Need a monopod and head. - Page 2
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Old 03-06-2013   #11
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Default Re: Need a monopod and head.

Originally Posted by zemlin View Post
I don't use a head on my monopod. I haven't made the move to QR plates, but when I do I will probably put a flat clamp on the monopod. The only time it's been awkward shooting without a head is when I was trying to get an owl up high in a close tree.
I think that I would have a problem without a head as I do switch back and forth between landscape and portrait format.
Constructive C & C is very welcome.

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Old 03-06-2013   #12
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Default Re: Need a monopod and head.

I would suggest that those that use a monopod and consider it just a stick are not getting the full benefit from the monopod. There are several techniques for the use of a monopod that will make it a quite sturdy method for stabilizing a camera/lens. I use a monopod constantly as I often am using either my 300mm f2.8 or 400mm f2.8.

As for a head, for the most part a good quick release on the top of the pod is what I found to be the best. I prefer the Arca-Swiss type for a couple of reasons. First, I can switch easily from landscape to portrait with a camera body since I use have L brackets for my lenses. Not only is it quick and easy but more stable with the weight over the monopod.

If you care to see the difference between using an L bracket and a ball head get yourself a nice heavy pole or use your monopod and get a large can of beans. #10 size will do and put it ontop of the pole or monopod and check how easy it is to hold and balance. Now duct tape that #10 can of beans to side of the top of that monopod and check the same thing. That will give you a good idea as to how the monopod will be with a ball head flopped over in the portrait mode. An L bracket puts the body over the monopod in either position.

Second reason I prefer Arca-Swiss to most of the other types. If you are using long glass you can get long Arca-Swiss lens foot plates that will allow you to move the whole rig forward and back until you again center the weight over the monopod. With the weight centered when using bigger glass you will again have better stability.

Just my 2 cents on the matter.
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Old 03-06-2013   #13
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Default Re: Need a monopod and head.

I've got the Induro CM24 carbon fiber monopod. I use it with a Manfrotto tilt head.
My usual rig is: Induro monopod + Manfrotto tilt head + Nikon 300mm + Nikon camera.

I carry it extended over my shoulder. A very comfortable, lightweight rig.

You can see it here: Induro CM24 Carbon 8X CM-Series 4-Section Monopod 471-524 B&H

Some of the Induro features are:

Non-rotating Carbon fiber leg Sections offer quick and easy setup A slip-resistant Top Plate with Reversible Monopod Head Mounting Screw assures compatibility with virtually any head Dust and moisture-resistant ergonomic Rubber Grip Leg Locks ensure an easy positive 1/2 turn all-weather lock Closed cell Comfort Grip with Strap provides comfortable and secure handling during cold or hot outdoor conditions And it weighs less than a pound!

Good luck in your search.

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Old 04-25-2013   #14
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Default Re: Need a monopod and head.

I used a Manfrotto 681B monopod for a long while but could not fit this, when collapsed, in a small checked on airlines suitcase and carrying a monopod aboard an aircraft can be problematic. Sometimes they will let you and other times not. They have called it a "Weapon-Like Instrument"...

I now use a 4 section 8x Calumet carbon fiber monopod which is light in weight and quite sturdy and collapses small enough to fit in my suitcase when I fly. Unfortunately, it is no longer carried by Calumet. My monopod seems similar to the Induro CM-24 used by LeeF and may have been replaced in the Calumet lineup with the Induro CM-14 or the CM-24

I like to keep my monopod as perpindicular to the ground as possible and thus I have a swivel head on my monopod. I don't use a ball head because I don't consider it efficient. I like the Arca Compatible release and my L-bracket because the camera/lens is never hanging cantilevered over to the side as when a ball head is used.

I use a Kirk MPA-1 swivel head which is a Manfrotto swivel with a Kirk Arca Compatible quick release. This is sturdy enough to support my heaviest load which is a 300mm f/4L IS lens and 7D camera (4.4 lb. total). Usually, I want a rig which the manufacturer rates for 2x the total weight I will use with it, However the MPA-1 is rated for 5.5 pounds yet supports my 4.4 pound outfit quite well. I have read reviews by other MPA-1 owners who remark about how sturdy the rig is.

I will use the tripod ring with the 300mm f/4L IS lens but, will attach my camera to the MPA-1 with my RRS L bracket when I am shooting with the 70-200mm f/4L IS lens. The MPA-1 + 300mm f/4L IS lens is a nice combination for sports...

Both RRS and Kirk have heavier duty swivels in their line-ups. I believe that the RRS model is simply called a Heavy Duty Swivel while the Kirk calls their's an MPA-2. They no longer distribute the MPA-1.

I never lock down the tilt head when I am shooting. I only lock it down when carrying the camera/lens. I will rest the long lens on my shoulder when carrying it.

BTW: The monopod really helps stabilize a shot, keeps my arms from becoming tired and will allow me to shoot both panos and single string HDR composites without the need for a tripod.

Richard Crowe
Escondido, California
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Old 04-26-2013   #15
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Default Re: Need a monopod and head.

I have an Induo CM25 Monopod, Manfrotto Monopod head with an Arca Swiss compatible quick access clamp.

The CM25 is just less than 17in/43cm folded and about 59in/148.6cm when extended, purchased to travel with when needed.

I tried a ball head with a monopod and it provided nothing extra over the monopod head. So I purchased a monopod head saving most the cost of a second ball head.

The Arca Swiss compatible clamp just makes use of the plates I have on my cameras and lenses and allows quick mounting and un-mounting when needed.

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