Yunteng 288

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When my daughter had her first orchestra concert, I was confronted with either taking pictures or taking video. With a little research, I found this little inexpensive gem and bought it on eBay.

The Yungteng 288 is a self-standing monopod similar to other very expensive options by Manfrotto and Oben. If you need something durable or can hold larger cameras, look to those brands, but if you just need something for your family videos using your little point-and-shoot, this little gem works great (but be reasonable on your expectations).

Above, I have my Canon G15 mounted to the Yungteng 288 at its lowest height. The monopod is capable of being nearly 5ft tall, but at that height, you get significant sway especially with bigger cameras (I recommend only using this for smaller cameras). I set it up in the aisle next to my seat in the theater, and have it up to eye level (when I am sitting). At this height it is pretty stable. I have also used it at full height to shoot video which is fine if you don’t mind a little sway at the beginning of the videos.

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The monopod does have a full fluid video head including a handle, and from a non-videographer, it works fine.

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The base has 3 feet that lock into place. Where it connects to the monopod is a ball joint. You have to hold the feet down in place to move the ball head. It take a little patience. All of this feels a little weak so don’t plan on it surviving rough handing.

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The plate appears to be proprietary. It is definitely not ARCA nor Manfrotto, but is strong enough for small cameras.

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The monopod I ordered also came with an inexpensive bag, but I won’t count on every eBay listing to come with this.

Because I was planning on using this monopod in a dark theatre to shoot orchestra, I put reflectors on it (normally it is nearly all black).

The monopod is also handy for camera testing if I don’t want to haul out a full tripod. An ARCA plate attaches nicely so I can swap out cameras more easily.

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And one last thing, it really can turn into a tiny table-top tripod, too (some eBay descriptions list this).

Bottom line: the Yunteng 288 is a great self-standing monopod for light duty use.

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