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#1 ski3pin

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 05:34 PM

I am considering adding a new lens or two to my toolbox. I realize I will also need the tools and accessories to support the bigger lens habit. What do my more skilled/accomplished colleagues here recommend or suggest for a monopod? 


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#2 Happyjax

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 06:27 PM

Hey Ski

I use a Kirk Arca Swiss head on a Manfrotto 680B monopod. They use to sell it as a single item Manfrotto#234 .

I have put a full frame Nikon with a 500 F4 on it several times with no problems. It was the setup many of the photogs at Conowingo Damn used so I felt safe with it. I wouldn't toss it around but if you made sure the head was tight and carried it supported on the shoulder  until you were ready to shoot it was fine. I don't much like monopods, prefering to handhold or use a tripod with gimbal, but sometimes only a monopod will do :)

 

http://www.bhphotovi...lt_Monopod.html


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#3 Lighthawk

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 07:27 PM

Good idea, Ski.  I find a monopod to be very helpful.  It's great to gain a stop or two by providing support.  And I find it makes a big difference in my framing while shooting.  When mounted on the 'pod, I review my edges, confirm that I'm level, and generally am more studious about the composition than hand held shots.  When shooting macro, especially with a longer lens (70-200) + extension tube, the monopod is a dream for setting up the shot.  Even better is using a lens with a lens collar, which lets you rotate landscape to portrait while mounted up.

 

I've used the Manfrotto 680B and it's a beast.  I mean that in a good way.  I've busted brush with it going up dense drainages.

However, consider looking a lighter versions, especially if you might hike with it in your hand as a trekking pole.  I now use a 3 section carbon fiber monopod by Gitzo.  Other brands to look at are Benro, Sirui or Induro.

 

The #234 is what I'm still using until I can save up my pennies for the RRS MH-01.  However, the Manfrotto clamp design is dated, and I use RRS arca-swiss plates on my camera body, with a matching lever clamp on top of the monopod.   With a monopod you really only need articulation in one axis, so a ballhead is not the way to go, IMHO.  


Edited by Lighthawk, 15 December 2015 - 07:27 PM.

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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 09:19 PM

Mr. 3Pin,

The intended use would influence my recommendation. If you're walking/hiking long distances, I would go with a carbon fiber pod, as Andy mentioned. If you're hanging around the camper, then I would probably go with an aluminum pod. What I do recommend regardless of use is a true monopod head, similar to the Really Right Stuff (RRS) head, with a Arca style clamp. I currently use a very heavy Manfrotto pod, with a Manfrotto ball head and Kirk clamp. It doubles as an unconcealed self defense weapon, as its quite the club. Hmmmm... Since you've mentioned you don't care much for pods, maybe aluminum is the way to go. BTW, watch Craigslist for a used monopod and head. There are often good deals to be had.

The pod that Jackie uses is probably the same one that I have, and it can handle a lot of weight.

What lenses are you thinking about? Have you considered buying an Arca foot for them? Both Kirk and RRS make replacement feet, and are high quality, and lighter than the original with an Arca plate screwed to the bottom.
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#5 ski3pin

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Posted 15 December 2015 - 09:30 PM

"If you're walking/hiking long distances, I would go with a carbon fiber pod, as Andy mentioned."

 

I expect I would attempt to get the thing anyplace I could. Although I'm fairly careful with equipment, I suspect it should be able to withstand a good amount of abuse such as being pulled, pushed, and handed up rough terrain.


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#6 Stalking Light

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:20 PM

I use an RRS monopod and head with my D4s and 200-400. With VR on it does a good job.

 

http://www.reallyrig...nopod-MH-01-Pro


Edited by Stalking Light, 17 December 2015 - 12:50 PM.

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#7 Happyjax

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:38 PM

I looked at the RSS heads. They have some really nice ones but they are pricey. If I used mine more I would spring for one but not being very good with the monopod I will keep my Kirk/Manfrotto for now :)


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#8 Stalking Light

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:57 PM

I was surprised at how much I use the 'tilt' functionality in the RRS head. I've got at Gitzo 5 series tripod and Wimberly gimbal head, but if I'm moving around much a monopod is much handier, regardless of brand. It is just basically a stiff stick, anyway.  ;)


Edited by Stalking Light, 17 December 2015 - 05:37 PM.

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#9 ski3pin

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 02:59 PM

.............................................. but if I'm movong around much a monopod is much handier, regardless of brand.

 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I've watched Lighthawk work with his monopod and it looked like a valuable addition. The Lady and I tend to cover some territory.


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#10 Lighthawk

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 05:06 PM

I think you will be happy you made the investment.  

Even with a few battle scars, all this equipment can take field conditions for a long time.  

 

When I started investing in tripods and ballheads, I was shocked how expensive everything can be.  In your case, you need a monopod,  a tilting head (MH-01 or #234), and a quick release clamp, plus an attachment plate for your camera (ideally an L plate by RRS).  The good news is that the L plate can be used with any other arca-swiss clamp (tripod head).  I recommend an L versus a bottom plate, so you have both orientations available.  

 

Welcome to G.A.S.  :P


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06 Tundra AC TRD 4x4, 08 Hawk, Ride-Rite bags, Helweg sway bar,18" BFG AT's

2021 RAM 3500 Crew 4x4, 6.4 hemi/8 speed trans with 4.10 gears, Timber Grove bags, Falken Wildpeak 35" tires

2008 FWC Hawk with victron DC-DC charger, 130w solar, MPPT controler

http://lighthawkphoto.com

 





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