Contact us: +44 116 291 9092
Title Image

MPB Falcon Monopod review

  |   Articles and reviews, Hardware review, MPB, Review, Tripod & Camera mount   |   No comment

MPB ‘Falcon’ Monopod review

Using a monopod for your photography

Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith ...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles.


There are an awful lot of gadgets and accessories for photographers, of varying usefulness.

Keith looks at a new lightweight carbon fibre monopod from MPB in the UK.

falcon monopod

Recently, MPB has launched a range of new items aimed at a more general photography market. I’ve used MPB for buying and selling used equipment for several years, such as our first ever tilt/shift lens, the TS-E24mm.

We've reviews of many MPB products. See the MPB Category in the dropdown menu at the top of the right column.

My own tripod use

Whilst I carry round a variety of tripods for my professional architectural photography, it’s very rarely I can be bothered to take one with me for my landscape photos, including my panoramic shots.

In June 2015 I moved from my 21MP Canon 1Ds mk3 to the 50MP Canon 5Ds. Despite the doom and gloom from some on forums, the 5Ds works just fine hand-held.

I’ve never used a monopod before, so I was interested to see if this lightweight carbon fibre one would be a useful adjunct to my general photography kit.

See also our review of the ‘Harrier’ tripod from MPB which lets you detach and transform one leg into a monopod.

What do you get

The ‘Falcon’ model is a 5 leg section, carbon fibre monopod that supports up to 5kg. The screw thread for attachment can be changed between 3/8″ and 1/4″

Weight: 0.35kg. Height: 1500mm. Folded: 420mm

The monopod comes boxed, and really does feel very light when extended.

The top plate is wide enough not to put any strain on what you are attaching it to.

standard quarter inch tripod fitting

Although I’d tend to use the camera attached directly, you can fit any form of tripod head.

This depends on what you want to do with the monopod, but remember the extra weight.

The screw can be reversed for the larger 3/8″ tripod fitting.

changing attachment at top of monopod

At the other end, the monopod comes with a rubber foot, that won’t damage floors.

rubber foot on monopod

For outdoor use there is an optional steel spike – be careful, it is sharp!

sharp spike for soft ground

Note the rubber ring on the thread – this should stop the foot coming loose.

Using the monopod

If you’re not used to such a device, it’s easy to assume that the monopod is just a simplified version of a tripod.

Well, it isn’t – it’s of limited use at night for longer exposures for example.

The main use of a monopod is to support the camera and reduce camera shake.

In the picture below, I’ve got a 70-200mm lens on my 5Ds on the monopod. The monopod is attached to the lens L bracket rather than to the camera (meaning I can rotate the camera to portrait orientation quite easily).

I’m six feet tall and the monopod was more than long enough for me.

holding a camera monopod

The 70-200 is not a huge lens, but I still wouldn’t want to stand around for long pointing it somewhere, without support (especially with my heavier 1Ds3 as the camera). Monopods take the strain whilst you are waiting with a long lens for something to happen…

I’ve got my legs a couple of feet apart and am holding the padded part of the monopod, with my hand in the loop at the top. It’s important not to grip too tightly as this will amplify any slight wobble (and be tiring). There are other ways, but you will need to experiment a bit to get a feel for a new way of shooting – just don’t try and be too rigid!

What’s more useful for me is using the monopod with a wide shift lens, such as the TS-E17mm or 24mm, which are my two normal ‘walk-round’ lenses for landscape/architecture. Invariably I want the camera horizontal and shift up/down as needed. The monopod allows me to get sharper shots at perhaps 1/30 second and when using the 5Ds, just that touch sharper at 1/100

As I mentioned, I do take a tripod with me for most of my architectural work, but it can be a bit clumsy to set up in busy areas, where the speed and ease of use of the monopod makes my work easier. I also work in quite tight spaces sometimes on industrial shoots, where just the monopod won’t get in the way.

Conclusions

Although traditionally thought of as useful for long lenses, the monopod also turned out to be a helpful device with wide angle lenses when using a tripod is inconvenient.

At £44.99 it’s a useful and unobtrusive addition to my work bag.

Summary

The ‘Falcon’ model is a 5 leg section, carbon fibre monopod that supports up to 5kg.

The screw thread for attachment can be changed between 3/8″ and 1/4″

Weight: 0.35kg. Height: 1500mm. Folded: 420mm

Price £44.99 from MPB 

We've reviews of many MPB products. See the MPB Category in the dropdown menu at the top of the right column.

See also our review of the ‘Harrier’ tripod from MPB which lets you transform one leg into a monopod.

Never miss a new article or review - Sign up for our Newsletter (2-4 a month max.)

Enjoyed this article?

Other areas of our site that may be of interest...

All the latest articles/reviews and photo news items appear on Keith's Photo blog 

We've a whole section of the site devoted to  Digital Black and White photography and printing. It covers all of Keith's specialist articles and reviews.

Categories include Colour management and Keith's camera hacks - there are over 1000 articles/reviews here...

Articles below by Keith (Google's picks for matching this page)


Site Notice: Like many working photographers, our work has completely dried up in these challenging times, so I'll be at home a lot. The silver lining is that I've lots of articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith ...Why not sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to keep informed about new articles.


No Comments

Post A Comment