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Monopod techniques

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by taat2d, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Can anyone give me some tips on monopod techniques? I have a Giottos CF monopod that I'm using with my Sigma 70-200mm. Is there any one way to really utilize a mono? What is the best technique for using a monopod and to get the best results using one.

    So far I 've been using it just to shoot my son's soccer team.
  2. I use mine in a couple (or three) ways

    One is standing - have the camera just a bit lower than when you are standing, so that you have to stoop just a little bit - this lets you pan and move up and down a bit

    The second is that I drop it down, go on 1 knee and set it again to just under my view

    the third is used with a small stool that I just picked up - it is a 3 leg, mini stool with a triangular seat - it is only about 16-18" off the ground (i am sure i look really funny sitting on it)

    The last 2 methods work well for getting you down to the kids level
  3. ryan davis

    ryan davis

    Aug 23, 2007
    Nice monopod, It would probably be easier to shoot a 70-200 handheld, easier to get the action and follow it.

    If you had something bigger, then the pod would come in handy.

    Use the lens foot to mount the lens on the monopod, either hold the pod leg or the lens with your left hand.

    that's all it takes.
  4. Bob Coutant

    Bob Coutant Moderator Moderator

    May 17, 2005
    Pleasantville Ohio
  5. ^ that's a great link - thanks

    I kind of use Option 1 - but with my right leg back about a foot front from the left - so more stable than the diagram
  6. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    GREAT link!!! Thanx Bob.
  7. You both need to try reading the instruction of option 3 and try doing it after ingesting 5 or 6 glasses of wine (I'm in France right now...) My head is spinning just thinking of it... :redface:
  8. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    How bout a half case of beer then trying it!!
  9. You'll need a full case of beer to equal a half case of Canadian beer......

  10. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    Here's something useful I leaned from MikeMcA2:

    We were on the side of a road shooting cyclists who would be riding down the road and then pass straight in front of us. Mike showed me how it is best to setup so that you are holding the stick in a comfortable position when the cyclist is in front of you and where you will be pressing the shutter. I had been doing the opposite- getting comfortable and tracking from the distance and winding up in the less comfortable position as I pivoted and shot the frame.
  11. Cleo68


    Jul 7, 2008
    Bedford, MA
    Great thread guys, thanks! I'm planning to get a monopod and had no idea there were so many different positions to consider. I hope I'm coordinated enough, lol. What about using one of those chairs that has the 3 legs? Does anyone know what I'm talking about? They're weird looking things, but it seems they'd be light weight and short enough to get down to the right level?
  12. I guess I have a different reaction to the tutorial link. Man, talk about overthinking a simple tool!

    I imagine that the analysis presented in the link may yield a benefit if you are using the monopod in lieu of a tripod for shots of stationary subjects in order to get maximum support.

    But I suspect that most shooters (at least I do) who use a monopod for action subjects do so in order to relieve the photographer of having to support the weight of a long lens and body allowing him/her to concentrate on getting the shot. If you are just using the stick to "hold" the weight of your rig, it really ain't that complicated.

    Just put the stick on the ground and shoot. Why the need to brace it against your leg or your foot if you are shooting at shutter speeds of 1/500 sec or greater which is the usual case if you are shooting action? In fact, if you have a 400/2.8 and body on the stick and a 70-200/p body on your shoulder and want to switch back and forth, having the stick between your legs like in some of the examples makes absolutely no sense to me. Trying to quickly switch cameras with a stick between your legs or feet and you are likely to find yourself on your *** as you trip over the stick.

    And imagine trying to move left or right while trying to follow the action (or worse yet when you are on the sidelines and the play is a sweep to your side with about 1,000 lbs of muscular men are bearing down on you and you need to bail IN A HURRY).

    Sorry folks, but for action photography, it isn't rocket science. Put stick on ground, put face to camera and shoot.

    I should mention though that Rich's comment about getting yourself situated so that you are in a comfortable position to make the shots when the subject arrives at the optimal spot rather than where the subject is when you are preparing to shoot is right on, especially if you know that the subject is coming towards your position. That suggestion makes sense.

    I have on my flak jacket and flame retardant pants, so have me folks.
  13. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Hey Rick, no flames but some observations. First of I think your right its should be simple. But like many things In life simple isnt always easy. One of the challenges when using a "stick" under my long glass 200 400 600 800 is that tilting up or down becomes a challenge at best and down right dangerous at worst. This is because the balence of Nikkor big guns is differnt on each one. And tilting down and up can/will throw the lens and you, if your not carefull, off balence. My solution is to attach my wimberly 2 and and balencing the lens over the center of the stick(mono- pod)
    When shooting up to grab audience captures. Or down to get horse jumping over the rails. This set up has been invaluable in using long glass on a stick. Just make sure you tighten the lens to the Wimberly. Failing to do so will raise your pulse for a second as it "slides" off the rail.:eek: . I only did this once and managed to catch my 600 F4 ED-IF AIS before it crashed to the ground. A shooter beside said. Nice catch. I was white from the blood draining from my face. Since than if i use this set up I wrap the lens strap around my neck. See no flaming:wink:

  14. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2008
  15. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Yeah Rick I started this post not sure about where the "stick" goes. So sorry for my ignorance. Did you ever stop to think that the question was asked because the results even using the "stick" haven't been coming out to someones expectations, and and maybe a certain way the "stick" is held or braced would help? And if the OP bothered you so much why did you bother reading through it and wasting your time positng?
  16. KeithR


    Jun 21, 2008
    I think you guys might want to take a look at a discussion that's going on at:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  17. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  18. Nikkor AIS

    Nikkor AIS

    Jun 5, 2008
    I had that manfroto head for a while. The complete episode is blocked from my memory but I seem to remember have a lens, I beleive it was the Nikkor 600 F4 slam down nearly severing a couple of fingers:eek:  I"ll stick with the Wimberly and my stick.

  19. taat2d


    Sep 28, 2007
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