Matt Golowczynski puts this lightweight carbon-fibre monopod to the test
Novo Explora MP10 carbon-fibre professional monopod at a glance:
- Carbon-fibre monopod
- Maximum height 165cm
- Twist-lock legs
- Price: £54.90
- Website: www.novo-photo.com
It’s difficult to innovate with monopods. They perform a simple task and require a straightforward design. The best we can hope for is that they are built to a high standard and perform without failure. This is what the Novo Explora MP10 promises.
While the majority of monopods on the market are made from aluminium, the MP10 is one of a handful of carbon-fibre alternatives. This allows it to weigh just 386g, a figure that compares well even against other carbon-fibre models. Its extended height of 165cm also edges it ahead of its peers.
The model folds down to just 53cm and comes with a carry bag that’s slightly padded for protection. The screw inside its head can be quickly reversed to alternate between 3/8 and 1/4 fittings, so you can use this in conjunction with a separate head if you wish.
The three twist leg locks are broad and ridged and secure the legs well, while a thick rubber foot at the end of the leg can be pulled off to reveal a metal spike for use on softer surfaces. Even at its maximum extension it stands sturdily and doesn’t bow if held at a slight angle or if subject to slight pressure.
The only marks against it are small. The foam leg warmer is perfectly sufficient, but rival models sport rubber ones that are likely to prove more hardwearing. The metal ring that connects the leg to the wrist strap rattles a little, although it can be removed.
Novo Explora MP10 carbon-fibre professional monopod – key features
Removable wrist strap
The strap can be easily removed if desired, as can its metal securing ring, which rattles slightly.
Comfortable foam cover
The foam leg cover isn’t the thickest but makes holding the Explora easier.
A removable rubber foot conceals a sturdy support spike at the end of the leg.
Novo Explora MP10 carbon-fibre professional monopod – our verdict
While there’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the MP10, it’s a lightweight yet solid performer that’s attractively priced, considering its carbon-fibre design.
SCORE: 4.5 out of 5
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Vanguard VEO CM-264 carbon-fibre monopod
This is a touch pricier than the MP10 but comes with a rubber handle, carabiner and rubber base cover that stays flat when tilted.
Manfrotto MM290C4 carbon-fibre monopod
Not quite as light or as long when extended as the MP10, this monopod has the advantage of a rubber leg cover.
Benro Mach3 MMA28C carbon-fibre monopod
This pricier alternative offers a 12kg payload and 9x carbon-fibre tubes, with a maximum height of 154.5cm.