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 Post subject: tri vs. monopod
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:11 am 
hi,
I'm shopping around for either a tripod or monopod for action & sports photography. I like the idea of being able to pick and and run around with a monopod for the sports photography i'd like to do (mostly mountain biking) but haven't used one before.

Should I just get a conventional tripod or are monopods useful also?

thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 1:06 pm 
I saw some the other day that work as both.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 7:53 pm 
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If you go mountain biking, go for the monopod. It gives you quite a good stabilization at less weight!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2007 9:03 pm 
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Monopods are great for sports and other situations where you need a quick bit of extra stability - while also providing relief from holding a heavy lens. But they understandably won't reduce wobbling anywhere near as much as a tripod. So it really depends on how quickly you need to frame and setup your shot - plus as Thomas says, the weight you're willing to carry. And of course how much stability you need...

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:40 pm 
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I just ordered the Manfrotto MA 676 for only 35EUR. It is a 400g monopod that extends up to 154cm and carries up to 4.5kg.
See the specs here: http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/man ... n/pid/2362
This is much easier to carry than my 055pro (at 2.4kg) and should give some much needed stabilization for my 500mm lens.
I'll report back, when I have some experience

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:33 pm 
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It (the Manfrotto MA 676) just arrived.
Nice piece of gear, only that the adjustable carrying-handle slips open time and again. The stability is by far enough for the D80 even with a 3kg lens.
I tested the stabilization effect with my Tamron SP 500mm mirror lens. Statistically it seemed that the shutter-speed could be lowered from 1/1000sec to 1/250sec, and consequently the ISO by a factor of 4 (from 800 to 200) as the lens has no aperture.
I can also envisage its use with the 105mm macro as with the large magnification every shake gets also amplified. Still not sure how the buildt-in VR works together (or against) the use of a monopod. Have to try it out...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 10:59 pm 
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So you're saying it gives you about 2 stops then? It'd be interesting to see the benefit with AND without VR on your 18-200, as some would say you should have it switched off with a monopod. It may end up only being really useful for your 500mm and other non-VR lenses...

But then it still takes the weight off, which is great for wildlife or sports photography where you may need to redjust the position very quickly.

I admit I only use my own monopod these days on the rare occassions someone lets me play with a big aperture fixed focal length lens...

Gordon


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:44 am 
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Gordon wrote:
play with a big aperture fixed focal length lens

Don't just "play" - go testing! Where are the results from"playing" with these lenses, Gordon?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:31 pm 
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I'm too embarressed to share this 'early work' Thomas!

Lets just say there's clearly MUCH more to sports photography than just sitting by the side of a field or court with several grands worth of glass...!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 6:31 pm 
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What a pity, Gordon! Haven't we all been young once upon a time?

I'd just like to add, that my monopod has no head (and I assume that you normally do not put a head on one!?). So especially when pointing down say at 45° you best put the bottom of your monopod against your foot and then tilt over. This way the monopod will not suddenly loose grip and topple over with your valuable camera.
Works quite well...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:44 pm 
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Perhaps a bit hard to find: Here's an overview of all Manfrotto monopods:
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/man ... f/pid/1799

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:18 pm 
After a bit of research I decided to go for the Manfrotto 676B as Thomas had. I must say that I am very impressed with it for just £30 pounds. It feels really sturdy. It doesn't look cheap and nasty. In fact it is pretty pleasing on the eye. It seems to perfectly compliment my D40 with the 70-300mm lense.

I am going to take this with me to a motor racing event next weekend at Donnington Park. It should take some of the burden off my neck and shoulders while also lending me good stability for taking shots. Also importantly it should minimise fatigue over the course of what will be a long day at the track.

Another thing that I am really impressed with is that fact it weighs so little at around 400 grams and is so compact to boot. The only gripe I have is that the strap is a little bit slippery in that it doesn't grip the plastic clip. This sounds like the same problem that Thomas described. All in all however my first impressions of the Manfrotto 676B monopod is that it is a near faultless product that perfectly suits my needs. All I need to find out now is how it handles in the field or in my case at the track. :D


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