How does a monopod work?

Started Nov 19, 2002 | Discussions
sygyzy Regular Member • Posts: 203
How does a monopod work?

I know this is a silly question but I have never seen one in real life. The ones I have seen in pictures still confuse me. Does the monopod extend all the way to the ground, so that you are holding on to a long stick steadied by the solid ground? Or is it short so that you are holding it free in the air? If it is the latter case, how is it possible that holding your camera on top of a stick can be more balanced than holding it with two hands?
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Sygyzy
http://www.pbase.com/sygyzy

Jim Senior Member • Posts: 2,773
Welllllll.....

first, a monopod is simply a one legged tripod, it relies on you to supply the other two legs of said tripod. It extends to the ground, I use mine with my legs spread to about shoulder width, lean forward ever so slightly, adjust the camera angle and lean the monopod back toward me so I basically look like a human tripod. Hold the pod with one hand, the other operating the camera. BTW, a monopod also serves nicely as a walking stick when you're out and about.
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God Bless,
Jim
CP995, CP800
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Melanie Kipp Forum Pro • Posts: 11,079
Re: How does a monopod work?

The monopod's base rests on the ground. It reduces up and down camera movement. It will not necessarily stop side to side movement. I have and use a monopod and it does come in handy when working in crowds.

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Freeman Senior Member • Posts: 1,626
You might find this informative

sygyzy,

I haven't read the whole thing, but there's a lot of information here:

http://www.outsidethelines.com/qtvrmonopod/

Freeman Senior Member • Posts: 1,626
Another thing

I don't know how most monopods are sold now, but if there's just a plain platform on it, you'd be restricted to horizontals, unless using one of those rotating telephoto lenses. Problem is solved by using something like this:

Melanie Kipp Forum Pro • Posts: 11,079
Re: Another thing

Agreed... I have a ball head on mine... couldn't live without it.
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Please visit me at:
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PFR Senior Member • Posts: 1,177
Try a flex head

Another option, especially if you are shooting action shots, is to get a flex head. It is a solid rubber mount that screws directly into the monopod base, or into some kind of head, and then you screw that into the camera. It provides good (not great) support, but lets easlity tilt the camera up or down slightly to adjust for different angles. You keep it steady by pushing against the resistance of the rubber.

I would not recommend it for wildlife, or other type of "still" shots, but if you're in a situation where you're moving the camera and monopod around like you're playing a video game, it is a great device. I just shot 3,000 pictures of a three day hockey tournament using a Nikon D100 on a monopod with a flex head. The flex head provided just that extra degree of movement while still providing stable support.

Melanie Kipp wrote:

Agreed... I have a ball head on mine... couldn't live without it.
--
Please visit me at:
http://www.caughtintimephotography.com

Mike Goebel Senior Member • Posts: 1,516
Purpose of a monopod.

If you've ever carried around a 300mm or larger lens, you certainly realize, there's a lot of glass there. The weight on your shoulder gets heavier each hour. Holding the camera up and steady with that much weight makes sharp pictures practically impossible. The monopod fixes all those problems.

PFR wrote:
Another option, especially if you are shooting action shots, is to
get a flex head. It is a solid rubber mount that screws directly
into the monopod base, or into some kind of head, and then you
screw that into the camera. It provides good (not great) support,
but lets easlity tilt the camera up or down slightly to adjust for
different angles. You keep it steady by pushing against the
resistance of the rubber.

I would not recommend it for wildlife, or other type of "still"
shots, but if you're in a situation where you're moving the camera
and monopod around like you're playing a video game, it is a great
device. I just shot 3,000 pictures of a three day hockey tournament
using a Nikon D100 on a monopod with a flex head. The flex head
provided just that extra degree of movement while still providing
stable support.

Melanie Kipp wrote:

Agreed... I have a ball head on mine... couldn't live without it.
--
Please visit me at:
http://www.caughtintimephotography.com

-- hide signature --

Only the Dead have seen the end of War....PLATO

Mike Fitzgerald Veteran Member • Posts: 9,542
Re: How does a monopod work?
OP sygyzy Regular Member • Posts: 203
Re: How does a monopod work?

Thank you all for excellent replies. I think I'll go get a monopod now and maybe even one of those little desktop tripods. I have a very nice tripod already.

sygyzy wrote:

I know this is a silly question but I have never seen one in real
life. The ones I have seen in pictures still confuse me. Does the
monopod extend all the way to the ground, so that you are holding
on to a long stick steadied by the solid ground? Or is it short so
that you are holding it free in the air? If it is the latter case,
how is it possible that holding your camera on top of a stick can
be more balanced than holding it with two hands?
--
Peace!
Sygyzy
http://www.pbase.com/sygyzy

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