Now let me say up front, that
1) I don't recommend monopods for your 4x5, but when in a pinch.....
2) Not all 4x5's, even field cameras will work on a monopod. My Tachihara or my Crown Graphic- not bad. Not great, but not bad. My Zone VI ....well, maybe not so great. And my 8x10 monorail - well the fact I shot LF means I am crazy, but it doesn't mean I'm stupid. However if any of you guys wanna try and report back (please include photos ), love to see it
Seriousl y however, I've , been using a Manfrotto monopod for years now, and it supports my Tachihara just fine. Tried one of those Gitzo hiking sticks with the built in ball head - okay for a DSLR, but no-go on my Tachihara. Still that Manfrotto monopod can get heavy. hey, it all gets heavy after while, eh?
So recently a friend of mine picked up one of those carbon fibre Sirui (spelling) monopods from one of those big NYC photo stores. gotta say - love the thing. Mine is the six section one, compacts down to about 2/3rds the length of my aluminum Manfrotto, and the weight - well not sure of the "official" weight, but "feels" the same weight to me as my Gitzo walking stick/monopod.
I like it too because the thing is less than half the price of a Manfrotto or Gitzo carbon fibre monopod. Don't get me wrong, almost all my tripods are Manfrotto or Gitzo or Berlebach, so I beleive in quality, but the local camera store here quoted me $380 cdn for the Manfrotto equivalent and $440 Cdn for the Gitzo equivalent in monopods, while this thing was $99 US , and our dollars are about par right now. Also, just so you know, that same Gitzo CF monopod that goes for $440 Cdn goes in NYC for $315 US, and as much as I like to support local merchants.... Still though, $99 vs $315.... hmmm
So just a heads up, I use my monopod mostly for my DSLRs, but like I said, in the field, in a pinch when I want to pull out my 4x5 and I cannot use a tripod, this thing has been great. So if any of you are looking at amonopod, look at oen fo these off brand CF monopods. Be careful, they are NOT all made the same, even though prices are similar. Just pulling them out of the box and trying them you will see right away what I mean.