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.