Manfrotto 790B Modo + 494RC2 Ball Head
There is a variety of heads available for monopods such as the Manfrotto Monopod Tilt Head or Manfrotto Monopod Quick Release Head ,however, both of them are limited only to front tilt. In order to expand the versatility of your Modo monopod, you can also mount a ball head such as the 494RC2. Like most tripod heads, the 494RC2 accepts 3/8″ male thread so if you want to mount it on a monopod, you will need an inexpensive MN-088LBP adapter which converts 1/4″ female into 3/8″ male and also lets you mount other tripod designed heads as well.
First of all, why use a monopod? Well, the answer is simple. Monopod gives you stability when you need it, without the trouble of carrying a bulky tripod with you all the time. It takes seconds to assemble and, once you mount your camera on it, you can easily move around without folding it. Monopods are especially useful in outdoor landscape photography, where conditions may prevent you from using a tripod, in Macro and low light photography, where you need extra stability to avoid camera shake as well as in indoor shooting sessions such as concerts etc.
Secondly why use a ball head on a monopod? A ball head mounted on a monopod gives you greater control in terms of tilting possibilities. It can be put in virtually any position, depending on the demands of the situation.
Remember, a monopod will never give you the same stability as a tripod, so don’t expect amazing results in extremely low light conditions. However, it is a great and convenient alternative to a tripod at a fraction of the cost of a professional tripod.
My experience with the 790B Modo and 494RC2 ball head is extremely positive. The biggest advantage of this monopod is its weight and size. The monopod is extremely light and will easily fit into a backpack. You can always carry it with you without even noticing the extra weight. The 494RC2 head is extremely versatile and equipped with a quick release plate and a safety trigger. Additionally, the friction control is really useful and convenient in adjusting the position of the head in an unlocked position. The lock knob doesn’t require a great deal of force to safely lock the position and is easily accessible. The whole process of adjusting friction, setting position and locking the head can be easily done while looking through the viewfinder and composing the picture.
Despite its size, the 790B Modo can support quite a weight. I bought this monopod especially for Macro photography and have been using it with the following setup:
Nikon d7000 + Sigma 105mm Macro + 3 Kenko Extension tubes + Nikon SB-900
All in all, I would strongly recommend the 790B Modo and 494RC2 ball head with any DX format camera and a zoom lens smaller than 200mm. If you are using a telephoto lens, consider a sturdier Manfrotto 680B.
Once again, thanks for reading and good luck with your photography.
Special thanks to Patricia Garcia Gomez for her camera 🙂
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