Bogen/Manfrotto products are high quality professional gear and this monopod is no exception. The monopod is an important addition to every photographer's support equipment. Next to the tripod, the monopod is the best way to brace a camera when space is limited, or where weight may be a concern.
This monopod is comprised of three sections with quick action lever locks. The top screw fits my basic 3D junior head, but has a retractable sheath allowing the camera to easily attach. The top is padded for a comfortable grip and includes a strap. The base has a rubber foot to prevent slippage. The base also twists off to reveal a cavity containing three retractable legs for a tripod effect. Place the legs in the notches of the base and screw the base back onto the monopod and you now have a free standing monopod.
I first used this monopod on a trip to Rome as recommended by a well known camera shop in NY. I have to say they were right on the mark. I was surprised to see signs stating "No Tripods" at the sights yet I walked in with my monopod without any issues. The legs came in handy while standing on the top of a wall to get the perfect low light shot. And while walking through the ruins of Pompeii, I must admit I used it as a walking stick.
On a recent trip to Budapest, I decided to take the tripod instead. There were no tight spaces for me to be worried about, so the tripod worked well. However I noticed a big difference between carrying around the monopod and the tripod in terms of comfort and weight.
I have also noticed that the legs do not have the same stability of a tripod. When using the legs, I recommend weighting down the legs or staying near enough to grab a hold if needed. I use a Canon 20D and have quite a few L lenses making for a top heavy set up. I can see where a good gust of wind could easily topple this monopod with legs over. Another use for this monopod is as a stand for your off camera flash.
PROS: Lighter than a tripod Easy and quick to use High quality
CONS: Rattling legs Not as stable as a tripod when using the legs
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