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Thread started 22 May 2013 (Wednesday) 16:23
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Any good reasons to use a ballhead on a monopod?

 
Tanglefoot47
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May 22, 2013 16:23 |  #1

Thinking of giving this a try but was asked why a ballhead on a monopod and instead of a tilt head. So I would like to hear why you prefer a ballhead? I know there are many who use a ballhead on a monopod :D

Mike




  
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May 22, 2013 16:53 |  #2

I have tried a ball head on a mono pod. With large lenses I found it a complete liability! With smaller lenses (less than 2.5 kilo) it just becomes an inconvenience. I do admire people who can use ball heads on mono pods but it is so much simpler/cheaper to use a tilt head or if practical (for the style of shooting involved) just screw the mono pod directly to the lens foot or camera body.
I use Canon lenses from the 17-40 to the 800 F5.6 off my mono pods - you will never see a ball head anywhere near them.
If you have a head lying around then try it, they really didn't work for me!


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CyberDyneSystems
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May 22, 2013 17:22 |  #3

The only good reason for a ball head on a monopod, is that ballheads are easier to come by.

But these days there are now a number of good tilt only options.

Time was we all used a little $35.00 Manfrotto, and added our own Arca clamp.
http://www.amazon.com …d-Tilt-Head/dp/B000KHZ8AA (external link)


But now RRS, Kirk and a number of others have made superb heads designed specifically for monopods.

What lens are you going to use?

If nothing larger than a 70-200mm or so, then that Manfrotto is still a valid option, or look at the excellent value Sirui.
http://www.amazon.com …TF8&qid=1369261​448&sr=1-1 (external link)
The beauty of the SIRUI is it comes with a very well made Arca clamp installed and a plate. All for $100.00ish.

IMAGE: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51srCxsbG2L._SX342_.jpg

For the big guns, 300mm f/2.8 or larger, I'd suggest the RRS or Kirk.. but now your into a few hundred with clamp etc.. but they will handle the even that 800mm with aplomb.


RRS;
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Kirk:
IMAGE: http://www.kirkphoto.com/images/MPA2a.jpg

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CyberDyneSystems
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May 22, 2013 17:35 |  #4

I have used three of the four heads above. (never had my hands on the Kirk)

The best is positively the RRS. (I'd expect the Kirk to be in the same league)

The Sirui is an obvious knock off, a very well made one, and what I own now. I will use it with my 500mm f/4L IS, but I admit it does not lock as easily as the RRS did.

Lastly, the Manfrotto actually handles more than you'd expect, and I used to use it for my 500mm as well when it was the only option. Now that there are better options, I'd only recommend it for the budget user that is not shooting a super telephoto.

Some others I have not handled are made by Sunwayfoto and Hejnar.
The Hejnar looks very good;
http://www.hejnarphoto​store.com …Path=54_15&prod​ucts_id=20 (external link)


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Tanglefoot47
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May 22, 2013 17:36 |  #5

I have the Sirui L-10 now just waiting on my pod. It seems very well made, looks great but I am sure it's no where near as good as the RRS or the Kirk




  
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digital ­ paradise
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May 22, 2013 18:09 |  #6

If I'm sitting in the stands and shooting sports I can angle the base of the pod forward which is much more comfortable. I find it very helpful for shooting static wildlife and sports while standing. I stopped using two directional tilt heads long ago. I never used one like (tilt in one direction only) CyberDyne posted. I don't think I could work without a ball or at least a single tilt head.


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Tanglefoot47
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May 22, 2013 18:15 |  #7

digital paradise wrote in post #15957967 (external link)
If I'm sitting in the stands and shooting sports I can angle the base of the pod forward which is much more comfortable. I find it very helpful for shooting static wildlife and sports while standing. I stopped using two directional tilt heads long ago. I never used one like (tilt in one direction only) CyberDyne posted. I don't think I could work without a ball or at least a single tilt head.

Are you using a ballhead? I know the feeling about a tilt forward and back




  
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digital ­ paradise
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May 22, 2013 18:19 |  #8

Yes. I own a few, big and heavy for local use and small for travel. I use them both for my mono and tripods.


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RPCrowe
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May 22, 2013 22:14 as a reply to  @ digital paradise's post |  #9

Great reply Jake...

I also don't like a ball head on my monopod. Instead, I use a Kirk MPA-1 which is the Manfrotto Tilt Head with a Kirk Arca Compatible Clamp attached. As you mentioned, it is decently sturdy and since my maximum load is a 400mm f/5.6L or 300mm f/4L IS lens on a Canon 7D camera, this works quite well for me. If I were using a heavier camera/lens package, I would definitely look into the Kirk MPA-2 or the RRS Heavy Duty Swivel or I would just use my Manfrotto Gimbal Head which works great on a monopod...

Since I use RRS L-brackets on my cameras without tripod rings, I needed to switch the clamp of the MPA-1 90 degrees so that slot will accept the L-bracket and allow the tilt to be back and forth, rather than side to side. This was easy to do with the MPA-1...

I don't know if you can switch the positioning of the clamp on the RRS heavy duty bracket so that the slot is at right angles to the direction of the tilt. I have looked at the RRS tilt once and didn't think that I could change the direction of the clamp. However, I could very well be wrong. I didn't pay that much attention to it since I had the Kirk MPA-1 which suited me well...

If you notice the heavy duty Kirk MPA-2 clamp in the illustration above, you will see that the direction of the clamp is correct for mounting a L-bracket equipped camera. The clamp slot is orientated 90 degrees differently than on the RRS swivel...


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DanAnCan
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May 22, 2013 22:26 |  #10

1. Bought a Gitzo monopod and ball head. Tried it. Liked it

2. Read this thread.

3. Pulled the ball head off the monopod. Tried it. Liked it more.

Damn, I have a fine Italian-made paper weight until I order myself a gitzo tripod.

LOL


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digital ­ paradise
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May 22, 2013 22:35 |  #11

Forgot to mention that I'm using RSS quick release plates and clamps with the ball heads. Probably does not matter as the ball head idea is dying anyway.

I had my gear on a mono pod with ball head when I took this shot. Without the bullhead I could not have angled the gear up enough. Even with IS I use a monopod if the situation presents itself.

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1297312


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May 22, 2013 22:39 |  #12

So was this shot from a few years ago. Same lens but with a 1.4 extender.

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Tanglefoot47
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May 22, 2013 22:42 |  #13

Great shot




  
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digital ­ paradise
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May 22, 2013 22:59 |  #14

Thanks. I have always been a little shaky. Gets worse as you age holding heavier gear. People have told me I'm nuts to use IS with my monopod but I don't care. I just care about results. A monopod is useless for BIF or air shows and I turn the IS off when using a tripod. One day I'd liked to get a gimballed head for my tripod but those things are pricey. I'll wait until I can afford the 500L F4.


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gakoenig
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May 22, 2013 23:15 |  #15

A monopod IS a ballhead... just the diameter of the ball is like 5'

=)


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Any good reasons to use a ballhead on a monopod?
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