Shooting On a Monopod While Sitting

I already wrote about how I use a tripod bracket or an ARCA plate to alleviate stress on my left arm while shooting on a monopod, but how about my right arm?

(Warning: I do not have a solution to this problem yet.)

Please keep in mind that this is an unusual shooting situation for most people
so most people will not encounter the problem outlined below.

I love the relative lightness of my Fuji X-T1 over my Canon 7D. Most of the time the Canon is more than double the Fuji’s weight with comparable lens attached, but this doesn’t matter much when I’m shooting on a monopod for long periods.

When I shoot kids soccer, I sit in a chair and have the camera on a monopod. This allows me to have a more eye-level with the players without kneeling, but my right arm ends up getting tired after a while with either camera.

Hand Strap

Since the 7D can have a hand strap, this lightens the workload enough to alleviate both forearm and bicep/shoulder strain. (But it still happens.)

20151020 192000 IMG_9647 t2i flipped_Crop_DCE

However, the X-T1 cannot take a hand strap.

20150903 133832 IMG_9535 G15_Crop_DCE 20150903 133934 IMG_9536 G15_DCE

The Fuji attachment point is very low, so a hand strap won’t work since the strap would want to go between the index and middle finger (ouch!). (More info on mirrorless cameras and hand straps.)

Please note, if the Fuji could take a hand strap, it wouldn’t make it better
than the Canon in alleviating arm strain in this situation — it would only put it at par.
Shooting with a monopod in this way is just plain challenging for any camera (and I want a fix).

.

Battery Grip

Adding a battery grip won’t help much with a hand strap either since putting your index finger below the attachment point makes it a painful endeavor to try to get to the shutter button.

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Plus, it only adds a ledge for your pinky finger (no help in relieving bicep/shoulder strain) and still requires gripping action to maintain a hold (thus creating forearm strain).

Hand Grip

The MHG-XT standard and large hand grip (shown below) added a ledge for your middle finger, but this just transfers that bicep/shoulder strain to finger and forearm since it still required gripping action to maintain a hold.

Fuji MHG-XT Large

(FYI Off the monopod, the MHG-XT large hand grip works great for me.)

To reiterate, this problem only exists when I am using a monopod with the cameras since the arm stresses are different in this situation, but it is something to note. I have’t found a solution to the problem yet. Fuji’s Grip Belt doesn’t seem like a solution since you hand would slip right out of it if used this way.

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But the Fuji Grip Belt looks designed to keep the camera from slipping out of your hand and not the other way around.

Wired remote

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For one season, I attached a wired remote to my monopod (with velcro) to shoot soccer — this moved my arm to a more ergonomic position with my forearm parallel to the ground which felt great, but controlling the camera with just my left arm on the camera and my right arm gripping the monopod was just too much of a reduction in performance — I missed too many shots despite getting use to the change in setup, and I didn’t like the complication.

Velcro wrist strap (left arm)

Years ago, before I had a long zoom with a tripod mount, I attempted to hold my left arm up with a homemade velcro wrist strap. This limited my movements too much, and, again, was more complicated than I liked, but my left arm did not hurt much and wouldn’t work for my right arm.

If I try some more options, I will update this page.

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