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Thread: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

  1. #1

    Default Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Hi, i'm a newbie in photography.

    While I understand that the tripod is more effective in low light shooting, i am quite interested in getting a monopod (for some reasons) but i still want to know the advantage of using monopod over a tripod.

    By the way, I plan to use tripod/monopod on a D80 camera.

    These are my questions:
    1. Other advantages of monopod over a tripod except for being lighter and easier to carry
    2. carbon or aluminum? which is better?
    3. i am currently looking at benro's monopods. is benro good?
    4. what are the things to be considered before getting one?

    Also, i would like to know what things are to be considered in getting a tripod as well..
    1. Which brand and model do you suggest?
    2. Do i need to get a tripod head? is this sold separately from the tripod?
    3. what are the other accessories needed?

    By the way, if any of you guys could suggest a good tripod/monopod setup + estimate price, please post it here and it will be appreciated.

    Thanks for all your help.
    Last edited by jdauro; 2nd May 2008 at 04:09 PM.
    "It's all about what you can do with your camera.."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    A tripod can do what a monopod does, but heavier and harder to transport around. If you need a tripod to do the job, you have no choice. So you should really be looking from the point of view of what the tripod does for you and if you need to begin with.

    Its like a bike and a car. Why look at a bike when you have the entire family to chauffer around?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Thanks Kit for the reply.

    Any suggestions for a nice and affordable tripod setup?
    "It's all about what you can do with your camera.."

  4. #4
    Moderator diver-hloc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Quote Originally Posted by jdauro View Post
    Thanks Kit for the reply.

    Any suggestions for a nice and affordable tripod setup?
    Go to MO selection in the Buy/Sell part of ClubSNAP...... look for thread by Jack006... he sell Benro Tripod and Monopod. Check out the price from him.

    Personally..... I think most ppl would need a tripod than a monopod. Unless you plan to use Telephoto lens only for sport or bird shooting..... fold all 3 legs of the tripod togather.... and you will still get a very heavy monopod..... hehehehe

    Scuba & Father... For Life

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Find out what your specific needs are, then get the equipment to satisfy those needs.

    IMHO, tripods are good for night shots and macro work.

    Monopods more useful for any situation that you need to be on-the-move constantly, e.g. sports, wild-life. Or when space is at a premium, like fashion shoots, at stadiums.

    For me personally, I use my tripod only about 4 or five times a year. And my monopod, once in maybe 2 years! (Good for bringing along to scare dogs away when you're exploring ulu places, though!)
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Quote Originally Posted by jdauro View Post
    Hi, i'm a newbie in photography.

    While I understand that the tripod is more effective in low light shooting, i am quite interested in getting a monopod (for some reasons) but i still want to know the advantage of using monopod over a tripod.

    By the way, I plan to use tripod/monopod on a D80 camera.

    These are my questions:
    1. Other advantages of monopod over a tripod except for being lighter and easier to carry
    2. carbon or aluminum? which is better?
    3. i am currently looking at benro's monopods. is benro good?
    4. what are the things to be considered before getting one?

    Also, i would like to know what things are to be considered in getting a tripod as well..
    1. Which brand and model do you suggest?
    2. Do i need to get a tripod head? is this sold separately from the tripod?
    3. what are the other accessories needed?

    By the way, if any of you guys could suggest a good tripod/monopod setup + estimate price, please post it here and it will be appreciated.

    Thanks for all your help.
    IMO, you shouldn't be comparing the two at all. Both are different tools for different purposes like a needle nose plier and a standard piler.

    A monopod is for when you need your camera to be more steady while being moblie at the same time. A good example of this need is theater photographers wielding long and heavy lenses and need the stability and mobility. You sacrifice a lot of steadiness for mobility.

    A tripod is for when you require super steady shoots like when you're taking a building at night, a large group shot, macro and more. You sacrifice mobility for your camera to be rock solid where you want it to be. However, your camera can still be mobile if your tripod has a quick release plate which you can detach your tripod from your camera and carry them seperate. I find it not much a hassle while bringing my tripod out.

    Carbon is a superior material then aluminium as it is lighter, stronger and absorbs vibrations better then aluminium. It is however much more expensive and a aluminium is really pretty solid on it's own so for a first tripod it is good enough.

    Depending on your needs, Benro is a good brand to buy into. If you're a hobbyist with light lenses all the way to a semi pro body user with long lenses, Benro will hold you all the way. If you own the pro series DSLRS and extremely long lenses, it is time to buy something larger. I take the weight limits on Benro's legs and especially it's ballheads with a pinch of salt and factor in my own safety limits. Machining is very good and I have problems with it's build quality. Don't compare it to a Gitzo as it's neither in the price range nor quality.

    Bring down all your gear and mount your heaviest body and lens on the tripod. The ballhead SHOULD NOT MOVE while locked down tight. Your camera should be STEADY WITH NO MOVEMENTS AT ALL at EVERY ANGLE. (I locked down the head and physically tried to wrench it loose. It shouldn't move a inch) The QUICK RELEASE PLATE SHOULD NOT MOVE as well. Extend the legs fully and rest your bodyweight on it. The LEGS SHOULD NOT RETRACT. Hold the center portion and twist the tripod sideways. The TRIPOD SHOULD NOT EXHBIT MUCH MOVEMENT IN EITHER DIRECTION.

    Basically, the tripod and camera locked on should be as solid as set in concrete. Of course you will not get this with all tripods but the very best, but it should at least come very close.

    I would say you should get a A-157 that comes with a BH-0 head. All in, it should cost around $158. Very very decent for a tripod that will last even if you upgrade to a D300 and 70-200VR. You would need a larger head like the KS-1 to hold it though. I don't see the point of getting anything larger; I would get a Gitzo if I had the cash to splurge on carbon fiber legs.

    Samuel
    f/8 and be there.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Wow. Thanks for everyone who replied. Very informative answers. I am enlightened now.

    I will get a Benro tripod! Thanks thanks!
    "It's all about what you can do with your camera.."

  8. #8
    Member sunboi80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    just to add, if u are a newbie i dun think a monopod would suit u, if u dunno how to use it properly, ur shots might come out even worse than if u handheld...

    a tripod may not b too heavy..go look at benro's website, some are less 1.5kg and can be folded into quite a small size to be easy to carry around...

    carbon fibre is suppose to reduce the wt over a aluminium frame of the same dimensions while providing the same stability...it's more expensive also...
    ;) L-plate Photog: I come, I see, I shoot

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Monopod? Fold up your tripod's legs and it can be used as a psudo monopod in a pinch. Tried it out today while taking a band performance and it worked pretty well.

    For Benro, I advise you not to get the lowest end product... Get at least mid range stuff so you don't need to upgrade that quickly when you get new lenses or even a new camera. For example, I bought a medium format camera and had only needed to change the standard head to a another, substantial one. If I started out with the basic model, I would have to upgrade both the legs and the head! What a hassle!

    Samuel
    f/8 and be there.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Monopod? Fold up your tripod's legs and it can be used as a psudo monopod in a pinch. Tried it out today while taking a band performance and it worked pretty well.

    For Benro, I advise you not to get the lowest end product... Get at least mid range stuff so you don't need to upgrade that quickly when you get new lenses or even a new camera. For example, I bought a medium format camera and had only needed to change the standard head to a another, substantial one. If I started out with the basic model, I would have to upgrade both the legs and the head! What a hassle!

    Samuel
    f/8 and be there.

  11. #11
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Quote Originally Posted by jdauro View Post
    Wow. Thanks for everyone who replied. Very informative answers. I am enlightened now.

    I will get a Benro tripod! Thanks thanks!
    Do check the total weight that the tripod can carry ( and remember to factor in the weight of the head as well ! ) as well

    Ryan

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Now I know what to look for before getting a tripod.
    If anyone else wants to contribute or share their ideas, please feel free to do so.

    Thanks so much everyone!
    "It's all about what you can do with your camera.."

  13. #13
    Senior Member egnaro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie's dilemma between Tripod and Monopod

    go try and see if the monopod with 3 leg help?
    Life is like Photography, to improve, you have to keep shooting!

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