Recommend me a monopod

Joined
Nov 11, 2005
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Westchester County, NY
Just log on to the B&H site and there are literally dozens that will fit the bill. Big names are Gitzo and Manfrotto, but there are many lesser known, less expensive brands that I understand will do the trick - just search this forum for suggestions.

Second most important decision for a monopod (after weight load) is how long does it need to be. I am 6'1" and I use a monopod that is longer than the one my 5' 0" wife uses. Third decision is aluminum or carbon fiber. Latter is lighter and more forgiving in the cold, but more expensive.

FYI - I shoot a lot of sideline sports and I sold all of my old lever flip locks the first time I tried a Gitzo with twist locks. Lever locks always seem to loosen at the exact wrong time and I got tired of always having to look for the wrench.

I came to the same conclusion about tripod legs, by the way. No more flip locks for me anywhere.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
3,185
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Westchester County, NY
By the way - a monopod is a piece of gear that can easily be bought used. There isn't much to go wrong and most good sticks will last forever. If you buy used, just check the locking mechanism - if the joints hold, there isn't much else to worry about. I have monopods that are 40 years old (original Bogen's) and don't still look pretty, but they will hold anything I mount on them. Main reason for upgrading was to get lighter weight of CF, not because the old ones didn't still do the job.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
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5,302
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New Mexico
I've got 3 monopods (CF, Aluminum) and my fave...wood :eek:
It's a Berlebach from Germany and will support anything I throw at it.
Great conversation starter, when they get done drooling over big glass. :ROFLMAO:
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2006
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1,063
Location
Johns Creek, Ga
I've been very happy with Feisol Carbon Fiber CM-1471. I added a Manfrotto 3232 head and a Kirk arcs style release since all my cameras have Kirk L brackets attached. The legs are twist lock not lever lock but has not been a issue as far as I'm concerned. Rated to hold 25lbs, but the most I've ever put on it is the D800 and the 300mm f4 AFS with a 1.7tc. Monopod came with a nice bag with shoulder strap. Used it in shooting races at Road Atlanta.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
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Happy with my Manfrotto Monopod 680B. Use it when hiking with my D610 and Nikkor 200-300, yes handheld shots do work fine with that lens but that combo gets a bit heavy and there are other advantages of a monopod. For hiking I use it with a Jobu Design micro gimbal.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
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6,360
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N Idaho
I have the RRS MC-34 with MH02-Pro head, I only know what it is because I saw someone on FM is selling one just like it. I've never used it, it's enjoyed an easy life in a closet since I removed the two pieces from their boxes and put them together. It appears pretty sturdy and is very light, looks much heavier than it feels. I've just never gotten into monopods, maybe someday.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
3,185
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Westchester County, NY
Rick what do you mean by "more forgiving in the cold"?
If you touch an aluminum leg on a cold day without gloves and then touch a carbon fiber leg the same way, you will instantly know the difference. CF doesn't conduct cold (and heat) as well as aluminum. My beer cans are usually aluminum; I have never seen a carbon fiber beer can.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
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Rural Virginia
I have the RRS MC-34 with MH02-Pro head, I only know what it is because I saw someone on FM is selling one just like it. I've never used it, it's enjoyed an easy life in a closet since I removed the two pieces from their boxes and put them together. It appears pretty sturdy and is very light, looks much heavier than it feels. I've just never gotten into monopods, maybe someday.
The RRS MC-34 will be my next purchase - I already have a MH01 head. I have a heavy aluminum monopod I rarely use due to its weight. As I've gotten older I need something to support my heavy camera-lens-large flash combination during longer shoots. My old monopod would work, but adds too much weight to an already too heavy rig. I was a lever clamp guy until I got a RRS tripod - now I'm a twist lock guy. :)
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
658
Location
Cape Coral, Florida, USA
I've been very happy with Feisol Carbon Fiber CM-1471.
+1 for that.

I use one several times a week always with heavy gear (400/2.8 +/- TC and D5). I clean it about once a year to get the grit out, still works nicely.

I actually broke one section of it (ok, I didn't break it, a 200 pound soccer player knocked a metal advertising sign's edge against it), and Feisol was very helpful getting me just that section (they claimed it was the first time anyone managed to break one). Good service.

I've compared to people using heavy Gitzo, and I'm sure there are differences, but it's hard to notice in brief usage for 3x the price.

I keep the reversible stainless spike in mine all the time with screw-on foot (it's a cheap option). The extra weight to me is a nice counter-weight, feels better in the hand, though I rarely use the spike itself.

B&H sells them so you can get one returnable if you don't like it (but you will).
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
658
Location
Cape Coral, Florida, USA
You've convinced me--I'm getting one (I'm due a retirement present in 32 days :):D ) and my lever-based Manfrotto aluminum monster has never been fun to use (but I do use it).
That's an interesting note -- I had a Manfrotto CF with levers, and was worried that the twist-lock would be slower and awkward. But the Manfrotto started rusting, the clasp hardware, and I wrote to them noting "I thought this was stainless". They said "no, we do not use stainless". Which on a higher end monopod seemed rather silly, especially on the parts that get stuck down in the mud.

It did take me a bit to get use to the twist lock; they are not slower really, but not sure they are better. They do tangle less in stuff if you have a mess in the back of the car with cables, straps, etc.

If switching from aluminum, note that CF scratches easier. Mud/sand/etc won't hurt it per se, but if you get it gritty and then close it in, as the tubes slide over each other, the CF scratches. So rinse off if you're using it in a swamp/sand. The water won't hurt anything, it can't corrode, there's nothing (except maybe the mounting bolt at the top) that can corrode.

Good luck.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
658
Location
Cape Coral, Florida, USA
I use a Gitzo CF tripod with twist locks, so I'm used to them. The levers are particularly painful to use in winter!
Ah.

Yeah, winter is tough here also, sometimes it gets down to 65 for a spring baseball game; all the snowbirds come out with their overcoats on and gloves. I risk it without gloves to keep shooting. :whistle:
 

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