How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?

4 July 2024

Tripods have been a trusted accessory in photography kits from the very early days of photography, thanks to them offering rock-solid stability for crisp, clear images. But what if you need something a little more versatile? Enter the monopod, a one-legged wonder that photographers often overlook. Monopods offer surprising benefits like portability, speed, and support for blur-free shooting. When would you use a monopod and not a tripod? You are about to find out.

Use a monopod for action photography

If you are a photographer chasing the thrill of capturing the game-winning kick or the majesty of a bird of prey in flight, a monopod is better than a tripod. A monopod lets you react quickly in fast-paced scenarios like sports and wildlife photography, where split-second moments matter. Setting up and manoeuvring a tripod can chew up valuable seconds, but a monopod is ready to go in an instant, allowing you to stay in the game and seize the perfect shot.

How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?

Use a monopod with slightly slower shutter speeds

How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?

Low-light situations can also be a great opportunity to put your monopod to use. By keeping your camera steadier than you can usually manage handheld, a monopod can minimize camera shake, helping you achieve sharper images when using slower shutter speeds. This is crucial for capturing clear photos in dimly lit environments like concerts or events.

How many stops does a monopod give you? It is generally said to be around 3 or 4. So, if you are pairing your monopod with a stabilised camera or lens, this results in excellent low-light performance.

Keep in mind that when working in extremely low-light situations that require super slow shutter speeds, or when using slow shutter speeds for creative effects, such as waterfall photography, a tripod remains the more suitable option.

Use a monopod with longer, heavier lenses

Although we all love the idea of more portable photography gear, sometimes the winning shot requires you to wield hefty telephoto lenses. In these cases, monopods are lifesavers. Let's face it, those lenses can get heavy over time, causing arm fatigue and ruining your day, not to mention your images. A monopod acts as an extension of your arm, providing much-needed support and reducing strain, allowing you to focus on capturing stunning images for longer.

Before heading into the wilderness, many people ask, can you use a monopod as a hiking stick? While this is not listed as a specification, many hikers have used their monopod as extra support during a trek. If you are going down this route, take extra care, and make sure you opt for a sturdy, well-made model.

How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?

What Monopod is the best?

How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?How Can a Monopod Help Your Photography?

Are you ready to consider adding a monopod to your photography kit? Like any product, they are not all the same. There are monopods in various sizes, with different head types, and there are even monopods with feet!

Here are some of our favourite monopods that you can check out right now:



Browse Monopods at Ted's

Add a monopod to your camera bag today

Our discussion shows that monopods aren't here to dethrone tripods. Instead, they offer a valuable alternative for situations where mobility, low-light support, and easier management of camera gear are key. So, the next time you head out with your camera, decide whether a monopod might tag along instead of your trusty tripod. You might be surprised by its versatility and its improvements to your photographs.

If after consideration, you still think a tripod is the best option for you, please read our tripod buying guide.

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