Manfrotto Launches Element MII Video Monopod

by Aug 13, 2021Photography Blog

Robin Whalley Landscape Photographer

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Manfrotto Launches Element MII Video Monopod

I recently noticed that Manfrotto has launched a video version of the Element MII monopod. I currently have an Element MII regular monopod which is excellent, and the video version also looks interesting, even though I don’t shoot much video.

Whilst a monopod can’t replace a tripod for long exposure photography, it can be incredibly useful in many low-light situations.

In winter I often take a monopod when out walking. Typically, I strap it to the side of my backpack with one end in a side pocket. This makes for easy access when coming off the mountains at the end of the day when shutter speeds are lengthening. I find that by combining the monopod with image stabilisation and higher ISO settings, I can easily shoot after sunset with confidence. And of course, the monopod adds much less weight to my pack than a tripod.

The other situation where a monopod is useful is when shooting in an urban environment. Light levels can drop quickly towards the end of the day with built-up surroundings. Also, many of the more interesting places frequently have poor light and demand very high ISO settings. A monopod can make a big difference when shooting in these conditions and is easier to carry. I’ve also found myself in situations where tripods are banned but monopods are allowed.

Features of the Manfrotto Element MII Monopod

So, what makes the Manfrotto Element MII such as great monopod?

First, it’s the compact design having five sections which means it can collapse down to around 43cm (ignoring the head). When extended it reaches 159cm which means that unless you are extremely tall you won’t spend your day bent over or crouching. It also weighs only 0.5Kg but will handle a 16Kg load (again, the tripod head will have a bearing on this).

The second feature that I love is the twist-lock leg releases. I’ve used other monopods which feature a catch or clip release, but they often catch on things. The twist release mechanism is much neater and works very well.

Manfroto Element Monopod twist lock legs

Thirdly the grip is well sized and there is useful wrist strap. This makes it comfortable to carry and use which is important.

Most of the time I have my monopod paired with a Manfrotto 234RC Monopod Tilt Head with Quick Release. I’ve used the RC2 quick release system for over 20 years and love it. I have the plates attached to the base of all my cameras.

Another head that I’ve found useful with the monopod is a Manfrotto small ball head, again featuring the RC2 quick release system. I can’t remember the exact model as I bought it around 15 years ago but it’s very versatile.

Of course, you don’t need to use a Manfrotto head, and the monopod supports both 1/4” & 3/8” threads.

You will find the Manfrotto Element MII Monopod on Amazon and other photo retailers.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Features of the Manfrotto Element MII Video Monopod

When it comes to the new Manfrotto Element MII Video Monopod, a few things have changed over my monopod mentioned above. For one, the monopod has four rather than five sections. This adds stability but it limits the folded size to 60cm (still not bad).

Manfrotto Element Video Monopod with Fluid Head folded

Another feature that increased the monopod length over the travel model is the folding tripod foot. This also adds a little the weight, but it’s a very useful feature. I had another monopod from a different company which featured a folding tripod foot and liked it.

What the foot brings is stability.

Manfrotto Element Video Monopod with Fluid Head and tripod foot

When you use monopod, you need to put some weight on it to get the best performance. On hard, flat surfaces this can case the base to slip from under you. When you use a folding tripod foot this doesn’t happen.

But what I think makes the Manfrotto foot better is the fluid panning mechanism. This allows you to smoothly move the monopod around whilst the tripod foot stays flat. I realise this is designed for video, but I think it’s also useful for regular photography.

From what I can see on the likes of Amazon, you can purchase the monopod with a video head or without a head. If you have an existing head, it keeps the price down and allows you to use your existing gear. Of course, if you want to shoot video and don’t have a suitable head, you can expect the Manfrotto head to be functional and sturdy.

This looks to be another useful and versatile monopod from Manfrotto.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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