I am considering buying a monopod to use with my D800 (in lieu of using my more bulky carbon fiber tripod) on an upcoming trip to Greece. I expect to be shooting predominantly landscapes using a 28-300 VR. Has anyone used a monopod with the D800...with or without VR? How difficult is it to get good resolution, or is it simply impossible? Any rule of thumb you can share re: shutter speed?
Monopods are not traditionally used for landscape photography, where you typically have a fair amount of time to set up (though I could see where they'd be useful for shooting wildlife). The opinions I have come across are that VR is more useful than a monopod.
The simplest rule of thumb is that a monopod is better than hand holding, but not as good as a tripod, all assuming the same level of technique on the part of the photographer.
> How difficult is it to get good resolution, or is it simply impossible?
Good resolution? Sure it's possible. As an extreme example, it's a pretty fair assumption that 1/8000th at 50mm will likely eliminate any realistic chance of camera motion, almost no matter how unstable the photographer is. On the other hand, I've done the experiment with a lowly D2x and at 50mm and 1/1000th it's clearly a better bet with a tripod than hand held, and I don't think I'm particularly terrible at hand holding. One presumes that a D800e will show this more than with a mere D2x. Still, even if the difference is there, it isn't a given that it's significant. There are a LOT (millions, probably billions) of images out there that are just fine shot hand held, even if they would be better on a tripod. Like just about every sport photograph ever taken, for starters.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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Really depends on your hand held methodology, camera settings, and mind set. It took me a month to dial in my D800. I now hand hold with my 28-300 lens most of the time. I use high speeds for quick snapshots but usually take more time than with other cameras. TriPods and even MonoPods can be very awkward to haul around. However a TriPod can be essential for taking detailed images of Architecture or if you want to get in the picture.
Don't remember the name of it but there is a light weight folding combo available for travel.
I use a mono pod quite a bit.....works better for sports and street photography. You can gain a couple stops. The advantage for me is my walking stick does double duty when I do not want to pack one of the tripods. Depending on your lighting, chances are you won't be helped much with the mono for landscape shots if you plan to keep your iso's low. Just my two cents.
I've not tried my D800 on a monopod yet, tend to use that just for motorsport. I have used it on a Gorillapod though and the big one will take the weight of a D800 + zoom (just) so that might be a better option for your trip as it fits in your camera bag.
Tue 26-Jun-12 08:08 AM | edited Tue 26-Jun-12 08:14 AM by slothead
I just put my D800 on a monopod for the first time last night (I had just acquired an inexpensive head for mine). The only advantage I can imagine it being used for is keeping the camera at a level height during a series of shots. I have found that as I take a series of handheld shots from left to right for a panorama (yep, I take a lot of panorama handheld now) I find that I let the horizon droop, but I don't notice it until I have all the frames pulled up in PS. So the MP could help keep that horizon level.
And by the way when are you going to Greece? Me too!
Tue 26-Jun-12 11:17 AM | edited Tue 26-Jun-12 11:24 AM by WhereRu
I use a manfroto monopod extensively for still and video. I have great hand holding technique but all my good glass is older f/2.8, all non-VR. Manfroto actually sells a monopod with a video head - Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Video Monopod with Head. The head is a 701 mini fluid video head. Don't let the "mini" fool you, this is one solid piece of gear. I already owned the 701 head from my video days so I mounted it on my monopod. The trick is you can extend the handle on the head and tuck it under your right armpit. Super stable for video or still and you can do all kinds of smooth movement for video. Using this for a "Southern Belle" wedding in Alabama this weekend. Edit: there are some great videos on Vimeo and some on YouTube showing results. Takes some practice but I love it. Search BHDV-1.
>Quote >Conversely, I never use a head on a monopod; just attach the >camera straight to it so I never have a problem with slip. > Give it a try; you’ll be surprised how easy it is. > >Cheers,Tom.<Quote<<<
I agree The head just adds weight and problems. Even using one that allows vertical shooting is very awkward at best.
In the old days of 35mm cameras the rule was use a shutter speed at least twice the focal length when handholding a camera. In this senario if using a 50mm lens you would use a shutter speed of at least 1/100 of a second. The D800 has higher resolution than lots of 35mm film so maybe we should say 4 times the length in mm's. In this case a 50mm and 1/200 of a second. Just my thought.
I've found a monopod helps in different shooting situations and have used monopods for shots several seconds long with great success. Like all tools they have their place.
I use a Manfrotto 234 Tilt Monopod Head on my monopod.
Yesterday Gabriel from B&H was out here and had a Oben CT-3520 5-Section Carbon Fiber Folding Tripod with BB-1T Ball Head with him which I played with a little bit. I was very impressed. D800 and a 70-200mm was actually supported quite well with proper technique. This tripod folds to about 16 1/2" and was about 58" without columnolum extended. You can also remove one of the legs and the center column to make a monopod. It's about $480, I'm currently debating on it for a travel pod.