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Thread: Monopod questions

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    Deceased, but remembered fondly here... johnastovall's Avatar
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    Monopod questions

    I have fine tripod system but am starting to think about the Canon 400/2.8 and it looks like a monopod is need or would be useful.

    What I would like is something super light (carbon fiber?). Which is very compact but fast to take out and put up (rather like an ASP security baton).

    Assume I don't need a ball head but do need a an RRS clamp to mate with the L-bracket on my 5D.

    What should I be looking at and for?

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod questions

    Hi John:

    I like the Gitzo monopod. On top I have a Bogen 234 monopod tilt clamp ($20) with a RRS clamp on top of that. Works great! Of course RRS makes their own unit with clamp built in, but it's also priced accordingly.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Monopod questions

    I have the Manfrotto aluminum one with the kickout stand on the bottom and the trigger grip. Unfortunately, I don't remember the product number off of the top of my head but I will look at home later tonight.

    For rapid deployment you can't beat it. Push the trigger in on the grip and extend to what ever height you want. To collapse, push the trigger in and close it.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod questions

    John:

    With the 400mm f2.8, you want one of the Gitzo carbon fibre monopods. The monopod will attach to the lens, not the camera body. The 400mm is so heavy, the tilt clamps will break, but you could try a RRS Quick releas clamp and a quick release plate on the lens. In the end it is just easier and safer to screw the monopd to the lens, using the 3/8" stud.

    Here is a quote of the RRS web page:

    "For exclusive “heavy artillery” use, eliminate the swivel entirely and attach clamp directly to the monopod (consider our longer clamps for this application). Not only is the Manfrotto swivel head too wimpy for really big glass (it's only rated at 5.5-pounds), but there's usually not much need for up/down swivel with 400mm lenses and larger. "


    When shopping for tripods, monopods and ball heads, you need to get something rated for 25 pounds or more. I think I weighed my 400mm f2.8 IS and canon 1D and even a 25 pound weight limit didn't leave much room for error.

    There is a story about a British journalist checking out a Leica 400mm f2.8 at the 1992 Olympics and while walking down from the stands with it over his shoulder, the monopod broke at the stud and the lens went tumbling down the stpes and smashed in half.

    Robert
    Last edited by robsteve; 29th May 2008 at 17:42.

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    Re: Monopod questions

    I have a Gitzo CF monopod and it functions quite smoothly. Ditto on the RRS clamp on top.

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    Re: Monopod questions

    Two options:

    For ultimate strength you'll want the Gitzo GM5540. This is Gitzo's biggest and baddest carbon fiber monopod, often see on the sidelines of the NFL.

    For speed, the Manfrotto model Ray has is the 695B Neotec monopod. You actually don't even need to pull the trigger to open... just pull the leg to any position and let go, then use the trigger to collapse it or adjust the height down. It could probably hold the 400, but it'd make me nervous (especially listening to Robert...)

    For a 400 2.8, I'd go for the slightly slower, but beefier Gitzo CF. Once you get good at the twist locks, it's pretty fast to set up.

    David
    David Farkas
    Leica Store Miami

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod questions

    you realize that the 400/2.8 is the beast..only bested by the 600/4 in shear size and weight. I enjoy shooting baseball,surfing etc .so i understand the "need". I went with the 200-400VR zoom on my D3 simply because most of the time I can t move to adjust FOV. I bought a RRS plate for the lens and use a RRS clamp on a 5 series GITZO monopod. I really need to get the replacement foot for the lens. This is the same method I use for the R series telyts . The advantage of using a fixed quick release system is the stability and the ability to separate the monopod form the camera lens during transport. biggest issue i have with the super telephotos is being limited to one focal length. no way am i laying it on the ground like the pros ...when I use my 200-400Vr thats pretty much it unless i can hide it in my car and change cameras.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod questions

    FWIW, I used that "whimpy" Bogen swivel head on a Canon 600/4 with zero issues...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Monopod questions

    I shoot pro baseball and pro football for the last 7 years MY lens is a canon 400 2.8. I have used the same gitzo cf monopod. No the heavy duty one but the lighter one. Not troubles works great and I am 6'2" . Also it goes right on the lens and no heads on it. David

  10. #10
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    Re: Monopod questions

    Well, I shoot a lot of polo with the 400 f2.8, and move around the edge of the field a fair amount when I can. I have been using a Velbon Neopad 7 CF tripod with a RRS lever release plate affixed to the top. This has been working very well for number of years, and I liked the single twist on the Velbon legs versus the older Gitzo. However, I am about ready to get a new monopod, as the "stops" on the Velbon sections keep breaking out after lots of heavy use collapsing and extending. Most likely, the replacement will be the big Gitzo in the new CF and with those new locks. The Velbon, has been a very good value, but it is just getting worn out at this point. I like the design and easy deployment. It is solid to work on, pivot, turn, etc., but the stop in the ferrules seem a bit weak in design and start to come out. Field repair is easy, but should not be needed, IMHO, so it will be replaced for the fall shooting season.

    The RRS clamp makes a world of difference in allowing you to break things down or set up quickly. I use the lever release, which RRS does not recommend, over the screw type QR. I sent my LR plate back to RRS to have them tighten the cam to make sure the LR would not slip. That has worked perfectly. There is no need for a swivel tilt thing with a monopod, as that is really controlled with height and spinning about the pod, and alleviates the one more device that can mess up part ;-) If you need to do a lot of tilt and swivel type stuff with a heavy lens like the 400 and up, a gimbal head on a tripod is a much better solution.

    One other thing....the neckstrap attached to the lens really has saved me, and now becomes a method for shooting. I let the camera and lens swing away from me while keeping the pivot point secure on the ground, and that lets me bring up a second camera with a 70-200 attached for close in shooting. Never have to put a rig down, and never miss fast approaching action.

    LJ

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod questions

    My subjects with the big glass were birds and mammals, and with the "ups and downs" of natural terrain, the swivel head is a must on the monopod (big Wimberley on the tripod). For sports on a level playing field, for sure you could get by without any head on a monopod...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Senior Member stephengilbert's Avatar
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    Re: Monopod questions

    Note that RRS will be offering a monopod head starting this month. It's a bit heavy (8.8 oz), but has a load rating of 75 pounds!

    http://reallyrightstuff.com/rrs/Item...H%2D01&eq=&Tp=

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