Monopods

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by msbarnes, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. msbarnes

    msbarnes Member

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    I like shooting available light portraits but I have trouble getting enough light

    I would like to use a monopod with some SLR's. I have a Nikon F but the other SLRs that I would consider are Hasselblad 500cm's and Pentax 67's (neither of which I own).

    I don't really like the idea of mirror lockup because I would prefer to move more fluidly. I typically shoot at 1/30-1/60 with standard lenses and shorter (for my Nikon). So my questions:

    1. What's a good beefy monopod for not too much money? Size/weight does not matter. I was thinking of some used gitzo off keh.com or a manfrotto if bought new.
    2. Anyone have luck with Hasselblads and/or Pentax 67's at slow shutter speeds? I figured that I can test my Nikon myself and that I would probably expect a 1-2 stop advantage.
     
  2. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I have a manfrotto monopod and my only gripe is that is is four inches too short. I am 6'5" and stooping when using it gets annoying/painful. If you are less than 6'1" you would be fine.

    Advantage is that it doubles as a stick on rough terrain.
     
  3. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    As mentioned, get a sturdy mono pod. You might use a spindly tripod with success,
    but with a mono-pod, you only have the one leg. Ensure it's a strong stick.
    On tripods, I prefer a pan-tilt head. On mono pods, only a simple ball head is needed.

    Also, for landscapes, have you ever considered a 'bag pod?'
    I shoot TLR, and MF SLR, mirror lock up with my bag pod.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/762981-REG/The_Pod_GR0079_The_Green_Pod_Camera.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/762997-REG/The_Pod_SL0086_The_Silver_Pod_Camera.html
     
  4. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    I think this is the model I have, different head though, an inexpensive ball head instead.

    Works nice, the results are so nice when compared to hand held.
     
  5. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I always found that mono-pods helped with shooting a movie camera, not so much help with still cameras and slow speeds.
     
  6. ArtO

    ArtO Member

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    I have a Manfrotto monopod with a small swivel type head and quick release plates. It's very nice and I really enjoy using it.

    Here's an interesting blog article about how to use a monopod. I found it very helpful, especially the rear foot brace part.

    http://photographylife.com/how-to-use-a-monopod#comment-32570
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Manfrotto here. I use it with slr+300/2.8 for sports/nature. I use it with 4x5 speed graphic as well.

    I don't use a head on it. That means no vertical shots with it on most cameras, unless you are using a collared lens or a camera with two tripod holes.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I find monopods best for square format or rotating back cameras.

    I have a Manfrotto monopod with an accessory quick shoe release. It is surprisingly finicky to mount a camera on :smile:.

    The models that have built in, mini-tripod legs can be handy when there is no wind. They are a decent substitute for something like a camera stand, but they certainly are no substitute for a tripod.

    They also can be used as a light stand for a portable flash.

    They are relatively expensive.
     
  9. LJSLATER

    LJSLATER Member

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    There's really no reason not to have a monopod. Truthfully, I mostly use mine for non-photographic purchases; having a 6' adjustable pole really comes in handy around the house. I keep it by the couch for when things get stuck underneath.

    I have an aluminum Manfrotto with a simple tilt head. It doesn't have a quick release; instead it has the old school thumb screw which I actually prefer. I wish more modern tripod heads had this option.
     
  10. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    I haven't tested this idea but I understand that in some places that object to tripods on policy grounds a photographer may get away with a monopod, particularly if you make it look like an aid to walking. Not much help with a view camera, though.
     
  11. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I'm with fotch I perfer tripods with my still cameras and slow speeds.

    Jeff
     
  12. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Monopods aren't meant as a replacement for tripods, they're meant as a replacement for handholding.

    The last place I used mine was sitting in the packed stands of a basketball gym for a college graduation. Hand hold or monopod were the only options.

    Wedding receptions, street photography, and climbing the Astoria Column (Astoria, OR) are all examples of places where monopods can work well and tripods might be a bit out of place.

    I like tripods too but monopods really do have a niche they can fill, and its a big niche; most people I know handhold and avoid flash far too long.
     
  13. grahamp

    grahamp Subscriber

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    If you are tall, finding a monopod that will work well with an SLR might be difficult. Mine only extends to about 5', but my main use is with Mamiya C twin-lens cameras, or my MPP Technical. Both of those are heavy to hand-hold for a long time. I have a Benbo ball head on mine so that I can lean into the monopod and keep the camera level. I got mine when I was doing a lot of hiking and cycling and carrying a tripod was difficult.

    Used with care a monopod should give you an extra two stops slower shutter speed (subject and photographer permitting), but that is not my main reason for using one.
     
  14. paladin1420

    paladin1420 Subscriber

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    I have a Manfrotto and use it a whole lot. It is not a tripod substitute, but can get me 2-3 extra stops beyond what I can hand hold. I'm 5' 6" so it's high enough for me, plus I usually add a swivel head from a light stand so I can tilt the camera up or down without having to lean the monopod.
     
  15. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I, too, use a monopod for marginal lighting, more mobile than a tripod, better than hand holding.
    Mine is a Tiltall - very simple and well built, a popular brand before Manfrotto became as popular in the market.