So I got a new baby...the Nikon 500mm f4. I love using it for birds on the Gitzo II and Wimberly head.
However, I am getting ready to shoot some auto racing here in a few weeks and am trying to figure out how to use it. I have a monopod, but I think I need to get a sturdier one...however, I am not sure what people do about ball heads for lenses this big.
Anybody have any suggestions for monopods / ball heads for the big glass?
#1. "RE: Nikon 500mm f4 on a Monopod..." | In response to Reply # 0vandevantersh Registered since 09th Aug 2008Mon 01-Mar-10 01:12 PM
>So I got a new baby...the Nikon 500mm f4. I love using it
>for birds on the Gitzo II and Wimberly head.
>However, I am getting ready to shoot some auto racing here in
>a few weeks and am trying to figure out how to use it. I have
>a monopod, but I think I need to get a sturdier one...however,
>I am not sure what people do about ball heads for lenses this
>Anybody have any suggestions for monopods / ball heads for the
RRS MH-01 monopod head.
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#3. "RE: Nikon 500mm f4 on a Monopod..." | In response to Reply # 1kjrslr Registered since 19th Jul 2003Tue 02-Mar-10 01:21 PM
I have the 400 2.8 AFS which is heavier than your 500 and have used it almost exclusively on a Manfrottro 680B monopod:
Inexpensive and very sturdy.
I also use the the RRS MH-01 with a lever clamp. Have used this set up for the last couple of years covering the NFL. For a number of years,before the MH-01, I just screwed the pod to the lens with no problems.
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#2. "RE: Nikon 500mm f4 on a Monopod..." | In response to Reply # 0
I would look at 32mm or 41mm diameter legs (Gitzo Series 3 or 5). The Series 5 will give you more peace of mind, but is a bit more expensive and heavy, although not much added weight to your 500
I have a 28mm Feisol CF monopod which I've used with my 300/2.8 and occasionally my old 500/4P. I haven't had the occasion to use it with the new to me 500/4 AFS. Although the 28mm legs "work", I would prefer to have a beefier monopod for the big lenses and would not buy that specifically for big glass. The 28mm legs work well for my 300/4 and 70-200/2.8 and are very light and portable.
The main issue is actually the leg collars because the leg is straight up. With a tripod, the legs are at an angle and the flex in the leg is forced against the top of the collar. When straight up, the joints tend to wobble back and forth. You can simulate this by standing your tripod on one leg, straight up, and grabbing the leg in the middle and work it back and forth. All else equal, fatter legs have stiffer leg collars, and the newer Gitzo G-Lock collars are especially rigid in this regard.
A of lot shooters here are using the RRS MH-01 - do a search here on that model. I use a Markins Q3 and picked it because I also wanted a fully functional backup head that I could use on a tripod. The main benefit of the MH-01 is that it only works in one axis, not really usable on a tripod but on a monopod with a collared lens it prevents the head from "flopping", which is a minor annoyance for me and my Q3.
If you are near ground level you may not even need a head. If you need a large tilt angle (shooting from up in the stands) then you will surely want one