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monopod suggestions

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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Nov 2013, 00:18:21 GMT
psn: tqfan says:
Hi all, been a while since i posted here, but i pop in and read every now and again! =)

i am after your monopod suggestions!!

a couple of years ago i got a red snapper tripod and it's brilliant, for me anyway. they did monopods, so when i was out taking photos last week i thought 'i need a monopod, ooh redsnapper!'. so later i checked their site and they've really not got a lot of stock, no monopods. i did email them to ask if they were just out of stock, or gone for good, and i've had no reply.
i'm kinda assuming redsnapper is on the decline, if it's even still going. they do update their blog every now and again, but i don't know, seems a bit strange.

so, i turn to you guys for your monopod suggestions. my redsnapper tripod was £60 or so (including £7/8 postage), their tripod was around £20 if i remember correctly.

i'm not too fussed about the price, it's going on my christmas list, but maybe not more than £50? unless a great one for less than that is not possible?!

thanks in advance!!

Posted on 24 Nov 2013, 19:49:17 GMT
Graham H says:
Pal of mine swears by one of these:

Manfrotto 680B 4 Section Monopod Black

I don't think it makes a lot of odds personally. I'd probably go by weight if it were me. I hate carrying heavy kit around.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Nov 2013, 21:17:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 24 Nov 2013, 21:21:05 GMT
I have a Manfrotto too. Its very robust.
For my compact I have just bought a Nordic Pole with a camera thread on it. It was dead cheap and I would be a bit loathe to stick a dSLR on it.
I wonder if this is any good? eBay item number:281077748159 cheap carbon monopod

Posted on 25 Nov 2013, 19:32:43 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Graham, Dr. A.

This is one of those occasions when I've happily bought cheaply, not too heavy, could be raised to eye level easily, and had a pan/tilt head, for my little video camera, and my bridge/compact cameras. Quality is quality at the end of the day, but for the use I will put it, I couldn't justify some of the prices asked for pukka branded versions. If I were to put a Leica on it, I would still have the camera strap around my neck, just to be on the safeside.

This is the one I went for: 200834333436

Posted on 25 Nov 2013, 23:24:12 GMT
psn: tqfan says:
thank you for the replies, i had previously looked at Manfrotto, so will have another look. i've also put those ebay items on my watch list to compare, hopefully in the next few days.
i have a backpack for my camera, and i'm pretty sure it has a strap for carrying a tripod, or more likely, a monopod, so will double check that. i'm also going to compare weights, and find something of similar weight i have around the house, and try carrying it for a while (in hand and on backpack if it has that bit) to get a feel for the weight.

not sure of my tripod's weight, it has it's own carry bag and is not that heavy to carry about in it, it's more awkward when trying to carry that bag over my shoulder while wearing the backpack, lol!!

as for using the camera strap, even though my tripod is very sturdy, i still put the strap around my neck, or even around my hand, so i'd be the same with a monopod!!

again, thank you for the replies, i'm off to have a look!!

Posted on 26 Nov 2013, 00:19:06 GMT
psn: tqfan says:
okay i have a question now!

would a 3 or 4 section monopod be more sturdy? i would assume a 3 section one, since on the 4 section monopods the 4th section is somewhat thinner than the 3rd section on the 3 section monopod. hope that made sense =P

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2013, 01:54:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 26 Nov 2013, 01:55:13 GMT
Hi TQfan,
With a monopod you don't need to worry too much about the tube thickness IMO because all the load is vertical and you are not relying on any strength in bending as you are with a tripod where the legs are splayed. I'd say 4 sections is fine if it means its easier to carry. A touch heavier maybe? Or perhaps the thinner tube compensates for the weight of the additional clamp?
By the way TJ, I bought a Manfrotto monopod because not much else was available at that time, long ago. Back in the day you didn't have all these cheaper alternatives and China was still closed to the rest of the world.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Nov 2013, 10:33:04 GMT
T.J.Byford says:
Hi, Dr. A.

It is strange looking back that the monopod was perhaps seen more as a speciality item, and I certainly don't recall them being generally available, except from quality brands, such as Manfrotto, as you say.

My first monopod was, in fact, one leg of a tripod but it had to be the leg with the camera platform built in, and as this was fixed at an angle it was just a little awkward to use as it was difficult to align level. This was a 3-section tubular leg and was quite sturdy. But when one is young and doing an expensive hobby, as it was once, one has to make do. lol. And do you remember those very nasty tripods using telescoping legs? Horrible bendy things.

tqfan. I go along with Dr. A. I don't think it really matters, from the point of sturdiness, whether you go for a 3 or 4 section model and if they both extend to the same height then, other things being equal, I doubt that there would be a significant difference in weight. A 4 section monopod is likely to collapse to a shorter length and thus be easier to carry or pack. Conversely, it will take just that bit longer to set up as you have to adjust 3 legs, not just 2.

What I would suggest is you ensure you get one that can extend so you have the camera at eye level without your having to bend or crouch, even ever so slightly. It makes a big difference being able to stand fully erect, far more comfortable and stable. Some are also designed to behave like walking poles, even some of the el cheapo ones, and this is where cost will show benefits in the quality and design of the hand grip.

A useful feature, although this can spoil the clean lines, is the foot and which you can see if you check out the ebay product number I quoted earlier. This is not so the monopod can stand up by itself, :-D but to put a foot on to aid stability as it stops the foot moving around or sinking in soft grass and, as I've found, to greatly assist in setting the height. By locking the lower legs and leaving the top section free to move, you are able to pull up on the top section to just the height you want. If you are on uneven ground, say, then to set it at eye level you will have different lengths than if your feet and the monopod were on the same level. If you think about it, it is almost like the adjustment you have on a tripod with the centre column.

I'm not extolling the virtue of a cheap monopod. The one I have is serviceable for the need I have for it, but I've no doubt it will not stand up to the rigours of top quality units.

Posted on 27 Nov 2013, 19:48:14 GMT
psn: tqfan says:
thanks for the replies Dr A and TJ.

i have compared 3 manfrotto monopods on their site, the 679, 680 and 681. the 680 is 4 section, the other 2 are 3 section. the 679 is a 3 section and weighs 0.65kg and is 62.5cm when closed, 157cm when open. although £10 cheaper, it is in the middle of the other 2 for heights and weight. the other 2 are both around 0.8kg. the 680 is 51cm closed and 154cm open, while the 681 is 65cm closed and 161cm open.

WEX are selling the 679 with a free head (worth £26) so i'm wondering if that is the better deal. it's lighter to carry around and it's in the middle height wise. i myself am just a shorty (158cm give or take) so i would think the 680 at 154cm might be a tiny bit short. i did make sure my tripod was high enough to save me bending slightly, as i know that would be uncomfortable after a while.

as for the foot, my tripod has similar. i can unscrew the foot and a spike appears. very handy!! i always forget about adjusting the centre column on my tripod. i usually remember after i'm half way through trying to get the legs set to the same height... =D but i like the idea of leaving the top section free on the monopod, like you said. i'll probably be able to cope better with one leg than 3, lmao!!

i also checked my bag, it does have straps so i can attach a monopod if needs be.

so my (hopefully) last question is - do i go for the 679 with the head, or are the heads a waste of time??

Posted on 27 Nov 2013, 22:04:13 GMT
Hi TQfan
When it comes to height remember to add the head dimension and the camera viewfinder height when using landscape format - that could easily amount to 150mm. Remember too that your eyes are about 150mm from the top of your head. However, if you tilt it into portrait mode the viewfinder will be only slightly above the top of the monopod. So provided your monopod comes up above eye level you should have enough height in hand. I think the Wex offer is very good. I have the cheaper fixed version of the head and think the QR version would be an improvement.
Funnily enough my 'pod is an 079 - so no doubt related.

Posted on 27 Nov 2013, 23:00:57 GMT
psn: tqfan says:
according to the measurements i have just taken, i have shrunk an inch and a half =O i was trying to measure my eye level, and thought it a bit low, so measured to the top of my head. to be fair, i was facing the wall, not back straight against it, and on a spongy carpet, so i hope that is why i have lost some height!! so i am now 155/156cm, lol!! so the 679 should be absolutely fine =D i will hopefully get it ordered tomorrow.

thank you again for your help and advice =)

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Nov 2013, 23:49:11 GMT
T.J.Byford says:

I haven't checked out what head is being offered, a ball and socket or a pan/tilt. I'd give this a little thought. IMHO, a ball and socket is the better all-rounder for a monopod as it is effectively a universal joint and can be adjusted to any position faster than a pan/tilt, and you only have one lock. In fact, when mounting my MPP Mk VIII 5x4 camera on a massive Benbow Mk II tripod I use a Manfrotto Junior b/s head. For me, the advantage of a b/s for a stills camera is that it doesn't have to be locked and can be left free as you hold the camera in both hands to align it. This also means you can quickly move the camera to re-frame very easily and quickly.

You've no doubt used a pan/tilt head on your tripod and these work brilliantly for cine, for which they were intended, and video, and conversely, they are, imo, better for stills use with a tripod than with a monopod.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Nov 2013, 00:47:27 GMT
Its a hinge type head. It allows tilting forwards or to the side. You tilt the monopod for other movements.

Posted on 6 Dec 2013, 16:55:29 GMT
psn: tqfan says:
Hi all, just a quick update. the monopod came, and i set it up, it's much taller than i expected it to be, considering i had done some measuring!! feels sturdy though, but since it is a christmas present, i won't get use of it for another couple of weeks... but i'm already happy with it. so thank you all =)

Posted on 8 Dec 2013, 08:45:38 GMT
Hi tqfan
In my experience a bit of extra height is handy for when you are perched on a slope and the pod is on lower ground.
On the subject of camera supports, I just bought a cheap but seemingly well made B&S head with detachable plate from 7Dayshop (where I get my film usually) <£15. It has a 30mm ball too.
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