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Thread: Long Lens Technique

  1. #1
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    Long Lens Technique

    Just acquired a Nikon 200-400 lens. It's big, it's heavy and for extended use it needs support. I have until now shied away from using monopods particularly as they restrict movement, both while shooting, but also moving about the track (I shoot motorsport). With the 200-400 there is little choice

    Have done some research on the best way to get consistent sharp images from a long lens mounted on a monopod. The following is what I have discovered, hope it is of use to someone. Feel free to add to it.

    1. Support: a long lens needs a suitable solid support. This is both the monopod and the head. Solid monopod head choices are somewhat limited. I have a mafrotto 232 which is a light (2.5kg capacity) tilt head on a 679B monopod. The head is not suitable at all, and the monopod, while rated to 10kg, does flex abit under the load. Options are Gitzo monopods, tho I think a Manfrotto 681B might be OK. For a head, short of a Wimberley set up on a tripod, Really Right Stuff make a range of monopod heads that are highly regarded.

    2. Correct use of the long lens on a monopod (known as Long Tens Technique or LLT) is critical for consistent results. The best reference in a single artice is by Moose Peterson

    I've been practising this technique and have found it to improve the keeper rate, but isn't easy to master.

    3. Finally I've purchased a Hoodman eyecup for pressing my eye to the camera as without it, it becomes very difficult (plus it hurts after a while!).

    I've removed the head from the monopod all together and just screw it directly to the foot of the lens. The EOM lens foot did flex a little too so I've replaced it with a Wimberley foot. A further advantage with the Wimberley foot is that it has a smaller gap between the foot plate and the lens so I can operate the zoom comfortably.

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser OzzieTraveller's Avatar
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    G'day Gordon

    Nice set of experiential thoughts & suggestions - thanks

    I had to go thru a similar learning process back in the 60s with my first 'bazooka' ... a Tamron 80-250 f3.8 weighing in at ?3.5kg and had 72mm filters, I can remember that much. I carted this item all over Oz and monopod'd it even up to the top of Uluru

    You are also on the button with a good monopod needed and I will wander thru your recommendations for my current activities
    Thanks mate ...

    Regards, Phil
    Of all the stuff in a busy photographers kitbag, the ability to see photographically is the most important
    google me at Travelling School of Photography

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