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Thread: Monopod?

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    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Monopod?

    I know, there is information on tripods and monopods out there already, but I am getting more confused the more I read, so I just wanted to ask here, hope you don't mind:

    I have a small and portable Slik tripod that works well enough around the house and is light enough to take with me on occasion. But sometimes it's a bit much and I am wondering whether I would be o.k. with a monopod. I am in awe about how much money one can spend for a stick that holds a camera steady, and then you still need a head Does anybody use monopods here and what are your experiences and recommendations? Here is what I think I need:

    - The heaviest it will ever hold is a GH-1 with 250mm Leica Telyt (and I may only use that on a tripod anyway...) or the future Panny 100-300.
    - Light would be nice but affordable would be nicer.
    - The plentitude of heads really confuses me. What I want is a quick release and the ability for vertical portrait shots. What else would one need and why?
    - I am a touch over 6" and would love to be able to extend it so that I don't have to bend down too much.
    - Folded length should be short enough to take it on an airplane although I usually throw it into the checked luggage (and being large, I have large suitcases ).

    Not sure what else I should pay attention to. Any tips are welcome,

    Aloha,

    Stefan

  2. #2
    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    - Just looked at my post again and want to state that I am quite a bit over 6" tall, more like 6' or so... 4 years in the US and I am still thinking in metric...

    Stefan

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    Re: Monopod?

    I have a Manfrotto 790B Modo monopod that I use with my Olympus E-P1 and is quite happy with an Olympus OM 200mm lens and adaptor. I use it with a Slik SH-100DQ ball head. At around 6' it may just be adequate as I am 5'10" in the funny measurements.

    The monopod is very light - less than 300g an the head adds about 100g to that. Try one out in a photo shop for size.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    flex ... monopods tend to vibrate like a harp string when under the pressure of a camera on top. I totally HATE this with a cantilevered camera (meaning long lens on camera and camera body mounted on tripod) vibration is horrific with a long tele.

    I have a 300mm f4 which has a lens based mount, so when it is mounted on a monopod its far far more stable.

    the weight is nearly a non issue, it won't collapse, it'll just "hum" more.

    you'll also need to learn how to hold it so that you don't induce your own vibrations ... I often find that a looser grip and using a remote release down helps. I stabilise the camera with my left hand (and focus) and release with my right which is also holding the monopod grip

  5. #5
    Tikkis
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    Re: Monopod?

    Quote Originally Posted by apicius9 View Post
    Does anybody use monopods here and what are your experiences and recommendations?

    Stefan
    I have used different caliber monopods for ages. They are indispensable -- if you don't want to lug a decent tripod with you. In many cases monopod is all what you really need in daytime, but it should be sturdy enough to nearly lean on. That way you can put some of your body weight on camera to stabilize the combination.

    If Monopod is so light that it is flexing or vibrating, it's simply too light. For instance Manfrotto (Bogen) has some professional models that are steady as thick steel pipes.

    Of course for night time or interior photography with long time exposure you need proper sturdy tripod with adjustable camera head.

    I have and use three monopods. One is very light and compact that fits in small shoulder bag, sort of 'just in case'. Medium weight one is under two feet collapsed and has a reach of 160 cm (63"). The third one is most robust and has a reach of about 6 feet. It has ingenious adjustment of the last two feet of height by sort of pistol grip.

    I am too lazy to carry a tripod around for small sized cameras but some of my mon opods im always taking with me.

    Tikkis

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    Re: Monopod?

    Michael Reichmann does a nice short video on the Manfrotto 685B here:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/vi...5b-video.shtml

    I'm thinking of buying it

    Keith

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    I have had the same CF monopod for 7 years. Buy one that is sturdy and easy to use, and only buy once. I recommend the RRS monopod solution instead of a ballhead: http://reallyrightstuff.com/tripods/03.html

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    Senior Member JBurnett's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodmancy View Post
    Michael Reichmann does a nice short video on the Manfrotto 685B here:

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/vi...5b-video.shtml

    I'm thinking of buying it

    Keith
    I wish I'd sprung for this one from the beginning. I hesitated because of the expense, thinking that I'd try a cheaper alternative to see if I would really use a monopod for casual hikes. But the utility of the 685 and "regular" monopods (twist or latch legs) is very different.
    Best regards,
    John.
    http://jburnett.ca

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    Senior Member apicius9's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBurnett View Post
    ... thinking that I'd try a cheaper alternative to see if I would really use a monopod for casual hikes. But the utility of the 685 and "regular" monopods (twist or latch legs) is very different.
    That's exactly how I feel about it, I just don't want to end up with yet another unused tool... But the 685 looks intriguing. Unfortunately, it also looks like one can't have it all: The 685 is really quite long when collapsed which makes it difficult to take on flights or throw into/attach to a backpack. Not 100% convinced of it, yet.

    Stefan

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    Stefan

    at the risk of stating the obvious, while a monopod will assist you with steadying the camera it and a tripod are really different tools. A monopod will not suffice for longer exposures or for proper stability. It is an aid.

    I use the biggest gorillapod and a ball head on it as my packing tripod. I have found I can usually get a rock or something to be 'near enough' and in city areas something like a solid garbage can will help too.

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    Re: Monopod?

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    I use the biggest gorillapod and a ball head on it as my packing tripod. I have found I can usually get a rock or something to be 'near enough' and in city areas something like a solid garbage can will help too.
    I will be giving the same a try on this weekend as a trial for my upcoming OS trip. I have the Gorillapod SRL Zoom which has a 3kg rating and will be using it with a Slik SBH-100DQ ball head. Should be interesting - I have a few reservations about it as a piece of kit.

  12. #12
    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    Has anyone here used a monopod with the three legs at the bottom? Like these two?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...d.html#reviews

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._MagMount.html

    I have a trip to the Grand Canyon coming up in May. We'll be rafting and packing all of our gear out on a 10-mile hike, so a tripod isn't really a good option unless it is super light and compact. A monopod that serves as a hiking pole would fit the bill nicely, but if it has the capability to stand on its own so much the better. Thoughts?

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    Re: Monopod?

    The Trekpod isn't exactly compact at 3' when collapsed could would get in the way of others in a raft. If you want the monopod to double as a walking stick, it may be a good option.

    The Manfrotto is more compact and built like the provebial brick outhouse, but it weighs in at almost as much. There are lighter full-sized tripods than that but if you have heavy gear and already have a heavy tripod, the benefits of the Manfrotto may be worthwhile.

    The only problem with these is that while they are self-standing, they have no provision for sloping ground (although the Trekpod possibly has an adustable leg). You need a near level surface and that isn't always available in the field.

    A lightweight tripod with a capacity of about 3kg may be a better choice. If space is limited, you can always extens a single leg and use it like a monopod.
    Last edited by PeterB666; 26th March 2010 at 02:47.

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    Re: Monopod?

    Take a look at the Kirk Monopod Head. It tils and swivels only. You do not need a ballhead due to the flible nature of a monopod.

    I have used this setup in all conditions - it is nimble.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ggibson's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    Yeah, the Manfrotto does look pretty heavy. I have to fit everything in a carry-on, so the Trekpod is out unless I get the more expensive one. I may try for something extremely light like the Tamrac ZipShot, or just try to make one myself.

  16. #16
    formula4speed
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    Re: Monopod?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggibson View Post
    Yeah, the Manfrotto does look pretty heavy. I have to fit everything in a carry-on, so the Trekpod is out unless I get the more expensive one. I may try for something extremely light like the Tamrac ZipShot, or just try to make one myself.
    Make sure you can take a monopod as carry on before you go to the airport. I've been told by several people they couldn't be carry on as they are seen as a whacking stick

  17. #17
    Member Ron Evers's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod?

    Got this one complete with head @ The Source for 30C$. works for me.


    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc....html#features
    Panasonic G1 & GF1 bodies, Panasonic 14-45, 45-200mm, various Minolta, Pentax, Canon FD, M39 & M42 mount lenses.

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