Camera gear that will last and you can trust
When it comes to camera gear, I have found that trying to get by with inexpensive equipment will only get you so far. If you want to have quality photos and videos you need quality gear. That’s not to say you can’t make amazing things with an iPhone and a budget setup. You can. But, when you are making a living at it, investing the gear you know, will hold up and last when taking a beating, finding companies like Manfrotto, Benro, and iFootage is a must. A few years ago I started using iFootage gear alongside my Manfrotto gear and I fell in love. They make some strong, versatile camera support gear. One of the products I have been getting some great use out of is the Cobra Strike 2 Aluminum Monopod.
The Cobra 2 Strike is a lightweight monopod that features iFootage’s quick release system and single hand operated auto extension. The device is ideal to use when you have to pick up and move constantly during your shoot. The Cobra 2 Strike has a four-part modular design — quick release mount, main body, quick release low angle camera pod, and removable rubber foot. The modular parts make it possible for the Cobra 2 Strike to function as 3 different support pieces — a video monopod with adjustable feet, portable monopod, and a low-angle camera pod. The mounting plate provides users the option to use either a 1/4″ or 3/8″ mounting screw, which is actually spring-loaded. It is 100% compatible with the iFootage Komodo tripod head.
The quick release grip makes it very easy to detach the camera from the post with very little effort. When you release the lock grip to extend the staff, you will notice that there is a built-in ruler on the inside of the rod to ensure that you put it at the exact length you want for your shot. The adjustable base features locking mechanisms for the three feet so that you can set it to one of three different angles — 20º, 50º, or 78º. The base also includes an adjustable ball joint that locks or unlocks with a simple twisting knob. The ball joint makes it possible for you to tilt the monopod 0-90º and swivel 360 degrees. The Cobra 2 Strike monopod is a 2017 Red Dot Design Award Winner (product design award).
- Maximum Load: 17lbs.
- Weight: 3lbs.
- Folded Height: 32 inches
- Extended Height: 59 inches
- Material: Aluminum Alloy
- In the box: Monopod, Instruction manual, carrying bag
iFootage’s packaging is black with an image of the product you are getting printed on the front of it. When you open the box up, you will be greeted by a plastic bag that is covering a very nice carrying bag that iFootage provides with nearly all of their products. It’s a heavy duty carrying case that you can sling over your shoulder. Inside is where your the Cobra 2 Strike lives.
The Cobra 2 Strike monopod is actually available in two different materials — aluminum and carbon fiber. I got the aluminum version because even though carbon fiber has a reputation for being more lightweight, aluminum tends to slide better. When the monopod arrived, I immediately unboxed it and got to know my new piece of camera gear. I marveled at the design of the device and how all the parts work together. I love that I can attach my camera to the mounting plate and use with either the full monopod or the base feet. It’s great to have such a versatile piece equipment in my hands.
With my Cobra 2 Strike in hand, I took off for one of my favorite places to shoot — a local wildlife preserve. This area is well visited by locals, but it also has a lot of wild terrains because it’s a protected area. Given the location, I felt like it was a great opportunity to test all aspects of the Cobra 2 Strike. I drove out to a parking area and loaded up my gear which included the monopod, my Canon 5D Mark IV with a 24-105mm lens and 70-200mm telephoto zoom lens. I hiked out to a spot not too far from the parking area and set up the monopod to get some shots of the wildlife and scenic landscapes. I found a place that was near the lake and set my camera on the monopod. I was incredibly happy with how quickly I was ready to shoot. Most of the time, I will take along a tripod to help stabilize my shots — especially with the telephoto lens. The problem is, sometimes it takes some time to extend the legs, level them out, and get my camera mounted.
With the Cobra 2 Strike, I pre-installed the camera plate on my camera body and walked with it attached to the monopod to the lakeside spot. Within a few seconds, I had the monopod extended and was focusing in on some birds across the lake. The monopod is so lightweight that it was very easy to carry — even with the camera mounted to it — across the rocky path. After I grabbed a few shots with the 24-105mm lens, I wanted to get a few options with the 70-200mm. The Cobra 2 Strike is such an amazing monopod, that I didn’t have any problems with getting a stable shot. I was actually able to leave the camera sitting on the monopod with the feet extended and it didn’t fall over. I don’t make that a common practice, but in order to demonstrate how stable the monopod is, I wanted to give it a try. Thanks to the adjustable ball head in the base of the monopod, I was able to get some amazing shots that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get without the added stabilization from the monopod.
The one thing I hate about the Cobra Strike 2 from iFootage is the name. I don’t like snakes at all so naming such an awesome monopod after something I am horribly grossed out by is a bit disappointing. You will find that to be the only thing that’s disappointing about this monopod. I can’t express how much I enjoy using iFootage gear, as they do make some of the best camera equipment in the business. It’s affordable and extremely well-built. I can’t say enough good things about the Cobra 2 Strike Aluminum Monopod.