Monopods

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by selmerdave, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Just wondering what people's opinions are as to the usefulness of monopods, I've never used one. I'm going to be doing some traveling and bringing my tripod is not an option, so I was thinking of getting a Bogen monopod for slower shots. What range of shutter speeds are possible with one? I imagine they are not useful for very slow shots but what I'm curious about is the 1/4 - 1/15 range, is there a reasonable likelihood of getting a decent shot there with, say, an 85mm or 105mm? Many thanks.

    Dave
     
  2. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    In my experience, a monopod is great when shooting sports. Races, equestrians, football (socker), or aerobatics. It gives me more freedome to move, and paning with a monopod is quite easy.

    You will be able to use some slower shutter speeds with the monopod. How ever 1/4 secound is to me pushing it a bit. Some people are great at it, me not so much..... If you are hiking, a monopod might be a great tool. My general rule is that the monopod is just one of the legs you need to support your camera. I often use a tree, or a rock to lean on, so the tree/rock is one foot, myselfe the secound and the monopod the third. So to speak.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can brace them against a table, a fence rail, a tree, ... etc and get pretty decent slow shutter speed photos. If I don't bring a tripod I will generally have a monopod near to hand. I use a beefy 4 section one from Manfrotto, it collapses prteety short so is easier to have around in crowded places. I have a decent ball head on mine.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I use my monopod quite a bit while hiking. I use it as a walking stick and it can give much needed support when shooting. I have a cheap one, which isn't really all that well suited as a walking stick, the section can slip when a lot of pressure is used...but it was only $40. A better monopod would stand up better.

    I don't remember just how slow of a shutter speed I was able to get away with...but I do remember taking some running water shots, probably 1/4 or slower and I think they turned out fine (I'd have to check).
     
  5. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've seen collapsible walking sticks where the height adjustment click locks in place and where the top knob unscews to attach a camera or ball head. These are pretty light compared to full on monopods. My wife and I use them when we go hiking and handy to hold a light camera for those cheeky couple shots in a nice setting.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Very useful they are....

    I have a center column monopod on my ol'bogen tripod. My cullmann magic 2 tripod also has a monopod center. For lighter, I use the gitzo monotrek as a walking stick and to support light weight stuff.
     
  7. DHammer

    DHammer TPF Noob!

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    I have taken slow exosures by carrying a large spring clamp (usually hanging off my bag) and clipping the monopod to something stationary. Just remember to bring a remote shutter control so not to knock it. It holds but doesn't tolerate a lot of 'extra' activity around it well.
     
  8. Nikon Nick

    Nikon Nick TPF Noob!

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    I find them incredibly useful. As to how still you can keep it, it really depends on how steady you are yourself. Though if you can't take a tripod, a monopod is great and will still be more useful then trying to hold it at slow shutter speed. Get a good one thought, because it's no use to get one that won't stay steady for you.
     
  9. selmerdave

    selmerdave TPF Noob!

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    Many thanks everybody, I'll probably do it.

    Dave
     
  10. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I have the same monopod as Big Mike and I do like it, it does work well for sports and slow shutter speed, plus combine that with VR and you can do some great shots.
     
  11. explody pup

    explody pup TPF Noob!

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    If you're willing to shell out a bit more money, Manfrotto makes a monopod with retractable legs that, when extended, make for a decently rigid setup. I've played with it a bit in the shop and it seems alright. Though extending and retracting the legs is a little clumsy.

    Also, a monopod makes for a great extendable base for a flash if you're using it off-camera.
     
  12. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I use a monopod for shooting auto racing. However, contrary to most people... I don't let it touch the ground :D.

    I just let it hang close to the ground and it acts as a centerweight. Since I literally spin in circles, my point of pivot is at my feet...NOT the tripod. If I stick the tripod in the ground, I end up tripping over it...silly as it may seem.

    :cool:
     

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