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Author Topic: Picking a monopod or tripod  (Read 514 times)

ahbnyc

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Picking a monopod or tripod
« on: January 30, 2022, 01:18:17 am »

I am thinking of getting a monopod or tripod -- probably a tripod that converts into a monopod.  What height should I get keeping in mind that I photograph a lot of birds which obviously are often above me?  I am about 5'6".  Also, is a ball head a good thing?  I would normally go to B&H to check things out but am being cautious about in-store shopping with the pandemic so would like to do online.

Thanks,
Andy
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degrub

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Re: Picking a monopod or tripod
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2022, 09:32:22 am »

what is the maximum size and mass of gear are you using - body &  lens ?

Any bird in flight shots ?
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Picking a monopod or tripod
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2022, 01:21:27 pm »

You didn't specify your use case, so these are rash generalizations. My opinions, based on decades of film camera (movies) work.  Others may disagree.

A ball head is unsuited to following action. A film/video-style fluid head is far better.  A good fluid head will cost more than the tripod it sits on.

A monopod is quite useful for short duration video photography of relatively static subject matter, but not as useful for following fast moving action. It can extend your low light still photography performance somewhat.

Carbon fibre tripods are worth the added expense. The heavier the system, the more likely it is to be left in the car.

Lever locking tripod sections are faster and easier to use than rotating collars.

Tripods are essential for motion media production, long exposures or unattended photography (eg time lapse) but otherwise are increasingly unnecessary. IBIS, lens stabilization, high ISO cameras and fast lenses have made this possible.

A friend of mine is an absolute whiz at BIF.  He never uses a tripod.

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ahbnyc

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Re: Picking a monopod or tripod
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2022, 05:51:54 pm »

Thank you.  When I use my Sigma 150-600 mm lens, total weight with camera is about 6 pounds -- lens is stabilized, DSLR is not. I do try to catch birds in flight but more often succeed in getting them in trees or on ground or water.  Also do some photographs of non-moving things -- landscape, sculptures, flowers, etc, with smaller lenses. I do question whether I have sufficient patience to set up on a tripod or even monopod, but not sure that is an issue susceptible to advice.
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MichaelKoerner

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Re: Picking a monopod or tripod
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2022, 07:19:26 pm »

If I were you, I'd invest in a small, lightweight but sturdy tripod like the peak design carbon. If you deploy only one leg, it works like a monopod: releasing weight without being too restrictive. Even for smartphones ;-)

Costly, unfortunately, especially the carbon version.

govindvkumar

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Re: Picking a monopod or tripod
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2022, 02:43:44 am »

If you are going to take only photos, then the monopod along with a fluid head or a gimbal head will be a good choice for photographing birds. If you are planning to capture videos also, then you need to go for a tripod.
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