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Author Topic: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head  (Read 21601 times)

shadowblade

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I'm trying to adjust a monopod to allow the head to rotate/pan around the axis of the monopod (i.e. to be able to plant the monopod on the ground, then follow a subject by panning and tilting the head, without having to rotate the entire monopod), but can't seem to find the right part for it.

Monopod heads allow one axis of movement - tilting up and down. Unlike a ballhead, they don't allow for side-to-side tilting - a good thing, since side-to-side tilting would be difficult to control with a big, heavy lens on top of a monopod. But, also unlike ballheads, they lack a panning base and are unable to rotate around the head - to track a subject, you need to rotate the entire monopod, which is not ideal for a number of reasons (not least of all the longevity of the monopod foot).

Basically, I'm trying to get a head with two axes of rotation - pitch and yaw, without roll. A ballhead has all three at once, a pan-tilt head can adjust all three individually, while a monopod head has pitch only. So I need a base that can add the yaw movement to the combination.

Does anyone know of a rotation or panning base that would allow this movement, can be attached to the top of a monopod and itself has a 3/8" stud on top to allow the monopod head to be attached to it? Even better if it can be locked or has adjustable friction.

Obviously a gimbal mount (e.g. Wimberley) or a D4 Manual non-geared head would be able to do it (by locking the side-to-side tilt and keeping the other two axes free to rotate), but both options seem like overkill for a monopod, while the axis of rotation on a RRS MH-01 or MH-02 head makes tilting up and down easier on those heads than on a D4. A monopod with a rotating foot can also kind of do it (the rotation occurring at the foot rather than at the top of the monopod) but I've found such feet less than satisfactory outdoors, due to mud and grit getting into the joint between the rubber foot and steel ball that make up the foot.

Pretty sure I've seen something like that before, but all I can seem to find at the moment are big, heavy panning bases with inbuilt clamps.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 09:49:57 AM by shadowblade »
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DP

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 12:06:43 PM »

without having to rotate the entire monopod

what is wrong with rotating the monopod like Monostat or getting "Fluid Base" for the one you have (if yours is not like this) ?
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JimAscher

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 12:17:33 PM »

I just bought this, and it would seem to provide you what you require -- although I believe you'd have to purchase the whole unit.

https://www.liilesy.com/collections/photography-lover/products/dslr-monopod-fluid-pan-head
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stever

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 12:31:34 PM »

you could put a rotaing pano base/clamp (there are a couple fairly cheap Chinese models like Sunway) on the monopod with a manfroto or (espensive) RRS monopod clamp on top

just rotating the monopod seems logical, but it doesn't really work
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DP

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2018, 12:37:40 PM »

just rotating the monopod seems logical, but it doesn't really work

I am curious as to why it does not work ?
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BRH

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2018, 01:50:54 PM »

As I see it you have two options; I) add a panning base such as the feisol PB_10 under the existing tilt head, or 2) change to a tilt head such as the Andoer VH-10 pan/tilt head which incorporates a panning base as part of the A/S clamp.

Bryan
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shadowblade

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 10:03:06 PM »

what is wrong with rotating the monopod like Monostat or getting "Fluid Base" for the one you have (if yours is not like this) ?

Doesn't work well if you're om a high-friction surface or a foot with increased grip, and it really wears out the foot (since you're basically grinding it against the ground).
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shadowblade

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2018, 10:07:09 PM »

As I see it you have two options; I) add a panning base such as the feisol PB_10 under the existing tilt head, or 2) change to a tilt head such as the Andoer VH-10 pan/tilt head which incorporates a panning base as part of the A/S clamp.

Bryan

That's what I figured. Looking for a good panning base - putting a D4 on a monopod seems like overkill, with the head weighing more than the monopod itself. Something strong, smooth-rotating but lightweight.

For some reason, I couldn't find one last night, but was probably looking in the wrong place.

What's the Feisol PB-70 like? It seems almost too cheap.
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BRH

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 02:25:48 PM »

Here is the Andoer VH-10 on monopod. It supports a Tamron 150-600mm on a Sony A77ii very well.
I have several Feisol PB-70's. I use one under my big manfrotto Gimbal to improve the poor built in rotation, it supports a Mamiya 645 with 500mm telephoto. I use one under a ProMediaGear "Tomahawk" gimbal on my 410 geared head, to support the Tamron/Sony. Finally I use one under a A/S clamp adapter to provide camera base rotation on the 410 gear head. I find the Feisol sturdy and smooth in rotation despite being inexpensive!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 04:23:32 PM by BRH »
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2018, 07:37:53 PM »

Doesn't work well if you're om a high-friction surface or a foot with increased grip, and it really wears out the foot (since you're basically grinding it against the ground).

Hi,

Maybe a different foot (if available), would be preferable to a rotating head? Anything with a lower center of mass is usually beneficial compared to something higher up, as far as monopods/tripods are concerned. But that also depends on how you position your monopod.

Otherwise, or if you position the monopod like I do, at an angle (forming a triangle with my own legs, either pointing somewhat forward or backward) and not vertical, one could use a 'regular' ball-head with rotating clamp at the top (like on a tripod, but maybe a lighter version).

I use a swiveling top on my monopod, but that could easily be switched to my 'Really Right Stuff BH-55 PC Pro'  which has a rotating PCL-clamp on top for panorama use (although a lighter version Ballhead, BH-30 or BH-40, would probably suffice for monopod use).

Cheers,
Bart
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shadowblade

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 04:57:15 AM »

Hi,

Maybe a different foot (if available), would be preferable to a rotating head? Anything with a lower center of mass is usually beneficial compared to something higher up, as far as monopods/tripods are concerned. But that also depends on how you position your monopod.

This has nothing to do with centre of mass. The whole system becomes much more cumbersome when the centres of rotation along different axes are too far apart. If you have one axis of rotation at the foot of the monopod and the other at the head, they couldn't possibly become more cumbersome.

Also, a rotating foot means moving mechanical parts. Mechanical parts don't play well with dirt, mud and sand; monopod feet are close to the ground. Gitzo makes one. It's not much good outdoors, among dirt and rocks.

Quote
Otherwise, or if you position the monopod like I do, at an angle (forming a triangle with my own legs, either pointing somewhat forward or backward) and not vertical, one could use a 'regular' ball-head with rotating clamp at the top (like on a tripod, but maybe a lighter version).

I use a swiveling top on my monopod, but that could easily be switched to my 'Really Right Stuff BH-55 PC Pro'  which has a rotating PCL-clamp on top for panorama use (although a lighter version Ballhead, BH-30 or BH-40, would probably suffice for monopod use).

Cheers,
Bart

A ballhead's no good - you can't set it to allow up-and-down tilting, while disallowing side-to-side tilting. For a heavy lens on a monopod, that makes it almost uncontrollable unless you have three arms.
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shadowblade

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 05:20:29 AM »

Here is the Andoer VH-10 on monopod. It supports a Tamron 150-600mm on a Sony A77ii very well.
I have several Feisol PB-70's. I use one under my big manfrotto Gimbal to improve the poor built in rotation, it supports a Mamiya 645 with 500mm telephoto. I use one under a ProMediaGear "Tomahawk" gimbal on my 410 geared head, to support the Tamron/Sony. Finally I use one under a A/S clamp adapter to provide camera base rotation on the 410 gear head. I find the Feisol sturdy and smooth in rotation despite being inexpensive!

I need something that can support large superteles, as well as the smaller lenses (e.g. Sony 100-400 f/4.5-5.6, Sigma 120-300).

If it were just for large superteles, I could easily put a Wimberley gimbal head on top of it. But that's large, heavy and probably unnecessary, while not really being suitable for the smaller lenses.

But the last thing I need is for the head to give way and the whole camera-lens ensemble to fall to the ground, all because of a cheaply-manufactured head from an unknown brand.

What's the Andoer like quality-wise? Can the friction be adjusted to allow for smooth, controlled panning and tilting,  or is it more of an all-or-nothing deal (free movement, or completely rigid)?

I've also found the Sirui L-20S. Having the tilting head on top of the panning base looks to be a better design than the other way around, since the axis of rotation would then be around the monopod rather than around the base of the lens (which may be tilted at a steep angle). Any experience with this one?

The only other alternative would be a RRS head on a separate panning base.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2018, 07:14:03 AM »

A ballhead's no good - you can't set it to allow up-and-down tilting, while disallowing side-to-side tilting. For a heavy lens on a monopod, that makes it almost uncontrollable unless you have three arms.

Depends on your monopod technique and the type of subject you are shooting. For some subjects you do not need to use the ball for tilting once the general angle is set/locked-in, you tilt the monopod itself, and you use the rotating clamp for panning.

It might help if you mention the specific subject/situation where you are hindered by the ground friction. Otherwise, replace foot when worn, or cover it with something that's easy to replace. Maybe a gimbal (on a tripod) is more suited for your subject, e.g. tracking birds in flight.

Cheers,
Bart
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DP

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2018, 08:23:05 AM »

Doesn't work well if you're om a high-friction surface or a foot with increased grip, and it really wears out the foot (since you're basically grinding it against the ground).

I have Monostat tripod - it is constructed with a kind of ball head in the foot so that when you rotate it stays static on the ground while monopod itself rotates... nothing grinds



that circled foot allows 360 rotation and tilt



or as I noted above "fluid base" accessory that allows rotation and tilt

« Last Edit: February 04, 2018, 08:38:27 AM by DP »
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 08:51:53 AM »

I have Monostat tripod - it is constructed with a kind of ball head in the foot so that when you rotate it stays static on the ground while monopod itself rotates... nothing grinds

Yes, that's similar to what I had in mind.

Quote
or as I noted above "fluid base" accessory that allows rotation and tilt

Yes, Manfrotto also has something similar for their line of XPRO Monopod Plus range:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1291109-REG/manfrotto_mvmxprobaseus_xpro_fluid_base.html

Cheers,
Bart
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stever

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 09:47:27 AM »

no experience with the Sirui L20s but i have a small Sirui tripod and ball head which is very well made.  from my experience on a tripod, it's usually better to have the rotation on the bottom.

the Sirui L 20s is the same weight as the RRS and looks like a very close copy.  i have the RRS which is bulletproof.
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BRH

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 03:46:26 PM »



But the last thing I need is for the head to give way and the whole camera-lens ensemble to fall to the ground, all because of a cheaply-manufactured head from an unknown brand.

What's the Andoer like quality-wise? Can the friction be adjusted to allow for smooth, controlled panning and tilting,  or is it more of an all-or-nothing deal (free movement, or completely rigid)?

I've also found the Sirui L-20S. Having the tilting head on top of the panning base looks to be a better design than the other way around, since the axis of rotation would then be around the monopod rather than around the base of the lens (which may be tilted at a steep angle). Any experience with this one?

The Andoer is touted as a substitute for the Sirui L-10
There is a large friction knob to control tilting, the pan top has teardrop lock to release the pan, but seems to have nice fluid damping in  the rotation. The overall quality seems good to me. I prefer it to the Manfrotto tilt head.
I have no experience with the Sirui L-20S.
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stever

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Re: Looking for tripod/monopod parts - how to add rotation to a monopod head
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2018, 11:14:00 AM »

Shadowblade - what was your decision and results?
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