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Author Topic: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.  (Read 2304 times)

Mr Bean

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500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« on: July 01, 2013, 11:57:09 PM »
While I'm planning on buying a 600mm lens in the next 6 months, my current 300mm (plus, on occasion, the 1.4x TC) with a gripped 5D3 feels okay on a monopod (for birding/wildlife).

However, not having used a 600mm before, is the monopod approach still ideal for such a large lens, or am I entering tripod territory?

Sorry for the possible lame question, but I'm just imagining the extra weight adds to the momentum when tracking, and in the heat of the moment, those BIF movements can get fairly active ;)
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500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« on: July 01, 2013, 11:57:09 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 12:10:27 AM »
Either...or both.  With my 600 II, I use a tripod with gimbal head (RRS TVC-33 with PG-02 LLR side gimbal) if I'm going to be in one place for a while - eagles during winter/spring, GBH rookeries, etc.  If I'm going to be walking/hiking and shooting as I go, I use a monopod with tilt head (RRS MC-34 with MH-02 Pro).
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Mr Bean

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 08:27:12 AM »
Either...or both.  With my 600 II, I use a tripod with gimbal head (RRS TVC-33 with PG-02 LLR side gimbal) if I'm going to be in one place for a while - eagles during winter/spring, GBH rookeries, etc.  If I'm going to be walking/hiking and shooting as I go, I use a monopod with tilt head (RRS MC-34 with MH-02 Pro).
Thanks Neuro. The monopod has become one of my favorite pieces of equipment, when it comes to wildlife pic's. I've been eying off the RRS monopod tilt heads, since I bought the BH-40 a couple of months ago. I have a Gitzo carbon fiber monopod with a Manfrotto ball head, which won't work for me in the long term. I'll bite the bullet and get the RRS head, in anticipation of the 600mm. Thanks again.
5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
580EX II, MT-24EX Macro Flash
EF 12mm and 25mm II Extension tubes

neuroanatomist

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 08:36:15 AM »
The RRS monopod heads come in a couple of flavors.  If you plan to only use it with your 600, the MH-01 is likely the better choice.  The MH-02 allows you to rotate the clamp 90°, to use the head with a camera body plate instead of a collared lens, with a simple knob adjustment (with the MH-01, you can rotate most clamps but you need a hex key to do it).

Although I use their lever clamps in many applications, for the monopod head I went with the screw clamp.  I frequently carry the rig on my shoulder, and that puts the monopod head clamp right where a backpack strap rests. I don't want to risk inadvertently opening the lever clamp, no chance of that with a screw knob.
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Mr Bean

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2013, 09:10:20 AM »
The RRS monopod heads come in a couple of flavors.  If you plan to only use it with your 600, the MH-01 is likely the better choice.  The MH-02 allows you to rotate the clamp 90°, to use the head with a camera body plate instead of a collared lens, with a simple knob adjustment (with the MH-01, you can rotate most clamps but you need a hex key to do it).
Just had a look on the RRS web site. I can see what you mean about rotating the 2 plates. At the moment, looking at how I use the monopod (and that's probably 95% with the 300mm lens), the MH-01 would suffice. However, there are times when I've used the 100mm Macro on the body, simply to steady, and that would be better on the MH-02. Considering the price difference (not much in the scheme of things), I'll probably go with the MH-02 :)


Although I use their lever clamps in many applications, for the monopod head I went with the screw clamp.  I frequently carry the rig on my shoulder, and that puts the monopod head clamp right where a backpack strap rests. I don't want to risk inadvertently opening the lever clamp, no chance of that with a screw knob.
I did wonder about the clamps, lever v's screw. My theory would be to use the lever clamp with the monopod, so I can quickly remove the lens/camera, for a free hand shot, and use the screw clamp on the tripod (which I have done) as a tripod tends to be more "permanent" attachment. But yes, with a 600mm, that thinking might change :)
5D mk3 with grip, 300 f4 L, 100 IS Macro L, 50 f1.4, 50 f1.8, 40 f2.8 pancake, 35 f2, 1.4x TC III, Zeiss 15mm f2.8, 24 f1.4 L
580EX II, MT-24EX Macro Flash
EF 12mm and 25mm II Extension tubes

photo212

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2013, 10:14:22 AM »
Either a monopod or a tripod will work. The clear advantage of the tripod is that you do not have to hold it upright. Since you already know this with your 300mm, it probably is not a big deal for you.

I use my 500mm ("Mk I") which is close to the weight of the 600mm II mostly on a tripod with the Wimberley head.But that is because I tend to find a spot and stay put for long periods. So a tripod I do not have to hold there endlessly.

I have fashioned a monopod with a inverted mount that allows me to keep the pod vertical but effortlessly tilt up and down. The monopod does its job supporting the weight.

RC

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 10:30:50 AM »
Although I use their lever clamps in many applications, for the monopod head I went with the screw clamp.  I frequently carry the rig on my shoulder, and that puts the monopod head clamp right where a backpack strap rests. I don't want to risk inadvertently opening the lever clamp, no chance of that with a screw knob.
Great tip, thanks Neuro!  I'm getting ready to buy the MH-02 head myself and was planning to get the LR version.  You just convinced me the screw knob is the safer and better choice.  Thanks

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2013, 10:30:50 AM »

rjrowing

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2013, 12:05:25 PM »
Depending on the light, it works. Recently, I rent a 4/600 for shooting on German U19 rowing championships (used w/ 5DII). And because I used a bicycle at the course a monopod was the easiest way to carry. attached is an example.

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Eldar

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 05:22:56 AM »
If you are buying the Canon 500mm or 600mm f4L IS II, you can easily use them on a monopod. You can also, with some practice handhold them. If you are considering the version I of those lenses, it becomes a bit more challenging, both due to weight (primarily the 600mm) and because the IS system is much less efficient (2 f-stops instead of the 4 f-stops you get on the version II).

For wildlife and birds I handhold most of the time, unless I am sitting still, waiting for something. I also handhold with the 1.4xIII extender, but that requires practice. When I attach the 2xIII I need the tripod with gimbal head, both because of the 1200mm focal length and because I then only have one center AF point available (1DX and 5DIII).

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Re: 500mm or 600mm lens on a monopod.
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2013, 05:22:56 AM »