Choosing a Monopod

Product Information

What is a monopod?

A monopod, also known as unipod, is a rod like object that is used for mounting the camera or the lens to prevent or minimize ‘blurry’ pictures or ‘shakey’ videos. Like the tripod it is used as a stand for the camera or lens. It is commonly used for sporting events, uneven terrain, or low light shooting conditions. The monopod is also used to minimise instability when it comes to heavy long telephoto lenses and even heavier super telephoto lenses. A monopod is also useful whe you are required to hold your camera for long periods time.

The monopod is lightweight and portable compared to a tripod. Although the tripod can be very stable, they can be weighty at times and also removes movability out of the picture. It also takes up quite a space when deployed. On the other hand the monopod maybe a little less stable compared to a tripod but it can give you more freedom than mounted in a single area, and weighs alot less. Deployment of a monopod also takes less time than setting up a tripod.

Often monopods can also be used as a walking stick for photographers who likes trekking in the great outdoors.

What are monopods made of?

The materials usually used for creating a monopod are aluminium and carbon fibre. Aluminium is a light metal, quite malleable and conductive. Although it maybe malleable it can still be a durable material and is a good compromise between strength and cost.

Carbon fibre on the other hand is a more expensive material however, it is very strong and lightweight compared to the aluminium. Both materials are indeed capable for most shooting conditions.

How to deploy a monopod

Monopods are deployed thru different methods depending on the model type of the monopod. Most of the unipods out in the market today are Twist-type or a telescopic mechanism and high speed lock and release system. The telescopic type, requires a screwing motion from the shooter to loosen or tighten the leg partition to its desired height. It may take a while to fully extend or collapse this type of monopod but once extended, your ready to go. The lock and release type uses a clamp on each end of it’s legs. With just a quick motion to release the clamp part, extend the leg then slap the clamp to lock the monopod, your good to shoot.

Why do monopods have different numbers of legs?

Most monopods have multiple leg sections to adjust to photographer’s or videographer’s needs, style, height and or angle of the wanted effect. The more popular brands of monopods have a range of leg sections from 2-6. Knowing the pros and cons of number of legs will serve as an advantage. For example the least number of leg sectopms means a more stable monopod although it consumes more space when collapsed or folded. The higher leg section monopods use less area when not in use, but the more legs the more unstable or shakey the pod becomes, especially when extended fully.

Mounting your camera to a monopod

At the top most part near, the rubber grip is the monopod head, this part of the monopod is where the screw is located. The screw receives the camera can be joined on the bottom part of the camera. The head can also be attached to other mounts or other types of head. Most of the profesional monopods also have mounting heads similar, or at times, exaclty the same as the ones found on the tripod.

So which is the best monopod for me?

For a photographer investing in accessories or aparatus can be quite costly when it comes to finances. When it comes to choosing a monopod, you should look for ample support, quality and durability. You may consider less expensive brands, although they are made of cheaper material. If you are spending a little more you are paying for quality and stability. It will ensure long life of service on your shooting excursions, built to last the wear and tear of everyday photography. Remember, buy cheap buy twice, pay a little more to get a good product that will serve you well for years to come.

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