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67 of 68 found the following review helpful:
Choices Choices Choices, almost too many Aug 22, 2010
By Daniel G. Lebryk
This is a beast of a monopod that will last a lifetime. If you are waffling between the carbon fiber monopods (Manfrotto 694CX Carbon Fiber 4 Section Monopod (Black) or the Manfrotto 695CX Carbon Fiber 5 Section Monopod (Black)) and this one, this monopod is way heavier than you might imagine. The big difference, weight capacity - the carbon fibers will hold eleven pounds and this one will hold over twenty five pounds. If I were a more casual non-sports photographer and not considering some heavy photography equipment, I'd go with the carbon fiber (your back and arms will thank you later).
The other key on this monopod, even folded up, it is long. The full extension is over six feet; completely closed it is around two and a half feet. The top end is outstanding - I'm six feet two and will be able to shoot verticals at full extension.
These two elements don't seem like much taken alone, but they do add up to a beast of a monopod.
There have been recommendations to use this without a head; I'm not in that camp at all. I think this requires a head. The problem with using the screw included, once you've screwed the camera in and tightened it, the camera is fixed to the monopod; no ability to rotate it, tilt it, or loosen the camera quickly. That screw is fixed solidly to the monopod body.
In my mind there were really only two choices for heads, Manfrotto 234RC Monopod Head Quick Release - Replaces 3229, or the less expensive but lighter without the quick release, Manfrotto 234 Monopod Tilt Head (Replaces 3232). I chose the quick release, I've used enough tripods and monopods without quick releases to know I personally need this feature.
This monopod, capped with the tilt head is a formidable camera device. The tilt allows very fast switching between horizontal and vertical framing - amazing how fast and simple that movement is. Adjustment up and down is silky smooth, the latches are firm and positive. The grip is massive; I have a large hand and appreciate a large grip. The hand loop is a bit odd, I'm sure I'll get used to using that.
The triangle legs are a nice addition. When it starts raining and I need to pull the monsoon cover over my camera, those three little legs will be a lifesaver. They are also excellent rest for this heavy monopod.
I use monopods mostly at sporting events, football. During play, I will likely not use the tripod legs; they will get in the way. However, between quarters, those will come out to rest my arms. My camera equipment is not horribly heavy, a Canon XTi and 75 to 300mm Tamron zoom. I'm going to upgrade to a 7D and maybe a much larger telephoto - therefore I opted for this beast of a monopod. My previous monopod was a freebie that came with an old Tamron telephoto. It was light weight and not very satisfying to use.
The tripod legs screw off the bottom of the monopod. The threading is a bit complicated and easy to cross thread. The legs flop around a ton while you are messing with this attachment. The whole leg assembly is attached by three Allen set screws. Manfrotto supplies an Allen wrench to remove the whole assembly.
When not using the tripod legs, there is a nice rubber tip that will work well on floors and will dig into turf reasonably well.
I'm used to the beefiness of Manfrotto and Bogen - I have a massive old Bogen tripod that will never ever die. Everything about these two companies is solid silky smooth construction.
My biggest problem with Manfrotto was sorting through all the options, there are just way too many. They have monopods at virtually every price point, and then monkey around with combination monopods. They are a bit like buying a car, sometimes a model up gets you more for less money. This monopod with the swivel head was exactly the money I wanted to spend and got the ruggedness I was hoping for.
If you will put a video camera on one of these, this is a similar monopod, but with a fluid head at a very nice price point, Manfrotto 560B Fluid Video Monopod with 234RC Head (Black).
I fully expect to get run into by a football player this season (I got kicked last season). I also fully expect this monopod will come out unhurt. If you register on line, the warranty is extended to five years, but doesn't cover being run over.
July 9, 2013 Update: Almost 3 years old and the monopod still works perfectly. Looks as good as new. This is a really solid piece of camera gear.
90 of 96 found the following review helpful:
A must have for pro's Jun 17, 2008
By Homeward Bound
I got this monopod because not every place allows tripods. Many museums and other places you may want to go to take photos don't want you bringing in a huge tripod and setting up in front of a piece of artwork (that is if they even allow photos). I have found that many places will allow monopods. I shoot a Canon 40D with the battery pack. I am able to use the 28-135mm f/3.5 USM with no problem in stability. I have not tried it with the 70-200mm f/2.8L USM but that is a lot of weight so I might not get that brave.
The camera will screw right onto the monopod without a head and you can raise or lower it quickly. To stabalize the shot while using as a monopod I suggest placing your hand in (not all the way through)the provided strap so that your hand pulls down on the strap and gripping the well cushioned top section of the monopod. Another added benefit of using this piece is that it makes you look more professional and people will stay out of your way while you get the shot. For wedding/event photography, this is a must have.
The light weight makes it easy to carry around and the quick setup will help when there is nothing to lean on to stabalize yourself. You will need to practice screwing the camera to the monopod if you don't intend on leaving it attached since the first few times it is a little difficult to begin threading the screw in. After a while you'll be an old pro at it.
To muffle the sound the legs make while stored inside the monopod, try some rubber bands wrapped around the top and middle of the legs. If you want to get real fancy, you can buy velcro straps as well. You may have to cut them to length to make sure they fit inside with the legs.
38 of 41 found the following review helpful:
handy mono-tri pod Nov 04, 2006
By E. Post
I really like the fact that this product can be used as a mono or tri pod. Sturdy stand. Tripod legs are metal and small in diameter so if on rough ground can be "stuck" into ground to make sturdy. Only complaint is that the tripod legs rattle inside the pole when hiking.
31 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Great item!!!! Apr 29, 2009
By J. Harris
I have an older, silver version of this monopod (from about 2000) and I love it. It is easier to carry around than a tripod, and when you need the extra stability you can always unscrew the base and let out the "feet". Just make sure you never let the monopod free stand or you may find yourself looking to purchase a new camera\lens. And for those of us who have found ourselves in some less than ideal environments with expensive camera equipment, the monopod makes an excellent "deterrent" or club. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star rating is because the base can become difficult to screw\unscrew if it is used in an extremely sandy area, such as at the beach. I had to then take the garden hose and thouroughly rinse the base and feet of mine of for several minutes, dry them with a rag, then apply a light coating of grease to the threads. A minor inconvience.
11 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Best Monopod I have ever owned! Aug 13, 2009
This Pod is well built and will last a lifetime. A bit heavy but so is my gear and the weight helps me in steadying my Nikon D700 with a Nikon 200mm or longer telephoto lens and that includes a battery pack ta-boot. Truly a great Pod for better shots on the go! The fold out legs rattle a bit when stored inside the Pod but I fixed that with a very thin velcro strip wrapped around them. If you want the best, just get it!!
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