Wimberley FAQs and Support Topics

Attaching a Lens to a Monopod

Monopods are okay for tracking the fast action of sports, but they are no real substitute for a tripod most of the time. Most monopods are not practical for heavier weight lenses and can be very cumbersome and are difficult to operate when excessively top-heavy.

Before you choose a monopod, it is recommended that you add up the weight of the heaviest gear you plan to attach to the monopod (camera body & lens, flash unit & bracket, extension tubes or teleconverters, monopod head) and compare this combined weight against the maximum weight rating of the pod. Exceeding the maximum weight rating puts both your gear and your image quality at risk.

Attaching your lens

The most straightforward way to attach a lens to a monopod is to mount the lens foot directly to the tripod mounting stud. This is the most direct approach, but can be a bit inconvenient if you prefer to swap out 2 or 3 different lenses frequently. This is where the addition of a quick release system and a monopod head can be very advantageous.

Wimberley Quick Release System

Attaching a Wimberley C-10 Quick Release Clamp ($79) to your monopod, and an appropriate Wimberley Quick Release Lens Plate or Replacement Foot ($52-79) to each lens you plan to use on your monopod, works very well (see our recommended lens plates for common lenses at www.tripodhead.com). The Wimberley system is an arca-swiss style system and will work well with most any arca-swiss compatible quick release clamp, lens plate or replacement foot. To keep the quick release clamp from twisting on the top of the monopod when using heavier lenses, apply a small amount of liquid epoxy metal adhesive, such as Loctite, to the monopod mounting stud an allow it to set prior to using the system (use medium strength Blue Loctite if you plan to remove the clamp in the future, use Red Loctite only if you do not plan to ever remove the clamp.)

The Wimberley MonoGimbal Head

For optimal use of your monopod with a long lens, many photographers use the new MH-100 MonoGimbal Head ($179). This head was specifically designed to allow balanced, easy handling of long lenses on monopods.

Other Monopod Heads

The two most common alternative monopod heads are tilt-swivel heads or ball heads.  The Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head or Really Right Stuff MH-01  Head are great tilt heads that will be more than adequate to support the Sidekick and lens. These are not ideal as primary heads however as these heads are inherently top heavy and thus have the tendancy to flop when you loosen the tilt knob.
KirkMPA-2 RRRMH-01

Kirk                                                              Really Right Stuff

The Sidekick

If you wish to use the Sidekick ($250) on a monopod, you can attach the Kirk MPA-2 or RRS MH-01 head to the top of the monopod, tilt it 90 degrees and attach the Sidekick to the head. To achieve the ability to pan side to side, you would rotate the monopod manually.

The Sidekick works for heavier lenses in conjunction with a ball head with a higher maximum weight capacity. Ball heads with an arca-swiss style quick release clamps are compatible, and screw knob clamps are recommended over flip-lock lever-style clamps for security reasons (an AK-100 Sidekick Adapter plate must be used with a flip-lock clamp to prevent the Sidekick from sliding out of the clamp). Recommended ball heads can be found on our website under FAQs.

Many of our customers who photograph sporting events prefer this setup and use it with great success.

Posted on December 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm