Which monopod for me?


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Apr 22, 2008
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California, USA
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Hmm, there is a wide variety of monopods! Cant decide! I suppose my budget is $100-150 but doable to $200 if I REALLY REALLY need to (convince me?).

I hear Manfrotto is a good brand, I've been looking at them a little. I'm also not sure what head to get either. I will be mostly doing sports like surfing or horse racing or maybe soccer/baseball etc...

In the near future I will be getting the EF70-200mm F/2.8 and the 7D after that. I don't think I will be getting any 400 F/2.8 (i wish) so don't worry too much about the weight ;)

Can anyone recommend or give suggestions or tips to look for when buying one? Some feature to stay away from or get? etc...
I use a Targus monopod I picked up at Wal*Mart for $10. After already spending $160 on a decent tripod, I figured what's the harm in ten bucks? I've used it with my gripped 7D and 70-200 2.8 for a handful of shoots including 3 straight hours of high school football. I really can't complain. I mean, it's not the strongest thing in the world, but it seemed to faire well enough and collapses/extends quickly from the release clamps.


I'm sure the expensive ones are a lot more durable (and the quick-release grip ones are very convenient), but let's face it: 10 bucks is 10 bucks, you really can't beat that.
I also bought a cheap one, the brand name is Opus. About half the time I've used it, it has doubled as a hiking stick. It's nice and light, but the snap clamps between sections do allow for some slipping when putting too much weight on it. It's nice and light, but I wish it was 2" shorter when collapsed, so that it would fit into my camera bag.
Manfrotto monopods are fine but there are cheaper alternatives as already mentioned; the difference in performance between cheap and expensive models is not as pronounced as with tripods.

When selecting a monopod make sure that it extends enough to bring the view finder up to eye level otherwise you are going to spend a lot of time hunched over trying to use it and will end up with a sore back.
I bought mine through Wal-Mart.com and it's a Vanguard monopod. It was $40.

I use it with a ballhead. Weight capacity is always a concern for a monopod, tripod, head, unless you don't mind sending in your camera gear for impact damage when it slams into the ground after a failure.

I look for a weight rating at least 2 times the max weight I expect to mount and 3x is preferred.
How tall are you.
This is a good Manfrotto that is sturdy: Manfrotto 680B Compact Monopod (Black) - Supports 22 lb 680B -

This was my choice since I am 6'3". Manfrotto 681B 3 Section Monopod (Black) - Supports 26.5 681B -

While the difference is only 3 1/2 inches it is the difference between standing straight up and stooping over. Remember you can always make it a bit shorter, but you can never make it taller than it is.

Both are easily under $100.00. They are both sturdy and support plenty of weight.

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