Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
2dog

Monopod

8 posts in this topic

I would like some advice on choosing a monopod. What would be a good one to purchase? I don't do the best hand holding and I'm thinking a monopod would help me out quite a bit. I do mostly birds and wildlife shooting. It would need to be beefy enough to hold up a larger lens such as a Sigma 150-500 lens, which I would like to purchase sometime in the future. Right now I have the Rebel XSI and the 50-250 lens. What kind of head would I need on the monopod? Or would I be better off getting a tripod instead of a monopod? I have been surfing the web but they all look the same to me and I have no clue what to look for. Thanks for any help you can give me..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a monopod. Any monopod. I bought this Opteka monopod [note from admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you] and have been thrilled. It's cheap as dirt and supports my XTi and Sigma 70-300mm perfectly fine. The Amazon reviews are perfectly right too, it's very much outperformed my expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just as a side note. I generally only shoot macro photos, and this has allowed me to shoot very solid shots as low as 1/60 at 300mm. Monopods add amazing stability. It also gets high enough that it's not a burden to shoot, even though I'm 6'3". In my work I often shoot high high shots, like set the timer and hold it up about 14ft off the ground, and I've never felt it was unsturdy, even with heavy lenses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Bogen Manfroto Mono Pod, with 4 quic release sections for amazing height adjustments. I personally do not use a special head on it, It just screws into my lense (100-400L) or my camera Canon XTi when using a smaller lense. I don't recall what I paid for it, but it was less than $100.00, I want to say about $50 It is a 676B. This is a fantastic companion to my Bogen Manfrotto tripod the 725B with a ball head. When all closed up it is only about 16-18" long, and extends to a bit over 5feet. Has a strap on the handle to attach to your wrist for added support.

I just looked over at Canoga Camera's HSOforum and they have a new model to replace the 676B, the new model is the 776YB for an amazing $38.00. The specs say it is 60" tall fully extended, weighs in at a whopping 0.7 pounds, and will hold 9.9 pounds. Which should be plenty, Your XSi only weighs 16 ounces without lense then a big zoom such as a 100-400L is only a hair over 3 pounds. Add a flash and large battery pack and you should still be under the 10 pounds.

Hope this helps. The only thing I wish that was different, is that It had a quick release plate similar to my tripod so I can just jump back and forth. I am sure I can buy one, I am just way to lazy to look for one. LOL

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2dog, there are any number of monpods that are excellent quality. I've stuck with Manfrotto because they are economical and very good. I use the 675B, which at 26 pounds max capacity is overkill for the lenses I own, but since I'm frequently borrowing or renting big glass, it's the right 'pod for me.

The 679B is more economical and still holds 22 pounds and costs under $50. That's a lot of max capacity for the gear you have, but you'd best get a monpod you won't have to replace down the road as you pick up the 150-500 you mentioned, or other lenses. And it's always best to get a monpod/tripod that well exceeds the weight of the gear you plan to use, which ensures it'll be stiff and very stable.

You don't need a head for a monopod, but a quick-release plate is nice, and Manfrotto makes them to fit its monopod/tripod systems for not a lot of money. You never know when you'll need to drop the 'pod and go handheld (bird in flight, for example), so the QR plate is a big bonus.

I'd also recommend a solid tripod. With both, you'll have a great 1-2 punch. The tripod excels in setup situations. At the osprey nest Ken and I shot in another thread, a tripod is the best because the situation is static and the subjects in known locations. A monopod works well there, too, but the tripod offers the most stability. It's also the best option with macro, since there are times you might want to use very narrow apertures with the resulting slow shutter speeds, and a rock solid tripod, mirror lockup and a remote shutter release/timer are all important then.

In situations like bombing around in a car or walking trails, where photo opps develop without notice, the monopod shines, because you can take a couple quick swipes at the section extenders and you're shooting in two seconds flat but with some good stabilization. That was the case with the wolf images in the other thread. I was able to tumble out of a still-moving car, drop down into the ditch and on my butt, and with the monopod unextended it was still long enough so I could plant it on the ground and see fine through the viewfinder. The wolf only stood still for a few seconds before trotting off.

Just staying with Manfrotto again as a good example, the 055XB aluminum supports 15 pounds, costs $165, and coupled with a ballhead like the 486RC2 (13 pounds max capacity, $75, and has quick-release plate) is a good mating. The ballhead is better than a pan/tilt head for most applications. For bird-in-flight panning shots, a gimbal head like the Wimberley II is ideal, but that's BIG money.

Anyway, tripods get into more money than monopods when you're talking quality, and I just used Manfrotto as an example because they are the example I know best. Many good manufacturers out there, and it's best to save money if needed and go with real quality than to buy cheap and flimsy and just have to upgrade later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the XTi and 70-300 and am also not very steady. I like the monopod, because I can hike with it extended ready to use. Mine is ideal for winter walking, because there is a foam grip. That metal can get c-o-o-o-ld! But other than that, I would stick with the suggestions above. Mine is not a Manfrotto and tends to stick when trying to extend it. I got the ball head with quick release that the guys recommended in a past thread, so I assume it is the same one Steve mentioned. I wouldn't go without it, as I can't carry the camera over my shoulder for very long. Too bad I didn't read their recommendations on the monopod also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the manfrotto 680B monopod with the 486RC2 and just love this combo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the help. I ended up ordering the Manfrotto 679B monopod and the Manfrotto 055XB tripod with the 488RC2 head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0