Have you been searching for a while to find which ones are the best monopods? You likely already know that there are too many choices. It may feel be similar to the search for a new a car.
There is a ton of variety, with many different features and benefits. Then there is the wide range of price levels to add to the confusion. Here are 4 top rated monopods.
The best monopod for you might just be the one that "Feels Just Right". If you have just started to look for your first monopod, this guide will help.
If you already have experience with using a monopod, then you likely already know some of the things you like and don't like about your current monopod.
Price is one of the biggest factors people focus on first.
The old adage that you get what you pay for is generally true, but it's extremely important to think about two other things as well. Specifically the kind of photography you are doing and the camera-lens combination that you are shooting with are just as important.
Prices range from about $350 for a Gitzo 6-section, 6x carbon fiber Traveler Monopod to around $11 for the cheapo, mostly plastic, no-name brands.
These very affordable monopods can often do the job for a point and shoot camera or a compact DSLR camera without a heavy lens attached.
Usually people who buy these cheaper are not serious photographers and they are not overly surprised when their monopod breaks or becomes worn very quickly.
A good monopod for most people is a happy medium somewhere in between. Many of us would like to take a tripod everywhere, but there are many times when it is not practical or even allowed.
At many sporting events, stadiums, race tracks, tennis courts, museums or botanical gardens, tripods are forbidden. Tripods can be annoying and can be hazardous where people may trip and fall.
So finding one of the best monopods is important to your photography when a tripod, for whatever reason, is not going to work. You still need to support your camera, get blurry-free images and save your arm or back muscles.
What to consider to get the best
One of the important, but often overlooked features to compare is the number of leg sections.
It's great to have the least possible number of sections, but more collapsible sections allow for a reasonable collapsed size. If your collapsed monopod is too long it becomes tougher to carry it around and you'll want to leave it at home.
Weight is another important consideration when choosing the best monopods. Sometimes you'll really want to travel lightly. Hiking and backpacking are good examples. If you are carrying everything you need, it’s easier when you have a light load.
Compare the weights of different monopods. You will see that there is quite a bit of variation in how much they weigh. Heavy duty monopods can weigh more than light-weight tripods, depending on the material they are made with, as well as what accessories they have.
Height. How high do you need it to go and how small do you want it to collapse? Measure the distance from the ground to level of your eye.
The type of monopod head you have affects the height, weight and usefulness of your monopod.
Monopod Reviews and Accessories. For more information about specific monopod reviews and monopod accessories.
Opteka Monopod Reviews. Reviews of the features, pros and cons of Opteka Monopods.
Manfrotto-Bogen Monopods - Reviews. Higher quality and higher priced line of Manfrotto and Bogen Monopods.
How to Use a Monopod. Using a monopod is simple, but many people make the mistake of not knowing the best monopod techniques. Discover the under-used tips on how to get the best results with your monopod and get the sharpest photos.
Monopod Heads and Tripod Heads. A big consideration in finding the best monopod for you is what kind of tripod or monopod head you use. There are many choices.
Choosing the best monopods is an objective consideration of price, features and how you are going to use your monopod. It is also a subjective decision on what just feels right. Just like any other purchase it is sometimes just the look and feel that allows a photographer to enjoy a monopod and its intended uses.See the specific monopod reviews below.
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p.s. I just added this list of the 4 best monopods based on some more research at the leading online photography equipment retailer. These are limited to mid and high-priced monopods.
These monopods got the highest ratings as well as had the highest number of reviews given.
That is significant, because it means you are getting a lot of reviewers who are all quite positive about each of these monopods.
Manfrotto 680B Compact Monopod (Black) Rating 4.9 out of 5.0 - 211 Reviews
- Supports 22 lb (10 kg)
- Maximum Height 20.0" (50.8 cm)
- Sections 4
- Weight 1.69 lb (0.77 kg)
Manfrotto 681B (Black) Rating 4.8 out of 5.0 - 199 Reviews
- Supports 26.4 lb (12 kg)
- Maximum Height 63.4" (161 cm)
- Sections 3
- Weight 1.7 lb (0.77 kg)
Gitzo Series 2 GM2541 6X Carbon Monopod Rating 4.9 out of 5.0 - 60 Reviews - Supports 26.4 lbs (12kg)
- Maximum Height 63" (160cm)
- Sections 4
- Weight 1.1 lb (500g)
Gitzo GM5561T Traveler Rating 4.9 out of 5.0 - 60 Reviews
- Supports 55.1 lbs (25kg)
- Maximum Height 61.2" (155.5cm)
- Sections 6
- Weight 1.65 lbs (750g)