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For many years I have dreamed of getting this lens, and shortly I hope to make that dream come true. It will be used primarily for wildlife, and although I will get a decent tripod set-up for it I hope that most of the time I can get away with a monopod. Does anyone have experience of using this set-up, and can they tell me if it is feasible to get away without carrying around a cumbersome tripod and least some of the time?
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I have used a 500mm on a mono for motorsport, even handheld too, i was amazed at how light it was compared even to my little sigma 120-300, and the focusing speed was amazing.
I would say yes you can get away with a monopod.
Is that with the pod connected directly to the lens collar, or do add a head to the monopod?
Used mine on a manfrotto 685b ( easy one hand hight adjustment) solid mount and with 234rc for static ish type shots including wild life but added a 393 head for aircraft capture at air shows. The advantage of the 393 is the slide system that allows you to balance the lens if you change bodies or add a converter.
A friend of mine leant me his 400mm f2.8 which is a cumbersome beast to say the least and I used my Manfrotto 681 and 322rc2 head....
Because the 322rc2 head is trigger grip ball head you can make angle changes easily so you can basically shoot up and down on a mono.
He was amazed at how good the head and pod were and bought them that evening!!
I use a Gitzo GM551 mono which is a very sturdy item probably overkill for a 500 but better to safe than sorry, screwed directly on to the monopod is a Kirk Quick Release Clamp ( Two and a half inch long ).
This is a great set up for wildlife when a mobile approach is required. I carry some Velcro straps which you can use to fasten the monopod to something like a gate or fencepost and gives you a steadier shooting position.
The carrying strap for the monopod has a belt clip on it which I find to be very handy.
Quote: I carry some Velcro straps which you can use to fasten the monopod to something like a gate or fencepost and gives you a steadier shooting position.
Cool tip, I will try to remember that one.
Most Birders I know buy this http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-manfrotto-393-long-lens-monopod-bracket/p110...
and use their 500mm f4 lens on it. They find it a great bracket on a Monopod.
Sorry, I have a mini ball head on my mono pod just for the swivel.
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