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05-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #16
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LOL, okay that shows how much of a non-hiker I am. I just want something I can take on nature walks compared to what you do. I should read closer.

05-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #17
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Thanks for this post and the responses. This afternoon I headed out and picked up a Peakes Design Capturevfrom my local camera shop. I think it might just be what I need to get my camera off my neck!
05-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Thank you all for the suggestions. It is interesting how on this board, folks are thinking about using a real monopod as a walking stick. On trekking forums, similar questions asked by others generate ways to attach a camera to a trekking pole. Trekking with any kind of pole means lifting the pole thousands of times. I can feel in my shoulder just the use of the pole going down after my sprain. I'm therefore inclined to find a way to attach the camera to one or more trekking poles which are wayyyy lighter (8 oz) than any monopod that would be secure enough to use as a pole.

I'm trying a Lowepro top loader AWC 70 for a camera holster. It it doesn't work out, I'll go for the harness.

Many good suggestions made here that have application no matter what equipment. Thanks again.
If you are not carring weight, a single trekking pole will suffice. If you are carrying some load (say more than 10% your weight as a rough estimate) then you will feel the benefit of using two trekking poles (up to 15% relief).
A trekking pole can be used as a monopod but not the other way! Buy a trekking pole with the screwmount on top and add a good light ball head with quick release... That is the best solution, no question about it.

Last edited by carrrlangas; 06-14-2013 at 12:07 PM.
05-28-2013, 07:50 PM   #19
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I do tend to carry something close to 10% of my body weight, especially with some SLR gear. I'm tall and thin, which means I don't carry a lot of extra body weight, but my CG is high and my bones are small. I definitely benefit from at least one stick, and I have tried two in the past. I own two older Lekis, but forgot them on this hike. After trying the carbon fiber, they would not seem so light, and the lighter shock-corded foldable sticks can stay in my pack all the time.

I'm trying this gadget, a Trekmount Camera & iPhone Adapter, but if it does not work out, I may make my own mount for the camera. For 11 bucks, it is worth a try. Relatively few of the poles have the camera screw mount, and they tend not to be of the latest carbon fiber design. I saw one suggestion that one loop the wrist straps over the other pole and form a sling, then use the sling to rest a longer lens. A ball head would defeat the point of a light pole, unless it was quick and easy to remove.


Last edited by GeneV; 05-28-2013 at 07:58 PM.
05-28-2013, 07:58 PM   #20
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If you have used carbon and alimunim poles in the past, then you know there is not much practical difference. And the gadget you suggest canīt handle the weight of a DLSR
05-28-2013, 08:05 PM   #21
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I have a Lee Valley hiking pole that has a ball at the very top that if you unscrew it, it's the same size screw as a tripod mount so the camera just screws in place.
05-29-2013, 05:57 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
If you have used carbon and alimunim poles in the past, then you know there is not much practical difference. And the gadget you suggest canīt handle the weight of a DLSR
I would disagree on the weight difference. I thought the aluminum poles were light until I borrowed the carbon one. I thought the difference was huge, and half the weight on thousands of arm lifts is not to be dismissed. It is not like losing a pound or two on the waist belt, which really is negligible.

We'll see on the gadget. I haven't tried it but it is cheap. Have you tried it? If it does not work, I will see what I can put together in my workshop. Perhaps one of those Manfrotto nano clamps might be made to work.


05-29-2013, 10:43 AM   #23
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I havenīt tried it but just seeing the mounting system, I am sure that it canīt handle 1Kg. And there is no ball head!
I assume that if you want a monopod, you are using a somewhat large lens. And without a ball head its use is quite limited. Plus, there is no quick release so youīll have to screw / unscrew each time you want to use it...
And last, if you adapt a trekking pole, you should put the mount on top of the handle, so that the weight of the camera, and the force you apply when using the system, falls directly on the pole.
If you look at Lekiīs poles, they have "photosystem" carbon series. They are not that light either.. I guess there is a trade off between functionality and weight...

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05-29-2013, 11:27 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by carrrlangas Quote
I guess there is a trade off between functionality and weight...
From what I have seen of trekking sticks versus monopods, this is true. For me, the device has to fit inside a carry-on bag and have a securely fastened rubber boot over the spike - or better no spike at all. That means more sections and more weight. An ability to quickly adjust length is another big plus and generally speaking that style section clamp weighs more.

If these features are of lesser value to the owner than weight, you might be able to remove the handle from a pole of choice and attach a 1/4-20 screw at the top and re-install the handle.

Yes, an always mounted quick release is important. The Sima style I use is strong yet lighter weight plastic rather than metal with no sharp corners. They are inexpensive enough that I keep one on each of my support devices and cameras. My oldest Sima QR is at least 20 years old and still going strong.

A ball head is really only useful for shooting in portrait mode. All other adjustments are made by moving the support. And since we are talking about a monopod or trekking stick, you will always have your hands on the camera, so a ball head need be neither large nor heavy. I use the Giottos Professional Mini Ball Head. Again, if you can skip using your stick for portrait mode, you don't really need a ball head.
05-29-2013, 12:23 PM   #25
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Or just bring a monopod. This one ( Amazon.com: Dolica WT-1003 67-Inch Lightweight Monopod: Camera & Photo ) only weighs a few ounces more than the difference in weight between the ultralight and aluminum trekking poles, but that weight would be strapped to the pack rather than lifted with every step.
05-29-2013, 12:48 PM   #26
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That sounds good. But it is one more pole to deal with and you have to take out of your backpack and set it up each time you need it.

QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I use the Giottos Professional Mini Ball Head. Again, if you can skip using your stick for portrait mode, you don't really need a ball head.
The giottos ball head looks nice but it does not feaure a quick release. It does weigh 50grs vs 150g for the joby BH1, but the latter includes the quick release plate.
I think the ball head is a must (you could just use an L bracket for portrait orientation). Without the ball head, the monopod wonīt do much to help you stabilize your shots.

Take a look at this article:
Vesna Ko?elj

ball head is even good for selfies! haha
other articles:
Monopod Technique
good idea:
Gitzo GM2561T Traveler 6x Carbon Fiber Monopod with Velbon QHD-51Q Magnesium Medium Ballhead
http://www.naviquan.com/html/img/000010DA/gitzo_02b.jpg

Last edited by carrrlangas; 06-14-2013 at 12:07 PM.
05-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #27
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Leki photo treker with bal lhead. All you need. Aluminium, rubber boot, QR on the ballhead.
05-30-2013, 10:57 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I just finished a 7.5 mile hike 2,500 ft ascent with an SLR. I've always loved to hike and photograph, and I keep the SLR/DSLR along. I'm thinking of getting back into backpacking, and would like to take bird and wildlife photos.

After this little refresher test, I see I need

1) Trekking poles. My ankles suffer from small bones and too much basketball when younger. I turned an ankle and needed to borrow a trekking pole to get down.

2) a better holster or case. Camera on neck strap has pros and cons, even with the chest belt on the day pack holding it steady.

3) Something to allow the poles to be used as a monopod. I may need a tripod as well, but I would like to keep it light.

For longer treks, I may just need to sacrifice the DSLR and go with a long zoom P&S, but I'll cross that bridge when I build up to that point.
There are some trekking poles with a 1/4-20 screw into them which can take a small ball head. Don't go tool big on the head, its not worth it.

Try using a Q, I have been playing with one, and an older vivitar series 1 70-210/3.5 zoom. It actually works it well, and the crop factor gives you an effective 1150mm. Where else can you have a 1150mmF3.5 lens plus camera for under a kilo?
05-31-2013, 05:33 AM   #29
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It seems to me that if I want a long zoom on a small sensor, I can get that more conveniently on one of the superzoom P&S cameras. Would the extra weight of the Vivitar zoom really be worth it?
05-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
It seems to me that if I want a long zoom on a small sensor, I can get that more conveniently on one of the superzoom P&S cameras. Would the extra weight of the Vivitar zoom really be worth it?
This was one example of a super zoom, because the P&S max out at about 560mm equivalent, and are no where near as good as a Q. Also, if you only want 500mm equivalent focal length, then you can put an M100/2.8 on the Q. That will cut the total weight to something like 300G.

In fact, a Q with the 5-15mm zoom plus the Q/PK adaptor plus am M100/2.8 would be a super light kit that would let you do a whole lot.

I have replaced my K10 and M42 kit with a Q plus 5-15 zoom plus an M135/3.3 as my business travel kit, where I might have a chance to capture some wild life as well
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