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Author Topic: I think I may want a Monopod - But WAIT!!  (Read 6248 times)

lilmsmaggie

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I think I may want a Monopod - But WAIT!!
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:58:10 PM »
Soliciting feedback from monopod users out there.  Oh and Neuro, don't be bashful.   ;D

A couple of recent events has gotten me thinking about a monopod purchase.

The first event involved a recent trip to Cancun Mexico -- Oh how I wish I had a tripod/monopod with me.
But I for me was quite a bit of stuff to carry on a vacation trip, e.g. 1 checked bag, laptop, camera bag.
The camera bag and laptop joined me onboard. 

If I had a monopod with a max length less than 22 or so,"  I may have been able to stow it with the checked bag which in the past was my carry-on luggage.   At the resort I was staying, ran into an Asian guy in the lobby with a tripod - I Looked at him and pointed at his tripod and we both started laughing cause he knew ...

The second event occurred about 2 wks after the Mexico trip at a wildlife refuge in Northern California.  Sandhill cranes and other migratory birds are beginning to show up (Pacific Flyway) at various wildlife and bird sanctuaries and refuges around the Sacramento Region.  My nephew and I decided to do some recon last Sunday at one of these wildlife refuges and sure enough we witnessed thousands of Sandhill cranes.

At one location, a guy joined us by a tree we were using as a blind carrying a Nikon/Nikon 500 mm on a monopod. 

Monopod!  And that's when the light bulb came on.   Why hadn't I considered that before ???    :o

Anyway, anyone familiar with or own a RRS Monopod and head package?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 05:04:38 PM by lilmsmaggie »
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I think I may want a Monopod - But WAIT!!
« on: October 24, 2013, 01:58:10 PM »

Chosenbydestiny

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 02:36:04 PM »
A good alternative is a flat tripod, extremely portable, and stable enough for most travel situations. I'm looking at a Benro C1190T myself, when I was at the store it just felt so light and seems like it will pack easily. Unfortunately I was making a more important purchase at the time and came up short, I'm definitely going to buy one when I return. I already have a monopod, and it even has legs. I don't like it because it isn't versatile or stable enough for me for trips, it's also too long to fit in my backpack where the flat tripod looks like it might.
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mackguyver

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 02:42:51 PM »
I think it really depends on your needs - monopods are best for lenses with tripod collars and are amazing for heavy lenses with IS - like the 400 - 800mm lenses.  They aren't as great for landscape shots, but are still better than bare hands, but are worlds away from having a tripod.  Based on your gear and what you're saying, you might be better off with a compact tripod.  I'd recommend renting a monopod from lensrentals or someone and giving it a try before spending a big chunk of cash on one.
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DennyF

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 03:02:06 PM »
I have both.  When I need to move around, I prefer a monopod.  When shooting landscapes or portraits, I use a tripod.  There are so many choices it's difficult to recommend a particular one, given the subjectivity involved.  I happen to like stable, lightweight supports that extend to eye-level without stooping, and fit inside a roller bag.  My monopod is an Induro CM24 and my tripod is a Benro 2190T Travel Flat Tripod.   

Don Haines

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2013, 03:06:54 PM »
I have a hiking pole where I thread off the wooden top and it becomes a monopod... it's an alternative when your knees are getting old and the terrain is not flat...
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lion rock

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2013, 03:15:52 PM »
Think of a tripod that can be changed to a monopod.  I use a 2.5 pound Benro (C0691T Travel Angel Transfunctional Tripod) carbon fiber tripod I can unscrew one of the legs to make a monopod.  Light enough to carry around.

SwampYankee

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 03:54:59 PM »
The Canon mono pod is just fine and cost about $35 dollars.  You can pay a ton more but why?  It's a glorified stick.  I know someone that bought a really good one and uses it as a hiking stick, so thats one reason.  Single best use of a monopod?  The 100L 2.8 macro leaning over a flow taking bug pictures at 1:1.  Can't do it hand held, tripod won't get 1:1 with out too much fuss.  monopod=perfect
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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2013, 03:54:59 PM »

Zen

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2013, 04:06:11 PM »
I have the RRS carbon fiber monopod and their standard head. It's terrific! Light, easy to extend and retract, and the head's swivel mechanism, NOT a ball, works flawlessly. The rig holds my 5d3 with 70-200 2.8L and RRS plate easily.

Use of a monopod requires a bit of practice. It "plants" one point solidly on the ground, but can still wobble, so you have to be careful and aware. It's better if you can brace it against a second solid point.

Expensive compared to others but well worth the extra cost.

Good luck.

Zen :)

brad-man

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2013, 04:14:59 PM »
Soliciting feedback from monopod users out there.  Oh and Neuro, don't be bashful.   ;D

A couple of recent events has gotten me thinking about a monopod purchase.

The first event involved a recent trip to Cancun Mexico -- Oh how I wish I had a tripod/monopod with me.
But I for me was quite a bit of stuff to carry on a vacation trip, e.g. 1 checked bag, laptop, camera bag.
The camera bag and laptop joined me onboard. 

If I had a monopod with a max length less than 22 or so,"  I may have been able to stow it with the checked bag which in the past was my carry-on luggage.   At the resort I was staying, ran into an Asian guy in the lobby with a tripod - I Looked at him and pointed at his tripod and we both started laughing cause he knew ...

The second event occurred about 2 wks after the Mexico trip at a wildlife refuge in Northern California.  Sandhill cranes and other migratory birds are beginning to show up (Pacific Flyway) at various wildlife and bird sanctuaries and refuges around the Sacramento Region.  My nephew and I decided to do some recon last Sunday at one of these wildlife refuges and sure enough we witnessed thousands of Sandhill cranes.

At one location, a guy joined us by a tree we were using as a blind carrying a Nikon/Nikon 500 mm on a monopod. 

Monopod!  And that's when the light bulb came on.   Why hadn't I considered that before ???    :o

Anyway, anyone familiar with or own a RRS Monopod and head package?

You didn't mention what you intend to put on it, but this is a very easy to carry, medium duty pod that will handle a 300 f/2.8 with no problem:

http://www.amazon.com/SIRUI-P-326-Section-Carbon-Monopod/dp/B004QC6VAG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382645392&sr=8-1&keywords=sirui+monopod

awinphoto

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2013, 04:26:09 PM »
I prefer monopods over tripods if i can help it...  We have the 682B manfrotto monopod... it has 3 legs that can pop out if I need them, if I dont, they fold up neatly inside the monopod...  so if i'm indoors shooting video, it works nicely, if I'm out and about, it is still good...  It will not be very reliable outside with wind and a camera mounted on it without you holding it, so it will not totally replace a tripod, but for 90% of the time, if i can help it, it will get the nod over a tripod. 
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Jackson_Bill

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2013, 04:37:05 PM »
...

Use of a monopod requires a bit of practice. It "plants" one point solidly on the ground, but can still wobble, so you have to be careful and aware. It's better if you can brace it against a second solid point.


I have the Gitzo carbon monopod that I occassionally use with my 7D and 500 f4 and have the same comment about the wobble and bracing. I prefer the tripod but the monopod beats hand-holding.

neuroanatomist

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2013, 04:41:05 PM »
Soliciting feedback from monopod users out there.  Oh and Neuro, don't be bashful.   ;D
...

Anyway, anyone familiar with or own a RRS Monopod and head package?

Lol.  Yes, I have the RRS MC-34 with the MH-02 Pro head.  Great setup, I use it mostly with my 600 II.  The difference between the -01 and -02 heads is the latter lets you rotate the clamp 90° to use with a body plate (non-collared lens).  One point - the combo is ~25" long.

For your uses, I'd recommend a small but high quality tripod.  I have the RRS TQC-14 + BH-30 LR, it's great for travel.  With the combo inside the RRS quiver bag, it fits inside my Storm im2500 carryon hard case.  The setup easily holds my 1D X and a white zoom (it actually holds my 600 II, but I have the TVC-33 and gimbal head for that).  I prefer the tripod because it gives me the flexibility to do long exposures (night or day with a 10-stop ND).  For just wildlife, a monopod would be fine, but you might need a shorter one.
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cliffwang

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 04:46:07 PM »
Monopod and tripod are very useful for different situations.  If I don't need to move around and the object is in a predictable area, I prefer tripod.  Otherwise, I like monopod.  I don't like most heads for monopod because I like to be very flexible for different angles.  Thus, I mod my monopod with magnetic head.
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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2013, 04:46:07 PM »

Eldar

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2013, 05:28:04 PM »
I have the Gitzo GM5561T monopod, with the RRS MH-02 Pro head, which I am very happy with, for a compact and low weight highly functional packages. A side kick head would be more functional, but I find it too big and neither bird nor fish. I use a tripod with a Wimberley Gimbal II when I need more than the monopod provides. But (as I usually do) I agree with what Neuro says in his post.
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pwp

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2013, 06:49:55 PM »
I use monopods almost daily. I have a couple of large size Manfrotto monopods, a 3 section plus a 4 section.

My tips would be:
1. Make sure it's tall enough for you to stand at full height. Bending over for extended periods is a creative no-no.
2. Get a monopod head with extra plates. I use Manfrotto but there are plenty of others. These are vital.
3. Get one with 4 sections so it's nice and short when folded down.
4. I don't have carbon-fibre, but if you're walking a lot, any weight saved is nice.
5. Remember it makes an attractive mugger deterrent while walking back to your car late at night. Carry it.

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Re: I think I may want a Monopod
« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2013, 06:49:55 PM »