Right tripod/monopod for me?
I am looking into getting a tripod/monopod for the first time. My usual photographic interests are: Nature while on walks, pictures of small reptile pets (especially when I get a macro lens), night shots with cool lighting (ie: street lights) and indoor volleyball (not that often)..

In general if I were to start off with one, would a tripod or monopod benefit me more? I only think of the monopod because of my frequent nature walks/hikes. I have a 70-300mm f/4.5 VR lens coming soon for just this..

My budget for this will have to remain at $200 or less. I'm a college student.....

I'd really appreciate it if you could recommend brand/model and the appropriate head and why one might benefit me. I know nothing about shopping for tripods and was astounded at some of the prices. Also I am not anywhere near a perfectionist with my photography yet...

Comments (5)


I think I would wait and see how you get on with the 70-200 VR and buy only when you have made some use of it given that you have VR..

You may find a monopod quite useful to take the weight of the camera and lens if you get to be in the habit of waiting for wildlife to "pose" just they way you want. Holding a D50 and telezoom at your eye for minutes on end can be tiresome and lifting the camera to your eye at the right moment is enough movement to scare animals..

I cannot really help with the right monopod off the page but something that does not bow or bend when you put your full weight on it when fully open is essential. and plainly you will want something that will fit in your rucksack. You should not have to bend too much (better still not at all) when using it. Something like the 680 from the Manfrotto/Bogen range should do:-.


You will also need a ball head. The Manfrotto/Bogen 486RC2 should do fine (Whatever you do you need a quick release and this is more affordable than most:.


It will also work well on a small tripod. I hyave one of these for my monopod..

If you end up deciding you will get more use from a tripod you really have to try it out in store to assess the bulk and weight..

You want something that does not have you bending too much to use the VF WITHOUT raising the centre column. Unless you are going to go with carbon fibre (expensive) there is no substitute for weight..

Look carefully at something like the Bogen/Manfrotto 190x or 190XPro - bottom of this link:.


(The B at the end of certain tripod and monopods means black rather than chrome).

You might be able to find a kit of tripod and head together for a good price. B & H do some. It is also worth checking Ebay for a good price. (You are unlikely to encounter fraud on an item like this. There are much easier ways to make money illegally)..

Hope that helps and keeps you in budget! Mafrotto have a good reputatiion for value for money..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #1

I don't have specific links for you, but I would recommend a tripod over a monopod, you will want this for the macro work, makes things a lot easier. You most likely would not need it for hiking (depending on what you photograph), but you could find a light weight (not the most stable) tripod for $150 and easily pick up a monopod for the remaining $50. These are not going to be of the best quality, but they will not suck either..

I have a Slik Sprint Pro tripod from B&H (it was only like $90 I think) and it is really light weight for my hiking needs (waterfalls and streams) and it extends close to my height (6'3") and a Velbon monopod that was only $30 (got it Japan though).

Good luckBen - for my pics...

Comment #2

Would I be able to make the appropriate modifications to the Bogen / Manfrotto 682as described here:

Also are the detachable legs on a monopod steady enough to make a low light shot with a shutter speed of 1 or 2 seconds?..

Comment #3

SoFla wrote:.

Would I be able to make the appropriate modifications to the Bogen /Manfrotto 682as described here:

You don't need to Bogen/Manfrotto do their own - 3229 :.


I used it for years but now find a small ball head more flexible. Shooting theatre/concerts with a monopod I found the 3229 a bit limiting..

Also are the detachable legs on a monopod steady enough to make a lowlight shot with a shutter speed of 1 or 2 seconds?.

No. With the right monopod you may be able to fit a hyde clamp to it and get support that way as I do occasionally with this Bogen 349C (but many monopods will not fit:.


Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

The ball head on these shots is my giant Manfrotto 468RC2. I took the photos before I bought my 464RC2. (You can see my 3229 on the bench in the background on the 2nd shot.).

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.


Comment #4

I tried out the following hiking staff/monopad combo; with the legs extended it was adequate, but I'd probably want to use if with an IR or dable release to avoid the shakes. It's also adequate as a staff, although I'd be concerned about catching or bending the velcro-strapped tripod legs. Still, for $110 or so, it's a workable combination. Go to


Comment #5

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