Suggestions for a good Monopod/Tripod?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by staphkills, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. staphkills

    staphkills TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    Can anyone suggest me a good monopod that can attach to Nikon slrs? I'm mostly going to be using them for landscape photography which sometimes require hiking as well. I've looked around, and it seems like they all come in many detachable/retractable pieces. However, I think I want more of a solid build.

    How do monopods compare to tripods? I always thought that the monopod, if held steady will be as good as a tripod. I don't really want to haul around a heavy tripod but I also don't want a flimsy tripod that will break in a few months.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Monopods and tripods are two totally different animals designed for two totally different purposes. For your purposes I would stick with a tripod; a monopod is meant to give you some additional stability; for example when shooting long glass at a sporting event. It will NOT replace a tripod. You would never be able to use a monopod for a 1 second exposure of a river for example.

    When buying a tripod you can choose any two of the following three: Sturdy, inexpensive, and light. From your description, I would recommend something in carbo-fibre. This is light and sturdy, but NOT cheap. My favorite (and my own hiking rig) is a set of Manfrotto 055 legs in carbon-fibre with a 488 ball head.

    Not sure where in the world you're located, but in North America brand-new that will run $3 - 400ish. There are lots of cheaper rigs - you can pick up tripods for $29, but they're not likely to be something you want to trust to support your best gear while you run out in on a windy day to move something out of your field of view.
     
  3. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Tirediron explained it very well. I just want to add that I hike with a tripod all the time. Depending on your hiking skills, I say the weight of the tripod is not as big of a deal breaker for day hikes. A STURDY tripod is key for landscape. The weight of your equipment plays a role in this as well. Make sure the tripod/head can hold more weight than your equipment weighs.

    **When you see those really crisp shots...those guys are carrying trees with them to plant their camera on. :mrgreen: Did I mention sturdy???
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I agree with both replies. You shouldn't be choosing between either a tripod or a monopod because they do very different things.

    By the way, the screw threads on your camera are 1/4", which is standard for just about every camera you will find. So you don't have to specifically find a pod that 'attaches to Nikon SLRs'.

    I do a bit of hiking & landscape photography. I always like to use a tripod, but I do on occasion take a monopod with me, often to use as a walking stick but sometimes for use when the tripod wouldn't be convenient or useful. Shooting wildlife for example.
    I have a rather cheap monopod, which didn't make for a great walking stick (just better than nothing) but I'm thinking that I might buy an actual hiking pole, but one with a 1/4 stud on top, to attach a camera.

    When looking for a tripod, there are many options & prices. I like to tell people that there are three main factors, but you only get to pick two;
    Good Price
    Good Stability
    Light Weight

    My favorite brand is Manfrotto, it's hard to go wrong with them, but there are several good brands to be found. I'd suggest going into a well stocked camera store so that you can get your hands on some different ones, to help you choose.
     
  5. Digitalize

    Digitalize TPF Noob!

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    I've just bought a Manfrotto Modo Maxi 785B. Its not designed for SLR's, but seemed to hold my 450D with a 300mm lens fully extended just fine, didn't droop at all. Got it for £40, nice and light, over 5' tall fully stretched, folds up small enough to fit in a backpack too.

    Seems perfect for a starter Tripod, the ball heads not super smooth, but it wasn't terrible when i was using it. It's my first so not much to compare to.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    As mentioned, they have different purposes, but nothing says you can't have both. :D

    I fell in line with the Manfrotto recommendations and haven't had any problems with mine. I have slowed down some with my hiking, but still manage some mountain hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway every year. I bought the 055X legs and a 488 ball head. After a shoulder surgery I bought the 322 pristol grip ball head for one handed operations. I have yet to put the 488 back on.

    I'm only 5'-10" and it is the right height for me. It also gets very low - 10cm I think.

    [​IMG]




    For a monopod, I went with the Manfrotto 685B Neo Tec and added the 234 Swivel Head.​

    [​IMG]



    And a little bit of light reading for you. Tripods and Ball Heads by Thom Hogan
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Hey! Is that finger licensed? :lmao:
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Licensed the Thrill.

    So I've been told.


    :shock:
     

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