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So Christmas is nearing and I think I might try and see if I can push for a monopod this year. I've a good Manfrotto monopod that works well, however its min height puts things a little high for my liking if I'm crouched down lower. Ideally I also want something that won't be left lagging when I use much heavier setups (big L long glass - if I can ever save up for one); but also could be used as a walking aid as well without worry for it bending or breaking through use.
Based on the above I've checked out Gitzo and found the following:
Series 3 Basalt 6-section Monopod
Series 2 Aluminium Monopod
The monotrek has a low weight limit and is far too long, so whilst a usable walking aid its other features are not desirable; the Series 2 has a good min height and weight; although the Basalt 6 beats it for weight limits considerably; in addition its also a touch shorter, however its max height isn't as great.
At the moment the Basalt is the one looking the most suitable; but I'm not sure if there are any other makes out there that I should be aware of that might be suitable alternatives; I'm also not sure how good the basalts 6 segments are to putting up to the strain of side to side motion (ie walking aid motion) as opposed to just the amount of pressure it can take straight down the pole.
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I htink the probolem with multi-section monopods is that the more sections there are, the thinner the bottom section will be which will reduce its stability as a walking pole.
Is minimum height crucial? If I need to get lower down, I have the monopod at an angle butted up against an object (maybe even my foot) and use it as a brace rather than a vertical support. I have the Monfrotto 234RC head for my monompod which is great for this
My wife has an old Mafrotto monopod with a trigger mechanism that is great to adjust heigh very quickly. That model is discontinued now but they still make something similar I believe.
I also have my father-in-laws Gitzo Monotrek (or something very similar) it is very sturdy, but the screw threead on top is more appropriage for fitting the camera directly onto it rather than using a head. But your comments on the minimum height does beg the question as to how sort do you want (or need) it?
Can I suggest a Leki Sierra walking pole. The top unscrews and there's a camera fitting below it which can either be attached direct to camera or attach a cheap ball head to it then attach camera.
I've found this very successful during my hikes in Switzerland and it's a lot cheaper than an expensive monopod.
Giotto 1560 is perfect. Lightweight and extremely high quality, comes with small ball head - price might stop you tho.
Hmm the point regarding the thickness of the lowest point on the pod is valid, though glancing at the pics and at most walking poles they are not too thick at the base either, though it might be the difference between hollow and filled?
As for the min height, I can angle the monopod (I've got the manfrotto monopod head attached) but I just find that all that leg has to go somewhere and by the time I've fiddled around getting it in position the shot has gone past (or its angled up against a tuft of something and slips)
I've found the Velbon RUP40 to be a good compromise for price/weight/sturdiness...
Here's a link to a thread where I asked the same question a couple of years back - thought you might find some of the answers useful. I ended up with the Manfrotto Neotec which I was very happy with. It's a bit more expensive than some of the others out there but so easy and quick to use
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