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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
Thread started 19 Jul 2018 (Thursday) 20:51
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Monopod help. I think.

 
Bassat
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Jul 19, 2018 20:51 |  #1

I am the new owner of a refurbished Sigma 150-600 'C'. It came with a small problem; it is heavy. I'd like to use it with a monopod for shooting kids' field sports. I have a monopod that I've tried and just tossed back in the closet: too short, too flimsy, no head. If I extend the thinnest section, it is still 6" too short. I think I paid $29 for it.

I am 5'11" tall. I would like a monopod/head that can handle an 80D/150-600 without fear. I would also appreciate some pointers on heads. A regular ball head? I have decent one, but it is a pain to remove/replace from its own tripod. I know I need something I can pitch and yaw to wide degrees. Pretty sure I can live without roll. Seems like a gimbal setup would be ideal, but I don't want to spend a fortune on this. Top budget is $200-$300.

TIA.




  
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john ­ crossley
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Jul 20, 2018 00:56 |  #2

Bassat wrote in post #18666333 (external link)
I am the new owner of a refurbished Sigma 150-600 'C'. It came with a small problem; it is heavy. I'd like to use it with a monopod for shooting kids' field sports. I have a monopod that I've tried and just tossed back in the closet: too short, too flimsy, no head. If I extend the thinnest section, it is still 6" too short. I think I paid $29 for it.

I am 5'11" tall. I would like a monopod/head that can handle an 80D/150-600 without fear. I would also appreciate some pointers on heads. A regular ball head? I have decent one, but it is a pain to remove/replace from its own tripod. I know I need something I can pitch and yaw to wide degrees. Pretty sure I can live without roll. Seems like a gimbal setup would be ideal, but I don't want to spend a fortune on this. Top budget is $200-$300.

TIA.

I use Manfrotto; can remember which one though. Personally I would forget about a head and just screw the mono-pod into the tripod collar.


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Jul 20, 2018 01:02 |  #3

I have the Sirui L-10 for monopods. All it does is tilt. Drives people who put it on tripods crazy. But it's right for monopods.


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-Duck-
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Jul 20, 2018 01:08 |  #4

I have a Sigma 150-400mm so I understand the difficulties.

My setup is the Manfrotto monopod with extendable feet. The earlier model of this one; XPRO PHOTO MONOPOD ALU 3 SEC WITH STANDING BASE (external link)

While you can just attach it to the lens' collar, I find this awkward as it doesn't allow to angle the lens up and down easily. For that I have the Manfrotto pistol grip ball head, which I don't think they still make. All my camera stands, flash brackets, tripods and monopods have Manfrotto quick release bases and all my cameras and big lenses have quick release plates making swapping equipment super convenient.

If there is a camera club or meetup group in your area consider attending a few events and see if you can "test drive" some setups. that way you can get hands on experience to see what feel comfortable for you.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 20, 2018 01:21 |  #5

For your budget, I'd look at the Manfrotto 680 series, (they come in different heights and number of sections) and the previously mentioned Sirui L10 for a head.

Edit, apparently Manfrotto (like Gitzo) feels a need to change all the numbers on occasion, so 680 after 20 some odd years is no longer a thing. See this instead;

https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …ompact_Monopod_​Black.html (external link)


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Bassat
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Jul 20, 2018 01:30 |  #6

Appreciate the comments so far. The Surui L-10 looks interesting, and it solves the non-up/down limitation of NOT using a head. That takes care of pitch. If I need roll, I can turn the entire setup 90 degrees, I suppose. Yaw on a monopod just isn't an issue. Even w/o a head, L/R motion should be very easy.

Any specific monopod recommendations for a dSLR/150-600 combo for a 5'11" shooter? I'm seeing a lot of models that are 67" and shorter. Pretty sure I don't want to be shooting hunched over a heavy camera on a wobbly monopod.




  
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Bassat
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Jul 20, 2018 02:15 |  #7

Jake, thanks for the monopod suggestion. So far, that one is the only one that goes more than 67". It is 71.5. That works. While looking at the monopod, I discovered that Manfrotto makes a monopod head that does the same thing as the L-10, for 1/3 the price. Gets good reviews. Comes in two versions: quick-release and not. $38 and $30.

Thanks, guys. Still shopping.




  
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Post edited 8 months ago by Choderboy. (2 edits in all)
     
Jul 20, 2018 07:04 |  #8

While load capacities are generally regarded as meaningless, it's normal that the manufacturers rating will be 2,3 or more times what you will be loading it with.
Manfrotto rate their tilt head for less than a Sigma 150-600C and any DSLR I can think of except a 200D.

Manfrotto 234: Load Capacity 5.51 lb / 2.5 kg
Sirui L-10: Load Capacity 33 lb / 15 kg

I have an L-10 and have used it with over 8kg and I would be confident loading it up with more, although I can't imagine I will.


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Jul 20, 2018 11:20 |  #9

Bassat wrote in post #18666494 (external link)
Jake, thanks for the monopod suggestion. So far, that one is the only one that goes more than 67". It is 71.5. That works. While looking at the monopod, I discovered that Manfrotto makes a monopod head that does the same thing as the L-10, for 1/3 the price. Gets good reviews. Comes in two versions: quick-release and not. $38 and $30.

Thanks, guys. Still shopping.

I've used that head, it is serviceable, but it is not in the same league. It is all cast wacky metal, vs. machined aluminum, and uses the weaker RC2 QR plates. Just get the L-10 IMHO. We used to use that head when it was in fact the only "tilt only" head available. in 2006 or so RRS finally made a good one, and most people that could afford to switched to it. With the Sirui, there's no reason to use the Manfrotto, unless you are mounting it on a light DSLR with a 10-22, or mirrorless.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Jul 20, 2018 15:53 |  #10

Slightly above your budget but look at https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com …lth4_5_grand_st​ealth.html (external link)

Normally $500 on sale at $319 but includes head. Note plenty of height!




  
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Jul 20, 2018 17:05 |  #11

I haven't shot with this head, but do have it. Gemtune VH-10 Panhead on my Monopod. $200 Retail, bought used in Mint condition for $50. It is on a Manfrotto 3216 (now called 379B I think)


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Jul 20, 2018 18:44 |  #12

Bassat wrote in post #18666475 (external link)
Any specific monopod recommendations for a dSLR/150-600 combo for a 5'11" shooter? I'm seeing a lot of models that are 67" and shorter. Pretty sure I don't want to be shooting hunched over a heavy camera on a wobbly monopod.

I wouldn’t categorically disqualify the 67” monopods. A head will add a couple of inches, and then the camera’s viewfinder will be a couple of inches higher still. And I’m willing to bet that your eyes are a few inches below the top of your head (just a guess, I’ve never met you in person).

If there is a well-stocked camera store near you (an increasing rarity), maybe you could try one out there. Or a local camera club, as -Duck- suggested.

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Bassat
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Jul 20, 2018 18:55 |  #13

mcoren wrote in post #18666986 (external link)
I wouldn’t categorically disqualify the 67” monopods. A head will add a couple of inches, and then the camera’s viewfinder will be a couple of inches higher still. And I’m willing to bet that your eyes are a few inches below the top of your head (just a guess, I’ve never met you in person).

If there is a well-stocked camera store near you (an increasing rarity), maybe you could try one out there. Or a local camera club, as -Duck- suggested.

Mike

The only thing well-stocked within 30 miles are corn fields! There is a Camera shop in Fort Wayne (55m), Indy (110m), and I'll bet Chicago (~120m) has a few. The is a Nikon about 30 miles away. Been there. They stock top-notch cameras and lenses, and El-Cheap-O Promaster Accessories.

Anyway, I ordered the Manfrotto 71" 4-section monopod and a Manfrotto 234RC tilt-head. I won't use it much, and I'm easy on my gear. It has to be WAY better than the $12 Walmart Targus I've been using. If I like the monopod and not the head, I'll get the L-10. Really don't need 15kg for 5# 150-600, though. Even with an 80D attached, its only about 7 pounds.

Thanks all. I'll get back after trying it out.




  
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Bassat
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Jul 24, 2018 12:31 |  #14

I got the monopod today. Way sturdier than the $12 Walmart model I threw out. The 234RC head seems sturdy enough for the light use I'll put it through. Now for some field testing.




  
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Bassat
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Jul 25, 2018 09:56 |  #15

I got the monopod (71", 3-section. not 4-section) and 234RC yesterday. Hands-down, I like the monopod. It is a lot sturdier/better-built than I expected. Including head and camera view-finder height, I can get the VF almost a foot above my eyes. That may come in handy, but not sure. The only complaint is that it has ONLY the 3/8" stud. That limits what I can screw it into. As long as I use the 234RC (or another head), not a problem.

Which brings me to the 234RC tilt-head. Strong enough to hold 80D/150-600, I suppose. That is the last good thing I have to say about it. The Manfrotto quick-release system is cheap plastic crap. The plate itself is decent, sturdy metal. The one-sided, tilt-in/slip-in setup is really not very secure, and made of cheap plastic. It inspires visions of my gear crashing to the ground and splattering. I don't use a neck-strap. My camera strap is the Peak Designs Cuff; I love those things. But, I'm not in the habit of needing a strap when my camera is mounted on something. It is also limiting to have the strap on my wrist while shooting from the tripod. This thing leaves me no choice; I need the strap.

On top of the thin, cheap plastic plate holder, the locking mechanism is a spring mounted detente pin, a spring mounted rotating plastic lever, and a teeny-tiny little brass (?) locking lever that is also spring mounted. THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS SYSTEM TO LOCK THE PLATE MECHANICALLY TO THE HEAD. If all of Manfrotto's plates/heads are like this, I've already purchased my last one.

My last complaint about the 234RC is the coarseness of its adjustment. It does lock down tight; very sturdy. It does loosen to be free-floating; very versatile. If I want it loose/tight enough to move vertically, easily, while shooting a field sport, tough cookies; this head does not do that. If I tighten it enough to not be free-floating, I have to grab the lens/camera with both hands to tilt it up and down. Great for static stuff, but totally useless for shooting stuff that moves around the field.

I took another look at the Surui L-10. At twice the price, it seems like a deal over the 234RC. Looking at the pictures, the tilt tightness mechanism appears to run entirely through the head, not lock on one side like the 234RC. In addition, the gripping surfaces of the tension adjuster appear to have teflon (?) washers on all four contact surfaces. This thing just has to work better than the one I just bought.

For comparison, my tripod is a Vanguard Alta 263 with the SBH-100 Ball head. The 263 can use 1/4" and 3/8" head, though that is a minor issue. The SBH-100 can also be mounted on 1/4" or 3/8". The main differences are the plate itself, and the plate/head connection system. The plate is a bit heavier metal, lets call that a wash. The plate slips into a metal bracket that holds the plate securely. The bracket contains a metal detente pin to keep the plate from sliding out. The SBH system also has a mechanical screw-adjustable side section that securely holds the plate (and my camera/lens) to the head, even if the detente pin fails. I trust this system.

I got off cheap with the 234RC. Now I get to spend the money I should have spent in the first place on a Surui L-10.

EDIT:
The monopod/tilt-head appears to be helping a lot. Hand-holding the 80D/150-600 (especially at 600mm) required shutter speeds in the 1/1000 range. With this monopod, I get good results at 1/200. I don't shoot field sports at 1/200 (usually 1/400-1/640), but I may also shoot a still or two someday!




  
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Monopod help. I think.
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