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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #1
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How many Monopod users?

I have always used Tripods but sometimes they can be a mess to get in tight places and a mess to carry around, so I was wondering if you guys use monopods? I use Sony FX7 and FX1's so any advice on a suitable monopod?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Re: How many Monopod users?

My wife got me a monopod this past Christmas on one of those amazon specials they do. It was like a $150 monopod for $75. It's carbon fiber and is light and sturdy.

I don't recall the brand off the top of my head. It's like Besco or something I think. (I'd look, but I'm in Destin Florida right now, and it's back home.)

I just had a few gigs I've used it at, and the best thing I've found for me is, it's best for taking the weight of the NX5U off my hands, literally.

The problem I've found with monopods so far is, they are squirrely (sp). If you zoom in, and don't brace yourself really good you can get a 'rocking' type motion (left to right etc) if you aren't careful.

Overall I think they are useful, but they aren't without their challenges.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 07:22 PM   #3
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Re: How many Monopod users?

I love the monopod. Takes some getting used to, though. Awesome at receptions!
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Old June 5th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: How many Monopod users?

I use one when it's the right tool to use. For instance, at weddings for introductions and toasts. Most times a tripod is too much to use for those events and I can't really handhold now as well as I used too. (age) So the monopod is a great comprimise although there are many times I'll use my DVMultiRig for eveything at the reception.
Yes, the monopod can be a challenge at times with sway but the little bit I get I can live with. I use a QR plate that matches my tripods and multirig set up so switching is very fast and easy.
I use an older Bogen 682B (black). It has stabilizer feet on the bottom so that helps when standing in 1 position for a longer time but I don't ever walk away from it when the camera is on it. Too easy to fall and go boom.
Every job has a tool and the right tool make the job easier.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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Re: How many Monopod users?

Do use a tripod head on it? If so what do you recommend?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #6
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Re: How many Monopod users?

Tyson, we use a monopod in exactly the same way as Don. I see no point in a pan and tilt head - it only exacerbates any tendency to move. Ours is a simple Manfrotto with a QR plate to match the tripods. As for zooming, remember you don't have to use your zooms in the edit - just use the zoom to frame the shot and hold it.

Finally also remember that in extreme cold carbon fibre can become very brittle - a nature film-maker I know still carries wooden tripods. Aluminium isn't always bad.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 09:57 PM   #7
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Re: How many Monopod users?

I LOVE my Bogen/Manfrotto Monopod. One of the best purchases I ever made. I can't imagine shooting without it.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #8
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Re: How many Monopod users?

I have a pair of Manfrotto 561B monopods and with the right gear, I love 'em to death !!!

I started with consumer camcorders on them, then went to using them with the DVXs. I quit using them with the DVXs, just didn't feel "comfortable" with that much weight on them. I am back down now to GH1s and the 561s are back in the arsenal again !!!

As Don and Philip state, limited exceptions with a cam this size I would also probably do. But, with the small cams it has not been unheard of for me to do an entire gig with one.

With the 561 or whatever number Manfortto uses now, the base has a pivot and a fluid cartridge built in. Because of these I never use a pan or tilt on the head. I either push or pull the monopod on the pivot for tilt and twist the shaft for a pan.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:37 PM   #9
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Re: How many Monopod users?

I have the same issues as Chip had with his DVX's ...my cams once they have a big battery and radio receivers etc etc probably are pretty close to 10lbs....I found even a monopod rated for 12kg was hard to use with such a hefty load on top.

For interest I used a 44mm Benro ball head and it was pretty darn good..I didn't see the need for any handles!!

Cos I have shoulder mount cameras, I now use a belt system (with a pocket in the front) and that has a spring loaded adjustable rod which goes up to a rail system under the camera and connects with a tiny ball head....works really well too....there is almost no weight to carry and shots are very stable.

If I was using the baby of the HMC series (the HMC40) I think I would definately grab a monopod and ball head and use it a lot. Unfortunately there seems to be a top weight limit when it comes to stability and control!!

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Old June 6th, 2011, 03:13 AM   #10
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Re: How many Monopod users?

With my video roots lying in surf films, I've never been comfortable with anything other than a very sturdy tripod. Unless it was completely and totally impossible to use a tripod, I would, even when I started shooting weddings. It was my lifeline, my rock, my constant support.

Now, I'm halfway through a switch to DSLR's for weddings. Everything is smaller and lighter and I'm thinking about adding a monopod to the arsenal. I'm picturing the possibility of not having to carry a 4kg tripod through expansive resort corridoors on my way to shoot the prep, not having to adjust three legs for every person when shooting guest messages, and being able to squeeze unnoticed down the tiny side-aisle in a cramped church to shoot an over-the shoulder shot of the bride's vows.

I've never used one before but I'm keen to try it out and see if it makes life easier or if it's just an extra piece of kit to drag around. Hopefully the former!
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Old June 6th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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Re: How many Monopod users?

i use the 561bhdv quite often. its definitely eaiser in terms of the run n gun style.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 11:25 AM   #12
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Re: How many Monopod users?

Another 561bhdv-1 monopod user. I don't use it the whole day, but for getting ready and alternative angles at the ceremony its very helpful.
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Old June 6th, 2011, 12:25 PM   #13
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Re: How many Monopod users?

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Wiley View Post
With my video roots lying in surf films, I've never been comfortable with anything other than a very sturdy tripod. Unless it was completely and totally impossible to use a tripod, I would, even when I started shooting weddings. It was my lifeline, my rock, my constant support.

Now, I'm halfway through a switch to DSLR's for weddings. Everything is smaller and lighter and I'm thinking about adding a monopod to the arsenal. I'm picturing the possibility of not having to carry a 4kg tripod through expansive resort corridoors on my way to shoot the prep, not having to adjust three legs for every person when shooting guest messages, and being able to squeeze unnoticed down the tiny side-aisle in a cramped church to shoot an over-the shoulder shot of the bride's vows.

I've never used one before but I'm keen to try it out and see if it makes life easier or if it's just an extra piece of kit to drag around. Hopefully the former!
John, if you are going DSLR, the monopod will be your #1 tool. ;-)
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Old June 6th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #14
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Re: How many Monopod users?

As others have noted, the 560/561/562 Bogens with the fluid cartridge/feet are perhaps one of the handier things you'll find, even if they are expensive...

I've changed out the heads on mine for some 700RC2's, which offer some additional options, make for a very versatile system, and those little feet help with the "mono-wobble". QR plates matching my other gear for quick switching, as others have noted.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 12:17 AM   #15
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Re: How many Monopod users?

I use the 561BHDV-1 heavily, and have been getting almost all my coverage with it. It's hard to find time to switch to a slider and then back to a monopod or tripod during these fast paced weddings, during the ceremony, i film the beginning with my monopod at the front of the isle, then run to the back, disconnect the 561 from my 7d, and snap it onto my 501 manfrotto head for a quick change. Works great and alot more stable than a shoulder rig, plus no hurting at the end of day from carying around a rig on your shoulder.

Granted you can't walk with it very well, but you would really need a glidecam-type device to move, otherwise it just looks bad. The monopod can act as a short dolly also, which works great for adding some movement to your static shots.

I've attached a random snapshot some guest took of me while using the monopod.
Attached Thumbnails
How many Monopod users?-randomvideoshot.jpg  
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