Sometimes, in tight situations when a tripod is bulky to use, comes the solution of the monopod.
Having used or tested various monopods of different design and brands, I came up with some prerequisites.
b. Resistance to torsion and vibration.
c. Ease of setup.
d. Ability to hold heavier equipment and last but not least...
e. Balance by keeping the center of gravity low !
Searching for a monopod that would fulfill the above prerequisites and that would not cost a fortune, I came up choosing the Benro MA-96 EX.
I have chosen this monopod among others for its very specific attributes:
Its large tube diameter of 3.6cm (1.42") that gives a nice grip and low resonance.
The quick flip lock design that makes setup very fast and enables for a manual adjustment.
Its maximum height of 1.59 m (62,8")is very convenient to me personally as I avoid bending my back for viewing into the camera viewfinder.
The medium weight that balances very well with semi-pro and pro cameras.
And finally a very reasonable price.
|Benro MA-96 EX comes boxed with a metal spanner that enables for camera/head plate removal or flip lock adjustment.|
|Product specification card.|
|Closer view of model tag and part of the plastic ring that has a spanner for flip lock adjustment.|
|Folded is 51.4cm (20.24") high|
|Fully extended is 159cm (62.8") high.|
Tube diameters are 36mm, 32mm, 28mm and 24mm (1.42",1.26", 1.10" and 0.94")
The flip locks.
|This 4 section model has 3 really large flip locks of fine plastic. Considering the large tube diameters the flip locks are accordingly large and secure the leg very well.|
|The flip locks have 2 bolts each, one securing the lock on the upper tube and one adjustable for securing the lower tube(s).|
Tightening the flip locks.
|As mentioned previously, there is a hard plastic ring attached on the larger tube, that serves as a spanner for the flip lock adjustment.|
|Closer view of the plastic ring, showing the spanner as well as the Allen key repository.|
|By opening a flip lock...|
|The spanner can be fit on the regulating bolt, and adjust the locking strength as well as the minimum friction for extending or retracting the tube legs.|
Attaching an Arca compatible clamp.
|Except for the classic way of screwing/unscrewing the monopod under a camera, it is more convenient to simply attach an Arca-Swiss® compatible clamp with 1/4" or 3/8" tapped hole.|
Attaching a Ball Head.
|If we need more freedom of movement with a camera + medium lens combination, a ball head like the Benro B-2 here, can be attached on top of the monopod.|
All you have to do is reverse the dual threaded stud to the 3/8" thread and screw the ball head on top.
|The ball head adds a little weight on top of the monopod but still balances well.|
I hope you found this review useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos: © 2010 S.C.Vlachos
Benro MA-96EX Monopod is no longer available, having been replaced by the newer Benro A48F which almost identical except fore the large foot and is available either from Amazon or from eBay.
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