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08-08-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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I've never used a monopod before, do they really make that much of a difference? What situation would they help the most in?

In terms of make, is it as important to get a monopod from a very good manufacturer as a tripod purchase is?

08-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #2
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Yes, they do make a difference.
They are nowhere near as stable as a tripod but are superior to the often shakey human bipod.

They can be carried where carrying a tripod would be difficult.
They can also be used as a hiking or walking stick.
One should try to make a tripod of the monopod and oneself - one monopod and two human legs.

They are invaluable if support is needed where a tripod would be impractical such as arenas and stadiums or parades.
They may also be allowed where tripods are banned as in museums and art galleries.

They should be equipped with a small pan head.

08-08-2009, 10:47 AM   #3
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As I have said on a previous thread, a resounding yes, just depends on what your using and what your trying to achieve.

Just take a look around at any of the photags at any major sporting event to see what I mean.
08-08-2009, 11:12 AM   #4

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A monopod is the only shake reduction system I have for my DS. It is very handy in low light situations where I've had to shoot at speeds slower than 1/focal length.

DS, DA 50-200, ISO 1600, f4.5, 138mm. 1/60 sec, monopod

DS, DA 50-200, ISO 3200, f6.7, 150mm, 1/30 sec, monopod

I bought a Manfrotto 679B monopod with a Slik SBH-120 ball head from B&H. I looked at a Manfrotto 676B (I think that was the model just below the 679) but it flexed too much. I love having a ball head as it is very fast and easy to go from a landscape orientation to portrait.


Last edited by atupdate; 08-09-2009 at 03:54 PM.
08-09-2009, 05:11 AM   #5
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I find a short shooting stick to be very handy. It is an extensible stick with a Y on top. Just support the camera lens with the Y.

A "Derby" style cane handle will work as well.

Dave (usually in Iowa but temporarily in Mn).
08-09-2009, 01:22 PM   #6
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should SR be on or off with a monopod?
08-09-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
should SR be on or off with a monopod?
On. Although using a monopod helps greatly with shake (I always use one), there's still shake and SR still helps.
08-09-2009, 05:16 PM   #8
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But read this thread about some types rusting.

08-10-2009, 03:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Scott_the_Artist Quote
I've never used a monopod before, do they really make that much of a difference? What situation would they help the most in?

In terms of make, is it as important to get a monopod from a very good manufacturer as a tripod purchase is?
I use a mono-pod often...or I did when i had heavier lenses or am shooting in very low light situations where the shutter speed is not any greater than 1/2 sec. It's hard for me to hold a camera still, even on a monopod longer than that. I also used it on long lenses w/o any form of stabilization before moving to Pentax and the in-body stabilization.

I lucked out and found a nice deal last year on this carbon fiber monopod: Vanguard ELITE-CP324 Lightweight Professional Carbon Fiber Monopod: Camera & Photo

I paid something like $79 but that was in late June 2008. Even now when I made this post it's on sale for like $98...a pretty good price for what it is...

Carbon fiber has it's disadvantages but I like the advantages it offers in a monopod...especially the lighter weight. But one con is they can chip or crack if whacked on a rock or something though if they can make golf shafts out of CF then a monopod is a probably gonna last forever with proper care. I did not want metal because of the dent, well the CF was the only one I could get shipped the overnight, so I might have rationalized the whole metal thing...hehehehe.

Something to consider is do you want twist locks or flip-lever locks. I am not thrilled with twist locks but feel they do last longer and also have just gotten used to them. When I bought my monopod I simply needed one I could have shipped overnight as I was taking shots at an event in the evening where a tripod would have been impractical or even dangerous to others.

Worth consideration is also the number of sections...not sure why it might matter but more sections can mean better stability/less vibration due to shorter segments, but also most levers/locks to adjust.

Also, I added an inexpensive Bogen tilt-swivel head to it...I obviously never use the swivel part...I mean it's a MONOPOD so swivel is a given there...hehehe...but I do and have found that the tilt nice when ya need it to get more of a down angle than possible otherwise. I found a ball head too twitchy for my tastes...that is a very personal thing and a ball head lets you switch to portrait mode if you do not have a quick-release setup installed as well.
08-10-2009, 10:17 AM   #10
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I find my monopods very useful and they work pretty good to help steady the camera. I use a monopod/hiking stick fron Trek Pod. I also have a telescoping one that collapses down short enough to use it from my kayak. I have an inexpensive ball head on mine that I find works perfectly well for my needs.
08-10-2009, 10:55 AM   #11
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monopods most definetly help, even in situations where there is lots of light.

making panning and following much easier.

gives you the most stability without resorting to a tripod, so you are maximizing your equipment.
08-10-2009, 02:54 PM   #12
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I use monopods for birding and some events
08-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #13
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Yes, monopods do make a difference from my experience. I was at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con and this was my first time with a dslr. For the panels I attended (low light shooting inside a giant ballroom), I used my Sigma 70-300 with a monopod. Did some test shots w/o the monopod and there is noticeable less blur especially at the long end. The Sigma 70-300 is not a fast lens so the monopod helps. Sitting at the panels for hours on end, it's nice to have the camera rest on a monopod rather than dangle from a strap around my neck - cuts down on fatigue. A monopod is also lighter and easier to tote around compared to a tripod.
08-10-2009, 09:17 PM   #14
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Got me a $20 mono off e-bay and it works fine. Best advice was already stated... Make a tripod of yourself and the monopod. It will help reduce the heartbeat shake and the breathing rhythm messing the shot up.
08-11-2009, 10:09 AM   #15
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the canon monopod gets fairly good reviews too...comes w/ a ballhead for only $25. Probably the least expensive canon item that's decent ;-)

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