monopod as walking stick?

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions
pistachioShell
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monopod as walking stick?
Apr 15, 2013

I'm new to DSLR shooting and learning the importance of a tripod.  I normally walk with a cane or walking stick and wonder about using a monopod as a walking stick.  My current walking stick can take a camera on top, but it is too short and wobbly.  So I wonder if a real monopod is too tall.  Doesn't using a walking stick with the hand strap so high make your shoulder sore?  Is it reasonable to plan on shortening it to walk and lengthening it to take a picture or does that defeat the convenience of a monopod?  Also, are the rubber tips on the bottom standard cane/walkingstick tips that I can buy by the dozen as they inevitably wear out -- or are they expensive proprietary tips that are hard to find?  The pictures I have seen don't look standard.

My main use would be for birding and similar nature photography.

Does anyone else lean heavily on their monopod?  Many thanks for sharing your experience.

scorrpio
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to pistachioShell, Apr 15, 2013

Most monopods are not designed to work as walking poles.    Some, however, are.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/569193-REG/Gitzo_GM1130MT_GM1130MT_Monotrek_Hiking_Stick_Monopod.html

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BackroadsTraveler
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to pistachioShell, Apr 15, 2013

pistachioShell wrote:

I'm new to DSLR shooting and learning the importance of a tripod.  I normally walk with a cane or walking stick and wonder about using a monopod as a walking stick.  My current walking stick can take a camera on top, but it is too short and wobbly.  So I wonder if a real monopod is too tall.  Doesn't using a walking stick with the hand strap so high make your shoulder sore?  Is it reasonable to plan on shortening it to walk and lengthening it to take a picture or does that defeat the convenience of a monopod?  Also, are the rubber tips on the bottom standard cane/walkingstick tips that I can buy by the dozen as they inevitably wear out -- or are they expensive proprietary tips that are hard to find?  The pictures I have seen don't look standard.

My main use would be for birding and similar nature photography.

Does anyone else lean heavily on their monopod?  Many thanks for sharing your experience.

I rely heavily on my monopod, and consequently use it regularly as a walking stick. It is plenty strong for the purpose, and I carry it for that purpose even when I don't expect to need a monopod. My model is a Manfrotto CX694. Although the 'rated load capacity' is only 11 pounds, I lean heavily on it (240 pound) and get no indication that it is stressed.

The height is easily adjusted. I find I need to quickly adjust the height between most shots anyway, so adjusting it for comfortable walking isn't a hindrance.

My monopod came with a soft rubber tip, as you describe, and that is an issue. I've tried unsuccessfully to find replacement tips. Rubber replacement tips are available for tripods, and I suppose I could find a set that were the same size with trial and error. They are not expensive (three for $6). My monopod tip is 5/8 inch diameter. I'm confident I can find a suitable replacement tip at a hardware store if all else fails.

I would be hesitant to continue to use the carbon fiber without a protective tip, however. An aluminum monopod may be more rugged and wear resistant.

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BRT

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pistachioShell
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to scorrpio, Apr 16, 2013

Ah, thanks for finding that.

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pistachioShell
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to BackroadsTraveler, Apr 16, 2013

Thank you, that's very helpful.

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Sailor Blue
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to pistachioShell, Apr 16, 2013

You might want to look at the Trek-Tech Trek Pod II Tripod/Monopod.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/41713058

Amazon.com - Trek-Tech Trek Pod II Tripod/Monopod with MagMount STAR Ball Head & Case with Cleaning & Accessory Kit

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pistachioShell
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to BackroadsTraveler, May 14, 2013

Just in case anyone else searches for this question:  I got the Manfrotto 694 (used from KEH) and the 5/8" tips that I use on my other canes fit on the monopod just fine.  Doesn't look like it should work because the bottom segment isn't round, but it is close enough to fit easily and securely.

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hirejn
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to pistachioShell, May 15, 2013

Monopods are more for sports shooters who need to get up and down or move a lot. Usually you don't trek into the wild with them. If you're going to carry something in the wild, might as well be a tripod. The problem with using monopods as walking sticks is the leg fasteners can take only so many pounds before they start sliding. It's kind of abusing the equipment. It's just not what they're made for.

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BackroadsTraveler
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to pistachioShell, May 15, 2013

Yes, thanks for that. I recently ordered a set of three rubber tips for a Manfrotto tripod.  I took a chance that they'd fit my monopod, and they are the same item, so I'm good to go.

The three tips were about $6 US at B&H.

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joneil
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to BackroadsTraveler, May 20, 2013

I was just out yesterday hiking, and I have three different monopods that I use.  the gitzo one with the tiny ball head - very strong, very light, wonderfull walking stick, but frankly a pain in the yo know what to screw and unscrew your camera off and on.

I have the standard Manfrotto aluminum one, with i put a quick release head on, and it works great, but gets heavy after a while.

The one I now use 99% of the time is a off brand name 6 part carbon fibre monopod I got from BH Photo.  Strong as anything, light, and with a quick release head on top, I love using it.

If I had to do it all over again, i would go straight for the carbon fibre monopod with a  with a quick release head.

good luck

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€ea
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Re: monopod as walking stick?
In reply to joneil, Dec 27, 2013

I agree.  Haven't found the exact monopod/walking stick combo, but feel my Manfrotto 694CX monopod w/quick-release Manfrotto 494 RC2 has a better chance of giving me the best of both worlds.  I do outdoor photography in all seasons, in rugged Alaska, so I try to use that system sparingly.  I have my trusty, light old wooden stick with a metal tip screwed into the bottom and a soft strap for carrying for most of my hikes, and it's the exact height for my camera.  Yet, I will be using my monopod as a walking stick while on my long snowshoe trek out there tomorrow.

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