|Velbon RUP-43 Monopod with Ball Head|
Great monopod for travel12/7/2008
After receiving this Velbon RUP-43 Monopod with Ball Head I was pleasantly surprised at how solid and sturdy it was. It actually has groves on both sides of the legs. When the locks are engaged it becomes very stiff and doesn't wobble like the cheap monopods. In addition, it will extend enough to place my camera (D40 Nikon) a little above my eye (I'm 6'1"). This is very handy if I am working in areas that are not level. The ball head works well and is very smooth to use. So far, I am very happy with this monopod and would recommend it.
Very good product6/26/2008
I got the monopod just in time for vacation in Montana and am very satisfied with it through a week of use on the hiking trails. It is light weight yet built very strong. The locking mechanisms work smoothly and securely. When collapsed, it can easily be secured to the side of a backpack. As some previous reviewers have noted, it can be used as a walking stick, but I did not use it that way as the trails were muddy. When fully extended, it is slightly too tall for me (I am 5'11") but the extra length came in handy when I took pictures and videos downhill. The ball head is reasonably resure, although it looks kind of skinny compared to the rest of the monopod. I had an SLR film camera with an old all-metal-and-glass 300mm lens without a support collar mounted on the monopod, and it worked pretty well, although I think that is kind of the limit for the ball head and you would want to be careful not to put additional torque on it. The only downside: I wish it had spike at the lower tip, preferably a retractable (or coverable) one. Overall, it's a great product, especially considering the price.