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Old July 26th, 2013, 06:04 AM   #16
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Clive, it looks like a Chinese 100% ripoff of the Manfrotto to me. It may be as good, it may not be. It doesn't seem that much cheaper than the Manfrotto equivalent either.

Pity you weren't looking for this 6 months ago, I was flogging my lightly used 562 on here for under 100 and postage would have been pretty cheap!
Postage? I work in Mallusk, I would have been calling round for it and a cuppa!

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Old July 26th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #17
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

Will do, Clive. It's always good when petrol cost is less than postage. :)
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Old July 26th, 2013, 11:29 AM   #18
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
The sturdy 561B is a beast. I'd love to own it.

I thought, I'll buy it and sell the head which visually is the same as the 701HDV head which sells for about 100.

Except its not the 701HDV, its missing something rather vital. Because the 561B pans through its base, the head only has a tilt function! So pretty much unsellable.
Clive - With regard to the head, I had the same thought you had. I suspect they came up with the head that they used so that the weight would be less. Also, with more weight on the head end it would be more unbalanced to carry with the camera and what ever else attached so the lighter head helps in that department.

I picked up my 561BHDV back in October of last year and really haven't had much use with it until just recently. The portability factor is great compared to a full-size tripod. Use in limited spaces such as in small rooms or in a crowd is its forte and the compact size is very handy when traveling.

On the downside, I've found that it is not as steady as I would like but just recently I discovered a whole new use for it. a couple days ago I was down at the marina, on the docks, taking videos of boating activities. Some of the docks (finger piers) are rather narrow and setting up a full-size tripod is difficult because you can't get the full leg spread. The other problem was protecting the monopod from wind - I'd get it balanced and a gust would come along and cause it to wiggle a bit, or slight movement of the dock I was standing on caused by wakes from passing boats. Moving around to do setups on the docks was much easier with the monopod than with a tripod. It was a beautiful day and I got lots of "footage" with my digital camcorder.

The surprise to me was how easy it was to eliminate the slight movements in my "footage". (I don't care for this term as it harkens back to the film days). After importing the files into FCPX I ran some of them through the "Stabilization" setting and was blown away with how rock-solid the clips looked. Until now my monopod use was mostly indoors or in situations where there was no wind and on terra firma so slight movement was not an issue.

The Stabilization function in FCPX makes the monopod far more practical now and I'll no doubt use it much more.

Chinese knock-off: the monopod head (top) shown in the eBay link has 4 concentric rings while the Manfrotto has 5 rings.

Und das Deutche Carbon Standspinne, I like the longer legs although if the monopod is truly balanced they shouldn't be necessary. The retraction of the legs on the Manfrotto is a bit of a pain and I found myself carrying it around without the legs (feet?) retracted. Guess a monopod only has one leg so maybe the thingies should really be called feet, right?

Because so much of the monopod has heavy components I'm not sure how much benefit the carbon fiber component would be. On the other hand, for airline travel where the airlines see luggage and weight as a new-found profit center any weight savings is money in the pocket.

Allen wrench: I hate it. At least the size is reasonably universal in the video field as it fits several pieces of my equipment. I now have a heavy-duty plastic bag (~6" x 6") with a zipper that I keep it in. This way it won't get lost so easy.

Last edited by John Nantz; July 26th, 2013 at 11:32 AM. Reason: spelling!
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Old July 26th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #19
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

I had a 561BHDV and gave up using it after I got the tour at the Miller factory here.
I was buying my Miller Compass 15 with the carbon fibre Solo 3 stage legs.

The sales ppl showed us how to drop one leg of a tripod and > hey presto > a monopod.
After some practise it works very well and means we've got 2 in 1 when we're away from the truck.

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Old July 26th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #20
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

Allan - Last year there was a lot of talk on this board about various monopods and I tried the same thing, that is, using one leg of my tripod to see if it would function well enough as a monopod. Basically, it didn't for me because I couldn't get it balanced quite well enough. If there was a post or something I could lean it against to keep it steady then I could improvise a monopod. Unfortunately there isn't always a suitable support at hand.

Last fall I had a couple Sony LANC controllers for sale on this board and one of the members contacted me to see if I'd be willing to do a trade so that's how I got it. At the time I really wasn't interested in buying one but, hey, it was more practical than the controllers that I couldn't use.

Question: Does the Compas 15 have feet on one of the legs? If it doesn't then for me at least it would be kinda difficult to use in lieu.

Product Idea: It would be a neat attachment if they could come up with something that would fit on one of the legs with feet to flip out for easier use while keeping the package balanced. Especially for a carbon fiber tripod because it is light for easy transporting. This should be really easy to do except for possibly patents.

As it is, I can use a tripod as a monopod but only with a limited capability. "Other people's mileage may vary." (mine isn't very good!)

With FCPX and "Stabilization" the monopod just made it into the category of one of my more useful kit items. I used to leave the monopod behind except on certain occasions, now it will probably be the other way around - I'm going to take it along except on certain occasions.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #21
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

I've had the 561B for several years and it is my weapon of choice !!!

One thing the 561B has over the 562 is HEIGHT !!! Use it ONCE to be shooting over a crowd and you will see what a fantastic piece of gear it is.

As far as the head goes, I almost never relied on it to do anything, unless I was working over my head. Anything below that level, you pan with the fluid cartridge at the base or tilt via pushing or pulling the planted monopod closer or nearer your body.

You can find center and it will balance by itself, until something changes or vibrates and then you watch your cam go lens first into a concrete floor !!! You don't have to ask how I know that, just trust me. :-(

Clive if you choke down the initial cost, trust me, in a month you might not even care how much that was. It is that great of a piece of gear !!!
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:01 AM   #22
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

Just get the 560b-1, it is the same as the 561 but with out the large head then just get a plate on your camcorder, dslr and it fits right on top with just the small head that pans left and right and up and down at your say so... Manfrotto 560B-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head Replaces 560B: Camera & Photo Manfrotto Quick Release Plate with Special Adapter (200PL): Electronics
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Old July 28th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #23
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Re: Video monopods - I don't want a head!

The 560 is a shorter, lighter version - it's OK height wise, BUT the 561/562 (same "shaft", different "head") is bigger diameter, MUCH taller, and somewhat more useful in that sense. The little "tilt" head on the 560 can be removed, as can the "heads" on the other models - 1/4-20 standard screw IIRC, although there is an adapter for 3/8.

I have the 560 and 561, I switch heads out as needed, as I have other things using the RC2 QR plate.

In looking at the two "flattery" versions (meaning "imitations" of the Bogen/Manfrotto design), the first one is SHORT (57", so probably more like the 560, the second is 74", so those longer feet are probably a great "upgrade". I'll have to have a look at the weight advantage of the CF. Not sure I like the twist locks, the Manfrotto "flip" ones are nice and work well. It's a good design, and I'm surprised it took this long for "imitators" to arrive.

Until you've used one of the monopods with the feet vs. one without, you don't realize how helpful they really are - I have difficulty keeping a "regular" monopod stable, I've tried, I wobble... the little feet somehow add just enough stability to get a decent shot. I thought they were silly (and overpriced!) until I tried them - I now have the 560 to grab and go for casual use, the 561 for when I want height and a more pro device. Both are something that you buy once and keep for a long time, IMO, offsetting the cost!
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