I’ve got some really great photography gear, but I’ve decided that my hand-held shooting, even with a shoulder-pod and an image stabilized lens, is disappointing. I just can’t get the razor sharp images I want.
At the same time, I rarely have time to set up a tripod, even if I’m carrying my tiny little 2.5 pound Benro Travel Angel. So, I’m adding a Monopod setup to my photography arsenal. And the monopod setup I’ve chosen was recommended by professional photographer Yuri Arcurs (the world’s top selling stock photographer). The video that convinced me is below.
The main reason I am going with the Manfrotto 685B Neotec Monopod he recommends is because it’s the only one with a quick extension system. Watch and learn…
Heres everything you need to duplicate the setup demonstrated in the video:
Manfrotto 685B Neotec Monopod Deluxe with Safety Lock
This monopod is actually pretty long, which I consider the major downfall. It’s 30″ long when closed, so at 2.5′ it’s not going to fit in any backpacks or carry on bags. This means I’ll be carrying it from start to finish on every trip. I hope it is worth it!
Manfrotto 486RC2 Compact Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect System
Personally, I’m going with the Manfrotto 488RC2 Midi Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect System (3157N) which is just slightly larger, but has two controls on it. One for rotation, and the other for the ball movement. This is totally unnecessary for a monopod, but I’ll use the head on a tripod as well, so I’m killing two birds with one stone.
Custom Brackets Digital PRO M Rotating Camera Bracket Kit
You’ll notice that this rotating camera kit costs more than both of the other pieces combined. It’s a serious piece of professional gear, and personally I’m going to hold off on this one for now. The benefit of being able to quickly swap from landscape to portrait mode is very useful when you need to quickly change with precision. But at this point I don’t need that. I may invest in it later when I start shooting models or something like that.
If you’re thinking that is just too much of a setup and would like to start with something more economical, smaller, and simpler, then I recommend you take a look at the Benro monopods.
They both have built in feet which allow you to turn them into mini tripods if you need to. They can also be extremely useful when combined with a remote flash (i.e.- use them as an off camera flash stand in conjunction with a Pocket Wizard). Here’s a one minute to demonstrate: