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  1. #11

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    I thought a monopod would be just the ticket at one time.

    Through time, I find I leave it behind, and opt for a tripod, tree, or building to brace my smaller format camera.

  2. #12
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I have been thinking about getting a monopod to use for those marginal times when I don't want to carry a tripod. A monopod seems like it would be very useful...you see all the sports photographers using them.

    I know it won't replace my tripod for long exposures but what about when you are in the woods and you want to use a larger aperture or the lighting conditions are a stop or two less than what you feel good about unsupported. I know I could try to find a tree or a rock or fence etc. but most of the time those methods change the perspective.

    Do you think monopods are useful?
    Very. I use a Manfrotto 434--a heavyweight 2-lock model--mainly for indoor available light shots with ISO800 print film. With fast lenses, it helps deliver longer exposures than I could possibly handhold with 35mm. Used it last night at parties where space was too tight and a tripod would be antisocial. My only problem was the usual gaggle of "over-refreshed" guests whose digital p&s cameras' batteries only crapped out after hours of shooting.

    I also use a teensy Manfrotto table-top tripod+ballhead against walls, trees, rocks, parked cars, etc.

    BTW, the string thing is only slightly less goofy than the totally crazy "bungee-pod" rig that I saw convert a survivable camera drop into a fatal 3rd story fall when the shooter relaxed his grip and the camera slammed into the ground.

  3. #13

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    I use a monopod for football and La Cross. There are times I will use a tripod as a monopod so I do not have to lay down the camera on the ground.

  4. #14
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Very, extremely, incredibly, regularly, almost always!!!!!

    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  5. #15
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    I have a Cullman 741 monopod I bought several years back. I equipped it with a single axis tilt head with QR mount (an earlier incarnation of this Manfrotto item). The tilt device allows adjusting the vertical aim without leaning the monopod, a Good Thing(tm), IMHO. I've used it a few times and it's steadier than hand-held, but in my experience it's nowhere near as steady as a tripod. The one I have closes down to about 17 inches and weighs about 1.2 pounds, including the head. It was bought with the idea of using it where a tripod was either forbidden or too much bulk and weight. I have to confess it hasn't seen much use, but there have been a few times when I wished I had it with me (and didn't).

    I'm not sure, especially in our ever more paranoid society, whether they would be more readily accepted than a tripod in all situations. The idea they can double as a walking stick is true and useful, in fact I recall seeing some adjustable walking "sticks" that had a 1/4-20 fitting on the top. (Limp-a little if you see the rent-a-cops eyeing you. )

  6. #16

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    I use one a lot with my medium format equipment. Easy to transport, and makes a useful club^H^H^H^H^H walking aid. I have a little Benbo 1" ball head on mine so I can use it at an angle or flip the camera on its side if I have a rectangular format camera with me. I have the same QR mount on it as I have on my tripod.

    There is at least one thread on APUG about monopod technique. It is one device that seems to polarize people - you either use them or you don't.
    I feel, therefore I photograph.

  7. #17
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    I'm with CGW -- I use a monopod occasionally, and a tabletop tripod more frequently. I have a Leitz folding table top with large ball head; not only can you use it as a tripod on surfaces, you can also use it as a chest pod, shooting between heart beats if you're really good. The Leitz tripod takes a beating and comes back for more.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    I'm going to try it and see! It makes sense...
    Who has tried this?
    I made up a couple a while back, but using a short metal pipe connector (sorry, don't know the real name of the part) instead of the tube this guy uses because I was going to use it outside in the snow and figured it would be more durable.

    It works, except you need to need to remember to pull up on it to achieve the stabilization - so if your subject is moving, particularly downward, it's not that useful. Also, I sized mine to be used while standing - so, if kneeling, you have to wind up the string/cord to the appropriate height, as opposed to just adjusting the height appropriately on a monopod. I've found I get at least an extra stop vs. handholding.

    So, overall, for a quick, very compact solution at a very good price, it's pretty good. However, IMHO if you can afford a monopod and find you need an extra stop or 2, I would say go for the proper monopod.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  9. #19
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    Bill Clark

  10. #20
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    I will add my vote to the "Very!" category. I began using a monopod with my first medium format camera, and found it invaluable. It's much more portable than a tripod, and allows much slower shutter speeds than handholding. Examples of which cameras I use it with and which I don't are:
    Always (if not using a tripod) with: Hasselblad; Nikon SLR with 80-200 f2.8; Rollei 6003
    Sometimes: Rollei TLR
    Never: Leicas

    My monopod is a Bogen (Manfrotto); I add a Linhof ball head and Bogen quick release.

    And yes, it makes a great walking stick/club when paranoia strikes.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

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