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-   -   Monopod and head for DSLR setup (https://forums.steves-digicams.com/tripods-heads-69/monopod-head-dslr-setup-132584/)

ubaisore Nov 19, 2007 3:54 PM

Hello all,


Thanks to this forum, I now have a Rebel XT , a speedlite 430 and a Sigma 18-200 IS lens... so far so good....

mostly I am taking pics of my daughters cheerleading... the other day I got horrible shots due to my movement....no real chance to set up a tripod, so I am looking for a monopod.....

I am pretty open to spending $100-$175 on a pod and head.... i have read that i should get a ball head ..... i saw the Manfrotto 486 RC2 that was pretty nice....

weight is not an issue for me..... i guess getting something that is stable and will last is the biggie.... i am 5' 10" so it doesnt have to be ultra tall either...


any great suggestions as the number and type of these i have found is staggering and i dont have a month to research? :(

JohnG Nov 19, 2007 4:44 PM

OK, really several parts to this:

1. You realize if you're seeing camera shake with an OS lens you're dealing with REALLY slow shutter speeds right? So just using a monopod isn't really going to solve your entire problem. Even with a monopod your daughter's movement is going to show as motion blur. So the blur you're seeing may not be just camera shake - it might be motion blur as well. What settings were you using on the camera? What shutter speeds were you getting?

2. I really don't find a head to be necessary - very few sports shooters use a head on a monopod - it just isn't necessary for sports work since you're not often changing vertical composition quickly. So I wouldn't worry about getting a head to go with the monopod if your purpose is for sports work.

3. That's a pretty light weight lens so you don't need a tree-trunk monopod. I have and use the Bogen 679b and find it to be a great monopod. Can manage a 300mm 2.8 lens without a problem and it's still a managable size

ubaisore Nov 19, 2007 7:45 PM

Thanks for the reply!



I know that there may be some motion from them, but the lines on the floor were blurry so I am guessing i was moving too much :) I was shooting on the "spport" setting on the xt.....new to this so i am still figuring out the ISO etc....

I may want a ball head as sometimes I go for individual and sometimes the whole group or a stunt group...it all happens in 2 minutes and 30 seconds...


i was thinking that the mono pod would be good to keep me stable more than the camera as i get to some wierd positions trying to find a good shooting spot at these events....(and i dont mean it as a cane type thing, rather a place that i can center myself and realize that i am moving)


JohnG Nov 20, 2007 7:21 AM

OK - using sports mode is a big part of what's causing your problem. The other part is the lens has an aperture of 5.6 - it isn't designed for shooting indoor action. But it's what you have so here's how to maximize it:

1. Turn camera to AV mode

2. Set aperture to widest value / lowest f-stop(your manual will tell you how)

3. Set metering mode to PARTIAL (again the manual will tell you how)

4. Set ISO to 1600

The problem with sports mode is it uses ISO 400. Setting the ISO to 1600 will quadruple your shutter speeds (so if you were getting 1/30 you will now get 1/125)

By the way - are you allowed to use the flash? If you are, then that changes things.

BillDrew Dec 8, 2007 7:57 AM

John has covered the ground well. I just have an addition and a quibble.

The quibble is about not needing a head with a monopod. I think you will find usefull a simple, cheap head that allows you to change the relative pitch like this one ($20.90 @ Adorama):
http://www.adorama.com/images/large/BG3232.JPG
The addition: since you are not taking the `pod on long hikes, weight isn't much of an issue. Getting one sturdy enough to bat down a charging rhino isn't much overkill in the sturdiness department.

DarkDTSHD Mar 2, 2008 12:56 PM

I'm in the market for a monopod too. Though I doubt I'll bother with a ballhead. My question is how much is "too much" to spend? Though, I realize that to meet my requirements I might end up spending "too much". :)

I'm looking for a monopod that's under 1 pound, can support around 10 pounds and is compact.

This Gitzo Traveller seems to fit the bill but at $260 CND...

http://www.vistek.ca/details/details...roPhotoTripods

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

BillDrew Mar 2, 2008 3:42 PM

DarkDTSHD wrote:
Quote:

... can support around 10 pounds ...
I wouldn't want a `pod with that limited a load level. I tend to lean on my `pod fairly heavily when shooting. And since I use it somewhat like a walking stick, being highly colapsable also isn't on my list of desired atributes.

Yet another example of different folks wanting very different kinds of gear.

As for your question about price - any time you want light and high quality, the price goes up very quickly.

DarkDTSHD Mar 2, 2008 4:59 PM

BillDrew wrote:
Quote:

DarkDTSHD wrote:
Quote:

... can support around 10 pounds ...
I wouldn't want a `pod with that limited a load level. I tend to lean on my `pod fairly heavily when shooting. And since I use it somewhat like a walking stick, being highly colapsable also isn't on my list of desired atributes.

Yet another example of different folks wanting very different kinds of gear.

As for your question about price - any time you want light and high quality, the price goes up very quickly.
Hello Bill,

It is true. We do use our monopods differently.

I won't be using mine as a walking stick or leaning on it. That and I don't see myself putting more than 6 pounds of gear on it. The heaviest lens being maybe the Sigma 150-500 (http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/len...mp;navigator=3). Nut I am much more inclined to buy a 70-200 before that weighing in at 3 pounds (give or take).

Cost going up fast? I know it now. :) Looks like I'll be getting a Gitzo Traveller monopod and later a Gitzo Traveller 1450 tripod with maybe a Kirk or Markins ball head.

jerry bird Mar 13, 2008 10:22 AM

Some pretty good advice about different habits for different people. Personally, I've had real good luck with the Bogen 681B for just $56. I realize this is not heavy-duty or highly professional gear, but for ease of carrying, it just works. My G9 is very light, so it comes in handy. Here is a blog post from the company I work for:

http://www.rnyk.com/a-monopod-that-g...ripods-cannot/

DarkDTSHD Mar 13, 2008 11:52 AM

jerry bird wrote:
Quote:

Some pretty good advice about different habits for different people. Personally, I've had real good luck with the Bogen 681B for just $56. I realize this is not heavy-duty or highly professional gear, but for ease of carrying, it just works. My G9 is very light, so it comes in handy. Here is a blog post from the company I work for:

http://www.rnyk.com/a-monopod-that-g...ripods-cannot/
Thanks for the recommendation. But in my very brief time with my DSLR system I immediately realized how important weight is. That is the ability shave off poundage anywhere you can. I was actually thinking about taking a running leap and picking up a Nikon D3 (2.7 lbs body alone). Glad I didn't as far as weight is concerned. I ended up with a D300 which is exactly 1 lb less. Makes a difference.So in choosing which monopod or tripod I go with I'm willing to pay the price for the lightest possible.

And as far as monopods go I think the "Traveler" from Gitzo is one of the lightest if not THE lightest (and compact) at .7 lbs. And the Traveller 1550 at 2 lbs. Both carbon fibre.

As the saying goes "...you get what you pay for" (usually). :)


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