How to use a monopod

Choosing photography gear is all about knowing how you will use it, where and how often. Choosing a way to stabilize your camera is no different and in this guide I’ll cover monopods and tripods and help you choose the right one for your shooting style and situation.


How to use a monopod

A monopod, sometimes called unipod is a single pole used to support a camera. The camera can often be mounted directly to the top, however it limits all composition to be horizontal, so a head is often purchased that allows the camera to swing 90 degrees for vertical compositions.

In order to avoid camera blur from motion movement the general rule of thumb is that your shutter speed must be equivalent or faster then the focal distance you are at. Using a 300mm lens at 300mm a shutter speed of at least 1/300th of a second is required, but this may not always be possible due to a number of variables including available light or maximum aperture of your lens. A monopod can help you cheat by giving some added stability.

They are great choice for shooters on-the-go, like hikers, photo walkers and even for some sporting event coverage like motorcar racing. A monopod also offers a bit more flexibility over a tripod in that you can move and sway it; you aren’t locked down into one location. They are a great tool to utilize if you have kids who play sports like soccer and football where you are currently running up and down the field and can’t be constrained by a more bulky tripod. Additionally, by leaning forward, back, side to side or rotating you can track cars driving by much easier, or a bird that is about to take flight off a tree limb. Monopods are also extremely light, collapse down under 20″ and can double as walking sticks when your camera isn’t mounted to them. I’ve heard some photographers also say they’ve used monopods as personal protection in certain situations.


How to use a monopod

A tripod is a three legged object used to support and stabilize cameras. Tripods are used when you need to fully support the camera for shooting. Unlike a monopod that requires you, the shooter, to help hold it up, a tripod will stand on its own. (Check out our guide on how to choose a tripod too!) The uses for tripods are near endless – a few are:

  • Long exposures / capturing night trails
  • Consistent shots of the same subject matter at the same height
  • Low light situations
  • Firing the camera remotely utilizing Pocket Wizards
  • Specific and precise framing of shots
  • With tilt shift lenses
  • When maximum sharpness is desired
  • Video functions

Tripods come with a few downsides though. They cost more then monopods, are larger, heavier and more cumbersome to transport and cannot be moved fast on the go in the same manner as a tripod. They are in turn a great way to learn the fundamentals of photography, because you can bracket expose shots with the same composition time and time again and take some of the hand holding out of it.

I’ve often had a love / hate relationship with tripods. I love them because of the steady, methodical control for aligning shots and the ability to create wonderful long exposures. I hate them for the size and restrictions it puts on me shooting; the same loving feeling I give for the methodical control sometimes I hate for not being free to quickly and easily change positions.

Depending who you talk with, some shooters prefer being on a tripod for studio / portrait shots. I personally loathe them for working with people, but they can have their place, especially if you don’t have an assistant to help style the shoot or make adjustments on the strobes.

Grab your tripod if you plan on shooting a subject that doesn’t move like landscapes and cityscapes or for when you don’t plan on moving often, like waiting for a sunset to just hit the horizon. Get the monopod out when you need a bit more stability because you can’t achieve the desired shutter speed at the aperture you need or when it could help with a panning photograph.

Each is unique in design and application, I wouldn’t suggest buying one over the other because both should be in your arsenal. What you are shooting and how you plan to shoot it will determine which is better for any given application.

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Adding a camera support allows photographers to shoot with a slower shutter speed. You can also use longer lenses, and work without the neck and back strain. But that’s where the similarities in the monopod vs tripod debate end.

Both monopods and tripods offer more support than shooting handheld alone. But the two accessory types have some major differences.

One is more stable, one is more mobile. A tripod or a monopod may be better suited to your photography work than another. In some cases, you may want to use both.

Here’s what you need to know when comparing the monopod vs tripod.

How to use a monopod

What Is a Tripod? What Is a Monopod?

Both a tripod and monopod are accessories designed to support a camera — where the two differ are the legs. A tripod has three legs (that’s the “tri”). A monopod is a camera support that has one leg (that’s the “mono”).

Much of the rest of the design is similar across both accessories. Both are height adjustable, for example. And both often use quick release plates for easily adding and removing the camera.

Construction is often similar and many brands that make tripods also make monopods.

But, the number of legs creates some major differences between tripods and monopods. Those differences determine what’s the best tool for the photography job and whether you need one or both in your gear kit.

Tripods — the Perks of Three Legs

How to use a monopod

With three legs, tripods are the most stable. Using a tripod, you can shoot longer exposures than you could with a monopod.

A monopod will reduce some camera shake. But tripods are best for taking seconds or even minutes-long exposures. Wind or even poor build quality can create shake even with a tripod. But tripods are still among the most stable camera supports.

A tripod’s design means you can leave the camera on the top and walk away. Do this with a monopod and your camera will literally eat the dust.

If you want to take a selfie, or set up a camera for shooting wildlife photos while you’re out of sight, a tripod is the only option.

Tripods will also keep the camera fixed in one location, where a monopod isn’t quite as precise. That exact placement can be helpful when shooting macro photos. It’s also great for shots that mean stitching the images together such as in HDR photography and panoramas.

Tripods tend to be the more popular option — which means there are plenty of models on the market to choose from. While there’s no shortage of monopods, there are often more choices in the tripod category.

Why Shoot With a Monopod?

How to use a monopod

So why would photographers want to use a monopod, if a tripod offers the best stabilization?

The advantages of working with a monopod largely stem from the smaller size of the single-legged camera support.

First, tripods take a bit of floor space to spread out those three legs. Monopods, in comparison, take up a tiny dot of floor space. If you’re shooting in a crowded venue, a tripod may be a trip hazard. Some locations even ban tripod use for that reason.

The smaller profile also makes monopods more mobile. Imagine you are shooting a football game and need to continuously adjust your position at the side of the field to keep up with the action.

With a tripod, you’d need to fold up legs to move quickly down the sidelines. With a monopod, you just pick it up and go. You can follow the action much faster with a monopod, while still sorting that heavy sports lens.

The speed also extends to setup and takedown. With only one leg to unfold and adjust to the right height, setting up and taking down a monopod is faster.

Ditch two legs, and of course, you’re going to have a lighter accessory. Monopods tend to weigh less than tripods. This makes them more travel-friendly, even when folded up.

Working With Tripods and Monopods

How to use a monopod

Both tripods and monopods will take the weight of the camera strap off your neck. And they’ll offer some level of protection against camera shake.

A tripod is the most stable camera support, but tends to be bulky and can slow down your movement. A monopod isn’t as stable, but restricts your movement much less than a tripod.

So which one do you need? If you need to be mobile, a monopod is the best bet. With a monopod, you’re not stuck in one location. And you can support the weight of big lenses and offer some light protection against camera shake.

If you need to shoot seconds long exposures, such as to blur a waterfall, you’ll want the stability of a tripod. What a tripod lacks in mobility it makes up for in stability. You can shoot sharp long exposures and shoot with the biggest, heaviest lenses.

But if you need both, you may not have to actually buy both a monopod and a tripod. Some tripods are two-in-one. They convert from the more stable system to the more mobile one with just a few adjustments.

Convertible tripods typically work in one of two ways. The first kind converts the center post of the tripod into a monopod. This is easy to use and doesn’t require much to switch between the two.

The twist locks necessary to make the center column small enough to work with both tend to be less stable than flip locks.

Other types of convertible tripods work by removing one of the legs and reattaching it to the center column. This creates less of a height restriction and allows for more stable locks. It may be more time-consuming when switching from a tripod to a monopod and back again.

Buying both may be easier than taking the time to convert back and forth. But a convertible option will take up less space than packing both on a photography trip.

And of course, buying a single convertible tripod is often cheaper than buying both a tripod and a monopod.

Some monopods also have small, pop-out support legs at the bottom called a support base or folding base. You still can’t walk away from the monopod with the mini legs out, but you can get a bit more stability than a monopod alone.


Monopods and tripods have a similar purpose, but with vastly different perks and features. Tripods are more stable, while monopods are more mobile.

Tripods are ideal for long exposure photography and macro work. Monopods are great for steadying long lenses while on the move sports photography.

You might need both stability and mobility. In that case, you can pick up a tripod that converts into a monopod to get both perks without investing in both.

You may be wondering whether you need a Tripod or a Monopod for your photography or vlogging gear. Monopod and Tripod are used for different purposes. Tripod will let you shoot longer exposures as compared to a monopod.

This article will discuss the difference between monopod and tripod to help you choose the best gear for vlogging or photography.

Table of Contents

What is Monopod

How to use a monopod

A monopod is a single-legged tool, provides support and stability to the camera, It ensures capturing perfect photos.

Mostly monopods are made from either aluminum which is tough and corrosion resistant or Carbon which is much lighter than aluminum but is well steady.

The main advantage of monopods is its portability as they are light-weighted and are best for on the go photoshoots. The best monopod for a camera is Manfrotto Element Aluminum 5-Section Monopod.

  • Portability: Monopods are highly portable due to its lighter weight.
  • Easy To Set-up: You don’t need to memorize a complicated booklet just to set up a monopod, Simply hold them into place, No nuisance, nothing intricated.
  • Flexibility: Monopod is a very flexible accessory, one can use it to provide stability to their camera even in confined spaces. In many places, monopods are accepted and tripods are restricted.
  • Budget: Monopods are cheaper and generally affordable.
  • Restricted Shots: Monopods don’t support long exposure photography,
  • Camera shaking: Modopods does not do much to get rid of shaking All you get with a monopod is a better hand-holding for your camera.

What is Tripod

How to use a monopod

A tripod is a three-legged tool that allows better positioning of the camera for fine photography. It provides more stability to the camera than monopods.

All tripods have a different load-carrying capability with different height and area of utilization. Tripods will let your hands be free while shooting and take repeated shots of a particular view. All you need to do is to set up your camera while taking long exposures in a slow-speed shutter.

The best tripod for a phone is Sumcoo 53″ Extendable Cell Phone Tripod for iPhone/Android Phone/Gopros/DSLR Cameras.

It is made up of premium quality aluminum alloy with a flip-lock on each pad to provide better versatility with multiple functions i.e. extendibility, 3-way pan head to adjust angles, quick-release plate to install, and release your camera from the tripod in a few second, etc.

  • Durability: Tripods are highly durable than monopods because three-legs always adds to better stability than one.
  • Long Exposures: It supports taking long exposures in a slow-speed shutter.
  • Adjustable Height: You can easily adjust your camera as per your view to go super down to the ground level or extreme height.
  • Wastage of pounds: Having an average tripod will save your money for a while but will ravage your photography because local tripods may lurch a lot during shoots.
  • Weightage: Tripods are usually heavy and slightly difficult to carry.
  • Difficult to set-up: They can take a huge amount of time to set up, making you missed those views which you have been trying to capture.

Difference Between Monopod and Tripod

  • If you are a vlogger or action-video photographer then having a tripod is the best option based upon its stability.
  • Ease of using monopod will buy you valuable time to speedily adjust your camera to capture fast-moving subjects in your lens i.e. fast-moving rabbit or deer.
  • Tripod is highly durable than monopod due to its three-legged support system
  • With tripods, you can take repeated shots of the same view in a slow-speed shutter whereas monopods don’t support this feature.
  • Monopods are cheaper than Tripods,
  • Monopods are highly portable than tripods.
  • Monopods are best for event photography as it does not consume much space than to tripods.

Final Words

To sum-up, we can say that vloggers utilize both in different ways. For vlogging or taking high-quality shots in slow-speed shutter or time-lapse shots, a tripod is the best choice for better stability to maintain consistency between each frame.

If you prefer mobility over stability then monopods is the best option due to its portability.

About Noor

I’m Noor, a vlogger by passion and SEO expert by profession. I love to share the vlogging tips and guides with the community.

While a good, sturdy tripod is often best for stabilizing your gear, there are times when a monopod is more convenient and/or can be a big help in supporting larger camera/lens combinations. In keeping with Nasim’s mention in the Focus and Recompose Technique article that we would be doing some posts on basics and Tips for Beginners and since we have had a couple of monopod reviews, it occurred to us that some people may not know how to properly use a monopod, so we decided to share some pointers. The main differences between the three methods that we will discuss here is where you place the foot of the monopod.

Table of Contents

Method 1: Straight Out in Front

How to use a monopod

Most people will first use this method as it is the logical way to use a monopod. With their own legs standing square and spread to approximate shoulder width, they will put the foot of the monopod roughly centered between their legs and straight out in front of them so that the foot of the monopod forms a triangle with the photographers two feet. This more or less mimics a tripod with two legs supplied by the photographer and the third from the tripod. To increase the stability, the wrist strap should be utilized by using it to firmly seat or push the monopod foot into the ground.

How to use a monopod

Try it and you will see that the strap isn’t for carrying the monopod only, it functions to minimize the monopod head from rotating on the foot as a pivot point. As pointed out in our review of the Oben CTM-2500 Monopod – some wrist straps can be too long resulting in your hand hand being off of the padded section of the leg. Therefore, I would suggest checking the length of the wrist strap and seeing where it places your hand before selecting a monopod.

How to use a monopod

When using a large telephoto lens, this is the method that I use most because when using the next two methods the monopod leg is tipped at an angle, resulting in the need for a monopod head to adjust the camera angle to maintain a level plane.

Method 2: Braced Against the Instep of Your Rear Foot

How to use a monopod

In this method, you stand with your hips at a slight angle to your shoulder, similar to a boxer, with one foot slightly back and the foot of the monopod is placed or braced up against the instep of the rear foot and the pole angled to the photographer’s other leg for additional bracing. The hand is pushing the monopod into the ground with the hand on the shaft and the wrist strap pushing down as well, just like in the first method.

Method 3: Between the Legs

How to use a monopod

In this method, you stand similar to method 2 but the leg of the monopod goes between your legs with the foot of the monopod closer to, but behind the leading foot. In this stance the leg of the monopod braces against the leading leg of the photographer to give more stability. As always the monopod is pushed down into the ground.

How to use a monopod

Using a Head on the Monopod

How to use a monopod

While using the monopod without a head is preferred by many sports and wildlife photographers, if one desires, a head can be used but just be certain that the head and the screws can support the weight of the camera and lens. Heads range from a simple tilt to a ball to a gimbal head. Many feel a simple tilt head is all that is needed since the monopod pivots and rotates easily. If you feel you would like to utilize a head on the monopod, a ball head works for landscape shots with a wide angle lens, but a gimbal head works better for larger telephoto lenses.


The bottom line is that when possible, using another part of your body to brace the monopod against it will increase stability. Try each method and see which is best suited for your shooting needs and style. As for what type of head to use if any, that is up to you. Finally, since we all learn from each other, we would love for you to share with us how you use your monopod in the comments section below.

Waking up before dawn is easy when you don’t sleep the night before in anticipation of the hunt you’ve been waiting for all year long. The steaming coffee, hot and strong, steadily awakens the excitement inside you and in hushed tones, everyone at deer camp expresses how much they’ve been looking forward to this moment. Big bucks from previous hunts are remembered with pride and remorse is expressed for the trophies that got away.

There are plenty of reasons why hunters miss game—distance, positioning…nerves. Many a buck gets away because of poor shots. Even the most seasoned hunter experiences these nerves, which are called “buck fever.”

How to use a monopodDo you get buck fever?

Buck fever is the physical manifestation of symptoms that hunters experience when game is spotted in their field of view or in range. Characterized by shaking and sweaty hands, increased heart rate and shortness of breath, buck fever can cause loss of coordination, resulting in a very inaccurate and poorly-placed shot. Buck fever is caused by the adrenaline dump when we get excited during the hunt.

Not every hunter experiences buck fever; however, it is very common. You might never get it, or you could experience it with every single hunt. Some hunters only experience buck fever when hunting deer, while others get buck fever when hunting elk, turkey or any other species.

There are many techniques you can incorporate into your hunt to help you combat buck fever. One is to train and practice during the offseason. This will give you the confidence to recognize your abilities and pulling the trigger will be more natural. Many hunters use breathing exercises to steady their breath. Having the right hunting equipment helps, too.

Professional hunters know that a stable shooting platform is essential to increasing accuracy, extending your shooting distance, as well as aiding in taking an ethical shot. Shooting off-hand can be challenging even when there is no pressure. Tripods, monopods, bipods and shooting sticks provide the hunter with a steady gun rest so no more trophies are missed.

Bipods are good for prone shooting, while tripods and monopods are adjustable for sitting, kneeling and standing positions—the positions hunters are most likely in when hunting any game. The tripod shooting sticks are favored with dangerous game hunters in Africa, which many hunters have brought the tradition back to the U.S. However, the monopod is easier to carry and deploy.

  • Extend your shooting range
  • Holds your rifle steady for longer periods
  • Remain solid and steady on rocky and uneven terrain
  • Provides a natural shooting stance
  • Increases accuracy
  • Supports your rifle
  • Steadies your shot

The Firefield monopod shooting stick is a versatile and easy to use accessory essential for a successful hunt. It’s particularly advantageous when hunting in heavy brush, open fields and grasslands, rocky terrain, mountainous areas and prairies due to the included carbide tip and trekking basket which convert the shooting stick to a steady walking stick.

The Firefield shooting stick is constructed of durable, lightweight aluminum weighing only 12 ounces. It is adjustable for height from 31.7 to 64.7 inches. A rubber, v-shaped yoke won’t scratch your firearm surfaces and holds the rifle steady. It has a non-slip cork grip and includes a carbide tip, rubber boot and trekking basket. With a standard bolt, it is compatible with a camera or spotting scope. Its adaptable for any terrain, including snow.

Adjusting the Height of the Shooting Stick:

There are two adjustment points on the shooting stick to adjust.

2. How to Use a Monopod: 13 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow

13 steps1.Use your monopod and your own legs to form a tripod. First, extend your monopod so that your camera is a few inches above your eye level. Stand with your 2.Steady your monopod against your leg. Stand with your feet apart at a comfortable width, facing your subject. Set the bottom of the monopod a few inches 3.Set the monopod against your instep and steady it with your foot. This is called the Archer Stance. Stand with your feet apart about shoulder width. Then (4) …

Holding the Monopod. Use your left hand to grip the top of the monopod shaft, just below the point where it attaches to your camera. Place your right hand (5) …

I use a monopod often. It can ALSO be used to support the camera when not shooting, it is on the ‘Pod instead of your hand and arm. Balanced on the monopod (6) …

3. Using A Monopod For Nature And Wildlife Photography – OP

Nov 16, 2020 — A monopod can be used with or without an accessory head. I prefer to use it without as I always mount it directly to the lens and use the collar to (7) …

When a rock solid platform for stability isn’t a priority many photographers turn to a monopod for their camera support needs. Just as the TRI in tripod means three,​ (8) …

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4. Bite Size Tips- How And When To Use A Monopod | Light …

Jul 3, 2019 — The most common way to use the monopod is to stand with the feet spread at a comfortable width (usually shoulder width up to about 2 feet) and (9) …

Jul 17, 2013 — Where a monopod does come into its own is in areas such a wildlife and sports photography where you can dramatically increase the stability of (10) …

Apr 20, 2021 — 1. Properly Grip Your Monopod. Using whichever hand you don’t operate your camera with, grab the monopod’s shaft and get a firm grip. (11) …

Use the Pan Stance for Racing. For sporting events where the subjects are going to be passing in front of you, panning may be the best stance with your monopod. (12) …

Aug 9, 2017 — Another use for monopods is often seen on the sports field, where photographers simply use their monopods as a support, to hold up the (13) …

5. 4 Times When Using a Monopod Is Perfect for Wildlife …

Wildlife photography almost always requires a telephoto lens and this in turn often necessitates the use of some sort of support for your camera. While many (14) …

Sep 26, 2019 — Standing with your hips at a slight angle to your shoulder and with one foot slightly back, brace the foot of the monopod against the instep of your (15) …

Oct 1, 2018 — A monopod is meant to support the weight of your camera setup so that you can use it comfortably. It kind of defeats the purpose then if you’re (16) …

6. Why You Might Need a Monopod Instead of a Tripod

Even the most sure-handed photographer can’t keep a monopod perfectly still, but if you have no need to take long exposures, then a monopod will work just (17) …

A tripod or a monopod may be better suited to your photography work than another. In some cases, you may want to use both. Here’s what you need to know when (18) …

Apr 18, 2017 — Since I knew I would be photographing wildlife like dolphins, whales and birds, But shooting from a boat is one situation I use my monopod. (19) …

You can use a monopod for that purpose too. For wedding photography, where a photographer has to move frequently and shoot very often, a tripod is difficult to 28 answers · Top answer: %3E Q: When should you use a monopod for photography?
A: When it makes sense.

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7. Monopod – Wikipedia

Camera and imaging use — Camera and imaging use[edit]. The monopod allows a still camera to be held steadier, allowing the photographer to take (21) …

For this reason, I prefer to use a tripod rather than a monopod for my big 600mm and 800mm birding lenses. However, there are specific circumstances in which a​ (22) …

May 24, 2021 — Different photographers will have different photography needs. Monopods and tripods BOTH offer camera support instead of shooting handheld. (23) …

8. How To Use A Monopod & Multi-Purpose Tripod

OTG Digital Photography is not possible without the monopod with a flexible ball head that allows the desired camera orientation needed to produce all types of (24) …

Dec 7, 2017 — I use an Oben CTM-2500 5-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod. A California-​based travel photographer, Susan loves to share the world with (25) …

By Kelly Lee You hear it all the time; tripods are an essential piece of equipment that belongs in every photographer’s kit, However, what about a monopod? (26) …

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9. Using a monopod correctly can actually be more confusing …

Oct 13, 2019 – Think you already know how to use a monopod? Do you Tips for Photographers, Photography Gear, Monopod Techniques #photographygear # (27) …

Although less exciting than camera bodies and lenses, tripods and monopods have earned their place on the list of essential gear for photographers. Whether (28) …

10. Best Monopods for Wildlife Photography of 2021 • The …

Feb 7, 2020 — A monopod can be thought of as a one-legged tripod, usually made of Wildlife photographers can take advantage of the ease of use to (29) …

May 18, 2021 — The best monopods can provide photographers and videographers with Maximum payload is a concern too, especially if you use big lenses. (30) …

Do you use a monopod? It’ definitely a useful tool for photographers and filmmakers, and it comes in handy Mar 20, 2017 · Uploaded by (31) …

Dec 2, 2019 · 6 postsI would certainly advocate the use of a ball head atop the monopod (and Visit The Pumpkin, a library of my technical articles on photography, (32) …

How and when to use a monopod. A monopod is essential to any photographer that leaves the confines of a studio. Lightweight, portable and versatile; many (33) …

Cameras can be directly mounted onto the monopod or attached to a tripod head. to the video world, the shoulder rig also proves its usefulness in still photography. You can use the Digital Juice Suction Mount Series Giottos Ball Head to (34) …

# When you are recording videos from a long distance, you can use the monopod instead of tripod to capture in a better way. The only disadvantage about the (35) …

Apr 26, 2021 — For that reason, monopods are popular among sports and wildlife photographers who are constantly on the move but often have heavy cameras (36) …

Mar 18, 2021 — Tripods are more stable while monopods are more mobile. It all boils down to your type of photography such as landscape, events, or even (37) …

Tripods and monopods are useful for different kinds of photography, but a combination device saves on weight and offers greater versatility. (38) …

In George Orwell’s seminal book Animal Farm, the animals in question stated that four legs were better than two. In this article we are going to look at why, sometimes, one leg is better than three, and at why you should use a monopod.

A tripod is regarded as pretty much an essential piece of equipment for any photographer, but they have their drawbacks, they are cumbersome, heavy and sometimes can severely slow down your shooting rate. However, as we all know, the more stable you can keep your camera, the sharper your images will potentially be. Enter the monopod.

How to use a monopod

Monopods can be an excellent addition to your kit by Dave Dugdale, on Flickr

When buying a monopod, you are looking for more or less the same things that you will find in a tripod, stability weight and height. It is preferable to get the minimum amount of sections for your required height, each additional section being a source of instability.

As with tripods, some of the very best monopods are the carbon fibre type, which combine great rigidity with remarkable lightness. Of course you can use a monopod without a head, but this can make some shots very difficult especially if you are shooting at extreme angles. The best option for a monopod is a good quality ball head. This affords you a good deal of rotational movement whilst being able to solidly lock the camera off.

Again you need to consider the weight, there is no point in buying a light carbon fibre monopod and then sticking a heavy and cumbersome head on it.

How to use a monopod

Manfrotto 681B Monopod with 234RC Tilt Head and Shoulder Brace by Michael Kappel, on Flickr

When it comes to using a monopod, you need to realize that they are not a complete substitute for a tripod. Areas where you will struggle to get a good image with a monopod include very low light photography, i.e. night time, and shots where you need a 100% stable camera for example shooting light trails or landscapes with extreme depth of field. Where a monopod does come into its own is in areas such a wildlife and sports photography where you can dramatically increase the stability of long lenses, travel photography, particularly around the golden hours and of course outdoor macro photography, especially when trying to photograph insects etc.

How to use a monopod

Not all monopods provide the same quality by Krypto, on Flickr

How to Hold A Monopod!

One of the most important aspects of using a monopod is how to stabilize it. Here the best option is to think of your legs as making up the three legs of a tripod. The two best ways to do this are:

Stand with your own legs about 50cm apart and have the monopod in front of you so that your body forms a triangle with the monopod. Hold the top of the monopod firmly but not too tight, using the wrist strap to anchor your grip. The key to stability is, oddly, not to be too rigid. Be firm but do not try to lock your position as this will result in your muscles tiring and generating shakes to the monopod.

The second method to stabilize is to stand with one leg slightly ahead and your rearmost foot turned perpendicular to your body. Then you can wedge the base of the monopod into the arch of your rear foot whilst at the top, you hand is pushing the monopod down. You can again add extra stability by looping your hand through the wrist strap. This is a good method for wildlife photography as it allows you to use your body to smoothly pan the monopod whilst maintaining stability.

So in Summary Lets Look at the Pros and Cons of Using a Monopod

  • Portability and weight
  • Stabilization of long, telephoto lenses
  • Speed, a monopod is much quicker and easier to set up
  • Not a substitute for a tripod in very dark conditions
  • You need to practice techniques for stabilizing a monopod

A monopod can be a useful, but not necessarily vital addition to a photographer’s kit. It can certainly provide extra stabilization in a good many types of situation but equally it cannot be seen as a replacement to a tripod, only as a complimentary tool.

You will need to decide on whether you need a monopod based on your own shooting style, but as is the case with tripods, you get what you pay for, buying a cheap monopod will probably not benefit your photography, spend a little money on a good one and it will last many many years, and almost certainly get you out of a hole on more than one occasion.

This (from another thread) prompted me to start this one:

I recently bought a tripod and ball head. Now, it looks like I can use it on the monopod too. I still don’t quite understand though. How do you lean the monopod against something? Doesn’t the camera get in the way? More explanation please.

Until now, I’ve simply mounted my camera directly on the monopod, using it the “basic way”. I admit it’s a bit restrictive but I didn’t know any better. Please give more tips on using a monopod.

Also, what’s the practical advantage of using a monopod in terms of exposure? One stop?

5D MkII, a few lenses, and some other bits and bobs

I use a Ball Head with my monopod, Key advantage for me is:- I can go portrate as well as landscape, I do not have to use the support vertically (i.e. straight up and down) handy for leaning over a ditch?. as for the stops I reacon at 400mm i can squeeze an extra 2

Neil – © NHR Photography
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Thanks for the reply, Neil.

I’ve just checked my monopod and it turns out I can’t mount the ball head. I can only screw the camera directly on top. Does this mean I need a new monopod? Or are there adapters available?

5D MkII, a few lenses, and some other bits and bobs

If you have the little screw sticking out of the top of the monopod that mounts directly to your camera, that is probably 1/4-20 male thread. Most ball heads mount to a 3/8″ thread, so you need a 1/4 to 3/8 threaded bushing. They are available.

I’m not short. I’m concentrated awesome!

I prefer “option 2” for stability: http://www.outdooreyes​.com/photo5.php3

Wow! I’ve only been using option 1 and now I find out that it’s actually the worst way to use a monopod.

Excellent link! Thanks!

5D MkII, a few lenses, and some other bits and bobs

Aylwin wrote:
Wow! I’ve only been using option 1 and now I find out that it’s actually the worst way to use a monopod.

Excellent link! Thanks!

You, and probably 90% of all monopod users.

Also, we had a thread a while back about someone who belived a monopod could also be used as a weapon. (Note: the Forum does not advocate the use of anything as weapons. not even weapons.)

I’m not short. I’m concentrated awesome!

What I said was. Oh, wait.

You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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Check out the new Lexus commercial – the one with the road race flying towards a group of people & photogs. Look for the guy with the BIG white lens. and a monopod.

LazyPhotographer : One who uses a telephoto lens to shoot pictures out the car window or from a balcony. No Bird Posts Left Behind, dammit!

How to use a monopod

Cloverdale Photography
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I get a’s Dynatran Model AT-1016 with ballhead today. Pretty good price us$4X.00.

Conk, I can’t see your image. This link works better:​mages/31825535.jpg

How to use a monopod

I just got it so I don’t know if it’s any good. It has lots of knobs and numbers. Pretty heavy too (heavier than my monopod). When I bought it I was mainly thinking of using it with the tripod. Would this be okay with the monopod too?

I been trying to practice the other methods on using a monopod and now I realise it’s impossible without a ballhead.

5D MkII, a few lenses, and some other bits and bobs

Aylwin wrote:
Thanks for the reply, Neil.

I’ve just checked my monopod and it turns out I can’t mount the ball head. I can only screw the camera directly on top. Does this mean I need a new monopod? Or are there adapters available?

From the looks of the photo you posted there should be no problem mounting your camera on the ballhead and monopod.
Mine is different as it is a quick release with a swivel head. It’s a pain screwing the camera on when you need it fast.

Cloverdale Photography
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You certainly “can” use that really nice ballhead on a monopod. but it is a trifle overkill IMHO..

And a lot of extra weight. I use a mere “tilt only” head .. the ‘pod itself pans.. so all I ever need is a way to tilt the camera up and down.. this is not easy on a ‘pod without a tilting head.