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Monopod - Equipment Attachment


JJGEE 15 7.7k 18 England
4 Feb 2020 8:02AM
Considering getting a monopod ( probably Gitzo as I have their tripods ) for my 200 - 600mm lens ( and camera )

What is the best method of attaching the lens collar / camera which makes it easy to detach for packing away in a backpack / bag ?

I am thinking along the lines off some sort of QR plate but uncertain how that would work without a ball / pan & tilt head as well.

So, the possible options

1) attach directly to the monopod and screw / unscrew each time
2) attach a head to the monopod then use the QR mechanism

3) Something else that I have not thought of

Any thoughts / suggestions would be appreciated Smile



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LenShepherd 12 4.1k United Kingdom
4 Feb 2020 9:30AM
Short answer - I use nothing that is ideal.

Your lens is big and heavy - and ideally a monopod needs to be kept near vertical - so you may want some sort of ball head if you intend to tilt the lens up (perhaps for birds) or down.

You say you want something compact - likely eliminating pan and tilt heads as an option.

For this weight of lens a ball head ideally needs a big ball as friction needed when adjusting the lens angle is easier to control on bigger balls.

I have a Benro BI on my big and heavy Manfrotto 68B monopod - which is close to useless for fine angle adjustments with a Nikon 200-500 of similar size and weight to your lens. The Benro G3 head I find better - but still not good Sad

The larger Gitzo centre ball heads have a big enough head to provide a wide range of smooth friction control - but are not cheap. Mine is an at least 20 year old G1576 M which is big and heavy but superb for friction control. Gitzo now have Arca Swiss type plates - but be aware only the Arca Swiss slot size is standard - and a plate for one brand may not lock securely on another brand head.

I can think of heads that should be fully up to the task - but not for less than 200.

I am interested in what others actually use with success - as I generally find cheaper or less than huge size ball heads not up to the task of holding big and heavy lenses successfully when (not if for me) you need to adjust the lens angle.

JJGEE 15 7.7k 18 England
4 Feb 2020 9:41AM
Thanks Len, looks like ball head is a better option than pan & tilt or no head.

I already have both, so equipment wise nothing to buy there.
Dave_Canon Plus
13 1.7k United Kingdom
4 Feb 2020 10:00AM
I never used a Monopod for years and just stuck to a tripod. however a couple of years ago I bought a Manfrotto 290 carbon monopod with a 234RC tilt head and I am well pleased. My tripod is a Manfrotto so I use the same mounting system for both. If I am using a long lens (the longest I have is a 70-200mm f2.8 IS), I used the lens collar and get a good balance. Your longer lens may be more difficult. If I am photographing in a cathedral or at night, I would always choose the tripod. However I have found the monopod useful for some sports short where I need to steady the camera but have some degree of movement. To be honest I do try to minimise the use of both tripod and monopod and will not carry the tripod any significant distance.

Dave
pink Plus
16 6.3k 8 United Kingdom
4 Feb 2020 10:36AM
Another vote for the Manfrotto 234 head, specially designed for monpods and it works great with a quick release plate (supplied), I use it with my 500mm f4 prime and it copes really well
shagnasty 13 49
4 Feb 2020 2:34PM
Wimberley brought out an interesting solution to this with a new product last year
You can see further details here
https://www.parkcameras.com/p/9372001H/video-heads/wimberley/wimberley-monogimbal-head-mh-100
The full product name is Wimberley MonoGimbal Head MH-100, The price is high, but for a quality item holding more expensive equipment securely, then perhaps manageable.
Have a look.....it might meet your needs perfectly
Pat
Railcam 13 802 2 Scotland
4 Feb 2020 3:16PM
I also use the Manfrotto 234RC head on my Manfrotto monopod. It will support my 200-500 zoom Nikkor, which is quite heavy. Place the tripod foot of the lens on the head for good balance.
JJGEE 15 7.7k 18 England
4 Feb 2020 6:58PM
Thank you all, for your suggestions, which I will research into but it is clear some sort of head is preferable to just attaching the lens collar / camera directly onto the monopod.
LenShepherd 12 4.1k United Kingdom
5 Feb 2020 12:53PM

Quote:Thank you all, for your suggestions, which I will research into but it is clear some sort of head is preferable to just attaching the lens collar / camera directly onto the monopod.

I suggest a rethink.
I do not regard a monopod with a 1/4 inch Whitworth thread as being suitable for safely handling a lens as big and as heavy as a 200-600mm lens.
Not mentioned so far is that a good monopod can significantly reduce the strain of hand holding a heavy lens combination during an extended shooting period.
themak 6 1.0k Scotland
5 Feb 2020 4:38PM

Quote:I do not regard a monopod with a 1/4 inch Whitworth thread


You must be using very old kit if it has Whitworth threads. The standard has been UNC (American) for a long time.
thewilliam2 3 1.4k
5 Feb 2020 4:42PM
Whitworth and UNC threads, although not identical, are compatible, except for half-inch.
JJGEE 15 7.7k 18 England
5 Feb 2020 4:42PM

Quote:I suggest a rethink.

Even you suggested using a head

Quote:I can think of heads that should be fully up to the task - but not for less than 200.


What should I have a rethink about ?


Jestertheclown 11 8.1k 252 England
5 Feb 2020 8:34PM

Quote:Whitworth and UNC threads, although not identical, are compatible

Just about.
Their pitches are, as you say, the same (except ") but they're cut at different angles and have different profiles.
You can screw a bolt of one type into a nut, for example, of the other but it won't be as perfect fit.
thewilliam2 3 1.4k
5 Feb 2020 10:35PM

Quote:
Quote:Whitworth and UNC threads, although not identical, are compatible

Just about.
Their pitches are, as you say, the same (except ") but they're cut at different angles and have different profiles.
You can screw a bolt of one type into a nut, for example, of the other but it won't be as perfect fit.



By the time the nut and bolt have been torqued down, they're secure enough for general purpose.
themak 6 1.0k Scotland
5 Feb 2020 10:47PM
UNC or Whitworth, most (or all?) makers of large telephotos use 1/4" on their tripod foot mountings, so presumably consider that adequate. Not sure what Len is objecting to about them.

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