Do you use a monopod with your nikon DSLR?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sun_p, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Hi Experts,
    Probably a silly question, but I was noticing, I am not very steady with the camera especially outdoors, and also since I am tall, I need to bend a little more than normal. I saw a monopod the other day which would extend to a little over 6 feet and was pretty compact when packed. Carrying a tripod especially if you are walking around is a bit of a problem. The monopod can be a lot easier to slip in. My question really is that,
    1. Do any of you use monopods, especially outdoors on the move, when you do not have any specific shoot in mind/paid assignment.
    2. Does it provide the required stability to avoid shake. I mean, I know the camera will not move up and down, but, there is a chance of it moving left and right. Silly question. But just want to get your experience on this.
    Yes, the tripod remains. but I don't have the luxury to try this out on the field, I can only test it in the shop with no return policy except if its damaged. The only option is to buy it. So wanted to check with the experts on their experience before getting it. Probably I am also beginning to get a little over dependent on the members of this forum, especially with all the advice I have got in the past, right from the first camera to all the lenses and accessories I have picked up, have been influenced by experts here. I couldnt be happier with what I have. :)
  2. The only time I've used a monopod is when I'm in low light. I shoot night club and banquet hall concerts and all too often there is barely enough light. I have two D70s bodies, Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8. I very often have to push to 800, even 1600 sometimes, and still I will resort to the monopod, especially with the none stabilized Sigma (boy I'm hoping their recent low supply means they're getting ready to release a stabilized version). I've thought about 50 or 30 1.8, but the lack of DOF is it's own hindrance.
    I've tried using a flash (SB600), which has worked many times, but last week at Bar Lubitsch in Hollywood, I couldn't because the room is lined with mirrors. I'm looking forward to upgrading to D300s bodies in the near future to improve the high ISO images.
  3. Hi Sun,
    I like to carry a Walkingstick/monopod when hiking with my camera..
    The one I use is this one :
    I Know, its not a "recognized" as an official monopod, but it works for me , also because its "multi function"....
  4. Hi Sun,
    I have one, but I hardly use it. I find it rather cumbersome and it just isn't a proper tripod.
  5. I used a monopod all the time when I shot sports. Now that I don't do photojournalism, I use a tripod when I can. My monopod goes everywhere with me, and I do use it when I can't carry a tripod. Another way I use it is to wedge the leg into a fence or hole to make it more steady. But the main reason I carry it in my car is it's smaller than a baseball bat<g>.
  6. I use it shooting sport with my 300/2.8, which is to heavy to handheld for some time
  7. I only use my monopod with the 200/2 to take the weight off my hands. Other lenses, no. It improves vertical but not horizontal stability and I find the residual shake annoying so I simply use a tripod when needed (with other glass than the 200) and hand-hold when that is appropriate.
  8. I only use a monopod with long lenses with tripod collars. Otherwise no. And mainly it's for supporting the weight, not stability. That said, I've lashed my monopods to railings to act as a psuedo stable platform. Works pretty well :)
  9. I tried a monopod and did not care for it. I use a tripod when ever possible for landscape and wildlife shots.
  10. Hi Sun,
    Yes, I use mine often. I have a sturdy one, Manfrotto 680B. My only complaint is that it is a little heavy. I guess that they do have carbon models but I only had enough money to buy this one. When I shoot the kids in our Upward program playing basketball I will put my tripod head (Ultimate Acratech) on it and it becomes very versatile.
    I force it into my body and I can keep it a lot steadier than I can without it. I don't think that you could go wrong getting one. They really are not that expensive ...... well maybe the carbon models are?
    Have fun selecting one. You will use it.
    phil b
    benton, ky
  11. A monopod does add some degree of stability, and it is great for times and locations where a tripod is impractical. Of course it doesn't add the rock-solid stability of a tripod, but it can be way better than nothing.
  12. When hiking, I use a Leki trekking stick to which I have attached a RRS clamp. So carrying it is not cumbersome - it's my walking stick.
    Using the monopod definitely improves my landscape/nature photos by steadying the camera.
  13. When hiking, I use a Leki trekking stick to which I have attached a RRS clamp. So carrying it is not cumbersome - it's my walking stick.
    Using the monopod definitely improves my landscape/nature photos by steadying the camera.
  14. I keep mine in the truck and use it occasionally. I have no problem unless I'm using long lenses, then I'm a bit shaky. I got a Manfrotto, and it's a 3-section telescoping unit which can extend the camera well above my eye level (I'm about 5'10").
  15. i keep both a monopod and tripod in the trunk of the car, but find that the monopod isn't really well suited to action photography, even if it does take some of the pressure off when using a large, heavy lens. since i purchased a bag for tripod/monopod, i find it just as convenient to carry the tripod now. i have very middle of the road manfrotto tripod and monopod -- neither particularly light nor heavy. if you're only looking for some help to support your camera, a monopod isn't a bad investment.
  16. I often use one when hiking with my 80-400VR. This one is nice for tall folks:
    I like the lever locks better that the twist type for this use. It's easier for me to make small height adjustments quickly, especially when shooting small things close to the ground. I can often get quite good stability when I can also lean it against something.
  17. I bought one about 4 years ago. I have VR on my tele, so I never used it.
    Gave it away.
    Don't miss it. VR worked better for me than the mono, but if I had a heavy tele (mine is pretty lightweight) I'd still want it.
  18. SCL


    I occasionally use my walking stick, which has been modified to take a tripod screw or Arca-Swiss clamp, but generally only when I'm using a long telephoto 2 days ago I had a 400 which needed some additional steadiness for some shots of migrating sandhill cranes.
  19. I ocassionally use my Benro monopod when shooting with long lens like 70-200 otherwise I dont use it.
  20. Hi Sun,
    Ages ago, I would regularly use a monopod with my 8008s film camera and 300 f4 to reduce camera shake. It really helped because film was slow, usually 100 ISO, and there was no VR. I was trying to photograph deer in the late afternoon and the monopod was indispensable.
    Today a monopod seems less useful. VR and low-noise sensors pretty much solve the camera shake problem. Shutter speeds are then limited by stopping the action.
    Still, people use them if they need to use big lenses. When I go to sports events, I often see guys using monpods on 300 f2.8s and 400 f2.8s. These big lenses must be tough to handhold. Also the monopod probably makes it easier to smoothly track the action, especially for panning shots.
    I still have my monopod but honestly haven't used it with my 300 f4 or 70-200 f2.8, both of which are ~1.5kg. I have no plans or money to buy a mega lens.
  21. Hand holding a camera will guarantee some degree of camera motion. A monopod will reduce it. But a monopod will not eliminate camera motion. It is better than hand holding. A tripod will reduce motion even further. A heavier tripod will do even more. Most young, inexperienced photographers in my experience believe they are steady enough to prevent camera motion. They are fooling themselves. You can test this by taking a photo hand held, with a monopod and with a tripod. When you enlarge each one, you will begin to see the lack of sharpness. When you see a really sharp, crisp, enlarged photo, it was taken with the help of a tripod. So if sharpness and clarity is your goal, monopods and tripods are a necessity. If you have any doubt about this, I recommend the book EDGE of DARKNESS by Barry Thornton, which is a thorough examination of the issue.
  22. bms


    Of course it will not beat a tripod..... I have another vote for the Leki (or Leki type stick), which is great when you are on the road hiking anyway and I used on a trip to India a few years back. That being said, the only place where I wanted to use it, in the Ajanta Caves, where you cannot use a tripod, the guards were pretty clever and forbid its use, too. Have not used it once but might if I had a 300 f2.8 or the like...
  23. I wouldn't want to use my 400mm without a monopod.
  24. Hand-held is the least stable and a tripod is the most stable. I have a suggestion you can try to see if the in-between stability of a monopod is to your liking.
    Get some strong cord. Make a loop at the end more than large enough to put your foot into, and cut it to a length so you can make a similar loop at the other end, and the distance between the ends is about the distance from the ground to your eye level. Put one loop over the lens and put your foot into the other. Pull up lightly to put tension on the cord - you'll be amazed how much camera shake can be eliminated this way.
    As already suggested, shoot the same shot (same shutter speed is mandatory, and use your longest lens) hand held, on your tripod, and using the cord. See if the cord result is to your liking. THEN decide if you want to spend the money for the monopod. Good luck.
  25. i Sun
    i use a monopod at weddings when inside wouldnt be without it, saved my bacon many times its a manfrotto with a ball head - super bit of kit
  26. Hi Sun
    i use a monopod at weddings when inside wouldnt be without it, saved my bacon many times its a manfrotto with a ball head - super bit of kit
  27. Thank you Everyone for sharing your experience. I guess the response is mixed. So I will just go ahead and try it out.
    The weekend is here, I hope you all have a good one :)

Share This Page