I’m tall, just a hair under 6’5″. I usually say I’m 6’5″ as it’s easier. So when I started my quest to get a monopod, I was surprised at the number of short monopods. I’m not sure what I expected but I thought it would be easier to find an inexpensive, longer, monopod. I gave up my search, not due to not finding one, but not finding one that felt good to me, that wasn’t a Gitzo $400-500 carbon fibre. ;-)
Fast forward a few years and someone suggested the Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 or the 560B-1 (Thanks Marc!). On paper, the 560 made more sense, as it was essentially the same monopod, with a photo head instead of the video head. But as soon as I held the 561, I knew it was the one for me. It was slightly taller than me, so if I wanted I could put my camera up over my head slightly and get some higher than average shots, as well as being stabilized. I could do video if I ever wanted and the video arm fits nicely under my arm as I’m shooting so I can smoothly pan the camera around.
I’ve loved Manfrotto for a long time. I have an old 676B that I still use as a light stick for my flash. They make quality tripods that stand up to the abuse that most photographers put them through. Here’s the thing, these are not the most inexpensive but they are reliable. I’ve seen some tripods that are solid, but from one to the next there may be flaws. Some things I don’t have a problem with, but if it’s holding my camera, I would like to have something that I can rely on every time. Most Manfrotto products will last for years. If you treat them right, they may outlast you. LOL
I also have an Induro tripod, but that will be for another review.
Back to the 561. The best highlights I came up with are from the Henry’s and B&H site:
This unit will not hold a huge rig. Right now I’m looking for something that will give me the flexibility and stability I’m looking for in a nice reliable package. At some point I’m sure I’ll have to upgrade if I’m using heavy equipment, but right now this is working perfectly.
I picked mine up used, but here are the costs from Vistek and Henry’s.
Manfrotto is distributed in Canada by Amplis