Photos by Matt Cashore, University of Notre Dame

The tried-and-true method of shooting football is supertelephoto on a monopod and medium focal length lens around the neck for the quick-grab when the play lands in our lap.  Often times we'll have a third body with a wide angle lens--but no third hand to hold it with. One solution I tried years ago was to make the third body a remote attached to my monopod, using my second handheld body as the trigger for the remote via a radio transmitter.  However this setup proved to be far too heavy and awkward to be of much practical use, so I abandoned the idea. A year or so ago I reviewed the Nikon Df and even with its shortcomings I said it would be very useful as a remote because of its compactness and light weight: When football season rolled around again I decided the Df might make the "remote on a monopod" idea workable and I've been much happier with the setup this time around. Here's my setup in action:


And here's the recipe:
1. Monopod
2. Radio receiver (Pocket Wizard Plus X) with Hildozine caddy to bungee to the monopod
3. Lightest DSLR you can find
4. Bracket to mount camera to clamp
5. Motor Drive cord (New Pocket Wizard 1-foot length)
6. Lens (Nikkor 35mm f2 AIS--Great use for old manual-focus lenses)
7. Clamp
8. Radio transmitter (Pocket Wizard TT1) for handheld camera Around my neck I have a D4s with a 70-200.  The TT1 transmitter sits in the hot shoe so whenever I fire the D4s, the Df fires as well.  At 5-6fps it's slightly slower than the 10fps possible with the D4s, but it's been more than adequate in my opinion. So let's see the results: One advantage is I can shoot two angles at the same time: A tight frame:  At the same time I'm shooting a wide:

The focus on the remote lens is pre-set and taped down.  The high-ISO capabilities of the Df make it possible to set f5.6 or greater, even at night, for a generous depth-of-field, so when the Gods of Autofocus let me down as they did on this play

I have another chance of getting the play in focus with my remote: In the year that the Df has been on the market Canon has released the 6D and Nikon has introduced the D750, making even more options available for a lightweight, compact, full-frame DSLR.  The D750's tilting screen would, I think, be helpful for framing and reviewing images when the camera is near the ground. Although the setup is light compared to a large DSLR and zoom lens, it is still a bit awkward to have a weight on the top and bottom of the monopod, and a camera and lens tilted slightly up means that it's, for me, a nice weather option only.  Like any remote, I have more throwaway frames than keepers but it's been successful often enough to motivate me to keep trying.