Lightweight monopod advice

Started Jan 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 8,893
Re: Don't do it

FrankParis wrote:

jeffharris wrote:

FrankParis wrote:

Monopods are only good for extremely heavy loads, where the inertia of the mass keeps it from swaying back and forth, and you said you want light. Notice monopods are common with professionals at sports events, when they have monstrous lenses on monstrous camera bodies. I tried a very nice and very light Slik for about a month and my results were worse than hand-holding.

That's what I thought and was my experience until I found a couple of monopod handling tips! The way sports photogs wrangle those massive lenses with the monopod positioned vertically just doesn't work well in the field with smaller cameras and lenses.

Interesting, if complex instructions. I printed it off after reading it so I can look at it again. But one of the first things that caught my eye was the statement: "...for REAL low light exposures, the tripod is the only option." I was moved to replace my monopod with a tripod because I was experiencing my problems in the dark shadows of a dense forest, where exposures were often greater than a second. But I still have that monopod (somewhere) and I often go out experimenting with new equipment, so I'll probably get the urge to give it another try someday, after thoroughly coming to grips with the tips from your post.

Here's another, with clearer descriptions and lots of pictures:

Agreed as far as a tripod being better in low light goes. In moderate light

This was a real eye-opener! The first time I tried it it made a big difference in stability and my shots!

From reading the article, I can see where this would be true.

There are many many times I just don't feel like wrestling with a tripod or am unsure whether or not I'll even use it, but want a bit more camera support, so being able to lash my monopod onto my bag and barely feel any extra weight or bulk is worth a lot!

I don't feel as if it's "wrestling." I'm just very comfortable with my Gitzo coupled with an RRS BH-40. If I take my tripod out, I use it for almost every shot. An exception will be when I want to point the camera lens vertically (for tree canopies) and there's plenty of light up there for decent exposures. Also, I like to shoot with the lowest ISO possible (100 with the E-M1), and that just increases the need for a tripod in the forest.

When I say wrestling, I just mean carrying it, for hiking or biking and whatnot

I agree, that in that sort of situation a tripod is a necessity.

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