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  1. #1
    JDP
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    Using a monopod - slowest shutter speed?

    Hi All,
    I just bought a monopod (Velbon RUP-L43). Maybe I should have asked this before I did that but .... I got it for hiking in the mountains (and low light). It only weighs 1lb, compared to about 3.5lbs for my tripod, and doubles up as a walking pole (though I don't consider myself old enough to [I]require[I]that yet!).

    I was wondering, for those who use a monopod what shutter speed advantage they find they get compared to hand-holding. More simply, what is the slowest shutter speed you use with your camera on a monopod?

    Hand-holding I am fine down to a 1/30th sec. I have occassionally got good results down to an 1/8th, but only if I can brace myself against some other object. This is using standard to wide angle lens'. With the monopod I was hoping to get down to at least a 1/4sec. Possible?

  2. #2
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    If you can brace it high against a fence or a tree and breathe out before you hit the shutter, speeds could get real slow. Experiment and see what you're capable of.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  3. #3
    fotch's Avatar
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    I don't find a monopod all that stable for those slow speeds. I have a couple of lightweight tripods that I use instead. Although not as convenient as a monopod, work at any speed.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Hi All,


    I was wondering, for those who use a monopod what shutter speed advantage they find they get compared to hand-holding. More simply, what is the slowest shutter speed you use with your camera on a monopod?
    Hallo,

    Way back when we used to use monopods with sports work and for static sports, such as golf, we were able to shoot velvia 50 at 1/60th using 500 or 600mm lenses.

    The key we found is subject movement (obviously) , being able to "be still" yourself; breathing, low to the ground and squeezing the shutter. Wider lenses are easier than telephotos. But everyone is different so this really is a case that you will have to try to find your limits for yourself.

    If you can brace yourself and/or the pod against something that will help enormously.

    Sim2.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Highly dependent on the focal length of the lens. The general rule for the general population is to not hand-hold at speeds slower than 1/focal length (for example 1/125 sec with a 125mm lens.)

    So what lens are you successfully hand holding at 1/30 sec? Probably not a 210mm lens. So the question should be -- "How many stops slower in shutter speed can one use when using a monopod compared to hand holding the same lens?"

    And I don't know. Pure guessing I'd say 3 or 4 (depends on being able to brace, wind conditions, how cold you are, how much coffee you drank, etc!). Time to tape the newspaper classifieds to the wall and fire a couple test shots at different speeds!

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  6. #6

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    Depending on the size lens, maybe 1/15 to 1/18 sec.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    Me and monopod braced firmly, once a pulled off a four second exposure in low light on the third try. I could tell I was moving on the first two. And it came out good in an 8x10. Doubt I could do it again. It's gonna vary from one circumstance to the next.
    Thank you.
    CWalrath
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    "Wubba, wubba, wubba. Bing, bang, bong. Yuck, yuck, yuck and a fiddle-dee-dee." - The Yeti

  8. #8

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    It depends a lot on your technique - vertical unbraced monopod versus leaning into the pod versus pod held against a solid object. Probably two stops slower than hand-holding (and there's a lot of technique there...). Held firmly against a solid object, maybe 1 sec.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  9. #9
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    As others have said, it depends on the lens, as well as the camera (SLR/RF, etc.), your own breath control and steadiness or lack thereof, etc., etc. I have used monopods for many years, and with an SLR and normal (or close to) lens, I can shoot down to 1/15 easily, 1/8 or even longer with good breath control and something to lean against. I'm shooting dance performances now in dark theaters with an 80-200 f2.8 on a monopod at 1/125, but will sometimes go as low as 1/60 if needed. Any lower and subject motion will be too great an issue.
    Eddy McDonald
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    Eschew defenestration!

  10. #10
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Steady your breathing, spread your legs to shoulders wide, and then you on two legs and the monopod can begin to approach a tripod in stability. Practice tucking your elbows in. It helps if the monopod brings the camera to eye height without having to crouch down at all. I pull off 1/8 with a 180mm lens in such an arrangement.
    my real name, imagine that.

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