Should I bring a monopod to Tokyo, Japan?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Bryan, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Bryan

    Bryan Guest

    I brought a monopod on my travels to China. I used it about 10% of the
    time. The rest of the time it was dead weight.

    Now I'm traveling to Japan (Tokyo, and Kyoto) and wondered if I should
    bring my monopod again. I am interested in shooting some night life
    shots of the street corners, neon signs, Rainbow Bridge, and a few

    How bright is Tokyo? What sort of shutter speeds am I going to be
    dealing with?

    Here's my gear:
    50 / 1.8
    28-135 / 3.5-5.6 IS
    85 / 1.8

    I'm packing ISO 400 film mostly.
    Bryan, Nov 7, 2003
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  2. Bryan

    Leicaddict Guest

    If I were you I would start over again with Leica gear. The monopod
    will be useful in any case. You could always shove it up your asshole
    and use it as an anal masturbation device.
    Leicaddict, Nov 7, 2003
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  3. How much is it worth to you in better results. Japan is much like any
    other place as far as light goes, they got the same sun.
    Joseph Meehan, Nov 7, 2003
  4. Bryan

    Roger Guest

    I've can't say about Tokyo, but using Hong Kong, Kobe and Kyoto with
    ISO 400 as a judge, I recommend a table top tripod. I like the small
    one from Bogen/Manfrotto (they make it with a vertical rod extender
    but that doesn't work for me), just the legs and small ball head. It
    supports my P&S and F100 and using the right support would be far
    steadier and much more "packable" than a monopod. Most often I press
    my table-top against a wall and it gives me nearly full size support
    for exposures under a second (often tripping the shutter with the self

    I just got back from Kobe/Kyoto and took a full sized Bogen CF in my
    luggage. It never made it out of the hotel. In light too low to
    support my 24-85mm f3.5-4.5G, I switched to a 50mm f1.4 and then added
    a strobe if needed. Some things work, some didn't but on public
    transportation, etc. I just couldn't wrestle the full sized tripod,
    camera stuff and amenities on all-day day trips from Kobe.

    Roger, Nov 7, 2003
  5. Bryan

    BG250 Guest

    If your shooting night scenes, I would recommend a tripod because some of
    the exposure times can get quite long.
    You could leave it behind in the hotel or car during the day. I found
    lugging a tripod (or monopod) makes photography not as enjoyable as it could
    be, but there are times when it is indispensable.
    BG250, Nov 7, 2003
  6. Bryan

    Gregg Guest

    If you're going to shoot night scenes, leave the monopod and bring a proper
    Gregg, Nov 7, 2003
  7. Bryan

    Gordon Moat Guest

    A minipod, or clamp pod, are smaller, and take up less room.
    Even the low cost mini pods can be sturdy enough. You can also turn them
    sideways, and press it against a wall. The clamp pod can be more
    versatile, since all you need is an edge, or pole, to attach the camera
    securely. These are also quick to use devices.


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Nov 7, 2003
  8. Bryan

    Leicaddict Guest

    I've used this with really great success. The rod extender is great for
    using as a chest brace, which is the only way I've ever used it. You really
    should try it as a chest brace at home, especially with the F100 (my slr
    too). It will allow exceptionally long exposure times. Personally I feel it
    is more effective when using primes a small zooms than a monopod.
    Leicaddict, Nov 7, 2003
  9. I'm not sure this is quite as good as a monopod, but my dad used to tie a
    string to a 1/4-20 threaded bolt which he screwed into the tripod socket on
    the bottom of his camera....Then he would just step on the string and pull
    up when he took a picture. This would give him a slightly steadier hold than
    just simply hand holding the camera....It's sort of a reverse
    monopod......The beauty of it is that you can carry it in your pocket.......
    William Graham, Nov 8, 2003
  10. Bryan

    Dave Lee Guest

    Though Tokyo like many asian cities is pretty hazy because of pollution so
    colors can be somewhat muted there unless you shoot a snappy film.

    For me, Japanese cities come to life at night. I would suggest a 400-800
    speed film. Definately bring the monopod, worse case you can use it to
    fight off the drunk Japanese salerymen trying to practice their
    non-existent english on you! Exposures can go down as low as 1/8 sec even
    with the neon lights and screens in the Ginza, your monopod will blur the
    movement of the masses while leaving the signs and screens sharp.

    Don't worry you can find film at just about every street corner in Japan,
    don't forget Japan is a picture-taking nation. I shot a lot of Fuji
    Superia 400 when I was in Japan and it's a beautiful inexpensive film. I
    think I bought a 5-roll pack at a discount store for around Y3,000 or so,
    maybe a little less.

    Have fun and be sure to eat some delicious Udon in the little shop at the
    street level of Tokyo Station!


    Dave Lee, Nov 9, 2003
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