on at the particular angle of your shot. Recently I got away with shooting inside one of our museums here in Richmond with a monopod and no one even bothered me. I'm sure if I tried to set up a tripod security would have asked me to put it away. Even while on a trip to another city I was asked by a police officer to stop using my tripod because I didn't have a permit and someone might trip over one of the legs. When I asked he said I could use my monopod if I kept it close to my body.
I would also like to tell you about a product make by Kirk Industries. It is called a Strap Pod. Mine has a quick release clamp on one end and a loop on the other which you step into and pull up. It isn't as sturdy as a monopod and certainly not as sturdy as a tripod but in sporting arenas where neither is allowed it does help me hand hold my 70-200 f:2.8 a little better and no one says a word to me because it isn't rigid. Just a suggestion. Here is a link so you both can have a look.
Sun 18-Aug-13 11:35 AM | edited Sun 18-Aug-13 11:37 AM by unclemikey
Francisco, just wanted to add that I used my Sirui 1204cx all day yesterday on a shoot with long glass and a ProMediaGear Tomahawk Gimbal attached to the K-30 Sirui Ball Head. Worked great but I do carry a backpacking, camping one gallon refillable water bottle thing and filled it to be hooked to the bottom hook on the center column for extra stability (1 gallon of fresh water weighs about 8LB) with the Nikkor 70-200 f:2.8 and TC20EIII teleconverter. When finished I dump the water and put the collapsed bag back in my camera bag or attach it to the outside if it got wet. You do need to consider when using a tripod that is as light as the 1204cx some bottom stability might be necessary depending upon the top load of the camera and lens.
In case you are interested here is a link to ProMediaGear. I love their stuff as everything is made out of solid blocks of aircraft aluminum or magnesium. No casting are used in any of their products. Not cheap but my dad always taught me you buy cheap you buy twice.