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Thread: Monopods, tripods and heads

  1. #1
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Monopods, tripods and heads

    Hi

    I'm looking for advice on a monopod and head. I have the Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with the 804RC2 head. I'd like to get a monopod to use for a long lens (Canon EF 100-400 4.5-5.6L IS USM). A photography shop has recommended the Manfrotto 681 monopod. To add to the mix, I'd like to get macro rails in the future so I'm thinking of a better head to use with them than my existing one. I'm wondering what head I should get? If I upgrade the head, I'd put the new one on the tripod and old one on the monopod.

    Any suggestions or comments?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    Hi Raylee,

    I have the 100-400 and I use it on a mono pod at times. I use an Acratech Ultimate ball head.In my opinion ,you should look at a ball head for use on a mono pod.Very versatile setup.

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    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    I got my monopods via the hunting/shooting supply houses. they are quite sturdy, fully adjustable and serve me dual purpose. I haven't yet put a camera head on mine, but I've been thinking about it. I'm thinking a ball head might give me the functions I want.

    Pops

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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    I have a Canon monopod. I have an Acratech ball head on Manfrotto legs, they're good but heavy. I have Velbon macro rails that I have yet to really make use of. I don't know whether the ball head is really good, but in a recent workshop, the teacher said it was fine.

  5. #5
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    Thanks! I think I should get a ball head.

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    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    I use a Kirk Tilting Head on my monopod. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Monopod.html

    The Kirk head is a Manfrotto Tilt head with the addition of a Kirk Arca Compatible Quick Release. I like the Arca Compatible system since both my tripods are equipped with Arca Compatible releases on their ball heads.

    Some photographers say that the Manfrotto/Kirk head is not solid enough for a long lens. However, I have used mine with both my 300mm f/4L IS and 400mm f/5.6L lenses on 30D and 40D cameras with absolutely no problem.

    IMO, a ball head is not appropriate for a monopod because of the extra weight. Additionally, if you want to switch from horizontal to vertical camera positions, the camera is hanging cantilevered over to the side when using a ball head if using a non-tripod ring equipped lens. I have Really Right Stuff L brackets on both my 30D and 40D cameras so if I want to use a non-tripod ring equipped camera/lens in the vertical position, the camera is positioned directly over the monopod.

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    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I use a Kirk Tilting Head on my monopod. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Monopod.html

    The Kirk head is a Manfrotto Tilt head with the addition of a Kirk Arca Compatible Quick Release. I like the Arca Compatible system since both my tripods are equipped with Arca Compatible releases on their ball heads.

    Some photographers say that the Manfrotto/Kirk head is not solid enough for a long lens. However, I have used mine with both my 300mm f/4L IS and 400mm f/5.6L lenses on 30D and 40D cameras with absolutely no problem.

    IMO, a ball head is not appropriate for a monopod because of the extra weight. Additionally, if you want to switch from horizontal to vertical camera positions, the camera is hanging cantilevered over to the side when using a ball head if using a non-tripod ring equipped lens. I have Really Right Stuff L brackets on both my 30D and 40D cameras so if I want to use a non-tripod ring equipped camera/lens in the vertical position, the camera is positioned directly over the monopod.
    Richard

    I was thinking of getting a ball head and putting it on my tripod and my existing tilt head on a monopod. What's your opinion on that set-up? I don't know which ball head to choose though.

  8. #8
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods, tripods and heads

    I think that having a ball head on a tripod and a swivel head on a monopod is a great combination. That is what I use.

    The Manfrotto Swivel head is the only swivel that is priced fairly low. You can get the Manfrotto swivel in three versions:

    Without a quick release: which I don't recommend because I like to be able to remove and attach the camera/lens quickly and easily.
    ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Monopod.html )

    With the Manfrotto RC2 quick release: this would be the one to buy if you are using a Manfrotto ball head with RC2 quick release on your tripod.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Head_for.html

    Kirk offers the Manfrotto 234 swivel head with an Arca Compatible quick release: This would be the one to get if you are using an Arca Compatible quick release on your tripod head and were not considering using extremely heavy camera/lens combinations.
    ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...A=endecaSearch )

    Really Right Stuff offers a heavy duty monopod head: This is the one I would might get if I were expecting to use very heavy camera/lens combinations. It is a lot more expensive than the above heads, but the capacity is great:
    ( http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fc=75 )
    Note... really Right Stuff once offered a version of the Manfrotto 234 swivel head with their Arca Compatabile quick release.

    I said that I "might" consider the Really Right Stuff heavy duty head but, I actually use a Manfrotto gimbal head for long and large lenses on either my tripod or monopod...

    ( http://www.nikonians.org/html/resour...393/393_1.html )

    Here is an image from Romy Ocon, an expert birder from the Philippines, showing his Sigmonster on the Manfrotto Gimbal. I used Romy's image because I don't have a lens this heavy to illustrate the capacity of the Manfrotto Gimbal...

    Monopods, tripods and heads

    This gimbal is a super way to mount very heavy and large lenses which are equipped with a tripod-ring. It works quite well on either a tripod or a monopod and can be used to follow fast moving subjects such as these hydroplane racing boats shot with a 400mm f/5.6L lens...

    Monopods, tripods and heads

    Monopods, tripods and heads

    Now, as for a tripod head, there are a plethora of heads available. I personally prefer a ball head with an Arca Compatible quick release for my tripods. I like Arca Compatibility since it allows me to use a Reall Right Stuff "L" bracket. The "L" bracket makes switching from horizontal to vertical camera positions quite easy and keeps the camera over the tripod head. When shooting with Quick release Clamps like the Manfrotto RC-2, your camera hangs cantilevered over to the side when in the vertical position. There are other advantages to an "L' bracket:
    ( http://reallyrightstuff.com/WebsiteInfo.aspx?fc=80 )
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 7th December 2010 at 04:41 PM.

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