HX400V with New Monopod

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Stephen McDonald
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HX400V with New Monopod
6 months ago

I've been trying many different versions of my steadying-rods and shoulder-mounts, some of them very heavy. But now, I've found a combination of equipment that works better than anything I've used before and it's very lightweight. For both photos in dim light that need extra steadiness and video of fast birds overhead, I think I may use this set-up a lot.

I got a cheap XIT 72-inch monopod. I cut off the flimsy quick-release head and put a 2-inch long wood plug in the shaft. I drilled a hole in the wood for a 3.5-inch tripod-mount bolt and fastened it all together with urethane glue. I put a set-screw in from the side and it's now very solid and dependable. For its low price and weight, this monopod seems very good (minus the head).

With a hotshoe mike and a Vivitar viewscreen loupe, my HX400V feels and shoots very well. I wrapped the upper part of the monopod with a thick, black, stretchy, self-sticking bandage roll from a pharmacy. This really provides a good grip. All of the rubber and tennis-racquet wraps I've used before, don't come close to matching it. This stuff is called USA Triathlon Self-Grip.

Sony HX400V

Mother Robin hopping around, snatching little green caterpillars for her nestlings.

Scene from my street, looking toward the Coburg Hills.

Flash Rhododendrons from my backyard.

Glowing Teasels in Cascade Meadow wetland.

And now for something extra, for those who have looked at all the pictures. This is a scene I shot several years ago with a Canon S5, looking east from Skinner's Butte, in the center of Eugene. It was one of those rare, clear days, when the Three Sisters Mountains were visible. They're about 90 miles away and we get to see them here only a few times a year. Some geologists think that they are the remnants of a giant volcano that was about 37,000 feet tall and blew its stack, as Mt. St. Helens did in 1980. I live at the base of the foothills, in the upper-right corner of the picture.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V
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