REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
KirkMPA-2 Monopod Head
 
4.6

(based on 26 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Attaches firmly (21)
  • Stable (21)
  • Strong clamp (20)
  • Large range of motion (16)

Cons

  • Heavy (5)

Best Uses

  • Sports/action (19)
  • Wildlife (16)
  • Travel (10)
  • Landscape/scenery (9)
  • Weddings (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (11), Semi-pro photographer (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (22)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

As Smooth As Kirk Says It Is

Even though I don't use giant telephoto lenses [nothing more than 200mm for me], I've gotten older, less vertically stable and considerably shakier. I use a monopod a lot more often than...Read complete review

Even though I don't use giant telephoto lenses [nothing more than 200mm for me], I've gotten older, less vertically stable and considerably shakier. I use a monopod a lot more often than I used to. After almost losing my balance a few times; and risking toppling over head first into a bush by tilting too far forward with a rigid monopod/camera combination; I decided to get a good monopod tilt head for my Induro CM-34 monopod. Tilting the camera is a much better strategy than tilting the monopod.

A tilting head is a must for a monopod, especially with a heavy camera like my D800. After dismissing a few brands of tilt head, owing to their lowish weight bearing capacity, I settled on investigating the Kirk MPA-2 head and the Really Right Stuff MH-01. From what I gathered, the RSS MH-01 is an extremely well crafted product, but unlike the Kirk MPA-2 I found few, detailed, objective user reviews that enumerated the pros and cons of the RSS MH-01. It is also more expensive than the Kirk. So, I ended up buying the more frequently reviewed product; and the reviews were almost universally great; I purchased the Kirk MPA-2.

The workmanship and machining quality is superb and the black anodized finish is very smooth. The main clamping knob is large and well ridged for a sure grip. The 60mm ARCA-Swiss compatible clamp accepted my Sumwayfoto L-plate easily and firmly with no play or wobble. The clamp easily swivels 90 deg. without removing it completly from the head, but you still have to loosen the Allan hex-screw and then tighten it back down again. There is no integrated spirit-level on the clamp, but on a monopod, this is no drawback for me. I rely on the D800's built in level anyway.

The tilting mechanism operates very smoothly just like Kirk says it does. All the delrin bearings are internal as, unlike the RSS, there are no visible bearings. It only takes a quarter of a turn or less of the main clamping knob to tighten down the load from the drag set position.

The stated maximum weight load of the MPA-2 is 80 lb. My D800/24-70 f/8 is a heavy combination and when the head was tightened down, I could not budge the camera and there was no creep whatsoever under an extreme tilt.

The only complaints I have are minor. The MPA-2 tilts slightly more than 90 degrees on either side of the horizontal axis, which means that the edge of the clamp butts up against the edge of the head base with an audible click if you swing it down with too much enthusiasm. Also, obviously, your camera axis will not be perfectly orthogonal to the monopod head/monopod axis. A physical stop at 90 deg. would be a good improvement to the device. On the other hand the device is on a monopod so maybe, so what.

If you are going to need to frequently swivel the clamp around from being situated parallel to the tilt to right angles to the tilt you'll need to carry a 4 mm Allen key with you. Again, this is a minor kvetch.

I'm very satisfied with my purchase and its performance and I would gladly recommend the Kirk MPA-2 to a friend.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Kirk Monopod Head

I got this monopod head to save money over buying a ballhead. Since this head only moves side-to-side, I was hoping I could use the monopod itself to aim the camera up or...Read complete review

I got this monopod head to save money over buying a ballhead. Since this head only moves side-to-side, I was hoping I could use the monopod itself to aim the camera up or down. At least for me, that did not work well at all. Everything is thrown off balance with even slightly tilting the monopod up or down-- and this is only using a 50mm lens with my Canon 7d. I've already returned the monopod head to B&H and am purchasing the Kirk BH-3 ball head instead.

The construction and quality on the monopod head is superb and it's very solid and easy to adjust. If that was the only consideration, I'd give it five stars. Because it's basically unusable to me, I'm giving it one star.

Reviewed by 26 customers

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4.0

Very good monopod head for Arca-Swiss

By SteveDK

from Boston, MA

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability
  • Strong Clamp

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Sports/Action
  • Wildlife

Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

I decided to go with the Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head rather than one of the Really Right Stuff ones because it was obvious that the clamp plate can be fixed to tilt in the up/down dimension. You can easily loosen the bolt in the plate with an allen wrench and rotate it 90˚ then retighten the screw. So it can be set to rotate the camera & lens around the lens axis for yaw, or for tilting the lens up or down from the horizontal. It works very well with my Manfrotto monopod and my D800E with a Really Right Stuff L bracket (BD800-L B). The head seems very solid. I use this combination for daylight landscape photography in rugged terrain, and it works very well, with more flexibility and faster repositioning than a tripod could afford.

The small knob locks the camera or lens quick release onto the head securely in the clamp, while the larger knob controls the tension on the pivot for yaw or tilt. My only negative comment is that the the large knob tensions a bit slowly, requiring a number of twists to get to the stopping point. But it's not necessary to go that far for the pivot to become fixed, at least with the lenses I am using, so the knob tension issue doesn't bug me really.

Machining and fit of all components seems excellent. It seems built to last.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Best Monopod Head In The World!

By Chip

from Cypress, CA

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability
  • Large Range of Motion
  • Strong Clamp

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Night Shots
  • Portraits
  • Sports/Action
  • Travel

Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

This monopod head is larger than it looks! It is very strong and I believe the 80 lbs capacity rating is conservative. It is very well made, functions extremely well and looks like a work of art. I believe this is the best monopod head in the world. The only down side is it weighs as much as my monopod. All in all this is a high quality product that I am very pleased with.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Monopod Head

By Theron

from Saint Petersburg, FL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Attaches Firmly
  • Good Stability
  • Large Range of Motion
  • Strong Clamp

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife

    Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

    I use this head with my 600mm Nikon lens, and it works great. Very solid and the large knob is easy to adjust. I find I can tighten or loosen it with my left thumb, keeping my right hand free for the camera. It fits a standard Arca-Swiss plate and the tightening knob for this is quite adequate.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    Versitle

    By Terry

    from Orinda, CA

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Large Range of Motion
    • Versitle

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action

    Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

    Great way to add a pivot to a monopod. Heavy, but useful enough that I keep it attached all the time. Provides flexibility in use of monopod while shooting action.

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Everything it claims to be

    By Richard

    from Seaview, WA

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Good Stability
    • Large Range of Motion
    • Strong Clamp

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Birding
      • Sports/Action
      • Wildlife

      Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

      I have two Kirk ball heads for my tripods which have been a real pleasure to use. They also set a very high standard for any similar, new products to meet. I'm happy to say this monopod head easily exceeds my expectations.

      The MPA-2 is responsible for supporting a 5DmkIII, with battery grip and L bracket, connected to a 400mm f/5.6 lens. It does this so well, you don't even realize it is there.

      I've tried a couple of other monopod heads that might have been satisfactory for a smaller, lighter kit; they didn't hold up for me. I'm sure this head will easily support a much larger, heavier lens.

      While I haven't tried this yet, I'm confident that adding a bracket mounted flash gun will pose no problem.

      You do generally get what you pay for, and this head is truly a great value because I got more than I expected for what I paid. Highly recommended.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      4.0

      Well made good function all around

      By gb

      from New England

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

            Aside from purchasing RRS brand, this head is spot on well constructed. Supporting a Sony Nex7 with RRS BNEX6 camera plate, the combo works well.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Monopod head

            By WJ Wheaton

            from Phoenix, AZ

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Firmly
            • Good Stability
            • Large Range of Motion
            • Strong Clamp

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

              I use this for animal photography on a Manfroto monopod. There are only 2 of these out there that are both supportive and reliable. The RRS model costs a little more and has etchings and scales that I would never use. The Kirk is made very well and I don't have to pay for all of the marks and scales!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great price, great functionality

              By Photo Show Ho

              from Setauket ,NY

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Strong Clamp

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Sports/Action
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                Expands the use of a monopod when there is a need to focus either high or low such as in a city environment or crowded event where the use of a tripod is not feasible.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (0 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Kirk Monopod Head

                By Biketrash

                from Austin, Texas

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                • No Up-and-down Adjustment

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                  I got this monopod head to save money over buying a ballhead. Since this head only moves side-to-side, I was hoping I could use the monopod itself to aim the camera up or down. At least for me, that did not work well at all. Everything is thrown off balance with even slightly tilting the monopod up or down-- and this is only using a 50mm lens with my Canon 7d. I've already returned the monopod head to B&H and am purchasing the Kirk BH-3 ball head instead.

                  The construction and quality on the monopod head is superb and it's very solid and easy to adjust. If that was the only consideration, I'd give it five stars. Because it's basically unusable to me, I'm giving it one star.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Does the Job

                  By Desert Rat

                  from The Sonoran Desett

                  Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                  Tried several and settled on the Kirk. Works as expected as do the other Kirk products that I own.

                  Share this review

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  As Smooth As Kirk Says It Is

                  By Peter

                  from Tucson, AZ

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                    Even though I don't use giant telephoto lenses [nothing more than 200mm for me], I've gotten older, less vertically stable and considerably shakier. I use a monopod a lot more often than I used to. After almost losing my balance a few times; and risking toppling over head first into a bush by tilting too far forward with a rigid monopod/camera combination; I decided to get a good monopod tilt head for my Induro CM-34 monopod. Tilting the camera is a much better strategy than tilting the monopod.

                    A tilting head is a must for a monopod, especially with a heavy camera like my D800. After dismissing a few brands of tilt head, owing to their lowish weight bearing capacity, I settled on investigating the Kirk MPA-2 head and the Really Right Stuff MH-01. From what I gathered, the RSS MH-01 is an extremely well crafted product, but unlike the Kirk MPA-2 I found few, detailed, objective user reviews that enumerated the pros and cons of the RSS MH-01. It is also more expensive than the Kirk. So, I ended up buying the more frequently reviewed product; and the reviews were almost universally great; I purchased the Kirk MPA-2.

                    The workmanship and machining quality is superb and the black anodized finish is very smooth. The main clamping knob is large and well ridged for a sure grip. The 60mm ARCA-Swiss compatible clamp accepted my Sumwayfoto L-plate easily and firmly with no play or wobble. The clamp easily swivels 90 deg. without removing it completly from the head, but you still have to loosen the Allan hex-screw and then tighten it back down again. There is no integrated spirit-level on the clamp, but on a monopod, this is no drawback for me. I rely on the D800's built in level anyway.

                    The tilting mechanism operates very smoothly just like Kirk says it does. All the delrin bearings are internal as, unlike the RSS, there are no visible bearings. It only takes a quarter of a turn or less of the main clamping knob to tighten down the load from the drag set position.

                    The stated maximum weight load of the MPA-2 is 80 lb. My D800/24-70 f/8 is a heavy combination and when the head was tightened down, I could not budge the camera and there was no creep whatsoever under an extreme tilt.

                    The only complaints I have are minor. The MPA-2 tilts slightly more than 90 degrees on either side of the horizontal axis, which means that the edge of the clamp butts up against the edge of the head base with an audible click if you swing it down with too much enthusiasm. Also, obviously, your camera axis will not be perfectly orthogonal to the monopod head/monopod axis. A physical stop at 90 deg. would be a good improvement to the device. On the other hand the device is on a monopod so maybe, so what.

                    If you are going to need to frequently swivel the clamp around from being situated parallel to the tilt to right angles to the tilt you'll need to carry a 4 mm Allen key with you. Again, this is a minor kvetch.

                    I'm very satisfied with my purchase and its performance and I would gladly recommend the Kirk MPA-2 to a friend.

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent Monopod Head

                    By Asher

                    from Bardstown, KY

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Firmly
                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                      I considered several tilt heads before settling on the Kirk MPA-2 and am very pleased with my decision. This head provides very smooth, controlled, camera movement is very well built and will last a very long time. I ordered and returned one of the overpriced brands, (not sold by B&H) because it didn't provide the smooth, advertised, movement that I wanted.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Excellent Product

                      By John C.

                      from Santa Rosa, CA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Smooth Operation
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                      • None

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action
                      • Travel
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                      This is going to be a short review. I like everything about the MPA-2 and have nothing negative to say. It is beautifully made, operates silky smooth and could probably support a Linhoff studio camera. The tilt release has a short rotation range and takes very little tightening force to lock the camera in place while still being easy to get just the right amount of drag if desired. If you are looking for a high quality monopod head, you will be happy with this one.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      Another MOST EXCELLENT Kirk Product

                      By ddub

                      from Evergreen, CO

                      About Me Photography Student

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Beautiful To Look At
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Rugged Construction
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Travel

                        Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                        I received my Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head a few days ago and am very pleased with it. I have had the Kirk BH1 Tripod Ballhead for several years and the quick release on the MPA-s is even better than that of the BH1.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Perfect

                        By Big Ed 99

                        from Tucson,Az

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Large Range of Motion
                        • Strong Clamp

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Night Shots
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Travel
                          • Weddings/Events
                          • Wildlife

                          Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                          Perfect for travel for shooting inside church's . It holds the camera tightly and is an easy on/off for the body so you can quickly change from monopod to hand held.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          very high quality, a bit heavy

                          By macro shooter

                          from Boston

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Even Tension
                          • Good Stability
                          • Large Range of Motion
                          • Precise Construction
                          • Strong Clamp

                          Cons

                          • Costly
                          • Heavy
                          • Hex Wrench Easily Misplac

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                            I use a tilt head primarily for macro work, so the smoothness of the motion through the arc is very important to me. This head is beautifully made--precisely machined and solid as a rock. The tension is quite consistent as I move it through the arc, which is a big improvement over the inexpensive head I used before. I'm giving it 4 stars rather than 5 for a couple of reasons. One is that is is quite heavy. This may be necessary for the quality of the head, but it is a drawback when you are pairing it with a carbon fiber monopod that you picked in part for weight, as I did. The second thing is that the screw that allows you to change the direction of the plate (to change the plane of rotation) requires an allen wrench, which would be easy to lose in the field. (I use an Oben monopod, which comes with a clip-on holder for an allen wrench, which I hope will take care of this problem.) Finally, it's pricey. If you don't need the precision and don't need arca-swiss compatability, there are much cheaper alternatives. Still, all in all, I consider it a great tilt head.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes

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                            4.0

                            Well made

                            By Marpman

                            from Vancouver, BC

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attaches Firmly
                            • Good Stability

                            Cons

                            • Heavy

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Sports/Action
                            • Travel

                            Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                            Kirk Enterprises gear are excellent. I looked at this and the RRS monopod head and chose this one based on the reviews.
                            I will not be unhappy, its a bit heavy but sturdy and will last a long time.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            GETTIN' KIRKEY

                            By D-MAN

                            from SALEM, OREGON

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Attaches Firmly
                            • Good Stability

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Wildlife

                              Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                              Light and sturdy for use with mono pod and canon 500mm lens.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              Solid, handy, and functional

                              By Birder

                              from Houston, TX

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion
                              • Strong Clamp

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Sports/Action
                                • Travel
                                • Wildlife

                                Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                                I'm using this on a monopod with a Nikon D300s and a 300mm f/2.8 lens and a 1.7x teleconverter. Simply put it works. It's gorgeously made and importantly readily holds my heavy rig when moving about with rig over my shoulder. It's solidly built and the knobs work smoothly. I struggled within the decison between this and the RRS monopod head. Both are expensive though the Kirk is cheaper. I field tested each in use by friends on even heavier rigs with 500mm lenses. I shoot birds and with a flick of the wrist the monopd falls loose allowing for non supported flight shots with the monopod resting on my chest. I have no regrets!

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                5.0

                                Awesome !

                                By Hump7

                                from Newburyport

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Good Stability
                                • Strong Clamp

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Wildlife

                                  Comments about Kirk MPA-2 Monopod Head:

                                  Outstanding head. Got it for my Nikon 300/2.8 lens.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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