Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Monopod.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    4,951

    Default Monopod.

    G'day all,

    I'd like a little advice regarding a suitable monopod. My kit is a Canon 40D and Canon 100-400 zoom. It is unlikely that I will purchase a larger lens in the future, although a 430 flash may soon be added.

    The main use will be for bird photography where the light may be poor and require a slow shutter speed. For example, rainforest situations where I'm walking around looking for subjects. It may also be used at airshows to provide a little stability.

    My 100-400 has a collar and threaded foot that was supplied with the lens. I believe that most monopods are sold with a flat plate and bolt onto which you attach either the lens or camera. Is there any advantage in buying accessories such as tilt- or ball-heads (I think I've used the correct terminology) ?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Cheers,

    George

    Life List : 481 (Southern Cassowary, Etty Bay, QLD, Oct., 2016)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: Monopod.

    Howdy George,

    I've got the same lens, with a 50D and a 580EXII flash. I've got a Manfrotto 334B monopod with a 486RC2 ball head, and it works fine. I got it for the same reason - stability in the rainforest for slower shutter speeds. I went with the ball head so that when there's things up high and you can't kinda wedge it in and trying to take shots of things up high (owls/frogmouths etc), you can still have the monopod wedged into a tree, angle the ball head up, and get the stability. I'm looking at a 500mm lens though in the next 12-18 months, and I'll be getting a more solid head, non ball, then - I don't think that the 484 could handle the extra weight. The Manfrotto didn't come with any head - just the thread to screw a head onto.

    I really like my monopod as well. It works well with my scope as well, so if I'm trekking somewhere for waders/seabirds, I don't have to use the tripod. It also weighs considerably less than a tripod.

    Cheers
    Troy
    Aus Life List: 508 - Grey-backed Storm-petrel, Sydney Pelagic, 13/8/11
    2011 List: 302 - Channel-billed Cuckoo, Concord, 10/10/11

    My photos
    My blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Proserpine, Queensland
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    4,668

    Default Re: Monopod.

    G'day George,

    I too, like Troy, use the Manfrotto 334B monopod, mainly because it is very quick to fully extend with the trigger handle which drops down the top half of the monopod. I dont actually use any head on my monopod, but this will change as it is very difficult to take photographs of birds in the canopy without at least having a tilt head.

    I am looking at a Really Right Stuff monopod head as I am getting a 500 f/4 soon and need that type of set up to handle the weight. Only problem is you have to ship from the US as we here in Australia tend to miss out on a lot of the photography gear that the UK and US take for granted. I havent had any experience with any other heads, so I cant comment too much; although the 484RC2 ball head suggested by Tony sounds ok if you are not planning on getting any heavier lenses.

    At the end of the day, though, nothing beats a faster lens for rainforest photography, but those lenses dont come cheap (i.e. 300 f/2.8L IS and it's bigger brother the 400 f/2.8L IS). For those of us who cant afford to wield those beasts, a monopod or tripod coupled with a slower lens and a high ISO is a good option, another option is to get a good flash and stick a better beamer on it which extends the flash range and use that (although you will still need the monopod); I have found that very valuable; you wont get the nice ambient look to the image as the flash will often be the main source of light, but it's better than nothing!

    Good luck with the purchase!
    Aust. Life List (IOC) - 315 (Rufous Owl- 11/09/2014)
    Dale Mengel Photography - a work in progress!
    Follow me on Facebook
    Check out my Birding Blog

  4. #4

    Default Re: Monopod.

    Myself, I rarely use my monopod as I dont really see the point of it for birding, In my opinion a cheap lightweight tripod used with legs closed together is just as effective as a monopod and with the added bonus it can be used to support your camera off the ground when not in use. With a monopod there is no unassisted camera support when resting between shots, and I really dislike laying my camera on the ground.

    The weight difference between a monopod and cheap lightweight tripod in minimal...we're talking about tiny weight increases between them and any tripod is much more versatile, I even use one of my early cheap tripods as a support for off camera flash support via a sync cable.
    Repost at will......Cheers from Colin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sydney
    Image Reposts
    Please ask
    Posts
    12,150

    Default Re: Monopod.

    I have a Manfrotto monopod (I'll have to go to the car later to check the model sorry George ) and before i got the 500mm i was shooting with the 300mm f4 which is similar weight etc to your lens. I must admit that i used it continually and loved it with a lighter lens. To me the advantages over a cheap tripod were major. Biggest one is that a cheap tripod isn't very tall. My monopod can be set up to my eye level so is instantly ready to shoot with while birding/walking through the bush. A small tripod typically isn't this tall or as balanced and therefore still slower to shoot with. Also the monopod is lighter but more robust. Also rests on your shoulder nicely while you walk. Just my opinion anyway
    Cheers, Dave

    www.davidstowe.com.au WORKSHOPS - Lord Howe Island - 29th November - 6th December 2017.

    Aus Life List IOC= 680 - Lord Howe Woodhen
    "So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia.
    Image Reposts
    Yes, with details
    Posts
    4,951
    Thread Starter

    Default Re: Monopod.

    Thanks everyone for your helpful responses. It's my first day back at work tomorrow , so I'll drop by one of the camera shops in the city on the way home and check out what they have to offer.
    Cheers,

    George

    Life List : 481 (Southern Cassowary, Etty Bay, QLD, Oct., 2016)

Similar Threads

  1. New canon 500 and monopod
    By Shelley Pearson in forum Photography Equipment
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: 12-05-2013, 08:00 PM
  2. Monopod Gymbal belt holder
    By Papou in forum Photography Equipment
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29-01-2012, 09:17 PM
  3. Monopod for bird photography
    By Adam Blyth in forum Photography Equipment
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 16-06-2010, 04:31 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •