Tripod vs Monopod

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
sacentre
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Tripod vs Monopod
7 months ago

Is there any specific reason for using a monopod instead of a tripod other than just convenience or situations where using a tripod would impossible? I have both but rarely use them apart from the tripod  for indoor  "studio" stuff.

Trevor

ARShutterbug
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You answered your own question
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

The monopod is useful when:

convenient or facing situations in which using a tripod is impossible.

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Aznmadness
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

Best of both worlds is to get a tripod/monopod in one.

I find a monopod useful in situations where I still need to move around and a tripod is to bulky. Although a monopod will only save you a few stops where as a tripod will be for long exposer.

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hotdog321
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

I'm a pro and own and use both--they have completely different uses:

A tripod, of course, is ideal for really long, steady exposures at night/low light or any other time you need excellent camera support. I've even used a tripod to support remote cameras out around the space shuttle launch pad (RIP) where you have to setup and leave the cameras overnight.

A monopod is a totally different, but equally useful beast. Generally smaller and lighter, it is ideal for supporting mammoth lenses used by sports and wildlife photographers or working in crowds where a tripod would pose a danger. For instance, I used one just two nights ago where I had to photograph opera singer Renee Fleming from the back of the auditorium with a 300 f/2.8. It provides support and allows somewhat longer shutter speeds.

Both support systems have their uses and you must decide when you need one or the other.

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sacentre
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to hotdog321, 7 months ago

Thank you to those who took the trouble to give detailed and thoughtful replies.

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Rankin Johnson
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

I have a cheap tripod and use it occasionally for portraits of my kids and the like.

I have a nice monopod (a Manfrotto automatic, with a one-hand length adjustment mechanism) and it is very useful for photographing sports; it helps to support a moderately heavy lens, and it makes it easier to track lateral movement. I haven't added a head that would let the camera tilt relative to the monopod, but I may at some point.

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Mark Scott Abeln
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

sacentre wrote:

Is there any specific reason for using a monopod instead of a tripod other than just convenience or situations where using a tripod would impossible? I have both but rarely use them apart from the tripod for indoor "studio" stuff.

Tripods are much more useful.

But last year, I injured my knee (it is much better now) and any kind of walking over uneven terrain could be hazardous for me, and I didn't want to carry a heavy tripod under those conditions. I got a monopod which doubled as a walking stick, and it helped me to squeeze a couple of stops of light in dim lighting.

This was taken at night with a monopod.

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sacentre
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to Mark Scott Abeln, 7 months ago

Thanks Mark, Rankin

Those were the kind of insights I was looking for. Very useful.

Trevor

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Guidenet
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Tripod plus Monopod
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

sacentre wrote:

Is there any specific reason for using a monopod instead of a tripod other than just convenience or situations where using a tripod would impossible? I have both but rarely use them apart from the tripod for indoor "studio" stuff.

Trevor

Trevor you need both and they both have very distinct purposes. I use a tripod in the field as well as in the studio. Not only does a tripod help with steadiness and a way to keep the camera in certain positions, but it also acts as a resting platform when your arms get tired.

The monopod comes into its own in the field on action subjects. It's easier to tilt and turn it all to pan faster moving subjects.

One point many don't get is how to implement a two method support system. The trick, in my opinion, is to make sure all your cameras and lenses with tripod collars have the same quick release plates always attached. This way I can move quickly between methods to match the conditions. I can pop it off the tripod for quick hand holding or snap it on my monopod for a smooth pan of a flying Ring Neck. Then, pop it off and back on the tripod to wait for the next situation. The key is a common connection method.

I like Manfrotto's lever RC2. Make sense? If I used a dovetail it would have to be the Acra compatible non-lever dovetail. With the arca compatible levers, the plates don't always interchange between brands.

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sacentre
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Re: Tripod plus Monopod
In reply to Guidenet, 7 months ago

Thank you, Craig. Interesting.

Trevor

Guidenet wrote:

sacentre wrote:

Is there any specific reason for using a monopod instead of a tripod other than just convenience or situations where using a tripod would impossible? I have both but rarely use them apart from the tripod for indoor "studio" stuff.

Trevor

Trevor you need both and they both have very distinct purposes. I use a tripod in the field as well as in the studio. Not only does a tripod help with steadiness and a way to keep the camera in certain positions, but it also acts as a resting platform when your arms get tired.

The monopod comes into its own in the field on action subjects. It's easier to tilt and turn it all to pan faster moving subjects.

One point many don't get is how to implement a two method support system. The trick, in my opinion, is to make sure all your cameras and lenses with tripod collars have the same quick release plates always attached. This way I can move quickly between methods to match the conditions. I can pop it off the tripod for quick hand holding or snap it on my monopod for a smooth pan of a flying Ring Neck. Then, pop it off and back on the tripod to wait for the next situation. The key is a common connection method.

I like Manfrotto's lever RC2. Make sense? If I used a dovetail it would have to be the Acra compatible non-lever dovetail. With the arca compatible levers, the plates don't always interchange between brands.

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Cheers, Craig
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garrywatson
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to sacentre, 7 months ago

Well the basic difference in a monopod and a tripod is that- you can use a tripod for shooting something where you need your camera to be steadiest. Monopods are used for more controled shoots than handheld. Monopods are portable than the tripods. They provide you more flexibility to move around and therefore, are good for shooting pictures that need you to move instantly and even setup instantly, such as sports, journalism, etc.

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Norm  Neely
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Re: Tripod vs Monopod
In reply to Mark Scott Abeln, 7 months ago

Mark Scott Abeln wrote:

But last year, I injured my knee (it is much better now) and any kind of walking over uneven terrain could be hazardous for me, and I didn't want to carry a heavy tripod under those conditions. I got a monopod which doubled as a walking stick, and it helped me to squeeze a couple of stops of light in dim lighting.

My hiking staff also functions as a monopod.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/35185358

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Norm

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