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tripod or monopod

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott Sherman, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Okay,

    Here we go again, decision time. I don't travel enough to be very proficient at deciding what to take. I have emassed enough equipment to make the most hardened pro drool. I want to bring it all but know that it is not at all practical. I am going to Vancouver and Victoria BC. I will be with my wife and we are not going off road. It will be mostely urban sight seeing and driving through the country. I have pretty much decided what lenses to take; (for info, this is what is going with me),

    28mm & 85mm f1.4's
    Epson P2000
    Circular polorizing filter
    lots of batteries

    Now here's where the decision comes in. I am carrying this in a shoulder bag and it is somewhat hefty. I have a Gitzo 1588 monopod with the RRS set up and I have a Gitzo 2227 tripod with a an Arca Swiss B1 head.

    I am leaning toward the tripod to get the sharpest images but it will be awkward to carry through the streets of the city.

    I am interested in what my friends here at the Cafe think. I know there is a lot of experience with this sort of thing here. What has worked for you. If you left your tripod home did you regret it or if you brought your monopod, did you wish you had brought the tripod. Or should I just have my wife kneel down and use the top of her head?

    Don't know how well the wife will like the last option.
  2. That is a dilemma and one I will be facing myself the end of May as I embark on a trip to Italy. I have pretty much decided to go without the tripod and just look for things to brace against. Not sure that is the greatest decision but then I do want to be able to get around and the backpack is heavy enough by itself.
  3. Just my $.02

    I'd take the tripod. The monopod would be good if you were taking long lens for some reason. You have gear that will either allow easy handheld shooting and will need real support.

    I'm going to Alaska for 2 weeks this spring and I'm taking both. I'll be able to store gear and only take what I need for that day or evening. I plan on using the monopod for daylight wildlife shots and the tripod for morning/evening (such as it is in Alaska in the summer) landscapes.

    I'll also carry a Cullman travelpod for extra bracing for when I'm mostly shooting handheld.
  4. I love how much you can get for $.02 these days. I appreciate all input and experience.

    The fate of the world does not rest on this decision, and absent any suggestions, I will make a decision, but it is helpful to be able to benefit by the experience of others and I just enjoy sharing thoughts about this kind of stuff. Here at the Cafe, it is enjoyable interaction in another subject we have in common and good for bonding . At DPR it would be a challenge to hurl insults.
  5. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    Jan 26, 2005
    Given the lenses that you are taking I wouldn't take either. Would do as Gordon. If one does have to go it would be the tripod since it would provide better support for short lenses (monopod if taking the longer and heavy lenses).
  6. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005

    Don't forget to stick the 'strap pod' into your pocket. It doesn't take the place of a monopod but it's better than nothing when when in place that wouldn't allow pods.

    If I have it in my purse I take it out and use it and it has come in handy on many occasions.. It does steady me down when I use it.

  7. Greetings Scott:
    I'm not sure if I can help as much as others but here we go....
    With the lens group you have listed I would not take either. But I would take a little tabletop tripod if you have one or can get one.
    In my travels I have found that with short lens one will not want to pack a tripod and a mono will not help you much. But a table top TRI will allow you to utilize anything from a fence post to a car hood to a rock for that extra support that you will want while taking the breathtaking landscapes you will find on the west coast of Canada.
    Just remember to use your camera (timer) to trigger the shutter....
    Hope this helps
  8. Gale, what is a "strap pod"?

    aka beaucamera
  9. Scott, this is your Lucky Day, I'm gonna give you my 3 cents worth for your 2 cents question.

    1. I agree with several of the folks, I would not take either.

    2. To expand on Doug's suggestion, while a table-top tripod is good, so is a bean bag. The advantage of the bag is that it can be "molded" on top of irregulat objects like car fenders and fence posts.

    Now, that was the 2 cents worth, here comes the extra penny.

    Don't forget that many places these days, dumb as it seems, either frown on the use of tripods or actively chase people off if they set one up. Don't have a clue if this will be case where you are going, but just something to be aware of.

    Oh, and here comes a 4th cents worth, the ladies on the forum can feel free to jump all over me for this comment as well :lol: . You have indicated that this is a "family" trip, not a specific "photo expedition". You even comment on the use of your wife as a tripd, shame on you :wink: , but if you suggest that her please get a self-portrait of what happens immediately thereafter. Given the main objective of this trip, I doubt that your wife would be happy with the setup/takedown/adjust/stare/adjust more/stare more/yada-yada-yada that you will be doing with tripod in hand. I speak from experience, including thumps on the side of the head :oops: 
  10. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005

    Here's the site for the 'strap pod'... sure better than nothing and so easy to carry along in the pocket.

    I really like the idea of a beanbag too..I think I'll take both on my next trip.


  11. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    I"ve always wanted to ask this--- what size bean bag are you thinking for use with the camera? Are you thinking a 'beanie baby' or something much bigger lika a very fat beanie baby? Just curious and have always wondered about this so have to ask.

    Of course we could easily make these with rice and or beans or sand... just don't know how big.

    Thanks and best to you,
  12. Here is one example:

    Notice that this bag can be used flat or can be folded and cinched to use on top of vehicles, posts, etc..

    And then I ran into this the other day:

    No clue as to how good this is.

    And then there is this old article, unfortunately the images are all gone:


    Do a Google serch for "camera bean bag" and you will ton's of links pop up. I have not used the Kinesis version, but I have used many "home grown" versions like coats, sweaters, shoes, arms, heads and even newspapers and leaves. Oh, can't forget a well placed rock or board either.

    As to the "how big", I think the right answer is "About this big" :lol: . I'd take a look at the Kinesis dimensions and work from there, but I don't think it is too important. I'd be more concerened about being too small than too large.

    Hope this helps.
  13. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Thanks for the internet research Bill. I like the way the 'Pod' makes for more color saturation in their with vs without comparison. ;) 

    It does seem like an innovative item though.
  14. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    Thanks for the beanbag information.. that helps and certainly interesting.

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