200-400 VR and monopod?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gordon Large, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    I just got this lens and I love it! :D I know that sport shooters always use monopods, and I'm thinking that a monopod would be perfect for this lens with its VR. The rig would be light weight (except for the lens!), easy to carry and easy to maneuver through woods etc.

    Any thoughts on this? If it's a good idea, what are your recommendations for a good monopod? And what kind of head is appropriate? It would seem to me that it's easy to pan with a monopod, so the head only needs to handle up and down. Do heads like this exist, and what are the good ones?

    Thanks,
    Gordon
     
  2. Gordon,

    Send the 200-400VR to:

    Bryan Daniel
    2306 Chambers Circle
    Huntsville, Alabama 35801

    I will try out various monopods with your beast of a lens and let you know which one is best.........in about.......mmmmmmmmm.......6 months to a year!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Enough joking!! Make sure you get a monopd that folds up short. I have a monopod that just does not fold up short enough. I think I might have to get another, so I will be watching the replys as well. :) :) :) :)
     
  3. Heavy monopod

    nt
     
  4. bpetterson

    bpetterson Guest

    Well here goes.

    30055905.

    Gitzo Monopod G1588mk2, Manfrotto-Bogen 3232 Tilt, Kirk QR 2 Quick Release Base.



    Wimberly Head, Nikon D2H, Nikon 200-400mm f4 VR.
    This has the Kirk Replacement foot LP-47.
    It does provide a means for hand carry.
    But does not have the slide safety of the Wimberley Replacement Foot.
    The RRS LCF-14 does have the slide safety, and does have room for
    you to hand carry

    View attachment 6244

    Birger
     
  5. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Gordon :


    You know those shots from the Tracy Aviary ? A lot of them are shot with the Bogan/Manfrotto 680B with a Wimberley head attached. Easy as can be to work with, great for tracking and handling shots, and a minimum of knobs and adjustments. It's about 1.5 pounds heavier than the same with a ball head and the Wimberly Sidekick, but, IMO, handles better for the 200-400mm lens.



    John P.
     
  6. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Gordon, I'm gonna do some testing w/my new mono rig

    Just got all the parts I need to put my 2-400 on my Gitzo pod. Just got (another) Markin's M-10, an RRS QR Plate for it, & Sidekick. Will give it a go today and report back. I have always used a Gtizo CF tripod w/full Wimberley in the past. Handholding that beast (with a D2 attached), for more than just a couple shots is.. well, nuts!
     
  7. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Coupl'a shot using the monopod & 2-400VR

    One thing I learned is that I have *no clue* as to how to properly use a monopod! God, am I shaky!Whew!
    original.
    Model NIKON D2X
    Focal Length 550 mm
    Exposure Time 1/180 sec
    Aperture f/7.1
    ISO Equivalent 400
    Exposure Bias +1/3
    White Balance
    Metering Mode center weighted (2)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
    original.
    Model NIKON D2X
    Focal Length 550 mm
    Exposure Time 1/800 sec
    Aperture f/7.1
    ISO Equivalent 400
    Exposure Bias +1/3
    White Balance
    Metering Mode center weighted
    Exposure Program aperture priority
    original.
    Model NIKON D2X
    Focal Length 550 mm
    Exposure Time 1/640 sec
    Aperture f/7.1
    ISO Equivalent 400
    Exposure Bias +1/3
    White Balance
    Metering Mode center weighted (2)
    Exposure Program aperture priority
     
  8. GeeJay

    GeeJay

    Jan 26, 2005
    Florida
    Hi Steve,
    I think I'm in love with Bunny. Come to the west coast of Florida and let Bunny play with my three doggies...

    Have you tried the monopod setup that Frank uses? I have made it also and plan to take it this weekend when I try to shoot flying birdies....

    It's on his Smugmug site and you can see pictures of the straps, monopod and how he uses them..

    It sure works for him and I can vouch for that after seeing him in action at Ron's workshop in November. The pod can never fall down unless you go down first.

    Gaye
     
  9. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Bryan -

    I'm sure your testing procedures are impeccable and I really would like to take advantage of them, but isn't the turnaround time on your service a little slow? Too bad. I'll have to turn down your offer. :p :p :p

    Gordon
     
  10. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Re: Heavy monopod

    Hi Phil -

    Do you mean Gitzo style locks for the pod? And how the heck would you control a bazooka of a lens on a ball head? I have trouble with this on a tripod. Either the tension is too tight and the lens moves jerkily (new word), or it's too lose and the lens wants to flop.

    Thanks,
    Gordon
     
  11. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Re: Gordon, I'm gonna do some testing w/my new mono rig

    Steve -

    I absolutely agree that carrying a tripod with full Wimberley and camera plus lens is .... well, nuts is as good a word as any. But I would think that having even the relatively light Markin plus plate plus Sidekick plus camera and lens would be a lot to handle on top of a monopod. Please do report back on how it works out for you.

    Thanks,
    Gordon
     
  12. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Re: Coupl'a shot using the monopod & 2-400VR

    Hey Steve -

    OK, I should read all the posts first and then respond. My bad. But you really reported on you, not the rig. At least based on the pics, you graded yourself too low. (Or did we see the only good shots out of the 200 you took? :p :p ) BTW, I'm coming some night soon to steal that dog.....

    So once you get used to a monopod, do you think you are going to like your setup?

    Gordon again
     
  13. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Gordon,

    I have done most of my shooting with the D2H + 300mm f2.8 + TC on a monopod. I have used the Acratech Ultimate ballhead, and the Sidekick on mine with no problems.

    Lately, I've been trying to shoot from a tripod, but I still have problems tripping over the legs as I do wide pans trying to track flying birdies.

    Here are some pics of my set-up. Note that I'm using the Manfrotto 3232 swivel head in these, not the Acratech ballhead (it is now mounted on my tripod). Sorry for the poor quality of the pics. It was dark, and I should have gotten out the SB-800.

    http://flew.smugmug.com/gallery/265428

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  14. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hi Birger -

    OK, which rig do you like best? And when and why do you use each one? Gotta say that the one on top looks a whole lot easier to handle. The Really Right Stuff site recommends the top setup, of couse with their clamp instead of a Kirk. It's interesting that they say to lose the M-B Tilt and just use the clamp for heavy lenses like the 200-400. I'm going to call them and find out why? Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Gordon
     
  15. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    I don't know those shots. Where do I find them? I completely agree with your choice of the full Wimberley vs the Sidekick for a lens this size. If I had the Sidekick I would have nightmares about expensive camera and lenses crashing on a rock while I'm trying to mount or rebalance it.

    Thanks,
    Gordon
     
  16. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hi Gaye -

    I checked out Frank's setup. Looks great but I have one question. How the heck do you get out of the contraption when you are finished shooting? :?

    More seriously, this does look like it eliminates any shakes and risks of dropped equipment. But can you move around easily with it?

    Thanks,
    Gordon
     
  17. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    Gordon,

    Not only can you move around, but the second strap (the one across the shoulder) is used as a carrying sling. I just drop down the monopod (sort of like putting a sword down to your side), grab the cam, lens, or Sidekick with one hand, and the middle of the monopod with the other, and I'm off to the races.

    Works great!! It makes carrying that 10-15 lb assembly a snap. You can even run with it if you have to (for example if you have to reposition to get incoming birdies). I wouldn't try that with a tripod.... :?

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  18. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=1224
    https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=1196
    https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=1198

    Well, in all fairness, others work with a ballhead and the Sidekick, including Ron Reznick. However, I'm in your camp as for safety. I have less to fuss with using the Wimberley head. That suits me.


    John P.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  19. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    John - Thanks for posting the links. You got some really good images under some pretty tough conditions. You must have had a ball in there. I don't know why, but my favorite image is the head-on portrait of Andy the Condor. He looks so dignified.... :D :D :D

    Gordon
     
  20. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Gordon :

    Thanks for the kind comments. I did indeed have a ball at the Aviary. The fols there are a treat.

    And Andy is quite the compelling model, a bit of a ham, even.



    John P.
     
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