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Archive 2012 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....
  
 
people.hunter
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Soon I will be taking my very new (to me especially) Nikon D800 and 70-200 lens travelling for two months. I am used to travelling with a much less demanding D300 and 18-200. I'm a bit worried about just how steep my learning curve is here and am not very pleased with the sharpness of my first efforts. I like to shoot a lot of street portraits while being quick and not drawing too much attention so I am wondering if I should dig out the monopod (Gitzo 2561T) I have rarely used in which case I want to use a head for greater flexibility and also better security for the gear. Reading the forums here I am thinking

Q1. either the RRS MH-01 with the B2 PRO II clamp or possibly the Sunwayphoto DT-01?

Q2. the other question then is, which camera plate to attach to it?

I will be using both collared and uncollared lenses.

Q3. Do I need anything else then?

Thanks in advance for bearing with the steepness of my curve. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.




Sep 02, 2012 at 08:42 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


I own a good Gitzo monopod with RRS monopod head. All the plates clamps and so on. I never even bother to bring it when travelling. And I do a lot of street shooting. You don't really gain much if using a monopod for street shooting. IMO it's probably better without it.


Sep 02, 2012 at 09:13 AM
people.hunter
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thanks Lars. Very interesting thinking. The less gear travelling the better is for sure.


Sep 02, 2012 at 09:28 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Not only about less gear. When shooting people/street you still have to use a decent shutter speed, because the subjects moves. With your new and good camera/lens combo that will be no problem without a monopod. I would guess it's a VR lens also


Sep 02, 2012 at 09:34 AM
sjms
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


it all depends on your particular use whether you want to have or need one. i use mine more often then not with my 70-200 w an w/o TC's and when using longer lenses as needed. you use and needed mobility are the keys to you answer.
i have a MH-01 on a Feisol CM1471 MP and i do tend to have it around with me.



Sep 02, 2012 at 12:17 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


I have the MH-01 on a Feisol CM1471 Rapid, too. A great system! It's used mostly for my 500/4L IS. I often use a smaller Manfrotto 676B 'travel' monopod with Manfrotto 3232 tilt head for smaller lenses, like the 70-200/2.8 series.

As Lars said, you probably won't need a tilt head for street shooting, unless you want to take something above the first floor of a building, or somebody's shoes.



Sep 02, 2012 at 01:52 PM
sjms
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


street shooting includes macro/close up in my usage and the added stability and positionability is a plus. bark away, its all about the usage you have for you


Sep 02, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


You say you want to be quick and not draw attention; adding a two foot extension onto your camera goes against that principle. Dont get me wrong, I have a feisol with a Kirk monopod head that I love, but that is mostly for my 300 2.8. I shoot lots of sports, and I carry my 70-200 2.8 on a black rapid style sling and love it. Now for more candid street shooting, I don't really do that, but I can imagine a big white lens slung over my shoulder isn't going to cut it either.

I really like the concept of the quick-switch monopod heads by RRS and (I think) sunway. My understanding is sunway is a Chinese bred copy, and I don't like that way of doing business.

Paul



Sep 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


If you're doing candid/street, I'd think you have plenty of headroom with the D800 ISO and VR to get what you want hand-held.

That said, I really liked having my monopod available to me when I went in the dark old buildings/churches, etc.

Paulthelefty wrote:
I really like the concept of the quick-switch monopod heads by RRS and (I think) sunway. My understanding is sunway is a Chinese bred copy, and I don't like that way of doing business.

Paul


Kirk and Sirui also make monopod heads, and having looked at all four (RRS, Kirk, Sirui and Sunwayfoto) I'd say Sirui is the most clearly a knockoff of the RRS, though it isn't built to the quality of the other three. I'm not a giant fan of the handling of the Kirk.

Sunwayfoto has a single rail vs. the dual rail of the RRS, and a very different clamping mechanism. If you look at them up close, the don't really resemble each other much at all. I don't think it is fair to call them a knockoff.

I haven't seen the Hejnar head in person - the single-rail design looks fairly thin vs. the others.

Sunwayfoto sent me a DT-01 to review, and I liked it quite a bit. It isn't a cheaply-built head and isn't priced that way, either. The DDH-02 is a pretty unique panning clamp, and I loved it: http://enthusiastphotographer.com/2012/07/22/sunwayfoto-ddh-02-and-dt-01-review/

You can't go wrong buying RRS. If the money isn't a big thing, they are terrific. I will say I don't prefer their panning clamp though, and they charge big money for their indexing clamp (which allows you to switch the orientation of the plate - useful when you move from an L-plate on the camera to a big lens with a foot that requires a 90 change). As I mentioned there is nothing quite like the DDH-02, so the combo makes for a really useful setup.

I'd take it. If it is in the way, you can always leave it in the room next time.






Sep 02, 2012 at 06:41 PM
people.hunter
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thanks Lars. I do hear you. Just nervous about getting what I want while I'm away with the new gear.


Sep 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM
 

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people.hunter
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thanks SJMS. My use can be quite varied, not to mention that I've changed my location from the streets of India to Europe (which I'm not familiar with). I will probably set up the monopod and then decide if it actually goes on this trip or waits until I'm really used to my change of equipment.


Sep 03, 2012 at 10:47 AM
people.hunter
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thank you JColwell


Sep 03, 2012 at 10:50 AM
people.hunter
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thanks Paul, you make a good point (and I knew I hadn't expressed it very well). Yes, I have already lost some unobtrusiveness now I'm using the 70-200 but I really like the lens and I think my style may be changing consequently. I also use an 85 but that isn't so much of an issue. I have just started using a Black Rapid stap with the 70-200 in the street and it has changed my "camera-carrying life". I absolutely love it. I used it in Vietnam recently and even among all the motorbikes I felt the lens was safe and easy to direct out of harm's way as well as carrying being a breeze.
I thought it might work in India though (changing my style)to locate myself a bit more in one place with the monopod as so much happens all around you there ; You don't really need to go and find interesting things there, it all happens in front of you. That was my thinking.... Now, as I said to SJMS, Iwill probably set it up and make a last minute "to take or not to take" decision. Thanks for taking the time. It's very helpful.



Sep 03, 2012 at 11:23 AM
people.hunter
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thank you Guy,
I thought you wrote an excellent review on Sunwayphoto, and it certainly influenced my thinking on this. All your comments have been very helpful, especially the rationale for taking or not taking. Thanks again.
Clare



Sep 03, 2012 at 11:32 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


The MH-01 is very nice, though for people I'd just handhold the lens rather than using a monopod.

EBH



Sep 03, 2012 at 05:59 PM
pw-pix
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


That's a big lens to be shooting street with. Why don't you try something less conspicuous? 24-70, a 50, even an 85 would be easier to work with and more widely useful. I like a 24 or a 28 and have recently bought a 35 to try.


Sep 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM
people.hunter
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


Thanks PW-PIX, you're right. It is a conspicuous and heavy lens. Actually, I'm using an 85 and the 24-70 as well but I haven't had it for long. People have suggested a 28 to me before. I just don't have one yet. I went to the 70-200 because I'd been using DX format with the 85 in India and it wasn't working well enough for protraits. Just too many people to get back that far. My curve is steep and I'm a fairly slow learner so thanks for taking the time. People's feedback is very helpful.


Sep 05, 2012 at 11:31 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


OTOH, you could leave all of the big stuff at home, and simply take a Fujifilm X100, with its 35mm equivalent field of view. I think it's one of the best possible solutions for street photography. Small, silent, unobtrusive, and it has deadly IQ.


Sep 05, 2012 at 12:39 PM
sjms
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


i do pretty good with the X10. love the zoom


Sep 05, 2012 at 01:05 PM
pw-pix
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Am I barking up the wrong tree? Monopod heads....


OK, if you are trying to shoot tight candid portraits I can see how the longer lens would work. I've never really worked that way on the street.


Sep 05, 2012 at 08:39 PM
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