monopods

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jerry_milroy, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. I have a D300 with a 70-200mm lens. I am looking for a monopod for under $100. I found a Bogen 680b online for $70. It is a 4 section (its short when closed i like that it will fit in my backpack). Has anyone used this model or have any recommendations?
     
  2. there's not really much to say about monopods. bogen/manfrotto make good ones. i have the 679b which is a three-section aluminum one, which came bundled with the 234 tilt-swivel head. carbon fiber or mag-alloy are stronger and dampens vibration better if you can afford it, but that may not be necessary with a 70-200.
     
  3. A good alternative is to use a hiking staff (like a Leki) that has a threaded mount on top.
    I use a Bogen/Manfrotto 676B monopod (aluminum, three section) that I'm happy with, and I use Leki two and three section hiking poles when hiking with a quick-release clamp mounted on the top.
     
  4. A tilt head is useful because otherwise you have to move the foot of the monopod to get the angle you want.
     
  5. I had one with a tilt head and found it easier to move the foot than to mess with the head. That said, with VR I find them useless on all but heavy lenses. I gave mine away because none of my lenses are heavy. I bought it, and used it... literally... zero times in about 2 years. zero. zilch. nada. Thank you God for VR!
     
  6. I have and use that one (680b) with my 300/2,8 and D3/D300 (with or without TC-20E). Very well made, thick and solid. No need for extra head..., I don't use one. Easy to operate and extend/lock. Cold in the winter but cheap.
     
  7. I've really taken to my CF unit from Velbon. Here it is with the 70-200/2.8 mounted on a body similar to yours, but with a quick-release plate for off-the-'pod grab shots:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Oy. Did I say "Velbon?" I meant Induro. I almost bought one from Velbon, but liked the Induro's fit and finish more, for the price. Sorry for the mix-up.
     
  9. Believe it or not but Radio Shack has a really good Monopod for $9.99. I was in there looking one day, saw it and bought it. Thought at first it would be of toy quality but it is not. It is very sturdy, made from aluminum. It is Targus brand, 4 section, fully adjustable and, at full extension, is over my head. It has a strap and can be used for hiking. It has rubber tip that converts with a twist to a spike. I've used it often with good results. Just a FYI, if you are like me with limited resources.
    Gael
     
  10. I had to look at my monopod to see what model it is. I went through the late nineties and early 2000s shooting sports with a Manfrotto 3006 Junior monopod. I used it primarily shooting long in time football and soccer games. I just screwed the lens, 70-200 2.8L directly to the monopod. I used it partly because I used to get arm weary carrying a body and that three pound lens around and partly to steady the lens particularly in night games on dimly lit high school fields. I could pick the monopod up and run at the last minute with ease as some fullback charged directly toward me on the sidelines. I don't think I paid a whole lot for it. I was just looking at it. It is all scratched and beat up but it never bent. I am a big fan of monopods. I never used a tilt head and still hit my quota every week for the paper. In fact I have a ball head on my Manfrotto tripod and never thought of using it on the monopod. My monopod has four sections and goes to a little over five feet. That is plenty for me. I have a handle type ball head that I suppose I could put on it but that just adds to the weight IMO.
     
  11. I have a Manfrotto 680B and love it. When I use it I normally take my Acratech head off of my tripod and put it atop the monopod and it works wonderful. A good solid surface and I can swivel around real easy. Easy to carry for what I use it for.
    phil b
    benton, ky
     
  12. I agree with those that suggest a small ball head on top. To get the most stability from a monopod use it at an angle away from you so that the monopod and your legs make a 'tripod'. Then use the ball head to bring the camera to the desired angle. If you think you'll use it a lot, get one that extends at least to your height. If it doesn't fit in your backpack strap it to the outside.
     
  13. I've had a Bogen 679B for years and it works the same and looks largely the same as when I bought it. I suspect it has another twenty years in it. Plenty sturdy for my Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AF-S (my heaviest lens.)
     
  14. Matt Laur,
    Can you give a little more detail on your set up. Specifically, you seem to have some sort of swivel on the top. What type? What quick release system are you using RRS, Kirk ... or something else.
    To me those details make or break how effective your monopod is. The rest is largely a glorified stick.
     
  15. Paul: I use Manfrotto RC2 quick release plates. Have numerous support devices that accept the RC2 plates ... ball heads, monopod swivels, grip heads, etc, and then matching plates on camera bodies, zoom/tele collar feet, even on speedlight mounting plates. Very handy, and the price is sure right.

    At the top of that monopod is a Manfrotto 3229 swivel (it's rigged for catching the same mounting plates). I don't feel the need for ballhead on a monopod, since I only really need to move the camera (relative to the monopod) in a vertical way. The whole 'pod pivots nicely for panning.
     
  16. Jerry: I have been using a 680B for several years. It does a good job and can double as a walking stick. Like Phil, I use an Acratech ball head on mine. I tried using it without a head, but didn't like it as much. The ball head gives me more control when I want to "level" a shot and I feel that it makes it easier to brace the camera against myself. My biggest lens is a Sigma 80 - 400 mm and the 680B works well with it even when it's fully extended. It is long enough to have your camera at eye level, also.
     
  17. I have a Giottos MH5580. I like it because I am tall and it will extend to my height. The price is reasonable, the quality is good and it has a built in swivel head. It can be turned into a tripod with the included steel legs but might only be good for holding an off camera flash or a point and shoot, but could probably be used for self defense in a pinch with its baseball bat like qualities. It seems to have overall good reviews at B&H.
     
  18. I use the 681B (3 sections), which I'm sure is quite similar to the 680B. I use it exclusively for ice hockey and wouldn't be without it. The images are consistently sharper than without the use of the monopod, besides it relieves the weight of your system while your at the cold rink for an hour or two.
    I've never used a swivel or ball head, I think that would be more of a nuisance. The game is much too fast.
     

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