Looking for a Monopod

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Looking for a Monopod

Postby ginger » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:42 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm in the market for a monopod and was wondering if anyone had any experience with them. I've never used one before so any tips on what to look for in the way of features, etc. would be great.

Thanks!
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby BarbaraC » Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:34 am

I've occasionally used a tripod as if it were a monopod by simply not spreading the legs, so I've had no real experience with monopods. However, if I were in the market for one, I'd probably look for something that's lightweight, can be collapsed enough to fit in the camera bag, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. When you get right down to it, it's nothing but a glorified pole that holds a camera on one end. Just my take on it, of course. :D

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby debngar » Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:03 am

I'm not an expert on these, but I own one, along with a regular tripod, a gorilla pod and a couple of tiny ones for my phone.

My monopod has three tiny legs that store inside if I need it to stand which is a nice feature for extra steadiness. But I wouldn't walk away from it with my camera attached. You may want a quick release plate along with a head if you don't already have one. Also some are made to purposefully double for a walking stick. Check to see if the ones you're interested in are made to hold the weight of your camera and heaviest lens you plan to use with it.

I buy most of my equipment through B&H online and have been happy with the results.
Good luck
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby ginger » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:11 am

Barbara. I have a tripod but was wanting the monopod thinking it would be lighter and I could take in places that don't allow tripods, although many places might regard them the same.

Debbie, that was one of my concerns, whether to get one with the feet at the bottom and whether they worked as intended. Manfrotto has some fairly inexpensive monopods that get great reviews, though they don't have the legs. Do you mind my asking which model you have?

Thank you both!

ginger
Last edited by ginger on Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby gpsmikey » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:20 am

I have a monopod that I use often - when shooting telephoto, it can make a big difference - the one I have is a Manfroto model that I have put a quick release on the top of - makes life much easier to attach or remove (I have the same quick release on my tripod). Depending on exactly what you are doing and your activity level, a couple of things to keep in mind - some of them come with the little legs Debbie was talking about. Some of them are configured as hiking sticks which makes them very handy if you are into hiking as well. There are also many events where you are not allowed to have a tripod (since everybody would be tripping over the legs), but monopods are allowed. In my experience, they really tend to help stabilize the camera. They also really help keep the horizon level when shooting which, for some reason, seems to be an issue with me - I am so busy watching the subject that I forget to keep the horizon level and it does not take much rotation at 450mm equiv to be noticeable. This is very similar to the one I have (I have the 676B which they no longer seem to show)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... ction.html
and I think this is the quick release I have - I have one on the tripod, one on the monopod and then a couple of extra "mounting plates" so both cameras as well as my video camera have the plates on them. Means any one of them connects quickly to either the tripod or monopod (and you should see the difference a monopod makes with the video camera when you are zoomed in at all !!)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... Quick.html

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby BarbaraC » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:30 am

There are probably other brands of good quality, but I love Manfrotto. I went through several different tripods, but not until I got the Manfrotto did I find total stability.

An old trick I've used for years is one that's worth constructing regardless of whether you get a monopod. A quick search brought up a nice variation on the one I keep in my camera bag: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-574 ... stringpod/

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby debngar » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:35 am

Hi Ginger,

I have a Manfrotto 682B with a simple 234 RC tilt head quick release. Looks like they still sell it at B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5 ... nopod.html

I use a completely different head on my regular Manfrotto tripod.

It has flip latches to adjust the length, not screw leg adjustments. You can use it with or without the little feet. They are a bit awkward to affix to the bottom, but they work. When not in use, they neatly fold up and store inside the leg. There's a bit of icky black lubricant that can get on your fingers or clothes if you're not careful in the process of getting the legs out, putting them on or screwing them back inside the leg.

The little feet do not make the monopod rock steady. For that you would want a tripod. But if you're using it to stand a speedlite flash on it's own in a secure part of a room where someone will not likely knock it over, it might be ok to let it be by itself in that way.
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby gpsmikey » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:20 am

Debbie's comment reminded me - I actually have a ball head on my tripod, but it uses the same quick release plate assembly, so the plate on the camera will match with either the tripod or the monopod (now that I've had my coffee, I am thinking a bit more clearly :lol: )

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby debngar » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:35 am

gpsmikey wrote:Debbie's comment reminded me - I actually have a ball head on my tripod, but it uses the same quick release plate assembly, so the plate on the camera will match with either the tripod or the monopod (now that I've had my coffee, I am thinking a bit more clearly :lol: )

mikey


Both my heads are Manfrotto and the plates look the same. That might be a good reason to buy the same brand in heads for both (if the desire is to have both tripod and monopod) unless it's somewhat universal with the majority of brands. I would imagine not since those kinds of things have patents etc.

I'm off to the kitchen to get my second cup of coffee of the day for the afternoon!
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby trulytango » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:31 am

Hey, I've just been watching a great video entitled 'Micro Budget Film Making' over on CreativeLIVE. It showcases the Manfroto Monopod 561 BHDV at 16mins 30 seconds in.

[YouTubeHD]<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/T04VB6NDKaA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>[/YouTubeHD]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T04VB6NDKaA#!

On a point of interest re Digital Storytelling, the video contains a few short film sequences shot with this particular monopod which I found really impressive, especially the wedding sequence that starts around 10.39 in.

Iris

PS... not sure how to embed the video so maybe someone can do that for me in a subsequent post? Thanks!
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby debngar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:07 am

That was a great video Iris. Thanks for sharing that.

To get it inside the post, hit the YouTube button at the top of the post window then paste the URL link to the video between the start and end codes.
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby BarbaraC » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:49 am

This wasn't the usual cut-and-dry thing for embedding. There's all kinds of extraneous code that I ended up having to delete along with changing an ampersand to a question mark. It irritated me enough to keep at it until I got it work. :evil:

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby ginger » Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:45 am

Mikey, the 679B was one of them that I was looking at, and it came with the 234RC head and looks like a good price.

Barbara, the stringpod is definitely a great thing to just keep in your purse so that you always have it. I don't have one but I think I need to get or make one.

Debbie, thanks for the info on your model. The feet do seem like a good option. I'm going to check to see how much weight they add. I'd like to keep it light and portable, but stability is important too.

Iris, that's a fascinating video. I wasn't able to finish it all at one sitting but I'll go back and watch the rest of it when I have more time. I haven't done much video, but would like to do more. That guy makes a great sales pitch for the Manfrotto 561, but I could sense my husband twitch as I considered going with that model. :D Not that it's a bad price, just maybe more than I need.

Thanks everyone. Lots of good info and food for thought.

ginger
Last edited by ginger on Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby debngar » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:03 am

It seems now that YouTube has switched users to the "new look" of YT it takes more effort to select the shortest URL for our videos to put in our posts. That said, for those wanting to know....

Using the YT URL address at the top of your browser, keep everything up to the "?" then remove everything past that through the "&" symbol, keep the "v=" and everything to the right of that which is each video's distinguishing identifier. Copy and paste that URL in between the button code to have it viewable inside a thread in the forum.

Hence, posting this URL of that video (see below) using the buttons will work perfect. (I didn't use the buttons in the post since Barbara already got it to be viewable in her post)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T04VB6NDKaA
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Re: Looking for a Monopod

Postby trulytango » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:06 am

Thanks Barbara :wink: and Debbie too!

I found the video very interesting... the short snappy scenes in the wedding example would seem to fit very nicely with what we can do in ProShow. I sent my husband the link too - fingers crossed he's keen to take the hint!

TTFN :D
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