All About The Monopod
What is a monopod
Most poeple have heard of a tripod with its 3 legs it helps in supporting film and digital stills cameras, video cameras and camcorders. The trouble with the tripod is that it can be quite weighty and takes up a reasonable footprint when set up for use.
To get around the need for stabalisation and a small footprint the monopod (or unipod) can be deployed. This is a single leg pole which can be used to steady film and digital stills cameras, video cameras, camcorders as well as binoculars and compases.
How does a monopod work
The use of a monopod in photography means that the photographer can have more stable hold on the camera which allows then for sharply focused pictures to be captured at shutter speeds slower than would be acheiveable hand held. When coupled with a telephoto / zoom lens this increased stability can imporve your long range shots no end.
For even greater stability the photographer or cinematographer can brace themselves against another stationary object to form a bipod.
Monopods are compact by design and most employ either a folding or a retractable mechanism to expand and collapse. This gives the monopod a great advantage over a tripod when travelling as it will weigh less and take up less room in your camera bag!
A monopod can also double up as what is known as a chestpod or beltpod. This is achieved by resting the foot end of the monopod onto the photographers body. Typically this could be the belt, waist or chest and a special adapter my be purchased to support the monopod.
The Monopod as a walking stick
Some monopods can also be utilised as walking stick thanks to the placing of a grip at the top of the monopod. On top of this grip would be where the camera mount would be located for fix your monopod to your camera. This added versatility makes the monopod particularly popular with walkers and naturists who can utilise it’s dual purpose.
At the budget end you will find plastic monopods or some made from cheap thin metal. This negates the benefits of the monopod so we would always recommend buying a decent quality monopod that will last and provide more durability. The top end monopod ranges are constructed from carbon fibre which is incredibly strong whilst being exceptionally light.