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Thread started 27 Mar 2014 (Thursday) 18:27
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Monopod. Do You Need a Head?

 
Steve ­ Campbell
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Mar 27, 2014 18:27 |  #1

I'm looking at picking up a monopod, most likely a Manfrotto 680B. I know you can screw the body or lens foot right on to the top of the monopod, but is this ok? Or do you need a head? If so what type. I have a Markins Q10 ballhead and a Jobu Jr3 head right now. This will be used with either a 70-200 2.8 IS or 300 2.8 IS.


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5D Mark III |5D Mark II | 7D | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 24-105 | 17-40 | 300 f2.8L IS |35 1.4L | 50 1.8 | | 24 3.5 TSE II |
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Phoenixkh
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Mar 27, 2014 18:40 |  #2

You will get three answers, all of them based on people's personal experiences.

1. You don't need a head of any kind on a monopod. Just attach your camera or lens foot directly and lean.

2. Use one of your ball heads.

3. Use a tilt head designed for a monopod. I chose this last option but it isn't inexpensive.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
RRS tripod and monopod | 580EXII | Cinch 1 & Loop 3 Special Edition | Editing Encouraged

  
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archer1960
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Mar 27, 2014 18:47 |  #3

At various times I have used all four options: the camera directly on the monopod, a monopod head with just tilt, a ball head, and a gimbal head. All work to a greater or lesser extent. My preferred way is either the tilt only monopod head, or the gimbal head.


Gripped 7D, gripped, full-spectrum modfied T1i (500D), SX50HS, A2E film body, Tamzooka (150-600), Tamron 90mm/2.8 VC (ver 2), Tamron 18-270 VC, Canon FD 100 f/4.0 macro, Canon 24-105 f/4L,Canon EF 200 f/2.8LII, Canon 85 f/1.8, Tamron Adaptall 2 90mmf/2.5 Macro, Tokina 11-16, Canon EX-430 flash, Vivitar DF-383 flash, Astro-Tech AT6RC and Celestron NexStar 102 GT telescopes, various other semi-crappy manual lenses and stuff.

  
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Steve ­ Campbell
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Mar 27, 2014 19:09 as a reply to  @ archer1960's post |  #4

Ok, sounds like all the options will work.


Gear List
5D Mark III |5D Mark II | 7D | 70-200 2.8L IS II | 24-105 | 17-40 | 300 f2.8L IS |35 1.4L | 50 1.8 | | 24 3.5 TSE II |
Speedlite 430 EX II |

  
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Phoenixkh
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Mar 27, 2014 19:15 |  #5

Archer,

Thanks for adding the 4th option. I overlooked the gimbal head.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
RRS tripod and monopod | 580EXII | Cinch 1 & Loop 3 Special Edition | Editing Encouraged

  
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peeaanuut
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Mar 27, 2014 19:17 |  #6

I agree with the above. Your situation and shooting style will dictate that. I personally end up using a tilt head a lot but sometimes bare, etc. NEED a head? No. Want? Maybe.


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Vetteography
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Mar 27, 2014 19:41 |  #7

I have a Canon monopod with a mini ball head, never tried anything else. The one big advantage I can think of is that you can shoot in portrait mode if you like without an L bracket.




  
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DisrupTer911
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Mar 28, 2014 11:11 |  #8

I use a plate clamp to make it easier to not have to take off all my plates.


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BufordFZ1
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Mar 28, 2014 11:23 |  #9

The best thing is to try it out a couple of times 1st with just the pod. I think it is more of a preference, we each do different things.


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Canon EF 17-40mm L
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broadcast_techie
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Mar 28, 2014 15:54 |  #10

To add personal experience - I bought a monopod when I hired a 70-200 f4 to shoot bands, no head. It was useful to a point, if anything it was most effective when not actually touching the ground, just as a counterweight.

Since then I bought a small ballhead which has made it much more flexible, but it adds complication.

As others have said it's best to try it for yourself as you already have a ball head.




  
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Mr ­ B ­ Pix
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Mar 28, 2014 20:53 |  #11

I have the 680B monopod. I also have a tilt head with a quick release plate. Simply couldn't survive without the quick release head. The tilt head is just an added bonus.
I have this one from Kirk. Unfortunately it has been discontinued, but you can occasionally find them on on the Sell forum or on ebay.
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …_Swivel_Tilt_Mo​nopod.html (external link)
Here is the current version. Nice for sure, but more expensive as well.
http://www.bhphotovide​o.com …2_MPA_2_Monopod​_Head.html (external link)


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Calicajun
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Mar 28, 2014 22:04 as a reply to  @ Mr B Pix's post |  #12

I use a tilt head on my mono pod but only because it came with one. Seems to work very well for me so far.


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5DIII, EF 50 1.4, EF 40 f2.8, EF 24-105L IS , EF 70-200 f4L IS, 580EX ll

  
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hollis_f
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Mar 29, 2014 06:33 |  #13

If you're shooting stuff that happens on a horizontal plane (football, mammals on the Serengeti, etc.) then just attach the camera directly to the tripod.

If you're shooting stuff that goes up and down (BiF, planes, etc) then use a ballhead if you're using a short, lightweight lens - or if you have three hands. Otherwise use a tilt head. For a small setup the Manfrotto 234RC2 will suffice, for larger lenses you'll need to check out the more expensive options.


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yogestee
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Mar 30, 2014 07:30 |  #14

hollis_f wrote in post #16794515 (external link)
If you're shooting stuff that happens on a horizontal plane (football, mammals on the Serengeti, etc.) then just attach the camera directly to the tripod.

If you're shooting stuff that goes up and down (BiF, planes, etc) then use a ballhead if you're using a short, lightweight lens - or if you have three hands. Otherwise use a tilt head. For a small setup the Manfrotto 234RC2 will suffice, for larger lenses you'll need to check out the more expensive options.

Just about sums it up unless your longer lenses have tripod rings. I've had the older Manfrotto 234 head on a Manfrotto 681B monopod for as long as I can remember. It doesn't add any bulk to the monopod.

Works well.


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Jurgen
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iDrew
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Mar 31, 2014 01:07 |  #15

I used mine for a while without anything but ended up putting a tilt head with a QR plate on it. Not only was it easier with the QR but it added a little extra height which helps as I tall


Drew - Melbourne Australia
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Monopod. Do You Need a Head?
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