Recommend a monopod

Discussion in 'Sports' started by cecil_kent, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Would you recommend a monopod brand/model for me? I use a D70s to
    shoot basketball, football, soccer, and tennis. Nikkor 70-200 f2.8
    is my standard lens. With $3,000 invested in my camera, I would
    like to get the right monopod. Under $100 would be nice (for a
    change). I'm not good enough to quit my day job (unlike most of you
    guys). Thanks. You guys always give me more information than I
    thought to ask for. :) I'm 6'2".
  2. By definition, there isn't too much to a monopod, but there are a couple of things to consider. First, while even the most expensive ones are pretty affordable, don't go really cheap. These are usually really thin, flimsy and flex far too easily. Second, you need to consider how long the monopod is when fully collapsed. This might not be too big a consideration for some people, but I like mine to be as compact as possible when fully closed down. Of course, this means more joints to work when extneding it. I have a Bogen 3249B and really like it:
    It closes down to only 20 inches and is very sturdy. One more thing to consider - connecting your camera to the monopod. I use this arrangement:
    and find that it works exceptionally well.
  3. Or the Chinese knock-offs, which are plenty good, even for mu Mamiya 645AFd & zoom lens weighing in at 7 pounds, like this one I bought last week:

    If you want to go carbon fiber, see:

    Also, search those two importers' eBay listings for other inexpensive gear... Just avoid the strobes.

    By the way, I *really* like Dan Z's suggestion for a single-axis head for monopods -- I'll have to get one of those, since it beats screwing it right on the monopod top! :)
  4. I like my Manfrotto. Think it's rated up to 10pounds. You might want to go with something sturdier in case you go up in weight class with your glass.
  5. Aluminum monopods are also handy when you have to whack an ESPN antenna-man in the shins when he elbows you out of the way after you've been standing there for 15 minutes waiting for the shot... Not the cameraman or sound babe -- The asshole holding the antenna on a 30 foot cord who simply wants to stick his nose in to see the action up close.
  6. I would recommend a Gitzo G1588,it's stout can handle anything you dish out and it's light
    weight carbon fiber i dig mine.
  7. lol Dan it's always the antenna man hey. I love it when they wrap the cord around you and give it a good yank just as you fire.

    I hate em too.

    Any strong mono will do, take notice of the way it extends my manfrotto has a small hew head key to tighten those pesky clip locks it's also chunker than the cheaper version which I preffer, better for knee capping. I think from memory I paid about $100 second hand.

  8. That be the one with the 1/4 turn (cam) thumbclamps: My $13 Chinese knock-off weighs 25 ounces sans head, and feels like a baseball bat when I swing it!

    Well, this evening my nice 300mm Mamiya AF f/4.5 telephoto lens
    arrived this evening. It actually feels bit lighter than I expected, enough so for me to consider mounting it on the camera base instead of the lens collar: The lens, camera, 6 AA cells(!) and loaded film back cross the scales at 7 pounds.

    Hmmm, if I mount the monopod directly to the camera w/no head, I can let Mr. Gravity tip it slightly forward... This will be handy when I shoot pit lane action outside the track, looking down across the front straightaway banking. Usually, pit lane action shots aren't needed for immediate newspaper publication, so film suffices nicely for the photos sold to the teams; as are Victory Lane candid and "hat dance" shots, yada yada yada...
  9. I have had my Manfrotto (Bogen) monopod for close to 20 years and love it. Have not repaired it yet. Knock on wood. I regularly use it with 6 kg on it (body and 400/2.8). I am also 6'2" and I always have to drop the monopod about 2 inches from full extension. When I bought mine they had only two models and I got the better one, with longer extension. Just make sure you choose the model with the right extension. Manfrotto still supports (no pun intended) my 20 year old tripod which has needed a couple of replacement parts.
  10. Take a look at the Giottos P.Pod MM 55xx series. I've been shopping around for a monopod for years and never bought one because anything that was affordable didn't suit me. These Giottos models have twist locks, which are more comfortable for me than flip locks. All of 'em extend high enough for tall users and one or two models collapse low enough for use while sitting.

    A simple pivoting head with an equally simple quick release is included. I wouldn't turn my back on it or lug heavy gear around with the monopod over my shoulder, but it should be useful enough otherwise.

    Rigid aluminum with leg sections that are larger than average in diameter. Not the lightest monopod around but definitely sturdy. Costs about $75-$80. You can review all the specs in detail at the Giottos website.
  11. Lex, that has to be the worst website I've ever seen! All Flash, tiny pictures with no specifications listed for easy comparison -- Just tiny icons with cryptic model numbers below them, with no explanations. :(

    Anyway, monopods take a beating when used at sporting events: A twist lock shaft is nice if you have time to futz with it; and I will give Giottos a good grade for design, with the baby legs allowing you to shoot prone to the ground. And Yes, I carry my monopod or tripod over my shoulder with my camera & lens attached, to save time and ease the heft.

    That being said, I noticed they (Giottos) manufacture the "Bazooka" line of tripods; and I made the mistake of buying one three years ago: The quality belongs at Wal-Mart to hold pocket digicams steady... And that's about it.
  12. Cecil, I have a Slik, which I have tried to destroy and it's light and folds down. Go for one with a clamshell lever verus the thumbscrews. Check out the entended height so you don't break your back, Bogen also makes a great product if you want to drop the extra coin.
  13. Gitzo makes some that are built pretty solid and last a long time. They are also solid enough to whap someone pretty hard without bending and becoming unusable.
  14. I too shoot with the Gitzo G1588. Believe me when I say that bigger is better when it comes to shooting with larger lenses and that's not only because it's sturdier, but it's also more comfortable to handle. The G1588 isn't cheap, but it should last you a lifetime.

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