Tripods and monopods in Italian museums, monopod shutter speed rule

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by condor_222, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. condor_222

    condor_222 Guest

    Hello all,

    I'm off to Italy for a week in August.
    My camera equipment and tripod will come with me.

    I've read that a lot of museums will not allow tripods.

    If this is the case, will they allow monopods, that stand close to the

    Also, does anyone know a shutter speed rule to use with monopods?
    ie. at 100 ISO, the old 35mm standard for hand held was
    shutterspeed = 1/focal length of lense.

    condor_222, Jul 31, 2006
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  2. condor_222

    bmoag Guest

    Most do not allow any form of pod or flash.
    However regulations against use of pods and flash are not always enforced in
    the face of uncooperative tourist hordes, especcially those of the
    adolescent variety.
    bmoag, Jul 31, 2006
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  3. condor_222

    PeterL Guest

    Adolescents are not going to be the ones using tripods. It's the
    professionals (or semi professionals) they are discouraging. It's not
    possible to sneak a tripod or monopod into a museum if they don't allow
    PeterL, Jul 31, 2006
  4. condor_222

    Cisco Kid Guest

    Doubt it - it's the insurance thing and the worries that someone will
    fall and sue - they won't see the monopod as something different even
    though if someone were to trip over it, they would also have their feet
    inside your legs. Butr who knows - maybe they'll cut you a break -
    especially during off peak hours.
    I'd say you won't gain much - there is still movement from your heart
    beat - if normal handheld with a 300mm requires 1/300 (or 1/250)
    shutter speed, then maybe you gain 1 stop - 1/125 or maybe 1-1/2 stops
    1/90 - but doubtful if any more than that - imagine a 300mm hand held -
    you can get good results at 1/250 but 1/125 have given results with
    obvious camera shake - how could the monopod give you good results at
    1/60? 1/90 max.
    Cisco Kid, Jul 31, 2006
  5. condor_222

    Bandicoot Guest

    This is true.
    This varies a lot: in my experience in Italy it seems to be down to the
    discretion (or caprice!?) of the person on duty at the time. The no-tripods
    rule sems to be about not creating an obstruction, and if you use your
    monopod unobtrusively and make sure that you don't get in the way of other
    museum visitors, some if the time it will be allowed.

    Sometimes museums will decide to let you use a tripod if they aren't busy,
    and sometimes they won't. Sometimes they will if you pay a fee. It can be
    worth asking.
    Depends a lot on your technique: a monopod should get you at least one
    shutter-speed step slower than you would hand-hold, with practice maybe
    three steps. Some claim four - but I wouldn't count on that.

    All that said, much of the time in Italy I am photographing exteriors,
    architecture, and landscapes. There are interior shots worth taking, but
    often what is in museums are things I want to see, but a photograph would
    be - for me - a 'record shot', not a picture of intrinsic (or, for me,
    commercial) merit or artistic originality. So for these buying postcards is
    just as good. Italian museums usually have a good range of very high
    quality postcards for sale, and sometimes transparencies too, if you want to
    project. The "Scala" series of guide books and monographs on particular
    artists is also excellent, and beautifully illustrated.

    Have fun,

    Bandicoot, Jul 31, 2006
  6. condor_222

    jeremy Guest

    One solution that has recently become available is to bring along a camera
    with image stabilization. That might render the issue moot.
    jeremy, Jul 31, 2006
  7. condor_222

    Arthur Small Guest

    Arthur Small, Jul 31, 2006
  8. condor_222

    -hh Guest

    Some also do not allow any photography, with or without flash.
    The Sistine Chapel is but one such example.

    A definite "maybe". Personally, I'd not bother with it: for one
    thing, its going to be crowded in season; for another, particualry if
    you are using a small P&S, you can often get monopod-class support
    simply by bracing the camera against the common lamp post, wall,
    railing, etc.

    Rule of thumb is that you can expect to gain +1 stop, with +2 stops
    common but requiring good form. As such, the rule of thumb of 1/(focal
    length of lens) for a 35mm goes from (~1/30sec) to (~1/15sec) for the
    first stop, and to (~1/8sec) if the second stop is warranted by one's

    And, as another poster has pointed out, Image Stabilization is another
    option; gain by that approach is about the same, but is more compact
    (less obtrusive). And particularly for digitals, another way to skin
    the cat is to crank up the ISO to avoid slow shutters.

    -hh, Jul 31, 2006
  9. condor_222

    Doug Payne Guest

    If you really must have one, play the physically-disabled card and get a
    hiking pole with a camera screw mount on top. Affect a really nasty limp
    and tell 'em you need the "cane" to be able to walk.
    Doug Payne, Jul 31, 2006
  10. My guess would be that the monopod would give you one extra f-stop. IOW, you
    could get away with 1/2 as much shutterspeed due to the extra stability of a
    William Graham, Jul 31, 2006
  11. condor_222

    Cisco Kid Guest

    I was going to suggest the same thing - treat the monopod like a cane.
    No one ever gives a person with a physical disability a hard time -
    maybe throw an eye patch over your left eye to really play the pity
    Cisco Kid, Jul 31, 2006
  12. Being 70, and a bit overweight, I would get a walking cane, and bolt a quick
    release to the top, which would be covered by the palm of my hand when
    walking.....Then, I could snap the camera to it and take the picture in a
    few seconds, when the guards were looking elsewhere......
    William Graham, Jul 31, 2006
  13. My father used to tie a string to the bottom of his camera, and then pull up
    slightly on it while stepping on the bottom of the string....This gives you
    a little added stability........
    William Graham, Jul 31, 2006
  14. Why walk? - Have a "nurse" wheel you through the museum in a special
    wheelchair that has your camera mounted inside one of the electronic, "life
    support" boxes attached to the chair....She can carry spare film cartridges
    inside her, "first aid kit"......
    Just how bad do you want these pictures, anyway?
    William Graham, Jul 31, 2006
  15. Also, does anyone know a shutter speed rule to use with monopods?
    Not just ISO 100 - any ISO. Higher ISO just makes it easier to achieve
    the desired shutter speed.

    If you're using a camera with less than 35mm "full frame" sensor, then
    this rule of thumb should be subjected to the same crop factor that
    applies to angle of view and so forth. That is, at 50mm on a camera
    with a 1.5X crop factor, your angle of view is that of 75mm on a 35mm
    camera, so 1/75 is going to be what you shoot for.

    In practice, though, the advantages of digital here are that you can
    freely make several attempts at getting a steady shot without wasting
    film, and check the results on your LCD and keep at it until you get
    something you like. So I find that the basic 1 / focal length still
    works for me in many cases - it just might take a few shots before I
    nail it. If I keep at it long enough, I can do even better than that,
    and I've got notoriously shake hands. Combined with the fact that msot
    DSLR's have usable ISO 800 and often 1600 or even 3200, and you can
    probably do OK without the pod if you've got a reasonably fast lens.

    Marc Sabatella

    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    Marc Sabatella, Jul 31, 2006
  16. condor_222

    condor_222 Guest

    Thanks all for your comments.

    I've only heard of image stabilization in video cameras.
    Not still cameras. Does the Nikon LI, or D70S have
    image stabilization?

    Some ask, why a tripod? You should try it sometime in low light.
    And see the -beautiful- results that come from the environmental

    Much better than a flash. Sharp. In focus. Not blurred.
    Full tonal range. Lit all the way through the frame.
    No hot spots.

    A good tripod was one of the best investments I ever made.
    condor_222, Jul 31, 2006
  17. condor_222

    nathantw Guest

    I wonder if a Chest-pod counts as a tripod/monopod?
    nathantw, Jul 31, 2006
  18. condor_222

    Ken Blake Guest

    You've gotten a lot of replies to your question, but I'll add a general
    comment. Many museums (maybe even most museums) don't allow photography at
    Ken Blake, Jul 31, 2006
  19. condor_222

    Rebecca Ore Guest

    Nikon has some lenses with image stabilization (Vibration Reduction in
    Nikon's marketing speak). The 18-200 lens that gets mentioned from
    time to time has VR.

    The other advice is to borrow guard's stools, lie down on the floor,
    lean cameras against walls. The thing the museums go the most nuts
    about is flash since the cummulative effects of that damage fragile
    colors and fabrics. Tripods users simply take up too much space and
    time in front of pictures, I suspect.

    I've shot in Philadelphia museums with an old 35 mm film camera, no
    flash, and was able to lie down on the floor, borrow a guard's stool,
    and prop the camera against the walls while the guards were chasing
    down tourists with little autoflash cameras.

    Ask the guards what's okay.

    Also, ask in writing or email about bringing in a tripod. You might
    be able to do this before regular hours for a contribution to the
    museum's fund, or something, but I think you'd want to arrange this
    before showing up at the museum.

    The more interesting shots are of people looking at art. I need to go back
    with the digital and take more of those. As someone else said,
    shooting the pictures themselves isn't going to work out as well for
    getting good copies of the pictures as buying the postcards and books.
    Rebecca Ore, Aug 1, 2006
  20. condor_222

    J. Clarke Guest

    Set for continuous, take your best brace, take a deep breath, start letting
    it out, press and hold the shutter and complete the exhalation, hold,
    breath, release then erase the ones that are blurred. Somewhere in there
    J. Clarke, Aug 1, 2006
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