How to select a monopod?

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New Member
Oct 19, 2004

I find tripods too heavy for travel and when I just need a quick way to stabilise shots.

I was wondering how I should go about purchasing a monopod and if you have any recommendations.

What kinds of things should I be looking out for? Does the actual weight of the monopod affect stability? Should I really spring the money for CF? Also, to extend and keep the legs - screw lock vs clip - which one is faster?

For me the main factors are weight and that the monopod should keep as short as possible so that I can throw it into a backpack.

I went down to Cathay Photo and they had a slik carbon fibre monopod. $192 was the price. I had to add a head to it, which cost between $36 (plate mount with clip) - 75 (ball type). The monopod itself can take 5kg, the head between 2.4kg (plate mount with clip) and 4kg (ball type)

Right now I have a D70, kit lens, 70-300 G lens. I want to add to the possibility of adding a flash - SB600/800 and tamron 90 Macro (non DI) (or reverse mounting a 50mm) and 12-24 tokina/sigma.


A monopode, while good enough for the mobility to capture action shots, will not be sufficient for night shoots involving long exposure to capture night scenery. So do bear this in mind when commiting to a purchase of the monopod as it does not offer much stability over that of the tripod.


Senior Member
Mar 11, 2002
Hong Kong
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Try to get a monopod with a tip that can be exchanged to one with a sharp point, so that you can stick it into the ground when you need more stability (and you can also attach some strings (3) and stick those into the ground in a triangular arrangement, to make the tripod stable for long exposures if needed)......

I use a very short Gitzo one (forgot the type, think it is G1566), BUT it has 5 or 6 extensions! So you need more time to open it up, there is also a Monotrek with the spike, but it can't be shortened......

Here is Gitzo's site:

Here is Manfrotto's page for monopods, they have two with small 'legs' when you need some stability:

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