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Photography Question 
Teresa H. Hunt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/6/2008

Function of a Monopod?

I received a monopod for Christmas. I've never used one and am curious about how they work. I assume you have to hold onto it while taking a photo. Is that a correct assumption? Do they work for very slow shutter speeds?

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12/31/2008 12:21:53 AM

Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
While not as stable a platform as a tripod, the monopod serves a purpose.

1) Lighter than a Tripod
2) Easier to move the camera around
3) Easier to carry (smaller)
4) Support for heavy lenses

"Very slow" shutter speeds is relative.

You will be able to shoot slower speeds compared to hand held, but to a point.
How slow you can shoot will depend how ingenius you are. I've seen people prop the monopod against a structure or even wedge it in a rock crack. LOL
Sports photographers primarily use them to support those heavy lenses.

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12/31/2008 4:16:45 AM

Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Just to add:
I use a monopod frequently - and in certain situations, more often than a tripod depending on what I am shooting. Mostly I use them walking around where a tripod is impractical but I know I'll still want support. A good example would be shooting a parade from the crowd - it would be silly to try and get a tripod set up ("excuse me, pardon my tripod leg a moment, won't you?"). I also like using them in some situations where I shoot with a short DOF with a manual fixed-focus lens where moving the camera is easier and quicker than focusing, yet I still want some support. But that's a personal preference.
Some monopods come with a base that can make them free standing, but I have not ever let go of my camera when it was on a monopod (Pete's examples are interesting). Instead, I have both tripod and monopod available with the same head and quick-release so I can change to one or the other as necessary.

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12/31/2008 6:26:20 AM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  A monopod will provide only vertical (up and down) support of the camera and lens during exposure. The front-to-back and side-to-side stability will depend upon your own steadiness.
It's wise to prop your monopod up against something sturdy like a rock, tree or fence post to increase stability.

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1/1/2009 9:43:17 AM

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