How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

Started Sep 2, 2011 | Discussions
fastHID
fastHID Contributing Member • Posts: 811
How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

What are the proper ways to use a monopod?

What are the important features to look for in buying a monopod?

What brands and models of monopod do you own that you especially like?

yes, I am a rookie, but learning as quickly as one can and in doing my HDR photos find handheld to be not often satisfactory, and wondering if a good monopod, properly used, would be adequate? I am imagining a pro with a good monopd does good work, and I've seen guys at auto races, sports events, etc. move about easily carrying a monopod.

Do you position your height so you are hunched over a bit, or bolt upright?

My use is with a Canon 60D and lenses from 10mm up to only 250mm

beshannon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,216
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

To do proper HDR you will need a tripod.
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fastHID
OP fastHID Contributing Member • Posts: 811
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

ok, forgetting HDR, how do you pick a good monopod and use it correctly?

RaymondR
RaymondR Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

here is an article I found helpful on how to use a monopod.
http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo5.php3

as for picking the right one, max height, max load and weight (alum vs. carbon fiber) are the usual criteria, depending on your budget.

you will want either a ball head or swivel tilt (not a pan tilt) head with a quick release.

bh photo and adorama have good search engines that allow you to refine your options.

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RaymondR

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yooperguy Senior Member • Posts: 1,870
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

Here's another good link on monopods vs tripods, etc.

http://www.nikonians.org/monopods/

I don't have a big DSLR, but I do use a Canon monopod that is inexpensive, yet sturdy, and has a ball head.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/727775-REG/Canon_4782B001_Monopod_500.html

I use the Canon Monopod 100 with only three sections, but the 500 model above has four sections. Both lower cost, yet good for the money.

Dennis

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MusicDoctorDJ Forum Pro • Posts: 12,400
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

Easy . . . buy a good one . . . and not a cheap one.

And it must be sturdy, otherwise you are just wasting money!

Don't waste your money on those Canon $40 cheapies . . . they don't even make a good walking stick!

The whole idea of a monopod is to hold a camera steady, and those lightweight skinny monopods are not sturdy.

I suggest nothing less than a Bogen/Manfrotto 679.

I have the 680 myself.

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skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,048
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

fastHID wrote:

What are the proper ways to use a monopod?

What are the important features to look for in buying a monopod?

What brands and models of monopod do you own that you especially like?

Do you position your height so you are hunched over a bit, or bolt upright?

My use is with a Canon 60D and lenses from 10mm up to only 250mm

My views are:

Get a monopod with a quick release tilt head. For most shooting, stills or video, balance your camera on the monopod so that it can almost stand up by itself with only the slightest help from you. This balance method using a tilt head does two things.

1) It keeps the horizon level when shooting stills or video.

2) It keeps the camera as steady as possible since your muscles are not being used to support the camera. This is very important when shooting stills or video.

The tilt head allows you to tilt your camera up/down to frame your scene while finding the perfect balance point for the monopod. Just tilting the camera up and down with no left or right tilt is what keeps the horizon level when the balance point is found.

You can still use the monopod for overhead shots and again balancing the monopod first keeps the horizon level, then tilt the monopod forward or backward to frame your scene. For stills, use the timer and don't zoom in too tight to allow for cropping later since framing overhead shots using a monopod is not that accurate. For video, start the video and raise the camera. Cameras with a tilt swivel screen are best for overhead shots.

I use a Manfrotto 3245 automatic monopod that has a quick release drop down trigger. Press the trigger and the monopod drops down instantly. Press again and collapse the monopod instantly. The 3245 has been replaced by the Manfrotto 334B.

My quick release tilt head is a Manfrotto 3232 which has been replaced by the 234. This head only tilts up/down which is what I want since that's what keeps the horizon level. The quick release allows taking the camera off the tripod quickly for run and gun handheld shots.

If you get (or make) a small 4 feet attachment for the bottom of the monopod, it could be possible to use the monopod like a tripod to take HDR photos. I haven't tried that yet but am confident it could be done.

Sky

skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 5,048
Re: How do you select & use properly a monopod ? ?

skyglider wrote:

If you get (or make) a small 4 feet attachment for the bottom of the monopod, it could be possible to use the monopod like a tripod to take HDR photos. I haven't tried that yet but am confident it could be done.

On second thought, make that a 3 feet attachment instead of 4 feet.

Sky

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