Tripod or Monopod?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by h1r0ll3r, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    I'm just getting into DSLR photography and most of the critiques I've received so far are about my images being blurry or unstable. Most have suggested that I get a tripod/monopod to rectify this as well as allow me to take some "cleaner" shots.

    I'm a bit torn between both of these since each have their own benefits/drawbacks so I wanted to see if anyone had suggestions or feedback regarding their tripods/monopods?

    I really like the monopod setup since it'll give me stability on my shots as well as being lightweight. The tripod is also of interest however I'm somewhat concerned over its weight as well as it just being overall bulky/clumsy and longer setup times.

    Also, I've seen people talking about quick release plates for their 'pod setups. I'm guessing having one of these would be advantageous however would these plates be considered a must-have if getting a monopod/tripod?

    I've never used either so I'm not sure if people have preference for one over the other or if you have both and use them on specific occasions. Any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. fcortese macrumors demi-god

    fcortese

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Big Sky country
    #2
    As you pointed out tripods are much more stable and IMO monopods are used mainly in rapid action situations such as sports, etc. There are many different kinds of tripods and not all are heavy and bulky. some of the travel tripods are fairly light. Of course, the high priced carbon fiber variety are light in weight and very heavy on the pocket book. Tripods is probably the better way to go. I use my tripod as a monopod by only extending one leg when I need to capture an action photo.
     
  3. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #3
    Three-legged stool, or one-legged stool? ;)

    Tripod for me, with a 'quick release' plate always fitted to the camera. Even if I only go out with one camera & one lens, I always use a tripod. It makes all the difference to my pix (landscapes, mostly), and I don't feel 'dressed' without one...
     
  4. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #4
    They have different uses. While both can be used to stabilise your shots, tripods are generally used more for extreme low-light photography or long exposures, where a completely motionless camera is a must for a rather long period of time. Monopods can give you that extra edge to get stable shots at shutter speeds under 1/60th of a second, which would normally be rather iffy if done handheld unless IS/VR were enabled.

    Are you sure your shots aren't blurry merely because you haven't set everything up properly? Perhaps your ISO is too low, aperture is too small or shutter speed is too slow. It is really only for low light, fast action, or long/composite exposures that a tripod/monopod would ABSOLUTELY be needed to get a clear, sharp image. More often than not it's just user error or absentmindedness about settings.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #5
    You have to ask yourself if you have the self-discipline to haul around a good tripod and the pocketbook to pay for it- a good tripod/head is stable, but a lot of that stability comes from weight- if you're not going to carry it, then it's not really going to be worth the money.

    Personally, I use a big heavy tripod and head whenever possible.

    Paul
     
  6. h1r0ll3r thread starter macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    #6
    Quite possible. I'm still getting the hang of my camera so I'm not 100% familiar yet with all the settings. I have lots of shots that are crystal clear but a small percentage come out a smidge blurry or soft. Most of them are usually in low light conditions so it may be something with the settings I'm not aware of. Both my lenses have IS and I am hand holding while shooting. I guess it's just a matter of me practicing some more with the camera and playing with the settings.

    Lugging the thing around isn't an issue. Pocket book? eh, not looking to break the bank on a tripod (yet). This is just more an experiment than anything else. I'd really hate to drop a mint on a really nice tripod and only to find out I don't really need it or use it sparingly? Guess I'll just shoot around some more and get up to speed on all the settings. See if that helps out any.

    Thanks all for the feedback.
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    A tripod is only good if it's stable, and a good tripod head makes a tripod usable. A good leg set is probably ~125 or so at the low end, and a good head is usually more. You should read Thom Hogan's tripod article before going much further.

    Paul
     
  8. H2Ockey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    #8
    I'm actually a little surprised the thread got this far before someone mentioned the Thom Hogan article, it is a must read for anyone getting into photography.

    Thom Hogan Tripod Article

    The link should be sticky'd to the top of this section "Before asking about a tripod"

    I got a mono-pod only to find it is not as universally useful as I had hoped. It has a place and has really helped versus hand holding, but a good tripod is tantamount to producing quality photos in just about every discipline.

    Both a mono-bod and a tripod are only going to be as good as the head. And the ball head I have costs about as much as my tripod and monopod together.

    As far as $$ and tripod cost.
    Everyone wants a Cheap/Light/Stable tripod. You can only ever get two of those three... EVER. For a tripod to be useful it MUST be stable so you have to ask which of the other two you can sacrafice. If you are worried that a cumbersome tripod will not get used by you then expect to pay quite a bit.
     

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