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Review: VARAVON 523 MHD Monopod Set - 520 Monopod + 103 Video Head


Review: VARAVON 523 MHD Monopod Set - 520 Monopod + 103 Video Head

Overview : Varavon's 523 Fluid Head and Monopod System combines the Varavon 103HD fluid head and 520M monopod to give you fluid head control with the nimbleness of a monopod. Supporting up to 11 pounds of camera, with fluid dampened pan and tilt movements, the head features an integrated sliding balance plate. The plate is indexed, for quick balance resets. The QR (Quick Release) plate makes it fast to pop the camera off the set up when you need to go hand held, and pop it back on when you need a steadier shot. The fluid head features a bubble level, for precise level adjustment, and pan bar mounting rosettes on both sides of the head, the system includes one pan bar.

The monopod is made from polycarbonate to be lightweight, durable and impact resistant. It extends from 23 to 65 inches, about 27.5 to 69.5 inches including the head, giving you additional height of almost six feet. This is useful when trying to shoot over a crowd. the ball joint rubber foot, gives you solid grip on hard surfaces, even when the surfaces aren't completely level, and the rubber foot retracts, exposing a spiked foot for better grip on soft ground.

Monopod Features :
  • Supports 3/8" screw
  • Spiked foot
  • Handstrap & Folding Quick Lever
  • Width: 2.7 inches
  • Height: 23 inches
  • Max length: 64 inches
  • Diameter: 1.4 inches
  • Material: Polycarbonate
  • Weight: 1.8lb
Video Head Features :
  • Width: 3.8 inches
  • Height: 4.7 inches
  • Depth: 5.2 inches
  • Bubble level
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 2.2lb
  • Panbar weight: 0.5lb

Quality/Usability : I've been in search of a decent video head without breaking the bank. I saw that Varavon has a video head that looked similar to what Manfrotto offers and thought I would give it a try. A bonus is that it even includes a monopod and a carry case.


520 MONOPOD


The Varavon 520M Monopod supports up to 13.2 pounds and is made from impact-resistant polycarbonate. Folded down, the monopod is 23 inches long and can extend to 65 inches long. Total width is 2.7 inches and the diameter is 1.4 inches. Total weight is just under 2lb.


The top of the monopod has a 3/8" screw that can accommodate all types of tripod heads or video heads.


Each section of the monopod leg has a folding quick lever. This allows you to unfold the lever to extend the monopod leg and lock it in place when you have the suitable height. This allows for quick extension and retracting of the monopod legs.


At the bottom is a ball-jointed rubber foot that provides grip on slippery or delicate surfaces, and allows the monopod to lean without sacrificing grip. The idea is similar to Manfrottos 561BHDV-1 monopod minus the 3 feets.

If you twist the rubber foot, it will expose the spike foot. This allows you to dig into soft ground such as grass to give additional traction and support. The monopod foot also pivots. This allows you to keep the monopod planted to the ground while giving you the flexibility to move the camera in different directions and angles.


The monopod has a foam padding for gripping. On the foam pad, it has the Varavon logo cut out.

103 VIDEO HEAD

If you're getting into doing videos, you will need a video head. They allow you to pan your camera and tilt your camera with ease. Yes, you can use a normal tripod head but with a video head, your camera is straight at all times. You either pan left to right or up and down.


The 103 Video Head measures 3.8 inches in width, 4.7 inches in height, 5.2 inches in depth. The video head is made of aluminum and weights 2.2lb. The panbar weighs 0.5lb. There's also a bubble level on the bottom base to help you level the video head.


The video head comes with it's own quick release plate. Unfortunately, if you are already using a different quick release plate for a different tripod head, you'll either have to remove it and attach the Varavon video head plate or attach the Varavon plate to your existing quick release plate. The mounting plate can be moved forward and back to enable finding the center of gravity with different cameras, and it has ruler markings on one side to help with positioning.


The panbar can be a great asset. It can go under your armpit to provide stability or it can go on top of your shoulder for stability and the ability to move around freely. You can also tuck the panbar down so that it is out of the way if it is not being used.

With the combination of both the monopod and video head, you can do high angle shots. Shots that you would not be able to get from eye level or unless you were standing on a chair. You can also get low angle shots. Shots that you would not be able to get unless you're straining your back or laying on the floor. Both these options are great if your camera has a flip out screen as you'll be able to see what you're shooting.

Conclusion : Overall, the VARAVON 523 MHD Monopod Set - 520 Monopod + 103 Video Head is a nice set up for any videographer. Although the rubber foot pivots, nothing compares to Manfrottos 561BHDV-1. The video head is fluid and smooth and definitely worth it alone.




Manufacturer: VARAVON
Site: Buy from Varavon / Buy from B&H Photo

Varavaon 520M Monopod ONLY
Site: Buy from Varavon / Buy from B&H Photo

Varavon 103 HD Video Head ONLY
Site: Buy from B&H Photo
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