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Thread: Monopods?

  1. #1
    dmr
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    Monopods?

    Does anybody here use a monopod?

    Tripods are bulky, and there's some stuff I want to shoot where I need to stop down a bit and slow down the shutter.

    How slow can you reliably go with a monopod, assuming a RF with a 40mm lens? Can you go 1/4 second reliably? One second?

    I do think I have a very steady hand, at least for my age. I can reliably handhold at 1/60, most of the time at 1/30, and some of the time at 1/15.

    Also, there are some monopods out there that have kind of mini-tripod legs that extend out of the very bottom. Is it worth it to get one of these? Do these actually help that much.

    Thanks in advance, gang.

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    Toffle's Avatar
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    Hey DMR;
    I've got a four-section Stitz ballhead monopod that has the little extension legs, but I've never uesd them at all. For one thing, they keep your monopod pointed straight up, which is not the way I use it. I find that the best technique with a monopod is not to "balance" your camera on top of it, but to create a tripod between the monopod and your body. It may look odd, but it is really quite stable. I can get some pretty good shots this way, but for really long shots, I brace the monopod against something solid.

    Cheers,
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

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    Only with big, heavy, long lenses, such as a 500 mm f/4.0 lens.

    Nothing dorkier than seeing someone using a monopod with a short telephoto zoom lens.

    If you get one, get a good one, such as a Gitzo.
    When I grow up, I want to be a photographer.

    http://www.walterpcalahan.com/Photography/index.html

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    I do have a monopod with the little tripod legs, and I do use them from time to time. Generally, I use them when the shutter speed I need is very long or, alternatively, when I need to get into the picture . In each case, I use the self-timer. It only works if there is no vibration or wind.

    If you get a monopod, unless you are shooting square format you'll need a ballhead or some other way of shooting verticals.

    I've had mine for almost 30 years. I have no idea what brand it is. When I used to travel with it, it always attracted interest in airport security inspections.

    Matt

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    dmr
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
    IGenerally, I use them when the shutter speed I need is very long
    How long an exposure can you get away with?

    Also, do you use a cable/bulb release or do you just press it with your finger?

    Thanks.

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmr View Post
    How long an exposure can you get away with?

    Also, do you use a cable/bulb release or do you just press it with your finger?

    Thanks.
    I'm referring there to using the little tripod legs. When you use those legs, you are using a tripod that is very susceptible to wind or vibration. I only use it this way when there is no wind, and only when I can use the self-timer on my cameras (which include a mirror lock up).

    Matt

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    I have a Bogen monopod that I use with either a Leica or Linhof small ballhead. It's wonderful with a medium format camera; with a Rollei TLR, I can get good shots at 1/15 or less. I've never really made a point of testing how slow I can go. With a Hasselblad, I use it at faster speeds, like 1/125 or more... if I don't have a tripod handy.

    I also use it with an 80-200mm f2.8 Nikon lens... mostly to hold the beast up, but also for sharper negs. I have shot as slow as 1/60 with that combo.

    Monopod: never leave home without it! Unextended, it makes a formidable club in case of muggings...
    Eddy McDonald
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    Eschew defenestration!

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    I have the Bogen large monopod with those pop-out little leg things (can't recall number and too lazy to go fetch and look) with an Arca-Swiss B1 ballhead. I've only used it a couple times with the legs... and as noted by another, it's not exactly stable and will not replace a tripod (but a neat feature when conditions are completely still with no one around to accidently bump the support).

    As for "How slow can you reliably go with a monopod, assuming a RF with a 40mm lens? Can you go 1/4 second reliably? One second?":

    Obviously speed will vary alot with length... but even with a 40mm lens one second I would expect to be unobtainable. Lowest speed I personally would expect good results from for a 35mm camera and 50mm lens mounted on a strong monopod would be 1/8th second... anything lower I'd be reaching for a tripod. I've never mounted my medium or large format cameras on a monopod... only 35mm cameras.

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    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Leaning against a tree and leaning the camera into my body I have gotten away with 1/15 and 1/8 before with above average sharpness. 35mm you can't see the blur until you go above 8x10. Just breathe out before you pull the trigger.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinholemaster View Post
    Only with big, heavy, long lenses, such as a 500 mm f/4.0 lens.

    Nothing dorkier than seeing someone using a monopod with a short telephoto zoom lens.

    If you get one, get a good one, such as a Gitzo.
    Does using a monopod with a very small rangefinder and 40mm lens get heavy dork points? I used to do that a lot with Panatomic-X. It was a smaller diameter Gitzo monopod, so does that in any way redeem me? I've also used it recently with a 28mm f:130 pinhole body cap on a Bessa L. So where do I stand on the dork scale? Inquiring minds and all that....



    Lee (possible master dork)

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