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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old May 24th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #1
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Best monopod suggestions please?

Hey guys and gals,
I lost my last monopod when a "friend"borrowed it and never returned it so I find myself in the market for a replacement one.
I have been looking at several and am curious which ones you like best or would purchase if you had to do it all over again.
I like the idea of the ones with the small legs at the bottom for more stability but am not certain how this would actually work in a wedding situation. (mostly ceremony work moving around to get various shots in tight areas)
Here are 2 I looked at but am open to any suggestions (extra feet or not.)

Manfrotto | 560B-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head and | 560B-1

Manfrotto | 561BHDV Video Monopod with Fluid Head | 561BHDV
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Old May 25th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #2
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Hey Darrick,

I have the 561 and love it. The first thing I shot was a wedding with the 7D and it worked great. The pan module at the bottom provides just enough resistance so you don't get a lot of twist when shooting. I have since used it on a couple of weddings with my Sony Z5 and it works very well. It's almost like having a second tripod that takes up no space.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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Get the 561. The feet don't help it stand up though, it helps keep it from slipping when leaning the monopod.

I like the feet but they are a pain to open and close, so I leave them open at all times. I really like the fluid head on it. When I'm doing long panning shots I go to the tripod thou cause it is much smoother then on the monopod, but this baby is great for those crowded reception rooms and you have to record long speeches. It's a must have and get a quick release plate for it too.

Their a few pros who only shoot on the monopod for everything but ceremony and sometimes ceremony too. You'll find it very useful and don't cheap out on the other model. Get the 561 or better.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 02:14 PM   #4
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Believe it or not, I use a $27 Shure-Line paint pole from Home Depot. I tapped a 1/4 inch bolt on the top. It's smooth telescopic extension extends like a technocrane and lets me make pedestal up/down movements that a monopod can't make.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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Hi Darrick -
You're barking up the right tree with these, they are two slightly different animals, I picked up a 562B (similar to the 561, but with just a slide in camera plate mount, no "head", but you could dismount the plate/QR mount and put a head on it), and later ran into a 560 at a decent price. Kept both in my kit, but debate selling the bigger one (562) as it's a bit of overkill for me.

The two monopods are quite a bit different in height - 560 is shorter, but adequate (will get you just above average "eye level") though you may need to find something to set it on to get enough height in some situations, The 562 is quite tall, and will get over the top of most heads - handy in shooting events where you may have "humaniod obstructions".

If you have both in hand, you'd immediately notice that the 560 is more "petite", significantly lighter in both weight and construction, both are plenty sturdy, but the 562 "feels" more substantial and quite a bit heavier. The added weight could be a factor if you want to use the monopod as an improvised steadicam - the extra mass helps it to be more stable. You can leave the feet out, they are short enough you can avoid knocking into them if you "fly" the rig.

I'm sure the weight rating (how much camera you can load it up with) is different, the 560 feels fine for smaller cameras, but if you run a big rig, the added heft/build of the 562 might be the better choice.

I figured the "fluid" thing was a gimmick, but it does seem to work rather well, and while the feet aren't substantial enough that you would want to wander any distance away, they actually work surprisingly well - I had tried other monopods with those spindly screw in legs, and they were very "springy" because the "legs" would flex, so even with the bigger footprint, they weren't confidence inspiring. The little stubby legs on these actually do surprisingly well, and if you've got the center of gravity right they are stable enough you could let go as long as you're ther to catch in case they get bumped.

Hope that helps in your quest
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Old May 26th, 2010, 04:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
Believe it or not, I use a $27 Shure-Line paint pole from Home Depot. I tapped a 1/4 inch bolt on the top. It's smooth telescopic extension extends like a technocrane and lets me make pedestal up/down movements that a monopod can't make.
Tell me more about how you use this. Thanks
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