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Had this monopod for a while now I would like to offer a few insights about this item. Most stores sell this monopod for a low $99.95 witch is a great price for what you’re getting.
The maximum height is 60.6 inches. As a guy that is 5’ 10 ½” this brings the camera (EOS 7D) right to eye level without a handgrip. With the handgrip I need to lower the pod a bit to be at eye level. I could see this height being a problem for a taller man or woman. This height also does not lend itself to a situation where you would want to get on a ladder for a higher view. For an example were this could have been a problem. Last year when shooting my daughters dance recital I got on a ladder with a monopod that could reach much higher. Staying level on the ground would not have worked well as the dancers were on a raised stage and I was out in the isle.
Closed this monopod is reduced to only 15 inches. This was one of the things that got me to look at this item. Mixing this with the low weight and you can clip this pod to your belt and be very confortable walking around. I know many will think well just put it on your monopod or tripod holder on your bag and in most cases you would do that. But let me share a couple of places clipping to your belt could really be nice. One example would be walking around a Zoo. When walking from one enclosure to the next do you really want to take your bag off at every enclosure or just simply clip the pod to your belt with a quick connect head. Or lets say you are trying to recompose a landscape shot and the terrain is rough and you would like to have your hands free. Simple clip this to your belt and change your position.
This brings us to our next impressive feature. As I alluded to the weight of this monopod is amazingly light at only 0.88 pounds. Short of the fact that is swings while walking when clipped to your belt you would not notice this thing at all.
The only other stat that I will mention is the load capacity. Again here we have another amazing stat at 22.05 pounds. This can easily handle a full frame dslr with a nice size lens.
Now that we have the stats I find important out of the way lets talk about the product as a whole. I think it is starting to become clear that I like this product. Is it a monopod that you can go to in every situation no, but I also would not want to carry around my Manfrotto Neotec monopod in every situation. While I would love to have less sections (it has six) then I would lose the small 15” closure so a nice trade off for my uses. The six locks feel strong and well made. You only need a half turn to unlock or lock so setup and closing is quick. Also because of the small form factor I can unlock all six with one hand in one motion. I would think that a women with smaller hands might not be able to unlock all six at the same time but it would still be a quick setup.
The handgrip is a standard foam grip that you would find on any decent monopod so nothing to right home about but comfortable and should hold up to lots of use. Also if anyone is wondering why get a monopod with the foam grip think of holding aluminum or carbon in cold or wet weather (you will want the foam grip).
On the foot there is a twist that allows a metal point to come out for grabbing rough terrain. Works well and feels like it will last. Not sure if having a point at the bottom would get past TSA for a flight carry-on. At $99 I would be confortable putting this in my checked bag to make sure I do not have a problem.
The pod comes with a standard reversible ¼”-20 & 3/8”-26 screw for attaching to the body of a camera or to a larger lens. While the top plate that holds the screw is plastic it seems strong and should last. I do wish it had a rubber surface to protect against scratching my cameras and lenses. I might add a thin piece rubber or felt to protect against this. Admittedly this is something I should not have to do on a carbon fiber monopod. It should already be there.
In the end I would give this monopod a 4½ stars out of 5. The pod loses a half star for the lack of rubber on the attachment plate. I do not take anything off for the 60” max height as this is going to be the case with any monopod that closes to only 15”. I am very happy with this purchase and sure I will find many uses to prove it was $99 well spent.
If you have a comment or question on this review or would like to offer your thoughts on this product please leave a comment.
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