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Thread: Monopods

  1. #1
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Monopods

    Hi guys,

    Just wondered what your thoughts were on them, I bought myself a cheap one last week and used it for the 1st time this morning. And i was quite impressed with it, easy to carry, nice and light, great for panning round on the spot.over all I am impressed.
    just wonder if it would justify buying a nice carbon fibre one and a seperate ballhead, if the wife will let me

  2. #2
    New Member ra4gto's Avatar
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    re: Monopods

    Hi Glenn,
    I bought a Canon 500 Monopod last year and my thinking is that you should probably spend some more time using yours to make sure it will work for you on a regular basis. I am not sure if I got one that is just not sturdy enough for my camera/lens combo (Canon 60D/55-250mm) or I just need to get used to it more. Even though my tripod is big and bulky (SLIK PRO700DX), I usually end up pulling it out for the stability. Just my 2 cents.

  3. #3
    stardelta's Avatar
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    re: Monopods

    thanks art good advice. I will use it for a month or so and see how it goes.
    I was using my 70-300mm on it this morning and it helped with camera shake/ due to me buying a lens without IS/never again,
    although on a tripod it is not an issue.
    what do you think of the 60d, I only ask as that is next on my wish list.
    Many thanks Glenn.

  4. #4

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    re: Monopods

    I think you should be aware that Image Stabilisation is not a magic bullet and you still need good technique. My attitude to mine is that my body are the other two legs of 'my tripod' so one needs to be comfortably standing/sitting etc when using them. So if you think you are likely to want to look upwards in 'portrait' mode you need something like a six foot mono. The other consideration is the size of the ballhead. After I used a golfball as the pattern when I cast my own I consider that the minimum size for a ball carrying a big long lens ... though the 'experts' are probably better engineers than me so probably there is some leeway on that statement.

  5. #5

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    re: Monopods

    A monopod with an optional spike can be vary useful when using the monopod at an angle when looking upward, or down at the ground.

    I use an ordinary Giottos monopod with a Manfrotto monopod head on it. There's no need to use a ball and socket with a monopod, as the pole can be rotated about its own axis, so only two directions of movement are necessary. A dedicated monopod head is perhaps less likely to flop about if you should happen to let off both the brake and the friction while walking along with the camera fitted to the pod.

  6. #6
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    re: Monopods

    I've used 2 so far. The 1st one wasn't too stable and as I'm 6ft3 didn't really go high enough. The most recent one is a 3 section manfrotto bought off ebay for the amazing sum of 30 used complete with one of their cheaper pan tilt tripod heads. These are shiny suggesting aluminium but as per some of their tripods I suspect they are high tensile steel. It's very rigid, extends to a usable level for me and the weight isn't too bad. A lot less than a tripod. They have a hand loop for carrying so could even be used as a hiking pole.

    The head that was on it isn't really suitable as it's to stiff to easily point long focal length lenses. I have an ELM steel ball head on it at the moment but that's not easy to adjust either really.

    Not so sure about carbon fibre or more sections. I suspect they will skimp on carbon so they wont match steel. More sections doesn't help either and the ones I have seen do not extend as far as the 3 section ones.

    John

  7. #7
    New Member ra4gto's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods

    Hi Glenn, as for the 60D, I love it. I have so much to learn about photography and the camera that I am not speaking from any amount of expertise at this point. In my mind, I got it because I enjoy doing birds in flight so I wanted something that could handle more fps than the XSi. I also liked the idea of the articulating LCD, the lock button on the mode wheel (I always seemed to manage to rotate it when I shouldn't have). I also wanted to jump the MP count (XSi was 12mp, the 60D is 18mp), higher ISO capability, etc. It has a good weight to it and fits my hand better. I am quite comfortable with it. As for the monopod, from the other comments, it sounds like I need to give mine another chance. Cheers, Art

  8. #8
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    Re: Monopods

    I bought an aluminum monopod instead of the carbon fiber version of the same monopod. The aluminum feels very light, and one would never think otherwise unless they were holding both simultaneously for comparison. The fiber one was twice as much as the aluminum one, and the weight difference was only like 8 ounces.

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    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods

    Thanks guys, for all the replies.
    You have given me plenty to think about, I think the point about only getting a head that tilts up and down makes sense.
    That is the type I will start to investigate more.
    Also thanks Art, you have just helped me in my thoughts about the 60d, I really like the look and sound of it.
    Once again thanks for all the input.

  10. #10
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    Re: Monopods

    Quote Originally Posted by stardelta View Post
    Thanks guys, for all the replies.
    You have given me plenty to think about, I think the point about only getting a head that tilts up and down makes sense.
    That is the type I will start to investigate more.
    Also thanks Art, you have just helped me in my thoughts about the 60d, I really like the look and sound of it.
    Once again thanks for all the input.
    Perhaps some of us, before giving up photography altogether, may reach the point when a few ounces makes a real difference in carrying a monopod. Hard to picture, though possible. Aluminium is the huge value in monopods. Plus, in cheaper monopods, the carbon fiber ones are actually kind of flimsy.

  11. #11

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    Re: Monopods

    I don't have any experience of carbon fibre mono and tri-pods, but what I do know is that carbon fibre fishing rods get broken, snapped, and shattered all the time - there is a whole industry in selling repair kits for them.

  12. #12

    Re: Monopods

    Monopods best for sports photography..

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    Re: Monopods

    Hi Everyone,
    Just waiting for my first ever "monopod" to arrive & after all the comments I hope I made a good choice. I have a lot of bush O can wonder through & tramp through so a monopod seemed like a good choice. I was wondering about the weight of it too. Once I try it I'll send in a review of the one I bought.


    diane

  14. #14
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods

    Thanks diane, I was really pleased with mine even though it was only cheap, I found it easier than the tripod although I am sure they both have individual uses and places.

  15. #15
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods

    Quote Originally Posted by joel noscal View Post
    Monopods best for sports photography..
    Joel why is that, I am presuming you mean for panning around etc.

  16. #16
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    Re: Monopods

    The Aluminium Manfrotto 680 and 681 monopods are great. They are sturdy, relatively inexpensive and are actually pretty light in weight.

    The problem with my Manfrotto was that it didn't collapse down far enough to carry in my airlines suitcase (carrying a monopod as cabin baggage causes problems with security).

    I switched to a Calumet carbon fiber monopod which I got on sale (it has been discontinued). It is a great pod which is as tall, lighter in weight, has a higher weight capacity and collapses down smaller than the Manfrotto it replaced.

    I agree that you don't need a ball head on a monopod. I use a Kirk MPA-1 monopod head which has an Arca Compatible quick release allowing me to use my A/C L plates and lens plates.

  17. #17
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Monopods

    Hi Glenn,

    I think the best advice on most things photographic these days is buy the best you can afford. I was very lucky on mine as it was on offer at the time and it came at a great price. It's a Giottos pro which has an integral quick release tilt head. It's quiet heavy for a monopod but it's been all over the world with me and it's as tough as old boots. Here's a link; www.giottos.com/

    As for sports, they are almost always used where space is at a premium, and where the photographer may have to get out of the way PDQ. Next time you watch a football match, look at the photographers with the longer lenses near the corners.

    Also useful for street photography as you don't want to tripping people up with tripod legs or getting hassle from Dibble,

  18. #18
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    Re: Monopods

    There is a velbron titanium one on the market that may be make a good compact monopod. For the more normal sized ones the cheaper manfrotto's are a good option. They also do a compact version. Heads in my view are a bit of a problem because ideally they need to be able to tilt long lenses accurately and easily. I've toyed with the idea of getting a fluid head but that includes one wasted motion It's possible to tilt the entire monopod but I find that increases the risk of shake and can only be taken so far. No one seems to make a decent light weight tilt head for them and ball and socket types don't seem as smooth as they could be if tightened sufficiently to restrain the weight of a biggish lens or camera for that matter.

    John

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