Manfrotto Monopod (679B) Review

I picked up the Manfrotto 679B Monopod last week because I was heading to the 10 hour Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta on Saturday.  As a motorsports fan, I’ve been trying to make it to this race for the past 4 years; however, scheduling conflicts had prevented me from going – until this weekend.

Since I’ve been to Road Atlanta before and carried around my trusty Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, I expected that it might get a little heavy during a 10+ hour trek through pre-race festivities and during the race itself.  Adding a monopod to my personal kit has been long overdue.  A little shopping around proved that the 679B was probably the best bang for my buck.  Turns out that I guessed right – the 679B is a real winner.

The Manfrotto 679B Monopod is built in 3 sections, two of which are telescoping via thumb-latches located at the top of the two lower sections.  The 679B features a 1/4″ and retractable 3/8″ screw attachment for attaching your camera or lens collars.  The Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens comes with a detachable collar, which attaches securely to the 1/4″ screw and really balances well on the monopod.

The rubber foot on the 679B is thick and robust, providing a solid footing on all the surfaces I encountered.  It’s now more of a red color than the black rubber due to the vast quantity of red clay around the track at Road Atlanta.

Fully extended, it reaches about 63.5″, which I found to be about right in most situations. (I’m about 6’0″) Granted, there were a few instances where I could have used an extra inch or so due to the downslope that I was standing on.  If you were inclined to add a tripod head to it, then you’ll get a little extra reach out of it.

A tripod head would also allow you to adjust the angle to your liking.  However, I found the tripod collar on my Sigma 70-200mm lens to permit sufficient maneuvering of the lens – such that a separate head would be unnecessary and probably more cumbersome for the subjects I was shooting.

There’s nothing really sexy about the Manfrotto 679B Monopod – it just works.  It’s well built but still relatively light and compact.  It can support up to 22 pounds per the specs – I bet it would hold more just fine.  As a tool, the Manfrotto 679B can really make your job easier and help you produce better pictures through a much cheaper image stabilization system than you’ll find in high-priced pro lenses.

In short, I’ve got nothing but praise for this light and affordable monopod ($45-50).  If you’re in the market for a monopod or plan on shooting a sporting event for an extended period of time, the Manfrotto 679B Monopod deserves some serious consideration.

Most of your serious photography retailers will carry the Manfrotto 679B Monopod.  I recommended shopping at Amazon, Adorama and B&H Photo.  These are the trusted online vendors where I personally shop for almost all of my photography gear.

 

Comments

  1. Marcel says

    Eric – it’s a good looking monopod. I might pick one up myself and screw an old Leitz ball-head I have onto that top thread. That should give it the versatility you are talking about.

    Some nice pictures there. Got a big version of that Ferrari F430 you’d be willing to sell, share?? I kind of fancy that one on my desktop!

    Did McNish ever get back into that race??

  2. says

    @Marcel – Here’s a link to the Flickr page for that F430 shot. You can download the original from Flickr. There are a few more shots from the race on my Flickr page as well. I will have many more coming as I get them edited (I shot about 950 total).

    McNish actually won – by 4 seconds over Klein!

  3. Daniel says

    I am a motor sports photographer and never needed to use a monopod because of shooting in bright daylight I did not need IS. But recently started to shoot night racing events and needed that extra stability. The Manfrotto 679B monopod low price and the your review is enough to go and try one. Especially on lenses with out IS will help.
    My gear: Canon 40D w/BG-E2N, CA-EF 70-200mm f/2.8L, Tamron Di II 17-50 f/2.8, CA-EF 28-135mm 3.5-5.6 IS USM, CA-EF 100mm f/2 USM, 580 EX 2.

  4. Chris says

    Been looking hard for a solid Mono. Was debating between this and the 680B. You sold me. Didn’t really want to spend a mint for the pod because I have my eye on a solid tilt for portrait work and such. Yeah a little different then your usage but an informative article nonetheless. Thanks.

  5. says

    Great reveiw. I just recently purchased the 679b and love this thing, solid as a billy club,(would easily double as a defense club)It supports my D2x with no instability. I love the fact that it feels as high quality as my Manfrotto Bogen tripod. I highly recommend this peice of equipment