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Rockin Ronnie
02-22-2008, 01:48 PM
Having just picked up a monopod (Manfrotto 679) along with my new E510, I have some questions about how to use it.

I also have a tripod and when using the E510 I realize that I should/must turn IS off. No problem, I can understand why.

However I notice that when I am using my monopod with my longer lens (Sigma 135-400) I have some trouble keeping it absolutely still no matter how hard I try. I know I can experiment and determine the differences for myself but what is the conventional wisdom out there. Monopod with IS on or off with long lenses?

And what are some helpful techniques when using a monopod. I am asking this because I am traveling south shortly (Caribbean) and do not intend to take my tripod with me but do intend to take my long lens and monopod (which easily fits into my suitcase)

Ron

3dpan
02-22-2008, 02:18 PM
Ron,

Does the E-510 have the I.S.2 mode, or is it just the E-3 ?

Cheers,
Alec

jtfrazer
02-22-2008, 03:01 PM
Alec,

The E-510 has both IS.1 and IS.2.

matthew
02-22-2008, 03:32 PM
However I notice that when I am using my monopod with my longer lens (Sigma 135-400) I have some trouble keeping it absolutely still no matter how hard I try. ... And what are some helpful techniques when using a monopod.

Here's the link that I developed my technique from: http://www.nikonians.org/monopods/what_monopod_3.html

You'll see that it's best done with a ball head; I use a manfrotto 486RC2 with my monopod. (Also a 679 if I remember correctly.) I don't think "absolutely still" will be possible with a monopod and a long lens; it's hard to do on a tripod some days. You will gain a significant advantage in sharpness and framing, but it's never going to replace a tripod.

Im not sure if I've noticed a difference with IS on or off. Give it a try and let us know. :D

3dpan
02-22-2008, 03:49 PM
Then I would expect IS 2 to work with a monopod, since it's the sideways movement you can't control.
You can't control rotational movement either but there is no direct fix for that.

Cheers,
Alec

Rockin Ronnie
02-22-2008, 04:38 PM
Here's the link that I developed my technique from: http://www.nikonians.org/monopods/what_monopod_3.html

You'll see that it's best done with a ball head; I use a manfrotto 486RC2 with my monopod. (Also a 679 if I remember correctly.) I don't think "absolutely still" will be possible with a monopod and a long lens; it's hard to do on a tripod some days. You will gain a significant advantage in sharpness and framing, but it's never going to replace a tripod.

Im not sure if I've noticed a difference with IS on or off. Give it a try and let us know. :D

Thank you, I have bookmarked that site. Very much what I was looking for. Yes, I also have a 486RC2, and use it with my monopod as well.

I.S.-2 mode, I should try that, Alec. makes sense for lateral movement.

Ron

bilzmale
02-22-2008, 06:13 PM
I.S.-2 mode, I should try that, Alec. makes sense for lateral movement.

Ron

As I understand things IS-2 is for when you want to have lateral movement as in panning and the IS only corrects for vertical movements. If you are using a monopod this will minimise vertical movement but not help as much with lateral unsteadiness.

To me it seems IS-off or IS-1 would be better.

3dpan
02-22-2008, 08:53 PM
Bill,

I just had another read of the manual, and I'm quite willing to be wrong.

So IS.2 will only work on a monopod if the camera is in portrait mode ?

Cheers,
Alec

tspore
02-22-2008, 11:48 PM
So IS.2 will only work on a monopod if the camera is in portrait mode

Yes you are correct.

Now I have to admit. I have shoot many times on a tripod and monopod with IS on, and I haven't noticed a difference.

ptuk
02-23-2008, 04:53 AM
I usually have IS set to IS-1 when using a monopod.

heavy wind lover
02-24-2008, 01:25 PM
use IS1 all the time on the monopod as there are times I'm moving it around quickly and even lifting camera and pod off the floor for a shot,, if I knew the camera was going to be very stationary I would try it without IS,,

Derry

InigMntoya
02-26-2008, 10:38 AM
Then I would expect IS 2 to work with a monopod, since it's the sideways movement you can't control.
You can't control rotational movement either but there is no direct fix for that.

I don't think so. IS 2 is for panning, where sideways movement is expected, and thus not "corrected". (Page 36 of the E-510 manual):

"This is used when panning in the horizontal direction to achieve a blurred
background. The horizontal image stabilizer is turned off, and only the vertical
image stabilizer is activated."
[edit -- just saw correction/retraction further down the thread, left this with the manual's text for reference]

InigMntoya
02-26-2008, 10:42 AM
So IS.2 will only work on a monopod if the camera is in portrait mode ?


Now that's an interesting question.
I think it depends on whether or not the camera is "smart" enough to use its portrait/landscape orientation sensor and adjust the IS behavior accordingly. If it "knows" you're in portrait mode, then you're back where you started.

al Asaad
02-26-2008, 02:53 PM
When using a monopod, the leg of the monopod should not be centered under the camera, but stuck out front ala a human tripod, your own legs making the other two.
IS mode 2 is the thing for monopod shots. To steady the whole rig even more, rest the eyepiece on your eye-brow, pulling it tight, strengthening the "Tripod" effect.
Better still, use the monopod while seated cross-legged on a bench-leaning on a wall or street sign. Even steadier is bracing the pod against a fence or car fender.
Last (and steadiest of all) a cross legged seated position on a table, bench, the ground, inside a car-etc. Don't be a slave to your gear: improvise!
The rock-steadiest portable support of all? A sturdy tripod completely collapsed.*Ballheads, no matter how expensive, do absolutely nothing to steady your gear.
The heavier the rig on top of the ballhead, the less steady, especially a heavy rig perched precariously on a monopod.

NSX-Nate
03-13-2008, 09:37 PM
IS mode 2 is the thing for monopod shots. To steady the whole rig even more, rest the eyepiece on your eye-brow, pulling it tight, strengthening the "tripod" effect.


As mentioned before in this thread, IS mode 2 only corrects for vertical movement NOT horizontal movement of the camera. Mode 2 is a stabilization mode for panning to follow action, so why would this be ideal for monopod shots where your most unstable axis is the horizontal one?

cifcap
03-15-2008, 12:06 AM
Here's the link that I developed my technique from: http://www.nikonians.org/monopods/what_monopod_3.html

You'll see that it's best done with a ball head; I use a manfrotto 486RC2 with my monopod. (Also a 679 if I remember correctly.) I don't think "absolutely still" will be possible with a monopod and a long lens; it's hard to do on a tripod some days. You will gain a significant advantage in sharpness and framing, but it's never going to replace a tripod.

Im not sure if I've noticed a difference with IS on or off. Give it a try and let us know. :D

Thanks Matthew for the link and I agree with your quote 100%! :D

JW

rally
03-15-2008, 12:54 AM
Ron,

I don't think a monopod is really suitable to stabilise a camera and lens at an Effective Focal Length of 800mm.

It won't matter what you do - you will end up with a much lower keeper rate at these focal lengths and you are relying on a certain amount of luck to hopefully capture an image when everything at the instant you take the image is not vibrating/moving.

If I need a sharp photo at long focal lengths, then I need to ensure that there is very little wind around, I remove the camera strap so its doesn't vibrate and flap around, I use mirror lockup and shutter delay to try and eliminate (note I said "try") any vibration induced by my operation of the camera and the mirror movement.
I'll also use remote shutter release if I am properly setup (depending on camera)
Finally I would be definitely aiming to get a shutter speed at twice EFL so thats at least 1/800 if you are fully zoomed preferably higher if the light allows (which it rarely does)

This is all done on a very stable tripod - and I still get soft images.

I would also add that by adding a Camera mounting plate adapter (Manfrotto 234) to the top of the Monopod you can adjust the angle of the camera with respect to the monopod - essential if the object of interest is quite high or low..
But this does nothing for stability - just positioning.

Cheers Rally

Rockin Ronnie
03-17-2008, 09:20 AM
Ron,

I don't think a monopod is really suitable to stabilise a camera and lens at an Effective Focal Length of 800mm.

It won't matter what you do - you will end up with a much lower keeper rate at these focal lengths and you are relying on a certain amount of luck to hopefully capture an image when everything at the instant you take the image is not vibrating/moving.

If I need a sharp photo at long focal lengths, then I need to ensure that there is very little wind around, I remove the camera strap so its doesn't vibrate and flap around, I use mirror lockup and shutter delay to try and eliminate (note I said "try") any vibration induced by my operation of the camera and the mirror movement.
I'll also use remote shutter release if I am properly setup (depending on camera)
Finally I would be definitely aiming to get a shutter speed at twice EFL so thats at least 1/800 if you are fully zoomed preferably higher if the light allows (which it rarely does)

This is all done on a very stable tripod - and I still get soft images.

I would also add that by adding a Camera mounting plate adapter (Manfrotto 234) to the top of the Monopod you can adjust the angle of the camera with respect to the monopod - essential if the object of interest is quite high or low..
But this does nothing for stability - just positioning.

Cheers Rally

Good advise. Just got back from a trip to Cuba and I mounted my 135-400 on my monopod with IS1 engaged and took plenty of long shots. The shots at 400mm were not as crisp and clear especially on the beach with a good wind. A higher shutter speed is always necessary.

I must say that those between 135 and 250mm were quite acceptable with some being very sharp even at lower shutter speeds. I agree that a tripod is a better match at 400mm but still no guarentee of crisp, clear shots.

Ron

Don Baldwinson
03-19-2008, 01:53 AM
2 weeks ago I was shooting motorcycles with my E-3 and a Nikkor 400mm f5.6 with EC-14, panning with a monopod and IS2 setting. I was getting very good images, though DOF was a problem, and also atmospheric stuff from the track. At 1120mm equivalent magnification, this would be expected. I can't say IS2 didn't help!
DOF, the first bike is not quite in focus, the second is.
Cheers,
Don

http://gallery.photo.net/photo/7073413-md.jpg