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11-20-2011, 04:21 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by geru2000 Quote
Another thing I've found with tripods and monopods is that you don't use them as much as you think
might. I use mine in less than 30% of the photos I take so spending a lot of money on
a pro type tripod or monopod at this point in your photography journey is a waste of money.
Doesn't that really depend on the type of shooting you do? I use my tripod for just about all of my shooting; but I readily admit the majority of what I do is in a mini "studio" type environment. I don't really walk around with it and do random snaps, other than of animals. Even then quite a lot of my animal shooting is still on a tripod. It really depends what kind of stuff they want to shoot, and everyone has personal circumstances and preferences added in to it as well.

11-20-2011, 04:29 AM   #17
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I got a sturdy Manfrotto set (sadly no ball head though) for about 100 used and I guess most of the tripods are way cheaper in America. Maybe hunt down a used one?
11-20-2011, 06:37 AM   #18
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Buy the best tripod you can afford. There's not much resale value in them, but a good tripod is something which will transcend many of the issues of photography...moreso than lenses, camera bodies, or sensor formats. You mentioned wanting to use the tripod for family pics and sporting events. Those are things where you won't have to carry the tripod for long distances. That means you could get by with a bigger, heavier tripod...which is almost always good. My personal experience is that I bit the bullet and bought a really good Gitzo tripod back in the '80's. It goes from ground level to eye level with no center column extension. I've since bought smaller and lighter tripods for walking-around purposes, but that Gitzo continues to be my "go to" tripod. It will quite easily out-live me. The bottom line in all of this is that the best tripod is the one you will actually use. A solid, heavy tripod that's such a pain to carry that you never use it is worthless. Likewise, a tripod that is too small and lightweight to hold your camera steady is worthless, too.
11-20-2011, 06:42 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kona Quote
Doesn't that really depend on the type of shooting you do? I use my tripod for just about all of my shooting; but I readily admit the majority of what I do is in a mini "studio" type environment. I don't really walk around with it and do random snaps, other than of animals. Even then quite a lot of my animal shooting is still on a tripod. It really depends what kind of stuff they want to shoot, and everyone has personal circumstances and preferences added in to it as well.
I plan on doing family photos and some local sports photography? That is part of the reason I'm hesitant in spending more than 200. I've even wondered if what I really need is a monopod and not a tripod.

11-20-2011, 06:50 AM   #20
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Yes, monopod for sports.
I like my Manfrotto 475B tripod, my kids will inherit it.
11-20-2011, 06:57 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Yes, monopod for sports.
I like my Manfrotto 475B tripod, my kids will inherit it.
About one hour ago I tried out my Sigma 70-200 2,8 on a K-7 for hockey for the first time, and yeas, I would love a monopod. I'm pretty sure that a monopod would not only increase your endurance and stability, also your panning speed as you get rid of all almost all the weight.
11-20-2011, 10:30 AM   #22
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Have any of you had a chance to try either one of these out?

Amazon.com: Manfrotto 681B Professional Aluminum Monopod (Black): Camera & Photo

http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-682B-Standing-Monopod-Black/dp/B0009PSF9O/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

I wonder if the extra 30 bucks for the 682B is worth it. Do those little legs that stick out really make a difference? I know it won't make it a tripod, but good enough?
11-20-2011, 10:44 AM   #23
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Frankly, it sounds like you don't need one at all. For indoor family photos where you want to use the timer (else just handhold with flash), just put the camera on a table or get a cheap Ultrapod or clamp (< $25). For sports, you will probably find it gets in your way or will be totally inadequate. You can get a pretty solid monopod for under $50. This is a "when I got into photography, I thought I had to have a tripod, but I found out I never use it" ad on Craigslist waiting to happen. Buy a tripod when situations come up repeatedly and often where you say to yourself, "Man I really need a tripod right now". (Then you will also know just what you need for the situations you're in, rather than imagined scenarios.) If you really think you must get one, the best cheap one seems to be that Dolica. But you can also get pretty good deals on better ones for $100 or so from those Craigslist people that never use theirs...

11-20-2011, 11:10 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
You can get a pretty solid monopod for under $50. This is a "when I got into photography, I thought I had to have a tripod, but I found out I never use it" ad on Craigslist waiting to happen. Buy a tripod when situations come up repeatedly and often where you say to yourself, "Man I really need a tripod right now". (Then you will also know just what you need for the situations you're in, rather than imagined scenarios.) If you really think you must get one, the best cheap one seems to be that Dolica. But you can also get pretty good deals on better ones for $100 or so from those Craigslist people that never use theirs...
I just went ahead and purchased a monopod. I know I at least need that. I've had way too many sports pictures ruined by shake (usually taking pictures for 2-3 hours). I figure that if I feel I need a tripod, then I can save up and buy one then, or I can try to find one off of craigslist, like you mentioned.

Hopefully the monopod satisfies my needs. I get the feeling it will.
11-20-2011, 11:23 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by reivax Quote
I've had way too many sports pictures ruined by shake
This may very well be another issue (you should make another thread asking about this with sample pictures) - monopod's with sports shooting these days is used more for comfortableness than it is for clear sharp blur free pictures.

(Not saying the monopod doesn't help because it does when shooting stopped down and getting to exact shutter speeds, but if you are already shooting at a good open aperture and getting shake/blur photos, your settings are more than likely off a bit)...












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11-20-2011, 11:28 AM   #26
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A tripod is one of those things you really need to see in person in my opinion. I have a fairly sturdy tripod I bought at a Ritz store for under $100. The head wasn't too good but I replaced that and the one that came with the tripod is reserved for my kayak shooting. The tripod is quite sturdy but heavy, not something for carrying all day or hiking. A local electronics store nearby recently began carrying the Vanguard line and I was quite impressed with the one in stock. It was around $150. The aluminum model I looked at weighs 4 lbs and a carbon fiber version is twice the price but a little over 2 lbs. I'm seriously considering one. The center column adjusts out for macro shooting also, something my other one doesn't do.
11-20-2011, 12:03 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
This may very well be another issue (you should make another thread asking about this with sample pictures) - monopod's with sports shooting these days is used more for comfortableness than it is for clear sharp blur free pictures.

(Not saying the monopod doesn't help because it does when shooting stopped down and getting to exact shutter speeds, but if you are already shooting at a good open aperture and getting shake/blur photos, your settings are more than likely off a bit)....
It's not a huge problem. I've just noticed that as the day goes on, I don't get the same quality of picture that I get at the beginning of the day. I know it's due to fatigue. I've noticed the patterns in my photos. I felt like a tripod would help, but reading a lot of what you guys had to say, it seemed as though a monopod would be best for my needs.
11-20-2011, 01:53 PM   #28
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Depending on your needs, the monopod may be just the thing. I'm considering one for myself. A year ago I considered tripods and went with the Slik 340 ball head, for the following reasons: met my cost target of about $150, it was tall enough (okay for me to bend over just a bit), had a capacity of about 2X the heaviest anticipated load, had a ball head, and was compact enough and light enough to pack for travel and hike, and four leg sections are okay. I decided it did not have to be as tall as me, have only 3 leg sections, or be carbon fiber. I'm happy with my choice. I purchsed from B&H - linked through here, I think. Thanks. Glenn
11-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #29
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I own the Dolica Proline Aluminum and reviewed it here some time ago. For what you are planning on using it for this one can do the job and is the best buy out there IMHO.

Dolica Proline (Aluminum) reviews - Pentax Camera Accessories: Database and Reviews

I ended up putting a Manfrotto 496RC2 head on it and moving the one that came with it to my monopod. I've used my kit 55-300mm lens with it for sports shots at my son's soccer games and its worked like a champ. I've also used it to do HDR with a super wide lens and its turned out some stunning shots.

Too many folks focus on brand name and cost as measures of quality. Good luck in your choice.
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