#1. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0f11 Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2006Sat 10-Nov-12 01:48 AM
Think of a mono pod as an aid to hand held shooting rather than as a poor substitute for a tripod. It allows me to use lower shutter speeds just as VR would. I have several legacy lenses but none with VR. Also a sufficiently robust mono pod doubles as a waking staff.
I used one on a whale watching boat by shortening it and placing the end in a fanny pack worn in front like a flag bearer thus dampening the engine vibrations with my body. I was able to use a 300mm f/4 AFS with 1.7 TC with good success.
#2. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0dm1dave Nikonian since 12th Sep 2006Sat 10-Nov-12 02:00 AM | edited Sat 10-Nov-12 02:01 AM by dm1dave
Also widely used by sports shooters so they don’t need to hold the weight of their heavy telephoto lenses. They usually have fast enough shutter speeds that they don’t need the full support of a tripod and often do not have enough space for a tripod.
Some wildlife shooters will use a monopod on their big lenses because it is more portable then a tripod. Again they are usually using reasonably fast shutter speeds, they just need something to support the weight of the big super tel lenses.
#3. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0Luke_Miller Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006Sat 10-Nov-12 12:00 PM
I primarily use my monopod to support the weight of my heavy lenses rather than for added stability. But there is added stability to be had with the right technique. Check out this page in the Nikonians article on monopods.
#4. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 3mmontanaro Registered since 24th Oct 2012Sat 10-Nov-12 12:45 PM
And let's not forget that in many places, a tripod is not allowed (a football game is a perfect example) because it would be dangerous and impossible to move quickly.
But museums are also another example. Often, if they have a "no tripods" rule, you can draw that line in the sand and use a monopod. ("The sign says 'no tripods' officer, not 'no monopods.')
It's hard to conceive if you've never used one, but it does give you more stability- you'd think it wouldn't because it can still move around, but somehow, it does. It takes away a lot of random shaking.
#5. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0
I'm with Dave and Jim.
Monopods are smaller, lighter, and more portable than tripods. As a result they're easier to carry around all day when out shooting. Many monopods fold down very small and can be stowed in a large pocket. Carbon Fiber monopods are typically exceedingly lightweight.
So, a monopod has a major advantage over tripods in portability, but that's not the only advantage.
The other major advantage of monopods over tripods is setup. If your monopod is preattached to your camera/lens, getting ready for the next shot requires only that the foot of the monopod needs to be put on the ground. On the other hand, when using a tripod, at the very least you need to splay the legs, set down the tripod on the ground, and likely loosen the head to be able to position the camera/lens to focus on the subject. All that takes more time than getting a camera/lens on a monopod ready to shoot. Often you'll see photographers carrying around their camera/lens on tripods with the tripod legs presplayed, in order to reduce the time needed to be ready to shoot.
When using a tripod for wildlife shooting, I've definitely occasionally missed a photo or two because of setup time.
Wildlife and sports photographers often prefer monopods over tripods because of their fast setup time, and their ability to allow the photographer to quickly move the rig from position to position to move from subject to subject. While the stability gained by using a tripod is in excess of a monopod, there is no doubt monopods significantly help photographers keep their camera/lens stable much more than only by hand holding, especially when using long/heavy lenses, when good monopod technique is used.
When using "long" lenses (~ longer than 400mm) it is hard to hand hold a shot and keep it steady enough to avoid camera shake to get a sharp image. Moreover, to do the same repeatedly over a day, gets harder and harder as you get more and more tired from picking up and holding the lens. Using a monopod can overcome this.
I think that some might also tell you that monopods outperform tripods when shooting moving objects such as birds in flight or race cars going around a track on in a road race. They would suggest that the freedom and ease of movement which the use of monopods have, exceeds that of tripods. In this area I disagree. Freedom and ease of movement of tripods is largely a function of the tripod's head. If you utilize a gimbal mount on a tripod, one can move the camera/lens to follow birds, race cars and other moving objects extremely easily, and once setup, from a "platform" more stable than a monopod.
That being said, if you go to any football (American or soccer) stadium, for example, the pro photographers are using monopods, not tripods. That's because of the speed of setup, and the need to move position quickly, plus in this case, the amount of room each photographer has for shooting.
In the final analysis, monopods aren't "emergency or last solutions" when tripods aren't accessible. Monopods are chosen proactively by photographers for the advantages they bring them under specific shooting circumstances.
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#6. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0
I use mine a lot with a 80-200mm f2.8 whilst shooting street. Quick to set and quick to move on...
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#7. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0
#9. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 0
A monopod will generally buy you about 1-3 stops, depending on your skill. With VR, you can get another couple of stops, so the combination can be very effective. And all VR can be used on a monopod, where only the very expensive exotic telephotos support tripod enabled VR.
Ditto all the other reasons mentioned here. Even in situations where monopods are "legal" or "allowed" I personally do not like to use tripods in busy public places. And in other situations I want to be more mobile than I am with a tripod.
Plus, it is just easier and less tiring in the case where I need to watch a scene or support a heavier lens and body combination. Also easier to do smooth pans and maintain a precise focus point while following a predictably moving subject.
Monopods are cheap so it is well worth the investment to try it yourself. But give it some time to develop the technique. You may find this article very helpful.
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#11. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 10nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Sun 11-Nov-12 04:08 PM | edited Sun 11-Nov-12 04:11 PM by nrothschild
Glad to help .
Here is a good example of where I always use a monopod, even though the shutter speeds are generally 1/2000s or higher so I'm not using this to get a sharp shot I could not get otherwise.
This event proceeds for about 20 minutes or so per session. I've done this for about 9 years now. The main challenge is to maintain a precise focus point on the oncoming horse or rider. If I miss I focus on the crowd. It is a very fast pan that needs to be done very precisely.
In principle I could use a tripod but I do not want to carry one all day just for this 20 minutes 3 times a day. During that 20 minutes I am getting important shots every 20 seconds or so - it is fairly continuous action plus things to shoot in between the 3 second windows that happen every 20-25 seconds. I could probably get away with a tripod but I do not feel comfortable in the very busy and public area I shoot from. And I have a very precise two square foot of dirt that gives me the vantage point I need.
The images in my gallery now were mostly shot at 300mm (except for one) with an f/2.8, usually wide open. However, I usually shoot a 70-200 which would, in principle, be very easy to hand hold. Because of the shutter speeds I do not use VR (and hopefully remember to turn it off ).
The monopod is simply easier and more "fun" to use, allowing me to concentrate on the action for this extended period of time. And it vastly improves my focus accuracy because of the more accurate and smoother panning.
At the same venue I often shoot half hour long (non-sport) performances. In that case the ability to keep (usually) my 70-200 trained on the performance to catch fleeting instants of interest is invaluable. Plus sometimes my shutter speeds can be somewhat marginal although I would generally be using VR in that case. Late in the day I am down to 1/10s, often at 200mm (or even 300mm).
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#12. "RE: Mono pod" | In response to Reply # 11Sun 11-Nov-12 05:34 PM
Those are great sharp images. I see you need to mentally very sharp to capture too.
I do not shoot moving targets much except for some parts of wedding. There I have 70-200 VR and can manage by hand held. But I see it great for low light situations with mono pod.
This is good... Something to think about . Thank you again.