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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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Monopod stable enough for video

I've been searching the forum, but couldn't get a definitive answer to a question I have about monopods and the 5DMKII.

Is a monopod enough stabilization for shooting video? I'm going to use it guerilla-style with Nikon manual primes on a little music video I'm doing. There are a number of street scenes. It's an urban place, but not as crazy as NYC, and I don't want to put down a tripod that calls attention to itself.

The IS lens that comes with the 5DMKII is great, but, as I said, I'm using manual Nikon lenses. My hand-held stuff without IS makes me look like I've got the DTs.

And if a regular monopod won't do it, how about the Bogen one with little feet?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:12 PM   #2
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The answer is yes-ish...

I've used mine on several shoots, and it really depends on the lens/balance and how steady your hands are. The probably isn't the up/down movement as it is the rotational/yaw movement. Light lenses are obviously much easier as well.

For example:
My Sigma 50-500 is almost unusable on the monopod, unless I brace it with my legs, and then it still moves significantly. The longer the focal length, obviously the more you notice the movement.

However, my Sigma 12-24, being much smaller and lighter, and so wide, the monopod is great.

The 24-105mm IS lens good, because the IS kicks in and makes a difference. At telephoto with the IS off, it's much more shaky.

I haven't tried the Bogen/Manfrotto monopods with feet yet, but if no one here has, I'll probably try one and see if it helps. The problem I think is that the feet flex, and thus don't keep it rock steady. They are just there to keep it from sliding on slippery terrain (like a glacier?!?) and don't lock.
Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | Fluid Video Monopod | 560B | B&H

There is also the self-standing monopod, which I think would be much more stable.
Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 682B Monopod (Black) with 3229 Head

You can add the feet seperatly to a monopod you already have.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ding_Base.html
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:15 PM   #3
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I've been using a bogen with feet and ball head in the base for more than a year now...

BEST. MONOPOD. EVAR.

That said, it's a bit bulkier than what I might refer to as a standard monopod, so I kept my first monopod too. However, I never use it, I only use the new one with feet and ball head.

As far as using it for video with a 5D2, I've been using it with much success. However, it's not a tripod, and will never replace a tripod. beyond that, it's WAY, WAAAAAY better than handheld. If you like that documentary look, with a little movement, but not so much you want to throw up, it's the perfect tool. Given some practice, you can get a very stable shot, just not tripod-stable that's all.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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Bill, do you mean the Bogen 560 series?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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A monopod of any type will add stability simply because you're adding weight and, lowering the overall rig balance point. No monopod on the planet can replace the stability of a tripod especially when using long telephoto lenses but it will be significantly better than handheld.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:15 PM   #6
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Anyone have any video samples using a monopod with a telephoto lens?

I've been carrying a tripod, but always wondered about a monopod.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Castro View Post
Anyone have any video samples using a monopod with a telephoto lens?

I've been carrying a tripod, but always wondered about a monopod.
I have some that I shot this weekend using the Bigma (Sigma 50-500), if I get time this week, and everyone promises not to laugh, I'll post them.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 11:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Bill, do you mean the Bogen 560 series?
Sorry, I said "ball head" when I meant "fluid head" in the base of the monopod.

I just looked at mine for the model number, it's a 560B.

Like I said above, it's more bulky and heavy than a "standard" monopod without feet, but you can use it without the feet extended, and it's still way smaller and discrete than a tripod (and not as stable of course).

That said, the fluid head in the base is just S-W-E-E-T. Not the best head in the world by any stretch, but I've got to tell you, I love the thing. Love it. I usually extend the feet, then step on one of the feet with my foot, and you get a rock solid platform to work with.

If you want a sample using the monopod, I just completed my first multimedia piece with my new 5D2 and I used the pod in it. This piece was shot in 640x480 with an 85mm f1.8 lens on a 702 head mounted sideways (so there's kind of two heads at work, one on the bottom of the pod, and one at the top, heh). Stills and video were mashed up with a sync audio source for this piece.

Check it out here:

Mitch Marcus Quintet Live at Chez Hanny - BayTaper.com
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 12:22 AM   #9
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The head on top, head on bottom part is getting me a little confused. Would you be able to post a pic?
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 07:38 AM   #10
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I have the 561B. Its my workhorse when I'm filming weddings, Its light, quick to set up but as others have stated its not a replacement for a tripod when you need that solid locked down shot. There are some tensioning screws on the feet that I've been able to tighten that allow me to balance the camera with just a very light touch of my hand on the base.

Art
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 10:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
The head on top, head on bottom part is getting me a little confused. Would you be able to post a pic?
I gave the model number, there's tons of info out there on this monopod. But in a nutshell, there is a small fluid head at the connection of the feet to the base of the monopod. So, you can extent the feet, which give you a little platform, then I step on one of the feet to completely lock the base to the floor, and then the rest of the monopod can move freely via the mini fluid head in the base while the base is super secure on the floor. (Beyond that, I use a "real" head on top of the monopod too, just in that example I posted, I mentioned that I mounted it sideways cause I was getting crazy with the dutch tilts, lol).
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 05:42 PM   #12
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there is a small fluid head at the connection of the feet to the base of the monopod.
AHA! I wasn't able to tell that by the pics, but that answers another question of mine. Very cool, thanks!
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 09:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Binder View Post
Sorry, I said "ball head" when I meant "fluid head" in the base of the monopod.

I just looked at mine for the model number, it's a 560B.

Like I said above, it's more bulky and heavy than a "standard" monopod without feet, but you can use it without the feet extended, and it's still way smaller and discrete than a tripod (and not as stable of course).

That said, the fluid head in the base is just S-W-E-E-T. Not the best head in the world by any stretch, but I've got to tell you, I love the thing. Love it. I usually extend the feet, then step on one of the feet with my foot, and you get a rock solid platform to work with.

If you want a sample using the monopod, I just completed my first multimedia piece with my new 5D2 and I used the pod in it. This piece was shot in 640x480 with an 85mm f1.8 lens on a 702 head mounted sideways (so there's kind of two heads at work, one on the bottom of the pod, and one at the top, heh). Stills and video were mashed up with a sync audio source for this piece.

Check it out here:

Mitch Marcus Quintet Live at Chez Hanny - BayTaper.com
Cool stuff! (Trivia: "Cool" is the longest-living active slang word in history).

It was a bit crowded. A 35mm or even 17mm shot or two would have been really nice. Never got to see the whole band at once.
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