I picked up a Manfrotto MM294A4 Aluminum 4-Section Monopod along with a Manfrotto 234RC Quick Release Tilt-Head yesterday from San Jose Camera. Surprisingly, even with tax, it ended up being about the same price as Amazon, so I had to do it!
I need a monopod for when I use my 70-200mm zoom along with my 2x teleconverter. At 600mm (200mm x2 with 1.5x crop factor), even with VR, it’s quite difficult to get sharp handheld images unless there is lots of light. SheryAnne and I headed out to the Botanical Gardens hoping to be able to shoot some birds to test out my setup. We didn’t run into any, so I shot a few of the animals roaming around the park. The subjects were nothing spectacular, but it gave me a chance to find the sweet spot of my super-telephoto setup.
I was really impressed with how sharp the photos were considering that I am using a monopod and have a NC filter on. I can only imagine how much better the images could be using a full blown tripod and shooting without a filter! I noticed there was a little color fringing – but I can’t tell if it’s from the teleconverter or if it’s coming from using the extra piece of glass in front of the lens. I didn’t have much time to experiment around – it would have bored the heck out of SheryAnne!
I can’t wait until the next time I have time to play around with the gear again!