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Thread: Monopods?

  1. #11
    Curt's Avatar
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    I have a Slik monopod with the quick release plate, it's great for small cameras and extends to eye level. Its quick lock leg releases are very fast.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  2. #12

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    Monopods always make sense when you need that extra stop or two. But that's about the limit of it. More than that and you're in tripod territory. I use mine most often with wide angle to short tele lenses and I don't really care if someone thinks I look like a dork. Those whiz-bang, all automatic computers passing as cameras look even more dorky. Ever watch the chimps?
    Frank Schifano

  3. #13
    dmr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee L View Post
    Does using a monopod with a very small rangefinder and 40mm lens get heavy dork points?

    Lee (possible master dork)
    Uh, how do I put this? If there's one thing I'm not concerned about it's any kind of "dork factor" here. I'm looking for a camera support, not a fashion accessory!

    If somebody thinks I look dorky by using a monopod or a rangefinder or anything, that's their problem, not mine!

  4. #14
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    Uh, how do I put this? If there's one thing I'm not concerned about it's any kind of "dork factor" here. I'm looking for a camera support, not a fashion accessory!

    If somebody thinks I look dorky by using a monopod or a rangefinder or anything, that's their problem, not mine!
    Just a bit of reductio ad absurdum joking on my part with Pinholemaster's post. I'm sure he'll understand.

    Anyone trying to characterize me in a way that affects me is about 40 years too late. If I feel like a monopod will get me a better shot, I'll use it. I even use a C/V grip like this: http://cameraquest.com/jpg2/voigta26.jpg on an Olympus Stylus Epic to steady it and keep it from slipping through my large hands. Works very well with the tripod socket on the left side of that camera.

    In my world, the goal is to make the photo look like I want it to, not to gain others' approval of what I look like while taking the photo. Didn't mean to hijack the thread. I'll post in alt.arentiasbeautifulaslittlerichard next time.

    Lee

  5. #15
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    A lot of people who know what they're doing use monopods, but I've never understood how they can be effective when they are only steady in one direction. I suppose that I should borrow one sometime and see what kind of results i get. Is there really much practical difference between carrying around a monopod and a light tripod?
    Charles Hohenstein

  6. #16
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Charles,

    Monopods are not tripods, but if you think about it, they constrain the camera from rolling on a short axis both fore/aft and left/right. I often put the foot of the monopod out forward of the camera a foot or two if I'm not panning with it. That gives me a sort of tripod base in combination with my legs and feet rather than having the camera tend to roll forward off a perfectly vertical monopod. I also lean mine against a tree fork or a rock when hiking, and have made excellent exposures of many seconds that way. I also have a plastic coated thin cable (made for staking out a small dog) that is the right length for attaching to the monopod head and running under both feet. Tensioning the monopod forward against this constraint is also useful for some things. Even attaching a monopod firmly to the tripod socket and letting it hang tends to steady the shot, sort of like a poor man's steadicam sans gyro.

    I tend to use these tricks with 35mm cameras and slower films like Kodachrome 25, Panatomic-X, etc. (perhaps my methods were discontinued without my being notified) where I'm after fine detail and maximum enlargability and image quality. Hey, there's still Adox/Efke 25, Adox CMS, Fuji 50 Velvia, Pan F+... and lower light with faster films.

    Next time you watch an archery tournament, look at the long stabilizer bars with end weights that just stick out into free air in front of the bow. The point is that leveraged mass or a long axis constraint will require much greater torque to move an attached camera. That's a good thing in many circumstances. Those archers may look like huge dorks, but I'd rather they shoot at me from 100 meters without the stabilizer bars than with. Others may prefer a swift death.

    Lee

  7. #17
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    I use a monopod a lot. Don't care if I look goofy, I always shoot better with it, or with a tripod.

    If I'm shooting handheld, I'm probably not planning on a keeper or I'm standing up in a moving speedboat or some silly thing like that.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #18
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    A good monopod. Using the strap as a sling, around your wrist and elbow. Fastening more weight to the camera.
    Using a motor with a cable release. There are almost endless ways to get the most from a 35 mm RF.

    The first thing you do with a monopod is turn yourself into a tripod.

    1/15 - 1 second exposures are quite do-able if you figure out ways to hold the camera solidly. Shooting low light portraits with a 35RF and a monopod is dead easy, and outperforms 120 in every way.

    Goofy ? If anybody has ever come up to me while I was shooting a gig with a monopod,
    they usually say they wish THEY were a photographer !

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  9. #19

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    My wife always amuses me when she uses her monopod - if she can't be bothered to adjust the head for a single vertical composition, she just holds it at a balance point and uses it as a stabiliser. Amazingly, it does work to damp camera motion. About a stop, maybe. I'm not going to argue with her. Used more, er, conventionally, two stops is to be expected.

    The big advantage if the monopod is portability and ease of use. You might actually use it. 8-)
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  10. #20
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    I have a Cullman 741 to which I added a Manfrotto 3229 single axis tilting RC-2 mount. So far I haven't done too much with it, but I acquired it with the intention of using it in places (crowded cities, etc.) where use of a tripod might be forbidden, or I wouldn't want the bulk and weight of a tripod. (I can limp a little and call it a "walking stick." ) It has 5 sections and is probably less rigid at full height than some, but since my primary axe uses a waist level finder, I would seldom use more than three sections. It's relatively compact and was fairly inexpensive.

    DaveT

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