Monopod Suggestions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by K-Laa, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. K-Laa

    K-Laa TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2016
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    1
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    First-timer buyer, so I wanted to seek insight before I made the purchase. More or less, just some general, all-purpose shooting. Specifically, I know height and weight are on my discretion, but other than that, I would definitely appreciate suggestions and some other features I should consider before the purchase –for example, aluminum vs carbon fiber material, the use of a head – ball vs tilt, etc.

    Thanks in advance.


     
  2. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    161
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Manfrotto, Slik. Slik are ok and modestly priced. A small tripod also works well, collapsed down and stood inside a messnger bag or camera bag worn across the waist, with the strap around the neck. Have the boom arm thing facing outwards and all the articulating movements quite loose and fluid.
     
  3. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    3,494
    Likes Received:
    1,493
    Location:
    Dearborn, MI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Normally a mono-pod is just the single leg. There are *some* mono-pods where you’d an get a 3-legged base that allows it stand upright without you having to hold it. It’s not nearly as stable as a tripod, but it can do in a pinch.

    I have an aluminum Induro monopod with the traditionally collet-locking system, but I also have a Benro mono-pod in carbon fiber and that model has the lever-lock system (much faster than the collet-lock).

    Lever locks have become my favorite and my more recently purchased tripod and monopod both have them (my older versions have the collet-locking system).
     
  4. espresso2x

    espresso2x No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2018
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    161
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Slik 350 EX with three-way head.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    41,358
    Likes Received:
    15,644
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I prefer a two-section, aluminum monopod for use as 1)a walking stick 2)a club/weapon and 3)support for big black camera + 300mm-400mm super-tele lens. NO tripod head for 99.9% of uses for me, just the built-in 1/4x20 N.C. thread right to the tripod foot on the lens. A monopod + tripod head is not necessary in most scenarios, as I see things.

    Why two section? It goes as low as I need, and as tall as I need. It is sturdy. Fewer locks to work. I want it strong. I also like the deterrence factor of this thing as a, literal, weapon against those who might want my cam + big lens combo.

    Three-section monopods compact smaller, but have more locks, more to fiddle with. Carbon fiber is more expensive than aluminum, and less-durable too, IMO.

    Depends on how you want to use and carry the thing; if you wanna' strap or lash it to a bag, then get a three-section 'pod for the more compact length.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    293
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Monopod with a plain not movable head, same as Derrel. Save the ball and pan heads for a tripod.
    A ball head might work to give you elevation movement, but I have not had need for it...yet.
    For azimuth, I pivot around the monopod, and everything rotaes around with the monopod.

    Based on my experience, you do want some kind of quick release (QR) mechanism. It can take what seems like a long time to screw the lens to a monopod, and until the screw is well into the tripod socket of the lens, there is risk of the camera+lens falling to the ground. Yeah, you can do it on a table, but what if you do not have a convenient table? The QR mechanism gets the job done faster, so there is less risk. I use the Arca Swiss (AS) mechanism, just because I also use an AS L-bracket or plate on my camera and long lenses.

    If you live in COLD climate, a carbon fiber monopod will be easier on your hand, than a bare aluminum monopod. Or a layer of foam around the aluminum monopod, for you to hold.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Lord Commander

    Lord Commander TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2018
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    82
    Location:
    Sweden
    3 legged thing Leo is a tripod where one of the legs can be unscrewed and used as a monopod. It's made out of carbon fiber as well. Might be worth considering for anyone who wants both tripod and monopod without having to carry both. In this video it is demonstrated at 9:45

     
  8. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Crystal River, Florida
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I have a monopod that was not very expensive but has a few features I really like. The top has a round cap screwed on. That is removed to put the camera or a simple tripod head on, just takes a second. Below that is a foam handle/grip and a wrist strap for when it's a walking stick. The bottom has a spike with exterior threads and a rubber foot that screws down for when you are on a floor or other hard surface. It's aluminum so light. It's also long enough when fully extended so the camera is at eye level.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    16,704
    Likes Received:
    4,204
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Would you provide a link to this, please?
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    41,358
    Likes Received:
    15,644
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The above is the trickiest thing for first-time buyers to appreciate...the monopod is in most cases, used to either support the heavy weight of a big camera and a heavy lens for rather long periods of time (a three-hour football game, for example), or to keep the camera more or less trained on a specific area (say, like second base, or a watering hole's perimeter) so that when the time comes, the camera and lens are more or less pointed in the right place. There really is not a pressing need for a movable tripod head, in most normal shooting instances. A head adds a joint, which reduces stability, and in some cases creates a terrible finger-pinching hazard, which might actually be very significant with say a 300/2.8 and a 3-pound camera. Seriously...a monopod rarely,if ever, needs to have any type of movable tripod head added to it. Take from this what you will: there's a reason it's called a tripod head.
     
  11. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    901
    Likes Received:
    293
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    K-L
    You need to understand what a monopod is and isn't.

    A monopod only provides VERTICAL stability.
    The camera/lens can still move left/right and forward/backwards. If you need this stability, you need a TRIpod.
    I once shot a tennis match with a monopod. But the WIND was unexpected, and blew me around so much that I could not keep the camera steady. Next time I shoot there, I'm bringing my tripod.

    It holds the weight of the camera+lens, so that your arm does not get tired and sore.
    This is especially of value for a HEAVY lens or a long game where you need the camera up and ready to shoot.

    But it is fixed in height, so if you need to point upwards or downwards, it is not easy/possible to do.

    For shooting sports, I normally shoot hand held, and I hold and shoot the camera like a shotgun. On the sideline, I often track players in a 135 degree horizontal arc. To do that with a monopod, I have to move my entire body to pivot around the monopod. Doable, but not as easy or as fast. So what that told me is the monopod limits your arc of movement/coverage.

    Is it of value . . . absolutely.
    But like any tool, it has to be used appropriately in the right situation.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  12. dunfly

    dunfly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    47


    I use a 6 section Sirui P-306 Aluminum monopod with a Joby Ball head. I use it primarily when traveling or hiking. It is a little on the heavy side, but you can get it in carbon fiber for about twice the price. It packs down short, so it is easy to store and works great as a walking stick. I tend to disagree that you don't need a ball head. I often brace it against a tree or a fence for stability where you can't get the correct angle by tilting the monopod so you need to adjust the angle with the ball head.
     

Share This Page