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Monopods or tripods??

Emmog 10 38 1 England
13 Mar 2009 9:35PM
Hi all,
I was told that for wildlife, which is what I like doing, it could be worth looking at a tripod or monopod. I have never used a monopod but am always keen to try something new.

However I am not keen on the idea of folding away the legs on a tripod every time you leave a hide because it tkaes too long and you always end up missing something outside. I know this as i have a scope for when I am not after photos.

What would be the best thing that i could buy for a price range of around 30-50 ( i might be able to increase a little). I have a Sigma 170-500mm on borrowed terms at the moment and am looking a similar sized (and weight wise) lens. What is best?


P.S. I might use it aswell for lower light photography outdoors and as a waliking pole every now and then!!

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t_downes 11 279 United Kingdom
13 Mar 2009 10:06PM
I have the same lens. This lens is not light in weight. These come with a bracket on the lens to attach your tripod too. I dont think a monopod would be ideal as you are not attaching the camera to the monopod. i personally would stick to the tripod with this lens. I know where you are coming from about the legs on the tripod. myself i leave it all attached to the tripod and just balance the lot over my shoulder.But thats me. I do own a monopod and use it with a smaller lens on it.........Tony
da_nige 15 1.2k Scotland
13 Mar 2009 10:13PM
Going by what you've said you'll need both.

Hide work is much easier with a tripod and if you want to do low light stuff a tripod will be more useful.

Monopds are great too though but are used in different applications. I use mine when I'm out and about as opposed to sitting in a hide and it adds a bit more support but a tripod gives the optimum support.

With regards to prices you budget is limiting and if you want decent kit (as in kit that'll hold a big lens and kit that will last) then you'll be best with a monopod.

A decent tripod will set you back 100-150ish and a decent monopod will be 40 (Manfrotto 680 or 681B).

At the same time you can spend 600 on a tripod and 300 on a monopod.

There is little or no point in buying a cheap tripod as it may break and it may not suit your needs in 6 months time.

I have had 3 tripods. First one was 20 from Jessops and lasted not very long before I broke it. I then bought a Manfrotto 055 which was great but heavy. Last year I upgraded to a Gitzo carbon fibre pod and its the best I have ever used and will not need replacing.

Monopod wise I use a Manfrotto 681B but I am looking to replace that with a Gitzo in the near future.

Emmog 10 38 1 England
13 Mar 2009 10:26PM
The 170-500mm lens doesn't have a tripod collar, thing so i have to screw it into the camera. However if I were to buy a new lens (as I have only borrowed the lens) then i might need to have a look.

I will have a look at the Gitzo and Manfrotto and see what the prices are like. How good are Gitzo monopods and tripods?

da_nige 15 1.2k Scotland
13 Mar 2009 10:40PM
GItzo stuff is the best on the market and is priced as such. You're looking at a 500 tripod.

Have a look at the Manfrotto 190 and 055 ranges as they are much cheaper and suit most peoples needs.
t_downes 11 279 United Kingdom
13 Mar 2009 11:10PM
I have a bracket round the lens so that it can attach onto the tripod which in turn gives it good balance in return if you know what i mean. I use a monfrotto 680 monopod which could carry an elephant. a friction ball head for it. The tripod i use is a velbon cx660. Its light has a spirit level on it and can carry a heavy camera. All this around a 100 notes and with change i bet.....Tony
Emmog 10 38 1 England
14 Mar 2009 8:30AM
Thanks for the info om the monopod and tripod. I will have a look at both Gitzo and Manfrotto.#
LenShepherd 11 4.1k United Kingdom
14 Mar 2009 11:19AM

Quote:What would be the best thing that i could buy for a price range of around 30-50

Second hand Benbo Mk 1 (not the Trekker) or (sometimes at the same price) a Mk 2. They are tough, support heavy lenses well, though there is a special knack to setting them up. I am not aware of anything with similar rigidity under 200 new.
Sometimes you can find them in charity shops for 30. Ffordes with a 6 month warranty are about 70.

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