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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
Thread started 20 Feb 2018 (Tuesday) 12:24
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Questions Re: RRS Pro Monopod Head (MH-01 Pro)

 
SYS
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Feb 20, 2018 12:24 |  #1

I'm planning on ordering Gitzo GM4542 Series-4 Carbon eXact 4-Section Monopod: https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com (external link) ...4542_series_4_carbo​n.html, and I'm looking to pair it with the RRS Pro Monopod Head (MH-01 Pro) (https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com (external link) ..._head_with_full_siz​e.html). But for someone totally new to RRS, I don't get a couple of things about it:

1) It comes with three different versions: a) with Standard Screw-Knob; b) with Standard Lever-Release Clamp; and c) with Indexing Lever-Release Clamp. What are the differences among them? What I need to get is the one that would allow me to get the camera off of the monopod quickly for handheld shooting mode.

2) Do I need anything else for the camera/lens foot to attach to the head or does it come with it?



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johnf3f
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Feb 20, 2018 16:22 |  #2

I suggested the MH01 to you on another thread. A friend has one and finds it very good indeed with his Canon 500 F4 L IS and a 1 Series body. I have tried it too and rather liked it!

He has the version with the screw clamp. I feel that this is a good idea as it allows the use of a much wider (and cheaper) variety of QR plates. Arca Swiss covers a multitude of slight variations in dimensions and lever clamps require specific dimensions to work properly. With a screw clamp it is fine so long as the plate is reasonably close. I only use screw clamps (from various makers) and all sorts of Arca type QR plates without issue. You will need a QR plate - I would suggest the Kiwifotos ones available on FleaBay - got a few and they are great.

This is the one I use on my 300 F2.8 L IS:

https://www.ebay.co.uk …aa10fd:g:r3cAAM​XQUmFSeTNc (external link)


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SYS
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Feb 21, 2018 10:59 |  #3

johnf3f wrote in post #18568492 (external link)
I suggested the MH01 to you on another thread. A friend has one and finds it very good indeed with his Canon 500 F4 L IS and a 1 Series body. I have tried it too and rather liked it!

He has the version with the screw clamp. I feel that this is a good idea as it allows the use of a much wider (and cheaper) variety of QR plates. Arca Swiss covers a multitude of slight variations in dimensions and lever clamps require specific dimensions to work properly. With a screw clamp it is fine so long as the plate is reasonably close. I only use screw clamps (from various makers) and all sorts of Arca type QR plates without issue. You will need a QR plate - I would suggest the Kiwifotos ones available on FleaBay - got a few and they are great.

This is the one I use on my 300 F2.8 L IS:

https://www.ebay.co.uk …aa10fd:g:r3cAAM​XQUmFSeTNc (external link)

Thank you for the link and the info. I'm also looking into Sirui L Series L-20S 2-Way Levelling Tilt Heads as an alternative. It's less expensive and comes with the plate: https://www.amazon.com …age_o00_s00?ie=​UTF8&psc=1 (external link). Any thoughts on this?



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Choderboy
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Feb 21, 2018 14:47 |  #4

SYS wrote in post #18568999 (external link)
Thank you for the link and the info. I'm also looking into Sirui L Series L-20S 2-Way Levelling Tilt Heads as an alternative. It's less expensive and comes with the plate: https://www.amazon.com …age_o00_s00?ie=​UTF8&psc=1 (external link). Any thoughts on this?

Do you want the pan function? For monopod I prefer the L-10.
I have an L-10. I don't like the clamp. I find it hard to get a grip on the screw knob. So I replace the clamp. Other than that it's great. I use it with 100-400 II and 500 f4.


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johnf3f
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Feb 21, 2018 15:57 |  #5

Like Choderboy I also have the L10 and find it pretty good - especially at the price! However my friend's RRS MH01 was better, though at a price.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited 4 months ago by CyberDyneSystems.
     
Feb 21, 2018 16:05 |  #6

I am using the SIRUI L-10 as well.

There really is no use for a panning feature on monopod head liek this. If there were, they would not have come up with these tilt only heads in the first place.


The Sirui is a good knock off of the RRS. I am sure the RRS would survive under more duress, and yes I;'ve used the RRS, it defintiely gives theat impression in your hands!!! Less effort to clamp down etc.
But I use the SIRUI under my 500mm (both the older heavier IS and the new gen II) with no issues at all.

As for the clamps, I prefer screw clamps in most cases because I do have a mix of brands and prefer the flexibility, but in this case I could easily say that I would have gone with a good lever release for two reasons;

- Unlike with my tripod set up, my Monopod is an application where "dumping the 'pod" for hand held use is a matter of speed! Here a lever release would be very effective.

- Unlike my tripod set-ups, I am likely only going to use the Monopod and tilt head with ONE lens. My 500mm. So having a perfectly matching plate (or foot) with the correct RRS dovetail to work in the lever clamp is not a problem.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post edited 4 months ago by CyberDyneSystems.
     
Feb 21, 2018 16:12 |  #7

P.S.

If you own a Sidekick, or are still researching how to top off your monopod,. you might want to check out this thread;

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1429801

With the 500mm this is how I use a monopod now almost exclusively.


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RPCrowe
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Feb 21, 2018 22:01 |  #8

I used a Kirk MPA-1 monopod head which was a retrofit of a Manfrotto Tilt head with a Kirk Arca Compatible clamp. It was adequate for shooting but, I always worried about carrying the monopod over my shoulder with camera and lens attached to the head. The decision to upgrade to the Kirk MPA-2 was made for me when I left pod and head on a bus in Croatia.

I use the Kirk MPA-2 now and I am very happy with the rig on top of a Calumet Carbon Monopod.

However, if I did not have the Kirk head, I would be very interested in the Sirui...


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xhosa12
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Feb 21, 2018 22:34 |  #9

I use the Gitzo 5561T and RRS MH-01. I use this combo after much deliberation.
I can say using this for wildlife photography that the compact lever-release clamp is ideal when speed (quickly removing or attaching the gear) is required.




  
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Scatterbrained
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Feb 21, 2018 22:38 |  #10

SYS wrote in post #18568297 (external link)
I'm planning on ordering Gitzo GM4542 Series-4 Carbon eXact 4-Section Monopod: https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com (external link) ...4542_series_4_carbo​n.html, and I'm looking to pair it with the RRS Pro Monopod Head (MH-01 Pro) (https://www.bhphotovid​eo.com (external link) ..._head_with_full_siz​e.html). But for someone totally new to RRS, I don't get a couple of things about it:

1) It comes with three different versions: a) with Standard Screw-Knob; b) with Standard Lever-Release Clamp; and c) with Indexing Lever-Release Clamp. What are the differences among them? What I need to get is the one that would allow me to get the camera off of the monopod quickly for handheld shooting mode.

2) Do I need anything else for the camera/lens foot to attach to the head or does it come with it?

The real question here is, are you planning on using the head both with long and short lenses? If you're only going to use it with telephoto lenses than getting the head with the indexed clamp is pointless. Personally, I went through this same decision process not too long ago and ended up getting the Sirui L-10 head. As has been pointed out, you really don't need a panning feature on a monopod head. For that you just rotate the monopod. I wouldn't recommend using the tiny camera plate that comes with the L-10 on a telephoto lens however. I have Wimberly plates on my telephoto lenses, which helps both to achieve better balance as well as ensuring the plate doesn't rotate on the foot of the lens. If you're going to be using this with tele lenses then I'd certainly recommend picking up lens plates if you haven't already.

On a side note, if you're willing to shell out for the RRS unit, you might want to check out thePMG monopod head (external link) as well. I personally was very close to buying that one, but I don't use my monopod enough to justify it.


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SYS
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Post edited 4 months ago by SYS. (7 edits in all)
     
Feb 22, 2018 16:33 |  #11

My apology for responding rather late to all the helpful comments (had to go through a couple of implants, a fill, a crown and a tooth extraction in the last few days, lol). Thank you to all for your responses. :-)

The top priorities in what I'm looking for in a monopod and a head are:

1) Overall gear weight (am getting old with some health issues, so the least amount of weight is of utmost importance to me now).

I thought about Jake's mention of Sidekick, but while I love the idea, I really don't want any additional weight if I can avoid it. I'm assuming the set up is heavier? The same concern with Sirui SUP204SR Photo/Video Monopod. While looks wonderful and I could achieve a Gimbal like function with it, it's a pound more than the Gitzo monopod.

2) The monopod/head combo is mostly for my bird photography (portraiture and BIF), and I need solid reliability in being able to carry over my shoulder.

I did closely read the reviews on Sirui L-10, but the following comment by one particular reviewer steered me away to the consideration of Sirui L-20S in spite of knowing that I don't need a panning feature (except that I could use the feature on my tripod for landscape, so the feature is not useless to me): "This rating (4 on Amazon) is based on testing this tilt head w/ a 200-500mm lens; I felt I had to over tighten the knob to keep the lens from tilting and this primarily happened while resting the monopod on my shoulder, but not exclusively." I might end up with the same issue with the L-20S, but considering that it's load capacity is 55.12lbs in comparison to L-10's load capacity of 33 lbs, I'm hoping that the issue is non-existent.

3) As a couple of you've already pointed out, I need to be able to go from monopod attachment to handheld in a hurry. I don't know how quickly I'll be able to accomplish this with L-20S in comparison to the lever action, but if there's a "significant" difference, enough to lose a chance at a good shot, then I'm willing to pay a lot more for RRS MH-01 Pro.

I guess the only way to find out the overall weight, feel, reliability, and how quickly I can detach for handheld action with the L-20S is to give it a try (including on my tripod for landscape panning). If there's anything concerning me with it, then it's going back and I'll order MH-01.

Should I go with the MH-01 Pro with lever, does anyone have a recommendation as to which camera plate I should get for it?



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SYS
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Post edited 4 months ago by SYS.
     
Feb 22, 2018 16:50 |  #12

Oh, one downside to MH-01 Pro was brought up by this reviewer on BH site:

"The purpose for a mono pod head is to allow a small amount of play so that the camera and lens can be tilted up/down in the field. It requires a design that allows a smooth transition from tight and unmovable to just loose enough so that it can be tilted without violently falling forward or backwards and this is where the MH-01 falls short. It almost breaks your fingers as the lens falls unexpectantly. I sent mine back to be fixed but they said that is the way it works."

If this is indeed the way MH-01 is designed to work, then Sirui L20-S has an advantage in this regard as it doesn't seem to suffer from the same issue from what I've read.



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Feb 23, 2018 01:43 |  #13

I went with the Sirui L-20S despite the currently useless panning feature only because I may eventually want a monopod with feet, where it will be more useful. The Sirui is a beast, I'm very happy with it.

One point on lever vs knob for tightening down your camera. Most of the time my camera on monopod is slung across my shoulder when I'm getting around. I definitely didn't want the chance that the lever might catch on a pack strap or collar when lifting it off my shoulder for use. The knob requires a tad more work, but the benefit to confidence is a no brainer in my opinion.




  
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Post edited 4 months ago by Choderboy.
     
Feb 23, 2018 03:51 |  #14

SYS wrote in post #18569983 (external link)
....but the following comment by one particular reviewer steered me away to the consideration of Sirui L-20S in spite of knowing that I don't need a panning feature (except that I could use the feature on my tripod for landscape, so the feature is not useless to me): "This rating (4 on Amazon) is based on testing this tilt head w/ a 200-500mm lens; I felt I had to over tighten the knob to keep the lens from tilting and this primarily happened while resting the monopod on my shoulder, but not exclusively."

Should I go with the MH-01 Pro with lever, does anyone have a recommendation as to which camera plate I should get for it?

On the Sirui L-10 I find the tilt adjustment very good. Easy to tighten enough to keep a 100-400 II with 1.4TC and a 1D from tilting. (the 200-500 is 2.3kg. 100-400 with 1.4TC is about 2kg)
The knob is large and has good knurling. I mentioned above I don't like the knob on the Sirui clamp, hard to get a grip, so if I'm happy with the tilt knob, surprising someone finds it less than good.

Camera plate? I suspect we are talking about a lens plate. What lens or lenses are you planning to use with this? Unless using a short lens, you will want a lens plate. For most telephoto lenses I would be choosing one with a lip
to mate with the tripod collar to prevent it twisting. On my 100-400II I replaced the Canon foot with an Arca foot, but that's only an option for some lenses. Further, the removeable foot on the 100-400II is rounded on the back so a lip on the lens plate will not work to prevent twisting.


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Choderboy
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Post edited 4 months ago by Choderboy. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 23, 2018 04:00 |  #15

Replacement foot on my 100-400 II.

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5732/23151984493_f567b7f048_o.jpg

The black electrical tape covers the hole I drilled in the lens collar after I permanently attached the replacement foot due to the failure of the 4 x 2mm screws Canon used to secure the foot to the collar.
That hole allows the collar to be removed (after the rear of the lens is disassembled) if needed.

Another unusual case. Lens plate on my Sigma 150-600 Sport.
It has 3 threaded holes in the foot so no problems with the plate twisting. Sigma are generally smarter than Canon for things like this and build better.
This lens weighs 3 kg yet the 4 bolts that attach the foot to the collar are the same size that Canon uses on a 5.4kg lens.
The flat part of the foot, facing the camera is the part a lens plate with a lip would rest against to stop the lens plate twisting.
IMAGE: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/715/22738100014_fc3e159265_o.jpg

Dave
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Questions Re: RRS Pro Monopod Head (MH-01 Pro)
FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
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