Is a monopod suitable for slow shutter speeds

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Brian, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I hope to take some nature photos of plants etc soon and want to try
    using a small aperture at a slow shutter speed.
    I was thinking of using a monopod (Tripod with a single leg) and was
    wondering if this is suitable for slow shutter speeds?

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Aug 26, 2003
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  2. Brian

    Alan Browne Guest

    at what focal length and what "slow" speed. Monopods and good release
    technique can get you 2 to 3 stops below the rule-of-thumb speed (1/FL).

    If your lens is 100mm, then you should be able to do 1/30, or even 1/15.

    For the kind of photo you're talking about, even a "cheap" Velbon tripod
    will do the job very well (and a cable release).

    Alan Browne, Aug 26, 2003
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  3. Brian

    Alan Browne Guest

    It is enough additional stabilty to get 2-3 stops of speed off of most

    When well braced, pitch is almost perfectly stable, roll very-very
    stable, and yaw very stable.
    (Unless you assumed that you just let the monopod stand there alone?)

    Alan Browne, Aug 27, 2003

  4. It will help, yes, but it won't let you use a significantly slower
    shutter speed. It does more for supporting big heavy lenses than
    anything else.
    Michael Scarpitti, Aug 27, 2003
  5. Use a piece of cord... tie a loop in each end, put your foot through
    one, and your camera/lens through the other and pull up so it's
    taught. For long-ish lenses, put the loop near the end of the lens.

    Sometimes more stable than a monopod.

    jim h


    More than photographs: free downloads, prizes, a bit of humour...
    Jim Hutchison, Aug 27, 2003
  6. Brian

    Ken Cashion Guest

    I have not done this but I know guys who have. There is only
    one problem with this...those big football players have a hard time
    slowing down and running from them is hard enough without a loop on
    The general rule of an out-of-control car is "Don't run! Keep
    shooting! SI might pick up your shot and your survivors will need the

    Ken Cashion
    Ken Cashion, Aug 28, 2003
  7. Brian

    Rudy Garcia Guest

    With a monopd and good technique you should get 1 or 2 stops more
    shutter speed than with handholding.
    Rudy Garcia, Aug 28, 2003
  8. Brian

    JIM Guest

    Ken, sounds a little like dissing the venerable 35mm format? Preventing
    blurry pics only matters for the larger stuff, because that's the medium
    most prefer for billboard sized enlargements? And, you appear contradictory
    by recommending water bottles, gadget bags, sand bags, etc., to add weight
    and dampen vibration - see below what type photog hand holds anything;)

    I tend to disagree pretty much throughout. I use a monopod extensively
    w/35mm as well as a 'heavy' tripod - since I normally have a lens that goes
    over 2.5 lbs or more attached, I rarely take a pic without the use of at
    least the monopod. Completely acceptable 20"x30" enlargements from that
    little piece of film! I know, I know, acceptable to whom? To those whose
    walls they hang on anyway;)

    The following "nice-know-info" is provided because you just don't find it
    researching this verbose newsgroup:

    "?When to use a tripod: Every time you expose by ambient light (without
    strobes). When tripod use is prohibited
    or impractical, use a monopod, or a shoulder stock, and shoot at 1/500 sec.

    "Tripod is essential because: Blur due to lens movement is inevitable at any
    shutter speed
    slower than 1/1000 sec., and because it promotes greater care in
    composition. Hand holding
    is strictly for dead photographers: A human pulse beat will cause 200
    microns (about 0.008
    inch) displacement for 1/10th second. Assuming a shutter speed of 1/250th
    sec., this
    movement alone will cause a 22% loss of resolution with a system that is
    otherwise capable of
    reproducing 100 lines-per-mm (lpm). And at a shutter speed of 1/125th sec.,
    performance would degrade to only 53 lpm - a 47% waste of what you
    purchased." (Ref: John
    B. Williams - Image Clarity, page 191)

    Shoot'em up, sharp, blurry, light, dark, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all the rest
    will love you for it!!

    JIM, Aug 28, 2003
  9. Brian

    Ken Cashion Guest

    Not hardly. I have never used anything but a 35mm (camera) on
    a monopod.
    No, preventing image motion is a good consideration most
    anytime. The blurry (artistic) images have a place but a sports
    magazine purchases more sharp photos than blurry ones.
    It is not contradictory to use a support to reduce image
    motion, and increasing the mass to do the same thing. I don't know
    what you mean but that is no big deal one way or the other. Perhaps
    others here understand your point. Certainly, the fact that I don't,
    doesn't mean your point is invalid.
    Again, I fail to see where we differ but that is still OK. If
    you want to use a support, use it; if not, don't. :eek:)
    Is it OK if I sometimes don't?
    I didn't check Mr. Williams' math though I have had to work
    through this sort of stuff in designing aircraft and space-borne
    remote sensors. And that stuff is fun to do. Designing optical
    systems and detectors is a lot more fun that using them I can assure
    Williams is assuming a 100% transfer of physical movement to
    image motion. This is not possible. We are pretty resilient (read
    "fat" for me) and we absorb a lot of movement.
    He failed to point out that we need to carry a large
    inflatable with us so we can place this over the real world and in
    this way remove air movement influencing the stability of leaves,
    wires on poles, and the like.
    His was an excercise for fun. He never addressed the circle
    of confusion that one can expect inherent in the refraction of light
    or the chromatic aberrations.
    Still, I recognize the process having done the same things for
    Old-NASA. :eek:)

    As for your suggestion to "Shoot'em up, sharp, blurry, light,
    dark, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak so someone will love me"...again, I am a
    little confused, but if you don't mind, I will try to exceed the
    images which apes could attain. :eek:)

    Ken Cashion
    Ken Cashion, Aug 28, 2003
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