Review: Manfrotto 682B Pro Self Standing Monopod With Retractable Legs

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For a while now I have been looking for a proper monopod to fit my needs. While my 3 Legged thing Brian did come with a monopod and is an epic tripod, it did not fulfill all the requirements for my type of work. I needed a more versatile Monopod–something with legs. I know I am talking about a monopod, but there are those that indeed come with legs. I recently purchased the Manfrotto 682B Pro Self Standing Monopod with Retractable Legs to help with a few projects where I could not have a tripod or a light stand but strangely a monopod was fine.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can stand on its own
  • The Monopod is tall when extended.
  • It has a wide range of applications

Cons

  • The monopod is a little heavy
  • With a camera like the Nikon D700 the Monopod can be a bit unstable when standing on its own.
  • The Monopod at its smallest is 27”

 Gear Used

I placed my Nikon D700 with a 85mm lens on top of a 3legged thing air head from Brian. I also used it when I was reviewing the Samsung 60mm Macro on an NX300. I used my D90 to see if it would wobble with its lower weight. I also used my Manfrotto Gimbal as well.

Tech Specs

From B&H Photo’s page listing

  • Optional Ball/Pan/Fluid Heads
  • 3 Section Monopod
  • Retractable Stabilizing Legs
  • Maximum Height: 67.7″
  • Folded Length: 27″
  • Supports 26.4 lb
  • Weighs 2.5 lb
  • Soft Grip, Wrist Strap

Ergonomics

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At its core, it’s a simple monopod with 3 sections. While it does not go down to small size, you can carry it easily from location to location. The Manfrotto 682B does not require a lot of setup time at all.

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The leg locks are simple and easy to use. You just flip them open and extend the legs. There is not much to it. It’s simple and strong.

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The stabilization legs are a great size, sturdy and fold into the body when not in use. They require very little maintenance or set up time as well.

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Once open they are big enough to keep the monopod balanced. It does not stop it from shaking at times m especially when the monopod is top heavy.

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On the head there is dual 1/4-20″ – 3/8″-16 camera screw. The bigger screw is spring mounted. When you place a camera on it the 3/8″ portion goes down. You spin the monopod until the camera is secure.

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The Manfrotto 682b has a soft grip, which makes it comfortable to carry. There is a spot for a wrist strap as well. When holding it in chilly weather it’s easier to manage when holding the grip.

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The Manfrotto 682B gets extremely tall. This comes in handy for lighting situations. Its height makes it versatile. I would not, however, put a DSLR on at that height.

 Build Quality

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The Manfrottos 682b is strong.  Along with being an excellent monopod, the Manfrotto 682b makes an excellent walking stick. This  comes in handy when on long walks with heavy gear.You don’t have to put your camera away and you can walk with it.  It’s not meant to be as steady as a tripod on its own though. It can hold any tripod head with its screw, or just a camera. The Monopod feels a little heavy overall and is a little awkward to store on bags like my ThinkTank Urban Disguise v60. When using it as a walking stick, though, it’s cool. It supports its own weight as you walk. When the monopod is on uneven ground and the legs are out, it’s not that stable. The weight of any camera would make it fall over. That is what a tripod is for. The photographer is supposed to support it.

Ease of Use

200mm f4 on a 2x teleconverter 1/1000 sec f/16. I did not need the Monopod but it made the the shot easier.

200mm f4 on a 2x teleconverter 1/1000 sec f/16. I did not need the Monopod but it made the the shot easier.

The Manfrotto 682b is easy to use. As a monopod you just open the legs to where you want them and off you go. Pulling the legs out is quite simple, you unscrew, open, and screw them back on. With the dual screw you don’t even need to worry about a head on the monopod. With the weight of the monopod supported by the ground, it helps add more stability to your shot. If you are working with lenses without image stabilization, this can be a big help. With the legs out there is even more stability. The legs also can come in handy when using big lenses. If you have to let the monopod support your gear for a short period of time, it’s okay.

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If you are using a DSLR like a Nikon D700 you won’t be able to do a proper long exposure. If you need to a 1/30 second shot you will be fine. When the legs are out lighter cameras like the Samsung NX300 camera are steady on this monopod. As a regular monopod it does an excellent job of helping you stabilize your photos on the go. The overall image quality depends on the photographer.

Conclusions

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Likes

Dislikes

  • The Manfrotto 682b can be awkward at times.
  • It is a bit conspicuous when not in use.

We rate the Manfrotto 682B at 4 out of 5 stars.
I know monopods are not meant to stand completely alone like tripods. It’s nice to have a little more flexibility though. When working with a long lens a monopod with legs and add a lot of extra support without taking up a lot of room. The Manfrotto 682B Pro Self Standing Monopod with Retractable Legs fills a lot of roles nicely. It is a personal preference though. If you need a good monopod for long walk in the wilderness this is a great tool. It also makes a great tool for lighting in tight environments. It’s up to the user in the end.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.