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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Best Camera Tripods

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Photography Question 
Frank B. Pearman

member since: 5/19/2007
 

Monopod & Quick-Release Head


I own a Canon S3 IS camera. I have always wanted a monopod. After lengthy research, I have decided between the Bogen Manfrotto 676B and 679B monopod along with the 3229 QR Swivel Tilt Head. Is either one of these combinations a good choice for my particular camera?

5/19/2007 11:07:08 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  I just wanted to mention my favorite do-it-yourself accessory, the chainpod. Hereís the tip I put on BetterPhoto.
The simplest and best piece of photo equipment you can build is the chainpod. It works like a monopod, weighs a couple of ounces and fits in your pocket. To build it drill a small hole in 1/2 inch 1/4X20 (that is a thread size) thumbscrew. Attach about 6 feet of chain to the hole (more if you are really tall). Next put a nut onto the thumbscrew and position it so that the screw canít go too deep into you tripod socket and glue it in place. To use, attach the thumbscrew to the base of your camera drop the chain and step on it. Now pull up against the chain. Steady! Photos: Demonstration of Chainpod and Chainpod Detail
Thanks, John Siskin

5/20/2007 9:02:58 AM

 
Frank B. Pearman

member since: 5/19/2007
  Thanks, I'll have to try that. I'm guessing the tension "resists" the swaying effect.

5/20/2007 11:41:46 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Frank,
Exactly, and of course, it is inexpensive and fits in a pocket.
Thanks.

5/20/2007 11:47:44 AM

 
Bob Fately

member since: 4/11/2001
  Frank, you mention a QR head - this is generally the term for "quick release". QR mounts (like from Kirk Enterprises or Really Right Stuff - both have web sites) involve having a plate on the camera (or lens) and a clamp-like device on the tripod or monopod. The clamp can lock down or loosen very quickly, rather than having to screw the camera down to the support.
John mentions his chain idea. This is certainly compact, but still relies on your muscles to hold things steady. Another approach might be to use a vice-grip type plier with a couple of 1/4" x20 bolts welded to it and a ball-and-socket head screwed onto that. You can clamp the pliers onto a bench, tree branch, whatever (assuming one's around) and that way have a quite stable platform for your shot.
But to answer your orignal question - either monopod is probably fine, and the swivel head on top is the best way to go. In fact, if you check out Really Right Stuff's site, they have an article on just this approach.

5/20/2007 8:35:57 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Iíve been using a modified vice grip for about 20 years. It is very handy if you have something to clamp it to. With some sculpture wire, it makes a good tabletop tripod. Good suggestion, Bob!

5/21/2007 8:43:36 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com

member since: 12/13/2005
  Frank, I have the 676B & the 3229 combination and you will be making a good decision with this set up. Lightweight, quick and stable.

5/21/2007 11:55:34 AM

 
Joe Ciccone
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2005
  the Canon S3 has an Imagae Stabilizer. Just why you wish to use a monopod with this small, easy to use camera puzzles me a little...Cheers
..Joe C

5/22/2007 3:56:04 AM

 
Frank B. Pearman

member since: 5/19/2007
  Thank you all for the feedback - I have purchased the monopod and awaiting the 3229 QR.

Joe C - for telephoto shots at the race track. At a cost of less than $75- I see this a modest photography investment to get that special shot I want - yet mobile enough to move to a different location at the venue.

This despite its "easy-to-use" capability or its image stabilizer technology.

5/22/2007 4:55:46 AM

 

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