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Monopod recommendation?

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Neil Orman
Monopod recommendation?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:26:43 pm

Can anyone recommend a good monopod, which would work well with both a Canon 5D Mark III and a Panasonic camcorder HPX-170? Thanks a lot.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Monopod recommendation?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 1:54:39 pm

We bought a Sachtler monopod, set up to directly clip-in our Panasonic shoulder-mount cameras, and it's been quite nice after a short period of getting used to it. Can't find the model number just now, sorry, but it's their large model. Carbon fiber, super-light but strong, fast to deploy or retract. Very nice for run-and gun with periods of having to stand still a long time, as in ENG news work.


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Neil Orman
Re: Monopod recommendation?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 2:06:40 pm

Thanks for the quick response Mark, much appreciated. Is this the one you mean, or something similar to this:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/164922-REG/Sachtler_5395_Monopod_Carb...
If so this is $810, and B&H also has monopods for about $50-$150. Do you or anyone else have any quick takes on what you lose going with a lower end model? I got a nice tripod recently and was trying to get a basic but decent monopod that didn't break the bank.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Monopod recommendation?
on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:30:22 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Mar 21, 2014 at 3:32:09 pm

That looks very much like our model, but I think we paid quite a bit less than that.

A model in the 100-buck range will be fine with a modest DSLR , but may start having trouble holding a lock in extended position when the weight gets higher. And a monopod that starts slowly collapsing during a shot is useless. You want to see how or if it lets you tighten up the friction or otherwise lock the segments.

We didn't get a pan head for our monopod; you don't really need one most times, it only complicates what should be a dirt-simple system. I did find that it took a while to get used to our big cameras sitting on the monopod, held only by their front plate end, which makes the camera want to rotate or sway a little behind my head when off my shoulder. You learn to counter it after a bit.

What I like to do do in ENG news shooting situations with the monopod is to keep the camera on my shoulder, and walk with the pod attached but collapsed fully, or to just one segment. This stays out of my way while walking with the camera, but gives a stabilizing pendulum effect to walking shots. The effect is stronger the longer you extend the pod. I can also use it as a chest brace or secondary hand grip, again, taking partial load off my shoulder and back. When I get to a point where I need full stability, It's easier then to flip-open the lock near my belt line, drop the leg to the floor, get the right lens height, lock it in another second, and line up my shot.

I like to always keep *some* camera weight on the shoulder, even using the monopod; I find It gives me better control while easing back strain. It's also nice on occasion to haul the monopod up to get a quick high-angle overview shot, though I'm always worried about and watching for, the camera falling off the thing and conking me or a bystander a good one on the noggin, so I make sure there's room for it to fall and not hit anybody, before I hoist it up overhead. Hasn't happened yet, and it shouldn't, but I'm still careful about it.


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Monopod recommendation?
on Mar 22, 2014 at 4:33:37 pm

I am very happy with my Bogen 3018 (old number, but still valid on B&H - $54.) that I picked up used for about 12 bucks. This thing gets pretty tall - just under 6 feet - has 1/4 20 mount on top and bottom, and would probably hold a beagle if I could find a quick release plate for it...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Rick Wise
Re: Monopod recommendation?
on Mar 22, 2014 at 5:27:33 pm

When budget is an issue (as it always is) I find it worth spending a bit of time searching Amazon as well as Adorama, in addition to B&H. For instance, there's a $15 pod, http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-MP100-Professional-Heavy-Monopod/dp/B0002RBQO0... with mostly enthusiastic reviews. No specs as to max weight supported, though.

Or jump to $43 for the Bogen Monopod which I think is the equivalent to the Bogen 3018 mentioned above. http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-679B-Monopod-3-Section-Replaces/dp/B00009R6...

I have no hands-on experience with either, since I prefer either a tripod, or hand-held. Maybe I'm missing something.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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