Tripod or a monopod?

MichaelT

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All monopods do is hold heavy lenses so you don't have to. They do not work for time exposures, HDR imaging, critical framing, or any of the multitude of things you use a tripod for. On the other hand, there is nothing a monopod can do that a tripod can't. (All you do is tie the legs together and your tripod is a monopod.)

One reason I always use a tripod for portraiture is because it allows me to get away from the viewfinder and have eye to eye connection with the subject.

There is absolutely no choice in this decision - you NEED a tripod. A monopod is just an accessory.
 

DSLR noob

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All monopods do is hold heavy lenses so you don't have to. They do not work for time exposures, HDR imaging, critical framing, or any of the multitude of things you use a tripod for. On the other hand, there is nothing a monopod can do that a tripod can't. (All you do is tie the legs together and your tripod is a monopod.)

One reason I always use a tripod for portraiture is because it allows me to get away from the viewfinder and have eye to eye connection with the subject.

There is absolutely no choice in this decision - you NEED a tripod. A monopod is just an accessory.
although I agree that a tripod better suites the shooting style of the OP, YOU NEED TO STOP POSTING LIES!

A monopod can get you 1 or 2 stops which can be very helpful. Also, have you ever been to a crowded auto show, parade, concert, etc. You try and get a tripod through all those people. As for using a tripod as a monopod, the legs may not stay together, and it is heavy. Please do not spread false information on a forum designed to HELP new user, not hinder them. You have to use the viewfinder reguardless of weather or not the camera is on a tripod or not. Also, have you ever had to fully set up a tripod to be just perfect, IN THE MIDDLE OF AN EVENT THAT MAY LAST BRIEFLY. Don't lie to our member just because you shoot with a style that doesn't need a monopod.
 

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IMO a monopod does a lot more then just take the wight off a big lens. It is also nice to have when you need both stability and mobility such as in a crowded not-so-well lit gym.
 

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All monopods do is hold heavy lenses so you don't have to. They do not work for time exposures, HDR imaging, critical framing, or any of the multitude of things you use a tripod for. On the other hand, there is nothing a monopod can do that a tripod can't. (All you do is tie the legs together and your tripod is a monopod.)

One reason I always use a tripod for portraiture is because it allows me to get away from the viewfinder and have eye to eye connection with the subject.

There is absolutely no choice in this decision - you NEED a tripod. A monopod is just an accessory.

To say a Mono pod has no purpose. Is like saying dog can walk better than humans because they have more legs. First of all my monopod is about a 1/4 of the weight of my tripod. 2 Monopods are faster to set up and move around!. 3 I've been doing portrait work for 20+ years and rarely use a tripod! Unless you want that 1970's boring look. As for monopod use. Well the zoo is a great place I keep it screwed on and just collapse the leg as needed. Museums are another place that a monopod is more useful than a tripod. Imagine you spend all that time setting up your tripod so that 100's of people can stand right in front of your subject1 Now you have to pick up the whole tripod and reposition only to find out theres another 100 assh*les walking in front of you again! A mono pod you just slide or pick your camera up and move like it's not even there. So to say a tripod $100-300 is better than a $20 monopod? I think not! They both have there own special purpose. Otherwise one of them would not exist!
 

usayit

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9 times out of 10 a tripod is more beneficial than a monopod
its more stable, easier on the photographer, and ultimately more useful than a monopod

monopods are most beneficial when space is limited and you cant use a 3-legged setup

Thats not necessarily true. Sports photographers in bright outdoor lights is going to say that 9 out of 10 the monopod will provide enough stability and 10 out of 10 times provide the mobility.

It is a balance between certain needs. Sure for you it might be true... but generalizations are completely useless.

9 times out of 10 a sledge hammer is more beneficial than a regular hammer. A carpenter will agree but a metal will definitely disagree.


btw.. I met one photographer that does a lot of long exposures. Nothing but a high quality WOODEN tripod will work for him. Geez.. now that thing is HEAVY... but STABLE.
 

usayit

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thanks guys. this I believe this does answer my question. I guess you can't compare the two. Now I need to decide which will better serve me now.

Some tripods will have a center column that doubles as a monopod. They are a lot more common now than when I purchased this a long long time ago:

49308535.jpg
 

usayit

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Nope it is not... A monopod is much more stable..
But learning to use a monopod efficiently takes practice.

Learning to use a tripod is pretty straight forward...
 

Happy Hour

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Some tripods will have a center column that doubles as a monopod. They are a lot more common now than when I purchased this a long long time ago:

49308535.jpg
WTF!!! I want one!!! I never have seen one like that! Then again I never looked. But that is nice! Thanks allot Usait! Now I have to go buy 1 (LOL)
 

RKW3

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to be honest, not having used a monopod i can't say much, but im just curious, isn't a monopod as unstable as just taking the photo without anything?

I was kinda thinkin like you once, before I went to the zoo recently. But once I showed up with my 400mm lens, it was kinda heavy and it is very hard shooting handheld at 400mm. My dad's friend lent us a monopod though, it was actually great! I loved being able to carry my camera by the monopod, and it was mobile and stable enough for my shooting.
 

usayit

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WTF!!! I want one!!! I never have seen one like that! Then again I never looked. But that is nice! Thanks allot Usait! Now I have to go buy 1 (LOL)

Unfortunately, they (Bogen/Manfrotto) has not made one in years. When I was searching for a tripod, I was actually looking for a combo just like this but my search came up empty. No one made anything like it. Then I came across one of Bogen's catalogs and saw the listing (under accessories) and called to make an order. The sales rep on the phone already said they were discontinued but I managed to get my hands on one. The issue now was that I had to find legs that would work with it. If you look closely at the picture, the center column is not beveled like the current center columns of Bogen/Manfrotto. I managed to find a left over 3001 S (shorts) that I really liked as they were a little lighter and more compact (see below). This was my main tripod/monopod up to today. I later got some full height 3001 legs that were also compatible from a camera swap for $35... it is heavy though.

53720736.jpg


The last time I checked, I saw nothing replacing it in Bogen's catalog but other companies including Giottos have made similar products.
 

MichaelT

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Well, I see some fur is ruffled the wrong way! And I must admit that I'm not sorry about it at all.

I've been teaching photography for many years and I can say without any reservation that a tripod should be the number 2 item in a photographer's kit, only following the camera. When my students are having problems with sharpness they immediately complain about the camera or the lens or some other goofy thing, but when I start insisting that they use their tripod, they begin to see amazing results.

If anyone ever asks me what one thing will make a real difference in their photography, a tripod is the FIRST item on the list. Yes, you can use other contraptions as a substitute, but when you start chatting with the real pros, you'll find that their tripod is a constant companion.

And of course, there might be times when working with a tripod slows you down too much or requires too much muscle to horse around, but those times are the exception, not the rule. So I'll tell jshelto3 a thousand times over, get a good tripod and witness a great stride forward in your photography.

And by the way, a dog is SO much more stable than a human. Go take your dog for a walk on the ice and see who goes down first! :confused:
 
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jshelto3

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I'm going to go ahead and get a tripod. If nothing else it will slow me down and make me think about my shot. I don't mind caring a few extra pounds either.
 

schuylercat

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...but then again, I was a racing photographer and had never done studio work. Actually, I need to correct myeslf - I had four or five monopods before I bought a tripod, because even the best Bogen/Manfrotto monopods I could find would get dirty and wear out (fail to clamp tight enough to support the camera and lens) because I abused them so badly at the track. The last one I bought, and still have, is a Slik - I can't find the model number, it's so old, but the outermost barrel is 2-3/4 inches in diameter, and I used to put a big Canon 600mm f/4 on it and use it as a prop to hold myself up. Best mono I ever bought.

Having said that...my case is special. If I were even considering a career shooting studio or portraits back then, I'd have bought at least one, and maybe two tripods - one big dependable brute for indoor work, and one lightweight, portable one...and even though was used to them I might not have even bought a monopod. I totally agree with Alex B: "Go take your dog for a walk on the ice and see who goes down first!"

The right tool for the job, in this case.
 

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