Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

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MarkSturtevant
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by MarkSturtevant »

Beatsy wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 5:49 am
Hopefully, speculation isn't too far off-topic...
Andre De Kesel has a rig that is something like what you describe. I don't think it automatically trips the shutter, but the shutter release looks to be right where the thumb goes.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/andredeke ... 817963808/
Mark Sturtevant
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Beatsy
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by Beatsy »

Thanks, Mark, that's interesting. I think the key element is the shaft and slider sticking out at the front. Acts as linear guide for capturing a hand stack. I think it must need to be rested somewhere though, so not *quite* what I'm looking for. But that idea is filed away - certainly could be useful somewhere, someday. Cheers.

cactuspic
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by cactuspic »

I use a tripod with a boom arm. Though not quite as stable as a simple tripod, I find it more stable than hand holding or a monopod and it provides a stable enough platform to stack. I tend to shot botanicals so I am not worried about chasing a moving insect. Also, most of my higher magnification work is done in studio. Wind is for more of a concern than the stability of my tripod when I'm out in the field. Recently though, I have been getting lazy and will sometimes shoot handheld. I goose the ISO a bit and take numerous images. (one always seems just a bit sharper than the rest.). But truth be told, it is always a tad sharper when can use a tripod, live view and a remote trigger.

Dalantech
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by Dalantech »

It depends on how I'm shooting. If I can grab onto whatever the critter is perched on with my left hand, and then rest the lens on that same hand to help keep the scene steady, then I shoot hand held all the way to 5x. I call it the Left Hand Brace technique.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (5x) + a diffused MT-26EX-RT with a Kaiser adjustable flash shoe on the "A" head (the key), E-TTL metering, -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.

ImageSwallowtail Portrait II by John Kimbler, on Flickr

If I can't use the left hand brace, and can't find something to brace myself or the camera on, then I might resort to using a monopod without a ball head. I grab onto the monopod with my left hand and extend my thumb so I can rest the lens on it. If I need to adjust the height of the rig I just loosen my left hand and slide it on the monopod -faster than trying to make adjustments with the leg releases. Can do the same thing with a steady piece of reed or a dowel rod as well, doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just watch out for splinters ;)

Ichthyophthirius
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by Ichthyophthirius »

Hi,

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

@Dalantech That's a great idea. It doesn't lend itself to my usual setup with a 105 mm lens (my hands aren't that big :wink: ) but I recently started using the EF-S 24mm for macro, which would be suitable. Still have to figure out if I need to drink more or less coffee to keep my hands steady.

Regards, Ichty

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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by enricosavazzi »

Ichthyophthirius wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:26 am
Hi,

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

@Dalantech That's a great idea. It doesn't lend itself to my usual setup with a 105 mm lens (my hands aren't that big :wink: ) but I recently started using the EF-S 24mm for macro, which would be suitable. Still have to figure out if I need to drink more or less coffee to keep my hands steady.

Regards, Ichty
more coffee -> more shaking
more beer -> less shaking

The latter is a common trick in handgun target shooting (albeit not allowed in official competitions). Drinking a small amount of alcohol does reduce physiological tremor, but drinking too much affects coordination negatively.
--ES

Guido
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by Guido »

Another sniper rule that wil help is: "squeeze the trigger not pulling/pushing"

MarkSturtevant
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by MarkSturtevant »

In my early years I used a 'steadying stick' much like LordV. It was a simple dowel rod, not very thick, and it was pretty effective.

The left hand brace, where the subject is held in the same hand that rests the lens: I 've tried that several times but I usually can't find the sweet spot where my left hand fingers don't get shaky. It works sometimes, but usually not. Maybe a hip flask in the field?

Here is an old plamp-like thing that I use a lot, where a plant (with a bug on it) is clamped in place to steady it against breezes. Its a wooden dowel rod with a big nail on the bottom. This is pressed into the ground. The plant is held to the pole with a double clip that I made. Here are pictures of the bottom and the double clip.
Untitled.jpg
I have since made improvements on this, but I don't have pictures.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

dickb
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Re: Would you recommend a tripod or monopod for macro in the field?

Post by dickb »

One other possible solution is using a tripod with the camera mounted underneath it. Either by reversing the centre column or as I do by flipping the legs. This method has pros and cons, as any solution will have. Cons are the annoyance of the tripod legs interfering with manipulating the camera and lens and the fact that the camera will be upside down if you use your normal camera mounting method. I use a Smallrig cage with my camera with an Arca plate on the top so I can mount it in the standard orientation. Pros are the freedom you get for positioning your camera millimeters over a delicate surface like moss with dewdrops. Another pro is that you can choose either for a lot of flexibility and fast repositioning with a ballhead and the tripod legs slightly loose or for a rigid exact setup with a geared head and the tripod properly locked down.

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