I think a lot depends on the camera, the focal length of the lens being used, and the shutter speed, as well. While I'd agree with the 2-3 stop rule of index finger (not many people use their thumb), if the starting point is 1 sec @ f/1.0, you might be in trouble.
I also use the little Bogen ball head with my monopod, and often use the technique of angling the monopod a bit to create a tripod between it and my own legs. With that approach, I can get down to 1-2 seconds at f/1.0 with the 50mm Noctilux on my M6 (almost no DOF, so swaying to and fro is a big issue on focus). With the 80-200 AFS zoom @ 200mm on the Nikon, however, 1/30 may be a stretch. A latte or two reduces that even further.
[COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]
Rio Rancho, NM
One of the most amazing experiences in my photo life ! I use a Manfrotto, mostly when I go out at night with 100 or 200 ISO, down to 1/2 sec sharp photos, which means for me 2 to 3 stops plus compared to handheld shots.
Originally Posted by Tom Stanworth
If you can lean toward a car, a wall, a reel or a lamp post it is as good as a tripod. Highly recommended , much fun for the money.
A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de
I have a monopod that has both a built in ball head, and a "foot" that screws out, inverts, and screws back in with three small legs protruding. In short, it becomes a tripod with little legs, and a relatively long centre post.
As a tripod, it is far from perfect (especially in wind) but it and the self-timer on my camera have often made the difference, when carrying a tripod just isn't practical.
I have had it for more than 25 years, and have no idea whether anyone makes one now, or what brand it is.
It also works well in standard mode, and the ball head makes 35mm very practical, although the ball head is a bit light to use with my Mamiya 645 in portrait orientation.
To put it in context I was recently shooting environmental shots (battered old soviet military hardware in Afghan Nat Army training area, srrounded by mountains etc) and at 24-35mm focal length on a 35mm camera at f5.6-8 or so I was finding shots were anywhere between 1/15 and 1/80, more twd the lower end as the evening wore on. Earlier on I was using heavy #29 filtration for a very stark hard look and only just managing this with TriX and later on had to switch to a #21 orange filter. I used old vehicles etc to lean on where possible but sometime the awkwardness of the shot will only have added to the shakes. Sounds like a monopod will allow me some more comfort shooting around 1/15-1/30 knowing that the shots should no longer be borderline in terms of shutter speed. I will also be getting a second film body out here which opens up the possibility to use slower film ( I have about 20 rolls of APX100 left). I am also considering bringing over my Bronny RF645 which would work very nicely with a monopod I think and along with 100 speed film would allow one heck of a boost in enlargeability over the 35mm loaded with Tri X.
I have seen some good value bogen monopods which mated with a compact tilt head sound about perfect!
Cant wait to post some of my shots from here but as I am homeless right now, it could take a while. No darkroom, no scanner