Using a monopod

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cougargal, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. cougargal

    cougargal TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    So I'm thinking of purchasing a monopod. How do they compare to a tripod? Anyone?
     
  2. mdtusz

    mdtusz TPF Noob!

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    I have a 6 foot monopod that I bought for 30 bucks, and even though it was so inexpensive, it's great! The reason I went for the monopod is because of the portability. If you're doing lots of shooting where you need the stable platform but don't have much room to move/move a lot, monopods are usually the way to go. The lightweighness of them is great too. If you have a d90 or other recording slr, you can use them to stabilize your recorded shots by just holding it a little above the whole camera-monopods center of gravity and it makes everything smooth:)

    Tripods on the other hand are an actual stable platform that can free-stand. I wish I had one for long exposures and sit down portraits, but I don't.

    Just decide whether you will be shooting while on the move and standing up, or not.

    I'm sure I've missed something huge though...
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    What do you plan on using the monopod for?

    They can give you more stability than just hand holding the camera, but you still have to have your hands on the camera, so they aren't a substitute for a tripod.
     
  4. cougargal

    cougargal TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I will definetly consider your points.

    The main reason I was considering the monopod is because my husband and I attend alot of classic car shows so I was looking for something light weight to carry around between cars, and there tends to be alot of people moving about looking at the cars. I thought it might be easier then lugging a tripod from car to car and around all the people.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A monopod is a fantastic accessory when using a larger or heavy camera for long periods of time, or when mobility is the key. A monopod stops up-and-down camera movement quite well, and just the elimination of up-and-down camera movement can give you two or three or four or even five stops' more hand-holding speed. With a big,heavy camera/lens combination, or with ANY lens/camera combo at the start and end of the day when the light is low, a monopod can really,really help steady the camera. Using a VR or IS lens on a monopod is kind of like the best of all worlds---really good steady images on still shots; excellent panning photos; plus a nice stick to lean on !
     
  6. mdtusz

    mdtusz TPF Noob!

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    I've shot a 4s exposure with my film camera on my monopod of the ocean just bracing the pod/camera/body up against a BIG boulder. It wasn't razor sharp, but it was clean enough. When you think about the majority of camera movement while shooting, it is up and down. I think for car shows and things of the sort, a monopod would be better so you don't have to ask people to move out of your way with a tripod. You can always get a tripod later if you need one!
     
  7. cougargal

    cougargal TPF Noob!

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    My hands are always very shaky, so I figure it cant hurt to try a monopod. Maybe I'll give one a try, then will purchase a tripod sometime in the future. Thanks for all the input.
     
  8. Santa Gertrudis

    Santa Gertrudis TPF Noob!

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    I have a cheapo monopod (Dynex I think, from Best Buy) that I use at races, car shows and places with a lot of people like you are describing. Works really well!
     
  9. AliasPros

    AliasPros TPF Noob!

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    love the mono pod, make sure its one that can switch from portrait to landscape with a simple swivel head ball joint, that's what I love about mine. its a must for me when i was shopping for a monopod.

    here is a link to the style that I like but I am sure you can find them cheaper if you shop.
    Monopod With Ball Head
     
  10. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    I have a monopod, but I mostly got it for use as a lightstick which works out quite well. For other use it does greatly help with hand holding ability at low shutter speeds.
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My monopod gets a fair amount of use. It's great for zoos, sporting events, hiking. It stands up to a fairly heavy load like a gripped D700 w/ 70-200mm lens and a SB800 flash. You can see it here.

    The one suggestion I can offer is to make sure it will hold more than your heaviest body and lens combined, also the swivel head is a great addition.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I actually spent more $$$ on a monopod than my tripod... As much as I like my tripod, the monopod travels with me more often... I found it well worth the investment.

    If your going to be shooting long periods with heavy equipment, the monopod keeps the arms rested and steadier for longer shoots.
     

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