Here's Your Chance

Joined
Sep 27, 2006
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New Jersey,USA
Okay here's your chance to help a cafe member out.I would like to buy a monopod and really have no clue except that I know I need one because it's getting harder to steady that camera as I get older.So here goes,I have a D-70 & D200.my largest lens will be in a few weeks a 200-400.So what are the recomendations?
I would really appreciate any input .Thanks :Confused:
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Messages
6,691
Location
On a Big Island Down Under...
Okay here's your chance to help a cafe member out.I would like to buy a monopod and really have no clue except that I know I need one because it's getting harder to steady that camera as I get older.So here goes,I have a D-70 & D200.my largest lens will be in a few weeks a 200-400.So what are the recomendations?
I would really appreciate any input .Thanks :Confused:
Hi Arnie...

This is the setup I got, and find it really good...

Manfrotto Monopod 679B
Manfrotto 324RC Tilt Head Q/Release

The main reason I got the 679 was that it only had 2 extensions than the 3 most of the others have. The reason for this is that I found that having only two extension legs that it made them thicker and it was a lot more stable. To fit 3 legs in the top part as this is the same diameter on both the 679 & 680, but they just reduce the lower leg diameter more to fit. Hope this is making sense.

What I did in the store was get both, extend them fully and the hold the top and lowest leg (floor level with my foot) and the see how much movement and found the lowest leg of the 3rd extension had a lot of flex in it. The 2 leg extension was more than double the stiffness than the 3 leg extension version.

If the stiffness isn't an issue, the 3 leg extension like the Manfrotto 680 is the way to go.....
 

SRA

Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
3,057
Location
Orem, Utah
Scott it sounds good but what head would you reccomend?
thanks
I have tried both ball and swivel heads, but have decided to use neither. I use a RRS 60mm quick release plate only. This gives me the stability I want for shooting my daughters' sports events. I might suggest someting different if I had to shoot upward/downward and have to move regularly. I personally use a Gitzo GM5540 which I feel is much more steady with my D2x and future 'ala Dave of Australia' 400mm lens.
 
Joined
Feb 7, 2005
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1,027
Location
Annandale, VA
I have the Manfroto 3232 tilt head but use the Manfrotto 680B monopod. I am definitely NOT a fan of twist lock monopods. I've owned a vey expensive Gitzo carbon fiber twist lock and found myself twisting and untwisting, fussing with it, rather than quickly setting it up and shooting. Snap-snap-snap it's set up. With the twist lock depending on the weight of the camera/lens they can creep.

The flat pate is fine for field athletics. If you want to pan up or down, you need something like the Manfrotto 3232. At all costs I recommend against using a ball head on a monopod. However be advised that if you are planning to vertically pan the 3232 can be disappointing if the kit you're using weighs a lot. For example as you tilt upwards the center of gravity of the assembly moves outward from the axis of the monopod and can create a hefty twisting moment. With a D2X, Sigma 120-300 and 2.0 TC I can't twist the knob on the 3232 tightly enough to keep the assemply from going vertical. That is why the Wimberley was mentioned. I use that with a tripod (a twist lock Gitzo, by the way..so I'm not against all twist locks per se.) and you can align its center of gravity exactly to the center of motion of the Wimberley. Thus you can track moving subjects without wrestling with the weight of the camera/lens assembly.

Rich
 
I have a Gitzo monopod (don't recall the model, and it's out in the car right now). Instead of a ball head I have just the Wimberley C-10 clamp, and that works quite nicely for quick-release getting the camera on/off the monopod. I haven't felt the need to add the tilt/swivel function of the Manfrotto 3232, but I can see how it could be very useful and valuable. If I'm going to be doing extensive shooting with my longer lenses I prefer the tripod to a monopod.

I have the full Wimberley gimbal on a Gitzo 1325 tripod so all my long lenses are fitted with Wimberley plates, and the camera bodies have the RRS "L" bracket for ease of use on a tripod or the monopod, too, with shorter lenses.

It depends on the kind of shooting you'll be doing with the 200-400mm lens, but I think if it were me I'd go for a good tripod and Wimberley gimbal setup rather than a monopod for that long, heavy lens....
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,134
Location
New Jersey,USA
Thanks everyone for the great input you have given me.So now we start the homework .At least I have some direction to go in.
Again thank you everyone,greatly appreciated
arnie
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
1,872
Location
Denver, CO
I will add my vote for the Neotec. It is quick and easy to set up. A little bit heavy but then so is your 200-400 and my 300 2.8. I have the Manfrotto 3232 swivel and RRS clamp. I like the swivel for shooting upwards for planes and birds in flight.

Oh yeah, I have the Neotec tripod too...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
B

BigPixel

Guest
My thoughts? A monopod is a stick. Its a poor substitute for a tripod when a tripod isn't available or feasible for the kind of shooting you're doing. But anything that seems solid will work. Just put a good quick disconnect head on it. I like and use the Acratech ball head but there are many to chose from. I have a manfrotto monopod and it serves me well as both a monopod and a walking stick when trecking about....
 

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