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Old December 20th, 2012, 01:26 PM   #1
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shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

As of now i have my gh2 on a pretty cheap/light little tripod that acts as a stabilizer and a monopod, but i find that not only does it look cheap and unprofessional as well. What do you other shooters use? I also have to manually rack focus so im worried about having both hands tied up on the shoulder rig, but it would seem like id have more control and be able to hold the camera steady the whole time. The other drawback though would be that with my tripod i use now, i can spread the legs and set it down during long ceremony parts.

Urgh! What to do?
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Old December 20th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #2
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

For ceremony and speeches, my own preference is for tripod whenever possible. After all, this will give the steadiest look, and that's a desirable thing, right?

Exceptions:
-- if they spring something on me, and I happen to be holding another piece of gear (steadicam, monopod)
-- if there's not enough room for a tripod (probably monopod)
-- if I'm doing reaction shots during speeches (lately found it more convenient to be on a monopod so that you can move around the room to get shot of groom's father, bride's father, etc)
-- of course, maybe there's parts you want to cover on steadicam or even slider instead, like entry/exit.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

Yo James,

look around and get a better tripod. By keeping the legs together and extending just one, you've got a monopod.

Camera bodies come and go, but a good tripod will last a lifetime.

Cheers.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

Yeah im thinking of maybe just doing that, the other thing is i would like to use my external 6in monitor to help me focus, but the weight throws things off. Maybe i just need to put the monitor on a rig on the tripod with the dslr.. but then its getting so heavy its hard to hold when i need to hold it. Maybe i should just accept not holding a shot in the air ever during the ceremony lol
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Old December 20th, 2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

Hi James

It's all personal preference and also whether you can hold the camera steady too...I prefer shoulder mount as it gives me flexibility...I tried my GH1 handheld and for me it's just too tiny and fiddly to hold so IF I used a GH1/2 I think I would have a rig and loupe on the camera so you have a 3 point contact.

Yes, do as Allan says and buy a decent tripod first but you do get situations where the bride is in a crowded bedroom getting ready and you just have to go handheld!! There is often no room for a tripod so a rig is probably a good idea anyway if you are trying to get the right shot kneeling on the bride's bed cos there is nowhere else to be!! Ideally I would have all three..end of story...then you can choose whatever you need.

Chris
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Old December 20th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

I go monopod the whole wedding. I got a pretty steady hand though and my style is alot of variety shots so I like to move quickly. I tried a shoulder rig for a few but I felt like it restricted my movement and was just too bulky.

I did the one-leg tripod as monopod for a bit and its good if you wanna see if you like it. But it's alot of weight to deal with and if the two other legs don't lock down they can get in the way sometimes. I got a $50 monopod that works great and got that $30 head that's popular.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

This might sound a little goofy, but if you have a ball or tilt head on a monopod, you can shorten it up, swing it up onto your shoulder and while it's not a "dedicated" shoulder rig, it WILL add a nice stabilizing contact point, and shouldn't stick out too far over your shoulder!

Another trick is to stick the monopod into your pocket or a dedicated belt pouch... I found a thingy called a "big lugg" at Home Depot that has a socket originally designed to hold a ball/elastic contraption for tools, but it seems to fit several of my monopods nicely as well!

Monopods have quite a few uses if you get a bit creative!
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:11 AM   #8
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

Check out these great tripods...

Pro Tripod Weifeng Fancier WF 717 Fluid Video Pan Head 1 4? 3 8? for DV DSLR | eBay
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Old December 21st, 2012, 05:14 AM   #9
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

Always tripods for speeches and ceremony (if there's room) I use one of these monopods with my 5D for the more candid stuff - you can adjust the height instantly with a trigger grip

Neotec - Monopods - Photo | Manfrotto

Pete
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Old December 21st, 2012, 07:19 AM   #10
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

I use this one and love it Fluid - Monopods - Photo | Manfrotto

Dan
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Old December 21st, 2012, 03:40 PM   #11
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

A big shout out to everyone for showing me examples of some great equipment. Yeah I think I will continue to focus on a tripod shot for the ceremony and possibly move to a shoulder rig setup someday for the reception. In the meantime I'm going to invest in a viewfinder loupe for the gh2 to help me focus.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 05:08 AM   #12
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

James - I also use this DSLR Cage which perfectly fits my 5D - it isn't as over engineered as some and is a little less conspicuous which I like - it's great for hand held shots and a QR plate makes it quick to slip on my monopod - it's very well made and comfortable to hold.

I paid 138 for mine - you should be able to get one for $129

http://www.amazon.com/Authentic-Camera-GearBox-GB-2-Accessory/dp/B009SS2AOO
GearBox GB-2 - Video Accessory Cage w/ 15mm Rod Adapter

You can attach a top handle which is great for low shots

I also have this viewfinder which I haven't really used much yet but first impressions are good - a QR plate makes it easy to put on and take off plus it has a really clear view of the LCD screen

http://www.carryspeed.com/products/lcd-view-finder

Pete
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

A monopod is great for mobility but it's no substitute for a tripod when the shot needs to be stable as there is just no way of avoiding that weaving motion as you try to keep it as still as possible.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 01:32 PM   #14
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

The Bogen/Manfrotto monopods with the little feet/fluid cartridge at the base help with the swaying/weaving quite a lot... but yes, with most monopods you really should try to find a bracing point to help stabilize when in use... just planting a monopod on the ground tends to produce a "pivot point" with undesirable results.

It rather surprising how much we humans "move" when we think we are standing perfectly still! We wobble, but we don't fall down!
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Old December 28th, 2012, 12:38 AM   #15
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Re: shoulder rig or monopod for ceremony,reception?

I use a tripod for the locked off shot and the Manfrotto monopod for everything else,
also use it a lot on corporate jobs - highly recommend it - one of those pieces of kit I wish I'd bought years ago, can get really smooth tracking shots and its pretty good for statics on the wider end
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